Choosing a country for immigration is very different from planning a tourist trip. Arriving in the country as tourists, we usually enjoy our stay at a hotel, beautiful sightseeing spots and rest from work. However, when you go to a country to settle there, you may discover other angles of that country which are not so pleasant: difficulties in finding a job and suitable housing, high prices, an unusual climate, etc. So that all this does not take you by surprise, it is crucial to study the information about your preferred country as carefully as possible before arriving in the country and decide whether it is right for you or not before you leave home. So, what should you look at first when choosing a country?
Climate and weather
Of course, everyone wants to live in a country with a favourable climate. However, everyone has their own preferences, so there is no ideal country in terms of weather. Some are intolerant to heat, while others hate the cold. For some people, it is important to observe clear changes in seasons , while others cannot imagine Christmas without frost and fluffy snow. It is essential to understand which climate is right for you and how willing you are to tolerate less pleasant aspects of the country’s weather. For example, in Canada, temperatures range from +35 C in summer to -40 C in winter. On the plus side , all four seasons of the year are represented and you can enjoy hot sunny summers, mild golden autumns and snowy winters. For lovers of a warm climate, Australia is more suitable. Although for some, the Australian summer is too hot and they move to New Zealand or Ireland, where the average temperature is from +10 C to +25 C year-round. Likewise, immigrants to New Zealand are often unprepared for wet, damp winters and the lack of heating in their homes.
When choosing a country for immigration, it is vital to compare their living standards . The primary indicator is the ratio of average wages and prices for housing, food and transport. Also, look at real estate prices and average mortgage rates. It will give you an idea of how realistic it is to acquire your own home in the future.
On the one hand, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland and the United Kingdom are highly developed economies, but they also have their disadvantages, such as the high cost of living and property prices. According to Numbeo ratings, Australia and Ireland (11-12th place) are the most expensive countries to live in, followed by New Zealand (18th place), UK (28th place) and Canada (30th place). However, if we look at Local Purchasing Power, Australia is in the leading position (3rd place in the world). Canada, UK and NZ rank 17, 18 and 19 accordingly, and Ireland takes only 27th place. That means, despite the high prices, salaries in Australia are high enough to cover costs. Based on this modelling, in New Zealand and Ireland living conditions will be more modest.
As for real estate prices, it is better to look not at the country as a whole but individual cities. Of course, property prices in major cities such as London, Sydney, Auckland or Toronto will be very high, whereas when looking at small towns or even villages, buying a house looks a very realistic plan. Nevertheless, comparing property price to income ratio by country, the most favourable conditions for purchasing a home are in Australia (7.38) and Ireland (7.40). Next are Canada (7.53) and New Zealand (8.09). However, in the UK, it is 9.57, which means buying a home on an average salary is much more challenging.
The immigration policy of the country
Which ways of obtaining residency and citizenship does the country offer? How easy/difficult is it? How long will the entire immigration process take? How welcome will you be in the new place?
Everyone should approach all these issues individually since a lot depends on your education, work experience, age and financial backing. The same immigration rules may be more beneficial to some professions and less helpful to others. However, Australia, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand have long been called countries of immigrants. They pursue a very active immigration policy, attracting the qualified specialists they need. Therefore, the level of tolerance for immigrants is generally very high in these countries.
Each country has a shortage of skilled professionals in specific industries. After reviewing the information about what kind of specialists are needed in a particular country, you may find that your expertise is in demand. It means that the immigration process in one country can be easier for you than in another. We also advise you to go to job websites and see the number of vacancies offered in your area of expertise and the average salary for those jobs. Your profession may be in demand in many countries, but one country may provide better wages and job opportunities than another.
Ecology and safety
These two factors are crucial if you are planning to emigrate with your family. It is much safer to raise children in a country with a clean environment and low crime rates.
Australia and New Zealand are among the cleanest countries worldwide (11th and 12th in the world). Canada is slightly behind them (16th place) followed by Ireland (20th place). These three countries are among the safest in the world, according to the Global Peace Index. The UK is ranked 28th for the environment and 42nd for safety.
Availability of entertainment
This is also an essential factor that an immigrant should not underestimate. People sometimes complain of boredom or realise that the entertainment and lifestyle common in a new place are very different from those in their home country. Therefore, be sure to find out if the country where you plan to immigrate has entertainment that you are used to, as well as opportunities for you to pursue your favourite hobbies.
For example, for lovers of active outdoor sports – trekking, cycling, water sports etc., Australia, New Zealand or Ireland can be perfect, where, thanks to the mild climate, you can do sports all year round. Moreover, beautiful scenery and specially equipped trails, bike tracks, playgrounds, etc., make sports in these countries delightful and accessible to all. If you love winter sports, Canada is definitely the place for you. And if you are a big fan of architecture and art and attending concerts or the theatre is an integral part of your leisure time, the UK is a better choice. In the United Kingdom, cultural life is very developed, plus the proximity to other European countries opens up countless opportunities to visit the Louvre or the Vienna Opera on weekends.
You can read more about each country by selecting the corresponding section on our website.