ad collaborative post // Over 4.7 million British citizens live abroad, and many current residents have expressed being open to emigration. The UK remains one of the best countries to live in, but various factors may lead to this desire to relocate, especially for young people.
Some British tourists do find enticing aspects of a country they visit, and that may prompt them to permanently move there. If this sounds like you and you crave a change of scenery but are in doubt where to migrate, stick around, as this article could be your guide to making the right choice.
Keep in mind that, since the UK withdrew from the European Union in January 2020 and the transitional period ended, you will now need a visa to relocate to any EU member country. You may visit your choice destination country’s consulate or embassy for more information.
Below are the five top European countries for UK ex-pats:
Malta is currently one of the countries with the lowest unemployment rates in the world, but this may also have to do with it being one of the smallest EU countries and the 10th smallest country globally. Malta, in contrast to the UK, has a much lower cost of living, but also a lower wage rate, so keep that in mind.
Malta used to be a British colony and it’s a member state of the Commonwealth of Nations. Not only that, but it has English as an official language, apart from Maltese. These facts make Malta a very suitable relocation destination for UK citizens. After all, it was, quite literally, an extension of Great Britain in the Mediterranean.
Malta, despite its size, has a lot of attractions to offer, apart from an excellent schooling and healthcare system. It also has a very pleasant Mediterranean climate, a nice change from the foggy weather that UK residents usually suffer through.
Spain is another affordable destination for UK citizens and, not surprisingly, houses one of the largest British communities outside the United Kingdom. This means you can relocate to Spain from UK and settle down easily. To this day, more than 300,000 British nationals reside there, a great bulk of them currently located between the Valencian Community and Andalusia.
One passion that’s shared between Spaniards and Brits is football. Spain is, as of this writing, a powerhouse when it comes to football clubs, with Real Madrid being the most successful club in terms of Champions League titles.
Spain has likewise been traditionally known for having one of the best welfare and Social Security systems in the world, and the life expectancy is extraordinarily high, with an average of 83.30 years.
The most difficult obstacle that UK citizens must overcome is language. Spain, despite being one of the most touristic countries in the world, struggles with English speakers, though the situation has improved significantly during the past decade. In any case, you could profit immensely from learning Spanish, being the second most spoken language worldwide.
Moving from UK to Portugal is one of the best options for Britons considering settling in a Schengen country. Portugal has been a very attractive touristic location for a very long time, as it hosts some of the most beautiful vistas in all of Europe. It also harbours a very rich historical and cultural heritage that satiates the most lore-hungry individuals.
Moreover, Portuguese residency requirements are highly attainable when judged by EU standards.
Portugal’s real estate market witnessed a steep rise in recent years, owing to the attractive business opportunities available therein, adding to the country’s lenient tax policies (at least in comparison with most European countries). Its affordable cost of living has also been an important variable, though prices have been progressively soaring as we speak.
However, if you’re aiming to work in Portugal, you ought to be aware that Portugal underperforms heavily in monthly wages when contrasted with the European average.
4. Moving from UK to Italy
Italy is praised for its glorious past, its extraordinary weather, its lush Mediterranean beaches, and its incredibly tasty but carb-heavy food. There is much to love about Italy, and every city and town has a story to tell, which makes it perfect for people with an adventurous spirit.
Be mindful, however, that while wages are usually higher in Italy than in most of Europe, unemployment rates are quite high. Nevertheless, labour regulations in Italy are very solid and you wouldn’t have to work more than 40 hours a week in most instances.
It is however worth stating that Italy is one of the countries with the lowest English comprehension levels in Europe, so you may want to enrol in Italian lessons before thinking of moving there.
5. Move from UK to France
France has been making strides towards granting long-term visas to Brits, especially for academic and professional purposes, so you should not have such a hard time moving from UK to France and getting permanent residence there, provided you fulfil the conditions.
France has opened up notably also in the language department as well, whereas in the past it was commonly perceived that the French had an aversion towards the language for historical reasons. Nowadays, approximately 40% of the French population speak English, albeit usually with a strong accent that takes some time to get used to.
France is also known for its superb healthcare system, nowadays deemed as one of the 10 best in the world, surpassing the NHS which sat at the 10th position in 2021.
France has a wide array of housing options, depending on your particular preference. The big cities are normally much more expensive but have excellent public transportation options (particularly Paris). The countryside is much cheaper but there is not much commercial activity.
For the record, British ex-pats in France are mostly situated across southern France and Brittany.