The concept of immigration and emigration
- Migration is the act of relocation with a desire to settle and live permanently in the new place.
- Immigration is the act of entering a foreign country for permanent residence or for a long time.
- Emigration is the act of leaving one’s home country to live in another.
- Immigrant visa is issued to foreigners interested in obtaining permanent resident status in another country.
- Residence permit allows you to temporarily stay in the country and is issued on the basis of an immigrant visa. It can be extended and eventually replaced with permanent residence.
- Permanent residence is the right to indefinitely live in a country that an immigrant receives after several years of living in a said country. Sometimes permanent residence can be obtained immediately, it depends on the method and country of immigration.
- Permanent resident is a holder of a permanent residence permit. Usually has all the rights of a citizen of the country, except for political.
- Expatriates are people like students or specialists who have left their homeland and temporarily or permanently reside in another country. This is in most cases comes with a loss of citizenship.
The best countries for immigration
|Country||Visa feesMaximum cost can exceed the amount multiple times||Unemployment rate||Average salary/month||Studying/yearminimal cost of bachelor's programs||Citizenship afterthe number of years of consecutive stay in order to obtain citizenship||Dual citizenship||Visa-free access||Immigrants|
|Germany||250 USD||3.1%||4,151 USD||Freein public universities||8+ years||No||189||16%|
|US||400 USD||3.5%||5,258 USD||18000+ USD||3+ years||Yes||184||13.6%|
|Canada||120 USD||5.7%||4,071 USD||15000+ USD||3+ years||Yes||183||20.8 %|
|Australia||426 USD||5.2%||4,446 USD||18000+ USD||4+ years||Yes||183||29.6%|
|New Zealand||4%||3,527 USD||11600+ USD||5+ years||Yes||183||25.1%|
|Spain||14.2%||3,230 USD||735+ USD||5+ years||No||187||13.4%|
|Poland||3.2%||2,426 USD||1300+ USD||5+ years||Yes||176||1.8%|
|Israel||4.6%||3,137 USD||3000+ USD||3+ years||Yes||159||21.8%|
|Norway||3.7%||4,246 USD||108+ USD||3+ years||Yes||184||15.4%|
|Czech Republic||2.1%||2,247 USD||FreeBachelor's programs taught in Czech at State Universities||3+ years||Yes||183||7.5%|
|Finland||6.8%||3,709 USD||4520+ USDEducation in Finnish and Swedish is free,||5+ years||Yes||187||6.7%|
|Italy||10%||3,146 USD||1920+ USD||3+ years||Yes||188||10.4%|
Stages of immigration
- Choosing a country and a method of immigration;
- Visa processing based on the immigration method;
- Departure to the country and obtaining a residence permit;
- Living in the country and obtaining a permanent residence permit;
- Obtaining citizenship after a minimum of 3 yearsdepending on the immigration method or more living in the country.
Ways of immigration
- Education. A student graduates from a university abroad and gets the opportunity to find work and stay in the country;
- Labor. A professional finds work in the country and remains there;
- Business immigration. An entrepreneur opens a new business or buys an existing one in the country. An investor can pour funds in the country’s economy. Sometimes immigration for investors requires a separate visa;
- Marriage. The groom/bride enters the country, marries a citizen/resident of the country and can stay there as a spouse;
- Family reunification. The next of kin (usually spouses and minor children) of a citizen or resident enter the country with the right of permanent residence;
- Humanitarian. Refugees or people who are persecuted for political, religious and other reasons, ask for protection from the state and get the opportunity to stay in the country;
- Special programs. Special categories of people have the right to receive the right to permanent residence in the country or citizenship (for example, returnees).
Main article Student immigration
To immigrate to another country, you can go there to study with a student visa and after graduation attempt to find work and stay there to live. Student visas are given to students of secondary schools, colleges, universities, and vocational schools. After graduation, the student can obtain a work visa for an internship or employment. To get a student visa, you must first apply to an educational institution and receive a confirmation of admission. After obtaining a visa, a student can enter the country and apply for a residence permit.
Work while studying
Many countries allow the students to work while studying, which reduces their living expenses. Often this requires special permission. Students may have restrictions on the number of working hours per week or on the choice of the employer, for example, work only at the university or for businesses located on campus.
