How to Move out of the US?

How to Move out of the US

Are you dreaming of moving out of the US like many people? You share similar motives with them. You might wonder where to begin and how the process will continue. Don’t worry, we’ll explain how and where you can move from the US.

It’s for sure a big move to make such a change. You’ll be saying goodbye to some of your attitudes and favorite places you’re used to. But you’ll meet new ones when you move abroad. However, before the fun part of living in a foreign country begins, you’ll have some paperwork to deal with. There are some steps to make it easy to move. So we’ll show you the visa options and the easiest countries you can choose from.

Relax and follow our steps. Living in another country and meeting new people will be exciting. Let’s start the reading!

What are the Potential Destinations to Move out of the US

Don’t you know where you want to live if you move out of the US? So let’s discover the world’s corners where Americans are finding new homes.

Whether you seek adventure or career growth, there’s a lot to explore.

Easiest Countries to Move from the US

Here are the six of the easiest countries Americans can move from the US.


Moving to Portugal from the US is easy because Portugal offers a variety of visa options for Americans. The reason to move might be the lifestyle, work, study, or retirement in Portugal. All have easier processes compared to some other countries.

Some benefits of living in Portugal are as follows: 

  • Low cost of living
  • High quality of life
  • Warm climate
  • Rich culture
  • Public healthcare and education

Furthermore, Portugal’s D7 Visa can be a good option when moving to the country. It’s a passive income visa option if you have a stable and sufficient income. The sources may vary from pensions, investments, rentals, or royalties. One of the best parts of this visa is that you can stay in Portugal for up to one year. And it’s renewable for two more years. Then you can apply for permanent residency or citizenship.


Spain has visa options for different purposes. The sunny climate welcomes you to Spain with easy access to other European countries.

Here are some of the visa options for Americans moving to Spain from the US:

Tourist visa: It’s a short-term visa. You can stay in Spain for up to 90 days within 180 days.

Retirement visa: If you plan to retire in Spain, it’s a long-term visa option for you.

Work visa: Do you have a job offer or a contact from a Spanish employer? So you can consider this visa type.

Self-employment visa: This long-term visa opens doors to entrepreneurs, freelancers, or independent professionals who want to start or run a business in Spain.

Investor visa: This is a special visa if you’re an investor and want to obtain Spanish and EU citizenship by investing in Spain.


As an American expat, you can choose to move to Malta. It’s a convenient option because of the following reasons:

  • Visa options include retirement, work, self-employment, investment, and education.
  • Low cost of living compared to the US, especially in terms of housing, food, and transportation.
  • Free and efficient healthcare system, as ranked among the best in the world by the World Health Organization.
  • Two official languages, Maltese and English. The good news is that most of the population can speak English fluently.
  • Beneficial tax regime with low-income tax rates. So you’ll pay fewer taxes.

To apply to move to Malta from the US, Americans need to obtain a residence permit.


Canada has a lower cost of living, a higher life expectancy, and a diverse and multicultural society. In addition, we can’t talk about living in Canada without mentioning the country’s free and efficient healthcare system.

Some of the options for Americans moving to Canada from the US are:

Express entry: Fast and flexible system that manages applications for permanent residence from skilled workers.

Provincial nominee program (PNP): It allows each province and territory to nominate a certain number of immigrants who meet their specific economic and labor needs.

Family sponsorship: Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their eligible relatives to come to Canada as permanent residents. 

Retirement visa: Retired Americans can live in Canada as permanent residents if they have a sufficient and regular income. Sources can be pensions, social security, or investments.

Investor visa: This special program allows wealthy Americans to obtain Canadian and EU citizenship by investing in Canada.

Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system resembling the UK, while the United States is a federal republic with a presidential system. Americans can apply to move to Antigua and Barbuda from the US by obtaining a residence permit.

Tourist visa: This short-term visa allows Americans to stay in Antigua and Barbuda for up to 180 days within 180 days.

Retirement visa: It’s a long-term visa for Americans who want to retire in Antigua and Barbuda.

Work visa: If you’re an American with a job offer or a contract from an Antiguan and Barbudan employer, you can apply.

Self-employment visa: This long-term visa can be useful for entrepreneurs, freelancers, or independent professionals to start or run a business in Antigua and Barbuda.

Investor visa: It’s for investors who want to obtain Antigua & Barbuda and EU citizenship by investing.

Some of the benefits of living in Antigua and Barbuda are:

  • No tax on worldwide income, inheritance, wealth, or capital gains
  • Access to a free and efficient healthcare system
  • Opportunity to enjoy an adventurous lifestyle
  • Turquoise waters and lush vegetation


Mexico has a lower cost of living and a higher life expectancy. Americans can apply to move to Mexico from the US by obtaining a residence permit.

Some of the visa options available are:

Tourist visa: This short-term visa allows Americans to stay in Mexico for up to 180 days within 180 days.

Retirement visa: It lets Americans with a sufficient and regular income retire in Mexico.

Work visa: You’ll need a job offer from a Mexican employer to apply for.

Self-employment visa: Entrepreneurs, freelancers, or independent professionals can benefit from a self-employment visa.

