If your wanderlust is pushing you to do more than just visit new places, but you don’t think you have the resources to actually pick up and move, don’t despair. Today’s physical and digital connectivity makes travel — and even relocation — easier than ever before. Here are four creative ways you can fulfill your dream of not just traveling to another country, but of actually living there:
Get a Visa
Not every country requires people to have a visa in order to visit it temporarily, but most do require one for long-term stays. The good news is that there are many different kinds of visas, so knowing your options will greatly expand your opportunities. In addition to tourist visas allowing up to six month stays in many countries, there are visas specifically designed for students, athletes and entertainers (among others). There are even visas for financiers, which allow investors to enter a country and live there when certain financial obligations have been met. An EB-5 attorney here in the States, for instance, helps foreigners enter the U.S. by ensuring that their money is invested in projects that generate employment opportunities for our citizens, thus meeting the detailed criteria for an EB-5 visa. Other countries offer similar programs.
Another option is to offer yourself as a charity worker. Indeed, many countries allow travelers extended stays if they volunteer their services in some way. Organizations such as the Peace Corps, VSO and other NGOs sponsor volunteers in various countries, offering room and board (and sometimes a stipend) in exchange for several months or years of assistance with any one of a number of different programs, including healthcare services, conservation or farming activities, teaching and more.
Find a Job
Of course, if you can find a job in another country, moving there is a lot simpler. Teachers, especially, can often find international jobs with only a Bachelor’s degree as a prerequisite since many international schools seek native speakers and/or a culturally diverse staff. Having a job offer already in hand provides legitimacy to the overseas relocation process, making it easier for would-be immigrants to apply for and receive a work visa.
Become a Citizen
While it’s perhaps the most complicated path to successfully living abroad, there’s little doubt that becoming a citizen of another country will enable you to live legally in it! Certain countries, like Ireland, Italy and Israel, for example, grant birthright citizenship to direct descendants of their citizens. Other countries allow spouses of their citizens to apply for citizenship. While it might be a long shot, it’s worth checking to see where your family originated and whether you have any special claims to citizenship in another country. Who knows? Any one of these options could have you living your dream abroad this time next year!