Countries for student immigration
Main article Student immigration
|Country||Exam||Bachelor’s/yearaverage cost||Master’s/yearaverage cost||Opportunity to work||Universities in the top 1000|
|Germany||EnglishTOEFL, IELTS, PTE, Cambrige exams / GermanGoethe, Telc, ÖSD, TestDaf, DSH, Deutsches Sprachdiplom KMK||3240 USD / Free||9330 USD / Free||20 hours/week240 days/year part time or 120 days/year full time||46|
|US||EnglishTOEFL, IELTS, MELAB, PTE||30000 USD||25000 USD||20 hours/weekOn campus||157|
|Canada||EnglishIELTS, SELPIP, MELAB, Cambridge Exams / FrenchDALF, TEF, DELF, TCF||29700 USD||17700 USD||20 hours/week||26|
|Australia||EnglishIELTS, OET, TOEFL iBT, PTE, CAE||28000 USD||28000 USD||20 hours/week||35|
|New Zealand||EnglishIELTS, OET, TOEFL iBT, PTE, CAE||27000 USD||31500 USD||20 hours/week||8|
|Spain||EnglishIELTS, OET, TOEFL iBT, PTE, CAE / SpanishDELE||13000 USD||4300 USD||20 hours/week||27|
|Poland||EnglishIELTS, OET, TOEFL iBT, PTE, CAE / PolishCertificate Examinations in Polish as a Foreign Language||3240 USD||3020 USD||20 hours/weekA permit must be obtained||16|
|Israel||EnglishIELTS, OET, TOEFL iBT, PTE, CAE / HebrewВступительный экзамен по ивриту||8000 USD||4000 USD||No||6|
|Norway||EnglishIELTS, OET, TOEFL iBT, PTE, CAE / NorwegianNorskprøve||108 USD||108 USD||20 hours/week||4|
|Czech Republic||EnglishIELTS, OET, TOEFL iBT, PTE, CAE / CzechCCE||3780 USD / FreeIn Czech at state Universities||4530 USD / FreeIn Czech at state Universities||20 hours/week||9|
|Finland||EnglishIELTS, OET, TOEFL iBT, PTE, CAE / FinnishYKI-testi / SwedishSWEDEX||10800 USD / FreeIn Swedish and Finnish||10260 USD / FreeIn Swedish and Finnish||25 hours/week||9|
|Italy||EnglishIELTS, OET, TOEFL iBT, PTE, CAE / ItalianCELI, CILS, PLIDA||4320 USD||7560 USD||20 hours/week||34|
Read more about the cost of training in foreign universities.
To immigrate as an employee, it is necessary not only to find a job in advance and receive an official invitation from the future employer, but also to confirm higher education and/or work experience. When this is done, you can apply for a work visa — it will open the entrance to the country and give the right to obtain a residence permit.
Developed countries, as a rule, encourage labor immigration due to the lack of qualified labor and the desire to collect the best specialists on their labor market. Therefore, they facilitate the conditions of immigration in various ways. For example, in the EU, professionals can get a blue card, which is more convenient for employees4 years with a possibility of long business trips and applying for residence than a regular work visa.
Countries for labor immigration
|Country||Min. salary/month A minimum set by the state law||Average salary/month||Tax with a salary of 2,000 USDAn approximation based on tax difference, region/province/state of the country. Includes income tax and other social and medical taxes.||Tax with a salary of 8,000 USDAn approximation based on tax difference, region/province/state of the country. Includes income tax and other social and medical taxes.||Unemployment|
|Germany||1,768 USD||4,151 USD||39.875%||67.875%||3.4%|
|US||1,257 USD||5,258 USD||29.65–38.60%||31.65–40.6%||3.8%|
|Canada||1,560 USD9 USD per hour||4,071 USD||25.61–47.31%||36.61–58.36%||5.6%|
|Australia||2,327 USD||4,446 USD||32.5%||37%||5%|
|New Zealand||1,963 USD 17.49 USD per week||3,527 USD||17.5%||33%||4.3%|
|Spain||1,013 USD||3,230 USD||30.85–42.85%Цифры приведены с учётом налоговой ставки для Мадрида (Madrid Comunidad Autónoma)||38.35–49.85%? ||15.1%|
|Poland||581 USD||2,426 USD||45.71%||45.71%||3.9%|
|Israel||1,547 USD ||3,137 USD||17.5%||41.5%||4,2%|
|Norway||Is only stated for some sectors ||4,246 USD||29.1–32.6%||42.1–46.6%||3.9%|
|Czech Republic||561 USD||2,247 USD||26%||26%||2.3%|
|Finland||Is not determined by the law ||3,709 USD||33.78%–39.78%||59.03–65.03%||7.4%|
|Italy||Is not determined by the law ||3,146 USD||36.5–40.72%||52.5–56.72%||10.2%|
Practically any state needs immigration of businessmen and investors: foreign entrepreneurs and depositors provide capital inflows, create jobs and can make up for the shortage of goods and services in the market. Business immigration requires thorough preparation: you need to study the local market, the conditions for organizing a business, find start-up capital, negotiate with local authorities, prepare a detailed business plan, in other words, the host state must believe in the economic success of the future enterprise. After the candidate has prepared and received the go-ahead from the state in the form of an invitation to apply for a visa, the candidate may proceed with the immigration process. If it is approved, it will only be necessary to enter the country and apply for a residence permit. It is enough for investors to invest a certain amount in government bonds, securities, companies or real estate and keep these investments for the time specified by the legislation of the country. After that, they can apply for a visa (if necessary) and obtain the status of a resident or citizen.