What will you benefit from if you move to Mexico?

  • No tax on worldwide income, inheritance, wealth, or capital gains.
  • Ability to speak Spanish fluently, as it is the official language of Mexico.
  • Opportunity to enjoy the amazing cuisine, music, and festivals.

The Reasons for Moving out of the US

Here are the reasons for US citizens to move abroad.


Europe is safer than the US. You can think about not enough gun control and how it becomes a risk for society. Parents are worried about their kids when they’re in school. And in crowded places, there’s a fear that there is going to be somebody with a gun. So considering safety, many European countries seem to be a good option for Americans. The habits there and the trust in people in general seem to be higher. And living in a society where safety is embraced by both the government and the people can be more relaxing especially if you have your children with you.


Free healthcare can seem to be very exciting for many Americans. In many countries, you mostly have free healthcare. What does that mean for your daily life? Well, a lot! You can have a baby, but you don’t need to go into debt or see an emergency doctor without hesitation. You’ll not worry much knowing you’ll have access to affordable healthcare.


Travel may sound like a topic out of context. However, it can be a pain to take a flight to some other parts in your country, like going to California from Seattle or to Montana. It takes 2-3 hours or more. You can still enjoy the beauty of America, but you’ll have to take longer hours of flights, for example, to go to London or any other European country. But when you’re living in, for instance, Spain, the world seems smaller as you’ll be able to travel by train or plane or within your vehicle to any other countries like Portugal or Germany, you’ll feel the accessibility brings freedom to your travel experience.

Work-Life Balance

Passion, more money, more work, and fewer vacation days. Those can be familiar terms for you when you’re working in America. You may also need side hustles for your future savings. Or not have enough time for your hobbies and family members. But in some other countries, the work life is much more balanced with a good amount of vacation days, less pressure, and more benefits to make you live a peaceful life when you’re still working and making money.

Real Estate Market

The pandemic made the real estate market in America tougher. It was not perfect before the pandemic. But selling property became harder, and the waiting time got longer as the prices sounded more challenging for many.

What are the Steps to Follow When Moving Abroad for Americans?

Step 1: Choose Your New Home

Research various countries to find one that matches your needs and desires.

Step 2: Understand Visa Requirements

Different countries have different visa rules. Find out which visa you need and gather the necessary documents.

Step 3: Budget Wisely

Calculate your moving abroad expenses, living costs in the new country, and an emergency fund.

Step 4: Healthcare Arrangements

Research healthcare options in your new country. Consider international health insurance.

Step 5: Handle Taxes

U.S. citizens pay taxes on worldwide income. Understand your obligations and possibly consult a tax expert.

Step 6: Secure Accommodation

Look for a place to live, either temporary or permanent.

Step 7: Organize Belongings

Decide what to take with you and arrange shipping for your items.

Step 8: Update Your Information

Inform banks, government agencies, and others of your move if you need to create a new bank account if you need. Change your address and set up mail forwarding if needed.

Step 9: Legal and Administrative Tasks

Make sure your legal documents are updated, including your will and passport.

Step 10: Prepare for Cultural Differences

Learn about your new country’s culture and language to ease your transition.

Step 11: Maintain Connections

Plan how to stay in touch with friends and family in the U.S.

Step 12: Adjust to Your New Life Abroad

Once you arrive, take time to settle in, explore, and connect with new people.

Moving Abroad from the US as an Expat Checklist

Visa and work permit: Research and secure your destination country’s appropriate visa or work permit. Remember, nearly 9 million Americans live abroad. And each country has specific immigration requirements.

Financial planning: Understand the cost of living in your new country. Save enough for moving abroad expenses and at least 6 months of living costs. Manage your banking with a focus on international transactions and currency exchange rates.

Healthcare: Research healthcare systems and how you can benefit from them. Secure international health insurance.

Tax obligations: As an expat from the US, file taxes in your home and host country. Familiarize yourself with the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion.

Housing: Decide whether to rent or buy. Research the housing market and legalities of property ownership.

Cultural adaptation: Learn about local customs, culture, or language. This way, you’ll integrate into the community and avoid cultural misunderstandings.

Legal documents: Ensure your passport is valid for your stay. Consider the power of attorney arrangements for matters back home.

Emergency plan: Plan for emergencies, such as earthquakes or possible pandemics. Have contacts at the local U.S. embassy or consulate.

Stay connected: Set up reliable communication methods to stay in touch with family and friends in the US. In the end, you don’t want to feel separated from them.

What to Take into Consideration When You Move to a Foreign Country?

Local Culture

It’s the key to enjoying your new home. Adapting to the local culture will enrich your experience and help you form meaningful connections.

What can you learn from a local culture and try to understand?

  • Traditions
  • Social norms
  • Holidays
  • Communication and behavior
  • Local foods
  • Community events

City Life

City life can be vibrant and fast-paced. Diverse entertainment, dining, and cultural experiences are among the city’s life expectations. Besties, transportation is another improtant part of daily life. So it will be helpful to research the public transport system, safety, and healthcare facilities. Cities often have expat communities and resources. You can join them on some online social media platforms and have new contacts. It’ll make it easier to socialize and find support.

