If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, you’ll know that immigration is perhaps the most widely-discussed (and hotly contentious) topic in the national dialogue. According to Migration Watch, a body which assess the extent and impact of migration to the United Kingdom, net migration into the UK was 327,000 in the year to March 2016.
It’s important to stress that this figure is a net one – total immigration into the United Kingdom was around 633,000, offset by around 306,000 moving in the other direction. This latter number doesn’t, however, get too much attention.
But migration doesn’t just work in a single direction. More than ever before Britons are choosing to up sticks and relocate to a different part of the world. And if you’re reading this, then the chances are that you’ve considered making the move yourself. In this article, let’s consider some of the destinations you might consider.
Moving to Australia from the UK is a popular move for many Britons. While Australia might be on the other side of the world, it shares with the UK a common language, and its culture is what we might consider ‘westernised’. The metropolitan areas are bustling with culture, so there are plenty of people to see and things to do; the untamed outback, on the other hand, provides just as much wilderness as one could wish for.
In order to obtain the right to settle in the country, you’ll need to first navigate the notorious ‘points-based’ immigration system, which awards citizenship rights to prospective migrants on the basis of the skills they can offer to the Australian economy. If you’re part of a profession that the country is lacking, you’ll be placed at an advantage. Australian visas for UK citizens, provided they’ve in a position to contribute to the country’s economy, are not as difficult to come by as many might assume – and so it’s a worthwhile entry on any list of possible destinations.
America is the second most popular destination for would-be expats, and it’s easy to see why – we’re as familiar with American culture as we are with that of any other culture, thanks to the country’s incredibly successful film and television industries. There’s an enormous amount of culture and cuisine packed into the states, and so you’ll have plenty to see and do during your stay.
If you’re considering making the switch from one side of the Atlantic to the other, then you should be aware that living in America might be a little more expensive than you might think. If you can deal with the cost of the move, especially in light of the waning fortunes of the pound, then you might find that the US makes for a suitable destination.
If you’re planning to make the move to North America, then Canada might make an attractive alternative to the states. It shares much of the same language and culture – but things are just a little bit different!
The United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union, and with it end any unconditional right of EU citizens to settle in the UK (and UK citizens to do the opposite). The time has never been better then, to get across the channel and make the most of the status quo while it lasts. There’s one reason in particular that Spain is so preferred among British expats – the weather. But Spain has more to offer in terms of great food and great culture – including the national obsession, football. It’s not just a place to enjoy one’s retirement in the sunshine!
France falls just behind Spain in the hierarchy of potential destinations. The south of the country offers the same sunny climate on offer in Spain – and you’ll be able to enjoy the famously wine-drenched countryside while you’re at it. The more urban north of the country doesn’t enjoy quite the same weather – though there are more opportunities for employment there.
New Zealand is a nation that shares much in common with its near neighbour, Australia – though it’s far smaller in terms of landmass and population. As such, it accepts far fewer immigrants – but a considerable proportion of them originate from here in Britain. New Zealand offers a great deal to the prospective expat, with gorgeous landscapes to marvel at and wonder through, and plenty of ways in which to retreat from the hustle-bustle of urban life. It isn’t just an escape, however – the capital, Wellington, along with other population centres on the North Island like Auckland, provide would-be emigrants with plenty of culture to absorb and enjoy.