Business tax in different countries
|Country||TaxThe rate can incriese depending on the size of the business and regional laws. Below, only fixed and avarage rates are listed||Commentary|
|Germany||31.5%||Federal rate — 15%, solidarity tax — 5.5%, tax depending on the federal state — 14-17%|
|USA||25.7%||Federal rate — 21%, tax depending on the state 3-12% (44 out of 50 states)|
|Canada||37.75%||Federal rate 9–38%, provincial rate 11.5-16%|
|Australia||30%||Exception (27.5%) for companies with annual revenue of less than 18,351,385 USD|
|New Zealand||28%||Fixed rate|
|Poland||19%||Exception (9%) for start-ups in the first year and for small businesses (income, including VAT, for goods and services less than 1,416,974 USD)[ -]|
|Czech Republic||19%||Exception for investment (5%), and pension funds (0%)|
|Italy||24%||Fixed rate; it may be increased depending on the region (production tax from 3.9%)|
This is the easiest way of immigration, which does not require any knowledge of the language, education or professional experience. The term for obtaining citizenship in marriage immigration is usually shorter than the one for other categories by at least two years. For marriage immigration, you need to get a special visa for the bride/groom — such a visa is needed to enter the country and marry a citizen or resident of the country. After that, you can easily obtain a residence permit or permanent residence depending on the country.
The close relatives of a citizen or permanent resident of the country (spouse, children, as well as brothers, sisters and parents — depending on the state). The right to immigrate can also be obtained by relatives who need medical care in this state — for example, this is an option in Germany. In order to immigrate to another country and join a loved one, it is necessary to prove family ties with the help of birth certificates, marriage certificates and other documents. After applying for a visa and entering the country, the candidate receives a residence permit or permanent residence depending on the country.
People who have suffered human rights violations in their country and need protection from persecution, as well as those who fled the country due to a humanitarian catastrophe (war, hunger, poverty), have the opportunity to seek refuge in another state. The methods and conditions for humanitarian immigration in different countries can vary greatly, but any candidate must prove that he really needs asylum or protection. To do this, prepare as much evidence as possible: medical certificates, photographs, letters with threats, rulings of international courts, correspondence with human rights organizations. They will be needed both for applying for a refugee visa from abroad, and for obtaining protection upon arrival in the state.
There are two possible options for obtaining refugee status without border violation:
- Enter the country legally with a visa and apply for asylum;
- Apply for a refugee status while in your own country. This can be done through an online visa application (Australia) or from a third country through human rights organizations or missions (USA).
In some countries, you can apply for refugee status at the border with illegal entry. In this case, the illegal immigrant is likely to be sent to an immigration prison, in which he will wait for a final decision. In case of the successful outcome, the refugee will be extradited.
In addition to traditional methods of immigration, some states have special immigration programs that are worth paying attention to. For example:
- Jewish Immigration Program (Germany);
- The Late Migrants Program (Germany);
- Green Card Lottery (USA);
- Atlantic immigration program (Canada) and others.
Immigration with the family
When applying for a visa and obtaining a residence permit/permanent residence, an immigrant usually has the right to bring close family members — spouse and children. In this case, you need to apply for a visa for each family member. Sometimes the knowledge of the language has to to be confirmed not only by the candidate, but also by members of his family — this condition must be clarified when choosing a country. All family members must apply in person.
An immigrant visa is the first bureaucratic procedure that every immigrant must go through. At this stage of immigration, the host state decides whether the candidate is worthy to enter the country for work, study or other purposes and whether the candidate will be beneficial to society. Not only this is the most important stage of immigration, but also the most difficult one — to get a visa you need to provide more than a dozen documents that are correctly filled and translated into the country’s language: passports, diplomas, bank statements, police certificates, letters of recommendation and motivation letters. Here the candidate should be especially vigilant — the omission of even one required document will close the gates of the dream country, because the host state must be sure of the immigrant's integrity.