Job Scene

The job market varies greatly by country and city. First, you can start by researching industries thriving in your destination and understand work permit requirements. Networking is always crucial. So try to join local professional groups or online forums. But there can be work-culture differences, such as work hours, hierarchy, and communication styles. So try to catch up with your new colleagues and friends to learn about the possible differences.

How Much is it to Move out of the US?

Moving abroad from the US can vary in cost. It depends on where you’re headed and how much you’re taking with you. Here’s a brief breakdown:

To Europe:

Moving costs can range from $3,000 to $7,000.

Higher in cities like London or Paris.

To Asia:

Generally, between $2,500 to $6,000.

Costs can be lower for Southeast Asian countries.

To Australia/New Zealand:

Expect to pay around $5,000 to $8,000.

Distance and strict customs increase costs.

To South America:

Approximately $2,000 to $5,000.

Varies with distance and specific country.

To Canada:

Usually, $2,000 to $5,000.

Proximity to the US helps keep costs down.

Remember, these are just estimates. Actual costs depend on you and how you live your life.

How Easy is it to Move out of the US

Moving out of the US is quite manageable, and here are several factors:

Strong passport: The US passport is powerful. It allows easy entry to many countries. So the initial steps of moving become simpler.

English language: As a native English speaker, you’ll find many countries offer services and information in English. Easy communication will make things smoother.

Global network: The US has a wide network of embassies and consulates worldwide. You’ll find support and guidance as a citizen abroad.

Expatriate communities: Many destinations have established expat communities. They can be valuable for advice, friendship, and networking.

Digital convenience: Thanks to technology, researching destinations handling paperwork, and you can stay connected.

Transportation and shipping services: Numerous international moving and shipping companies specialize in helping people relocate globally.

The Wrap-up

As you close the moving chapter, you’ll find yourself in a new adventure abroad. It’s an exciting change to embrace new experiences and cultures. You will have new friends and maybe a new language to learn.

There are absolutely some places in the world that can be a second home to you. You can travel to your next destination without hesitation. How? Remember the steps above and be ready for your exciting move!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need a job to move out of the US?

Not necessarily. But having a job will make the process smoother. It’ll be helpful, especially if you want to secure a work visa and manage your living expenses. However, you can also move as a student or retiree. What else, you can move to a new country through family reunification, depending on the country's immigration policies.

How do I permanently move out of the US?

To permanently move, let’s first choose a destination country. And you’ll understand the immigration laws of your preferred country to move to. It depends on Ou can apply for a long-term visa or residency permit. Or you may aim to apply for permanent residency or citizenship. Maybe you’re moving to a European country or somewhere in Asia. The rules will for sure change for each country.

How much money do I need to move out of the US?

There’s not a specific amount. It changes according to the country, lifestyle, or the cost of moving. You’ll also spend a budget for visa fees, travel costs, or accommodation. You’ll have daily living expenses in time as well. Think long-term, like at least 6 months or a year. What will you be spending, and what your living expenses will look like?

How can I move abroad from the USA?

You can look into different types of visas: work, student, family, retirement, or investor visas. Be ready to prepare documents like passports, visa applications, and possibly health and criminal record checks. Plan your finances! Prioritize your own economic needs and consider arranging housing and healthcare.

What countries can United States citizens move to?

As a U.S. citizen, you can potentially move to most countries. It can be different for some other countries. But each of these countries has its own immigration and visa rules. Canada, Mexico, and European countries like Portugal, Australia, and New Zealand are some of the popular countries. Some offer easier moving options for Americans based on ancestry, employment, investment, or retirement.

Do you still have to pay taxes if you leave the US?

Yes, U.S. citizens are taxed on their global income. It’s not related to where they live. However, provisions like the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion and tax treaties can reduce the tax burden.

How long can a US citizen stay out of the country?

There's no set limit to decide how long. However, staying out of the country for an extended period can affect tax obligations. It’s also important for eligibility for government benefits. If you hold a green card or other residency status in the U.S., for instance, extending your stay abroad can impact your residency status in the U.S.

How can I move to Mexico from the US?

To move to Mexico, you'll need to apply for a visa. Mexico offers different types of visas, like temporary resident visas for stays longer than 180 days. Or it’s possible to apply for permanent resident visas if your plan is to reside indefinitely. Visa requirements include financial proof, valid passports, and application forms. Once you’re in Mexico, you can start obtaining a resident card. You can start learning Spanish before moving! And you can use a few simple words when you’re in Mexico.

What do I need to know to move out of the US?

Excited for moving out of the US? Here are some of the things you need to know before you start the journey:

  • Investment program
  • International living
  • Local language
  • New culture
  • Residence permits
  • Digital nomad
  • Affordable cost
  • Foreign banks

How hard is it to move out of the US?

Here are some challenges of moving out of the US:

  • Navigating visa and residency requirements
  • Handling logistical aspects 
  • Budgeting for the cost of the move and living expenses abroad
  • Adapting to a new culture
  • Language barriers

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