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These Are the Most—and the Least—Welcoming Countries for Expats

By Ashley Goldsmith


From the March/April 2017 issue

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Morning view of Taipei
Courtesy of Unsplash.com

Morning view of Taipei

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Putting down roots can be harder than traveling. According to a 2016 survey conducted by InterNations, a global networking and data platform for expatriates, these are some of the countries most and least welcoming of foreign residents.

C'mon Over!


Of the 67 countries surveyed, Taiwan swept top honors in the quality of life department. Expats report feeling safe and pleased with their work-life balance. 

The sunny Mediterranean nation scored well for its sunny climate, hospitable locals, cheap housing, and welcoming environment for entrepreneurs. 

Consistently top-rated thanks to its quality health care and low cost of housing, Ecuador has recently suffered through some tougher economic times. 

Think About It 

New Zealand
Kiwi-wannabes enjoy a strong job market, a clean environment, and lots of leisure activities. But making friends is tough, as is dealing with the geographical isolation.

Expats report shorter workweeks, heavenly food, and outstanding beaches. But high taxes and the continuing economic crisis are major downsides.

The beaches are stunning and the locals are welcoming, but expats surveyed warn of long workweeks, difficulties finding jobs, and concerns over safety. 

Floating down the canals of Venice, Italy

Whoa, Hold Up!

For some expats, fine weather and friendly locals aren’t enough to offset Brazil’s high crime rate, tumultuous political scene, and limited schooling options. 

It’s one of the more affordable countries, but high pollution, dodgy medical care, lousy job prospects, and concerns about personal safety are serious challenges.

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A high cost of living, political instability, and an icy reception towards expats (working women in particular) land Kuwait near the bottom of the list, along with Saudi Arabia.

>>Next: How to Move to Another Country from the U.S.

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