To not only temporarily live in the country, but also gain a foothold in it, you need to apply for a special immigration visa. Such a visa gives the right to obtain a residence permit after entry. For this purpose, visas intended for tourists, volunteers, journalists and some other categories of temporary immigrants will not work.
Do not postpone your visa preparation for the last moment: you may not have time to pass a language exam or translate and notarize documents. When planning a trip, you need to remember that the approval process can take anything between a couple of days to several months. It is not recommended to sell all your property and buy tickets before obtaining a visa.
How to increase the chances of getting a visa
- Provide evidence of funds;
- Confirm your language proficiency;
- Represent a sought-after profession in the labor market of the selected state;
- Have no criminal record;
- Collect the complete package of required documents (omission of one document may become the basis for refusal);
- Study the requirements for immigrants in the selected country and category as closely as possible.
Obtaining a residence permit and citizenship
After entering a visa, an immigrant receives a temporary residence permit or permanent residence. Depending on the country, this can be done at the immigration service or at the local police.
To obtain citizenship, you need to live with a residence permit/permanent residence in the country for an average from 3 to 5 years. This period depends on the laws of the country and the method of immigration. Unlike temporary and permanent residents, citizens have political rights: the right to elect, to be elected, and others. Some seek to obtain citizenship of such countries as, for example, Germany, the USA or Australia because with their passports a person receives the right to visa-free entry to almost every country in the world. Procedure of obtaining citizenship can take from several weeks to a year.
Buying a residence permit / citizenship
States offer their residence permit or citizenship to those who are willing to invest in their economy: buy real estate or government bonds, make a large bank deposit. This type of immigration is often referred to as a "golden visa". In fact, this is the right to a residence permit or citizenship that an investor receives after buying a property / investing. Additional requirements for the investor may include the absence of crimes on his account and the execution of medical insurance. Most often, the holder of investments needs to spend several months of each year in the country, not to withdraw investments from the country for several years and have a stable income of a certain size.
Southern European countries are the best option for this type of immigration due to their geographical proximity, the possibility of visa-free travel to many countries, obtaining an EU passport and the most favorable conditions for acquiring a residence permit or citizenship.
Best countries for buying a residence permit / permanent residence through investment
|Country||Category||Type of investment||Investmentminimum sum not including VAT|
|Greece||Real estate||Purchase of real estate||295,203 USD|
|Portugal||Real estate||Investment in the restoration of property, which was built over 30 years ago, or one located in the area of the city that is in the need of reconstruction||413,284 USD|
|Portugal||Real estate||Purchase of real estate||590,406 USD|
|Portugal||Investment||Investments in preservation of cultural heritage, support of art, etc.||295,203 USD|
|Portugal||Investment||Investments in scientific research||413,284 USD|
|Portugal||Investment||Any investments||1,180,812 USD|
|Spain||Real estate||Purchase of real estate||590,406 USD|
|Spain||Investment||Investment in a bank or enterprise||1,180,812 USD|
|Spain||Investment||Buying government bonds||2,361,624 USD|
|Cyprus||Real estate||Purchase of real estate||354,244 USD|
|Bulgaria||Investment||Investment in a company whose shares are listed on the Bulgarian exchange||652,245 USD1000000 BGN|
|Bulgaria||Investment||Investment in a company whose shares are not listed on the Bulgarian stock exchange||3,913,482 USD6000000 BGN |
Best countries for buying citizenship through investments
|Country||Category||Type of investments||Investmentsminimum sum not including VAT|
|Malta||Real estate||Five-year lease of real estate in Malta||94,465 USD|
|Malta||Real estate||Purchase of real estate||413,284 USD|
|Malta||Investment||Contribution to the National Development and Social Fund||767,528 USD|
|Malta||Investment||Buying state bonds or bonds from Malta Stock Exchange||177,122 USD|
|Cyprus||Property||Purchase of real estate||2,538,745 USD|
|Turkey||Investment||Contribution to government bonds, Turkish banks, venture capital, etc.||547,200 USD500,000 USD|
|Turkey||Real estate||Purchase of real estate||273,594 USD250,000 USD |
The basic requirements for citizenship
- Staying in the country for multiple years with a residence permit / permanent residence
- Investment that guarantees the acquisition of citizenship bypassing the visa process;
- Language proficiency (language certificate);
- The knowledge of the culture and political and social situation (passing a civic test or it’s analog);
- Abandoning previous citizenships if this is required by the law of the country of immigration.