How to get out of the United States (and the best places to escape)

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Wondering how to leave the United States? You’re not alone. Between the recent Supreme Court ruling on abortion rights, gun violence and other security issues, racial tensions, politics, inflation and more, many Americans are fed up and are considering move abroad. Following Friday’s controversial decision by the United States Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the International Living site – a leading authority on anyone looking for retirement or relocation opportunities around the world – has seen a surge in traffic with people looking for a number of “relocations”. terms. This included terms such as “leaving the United States”, “I want to leave the United States”, “leaving America”, “how to leave America” ​​and “leaving America” ​​- the search volume the highest falling under the phrase category”how to leave usawhich reached a staggering high of 4,000%.

“Americans who may have had the idea in mind to seek a foothold abroad — if not an entirely new home — take this Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade as an impetus to do something about it. topic, and they’re looking for advice,” says Jennifer Stevens, editor of International Living. “As one visitor to our website put it, ‘My husband and I were just talking about this idea with our kids. are frustrated, we are frustrated, it’s too much.

And it’s not just abortion rights that motivates people, Stevens says. “There is a greater sense of urgency to put an escape plan in place now, in part because people are concerned about what this court ruling may mean not only for women’s rights, but also for the rights of others, given that same-sex marriage, for example, is also at risk of being overturned,” she says. International Living too saw traffic increase by more than 600% last weekend on its “Best LGBTQ+ Friendly Countries To Retire To» website page.

Additionally, a number of attorneys and others who specialize in helping Americans obtain second citizenship have seen a huge increase in inquiries and applicants. Marco Permunian is the founder of Assistance with Italian citizenshipan Italy-based agency with offices in New York and Los Angeles, specializing in Italian citizenship law and immigration matters, as well as help buying a property in Italy. Permunian says the desire to escape what is perceived to be growing domestic political instability, coupled with wider acceptance of remote working arrangements, is driving this surge in interest. “Political instability, social unrest and other political events acted as accelerators in this process and sparked a desire among people on both sides of the political spectrum to have a plan B,” Permunian explains.

The pandemic has also had an impact. “The health emergency has caused something of a wake-up call for people who have started to reflect on their lives, their work-life balance more specifically perhaps and this feeling has opened the doors to exploring potential avenues for reconnecting with their roots, which happen to be in one of the most beautiful countries in Europe,” says Permunian. “In this context, the idea of ​​the American dream gradually began to fade and gave way to an ‘Italian dream’ to the place – for the pursuit of the so-called ‘sweet life.’”

Even celebrities have itchy feet. At a gig this week in the UK, Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong announced that he was considering renouncing his citizenship following the U.S. Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade. And in a recent interview with People, actress Taraji P. Henson said she was considering leaving the United States. “I’m really considering getting out of here, going and living in another country,” she said. People. “You are tired of fighting. I’m tired.” Like many Americans, the Oscar-nominated actress says she imagines life in a foreign country is much easier. “I want to go where there is neutral ground,” said Henson. “I just want to be. And be happy. I want to be called ‘Bella’ every day, drink wine and swat flies on the porch. Without stress.”

Going abroad also has a financial attraction. “People may be looking for information about moving abroad right now because they feel pressured to do so, but once they see how far their money can go, I predict they will will feel encouraged and excited by the prospects they have,” Stevens says. “Americans will get their money’s worth abroad in many places, not only because the cost of living is much lower than it is in the United States, but because the US dollar is strong today.” today.”

So where are Americans interested in moving? According to International Living, the biggest spike in interest in “moving” to specific countries includes Portugal, Spain, Mexico, Costa Rica, Belize and Italy. Here’s what you need to know, if any of these places are on your to-do list.

Portugal

This tiny European country has it all: towns with Old World charm, golden beaches, rolling hills, some of the best healthcare in the world, low cost of living and high levels of safety. Also, English is taught in schools from grade six, so many people in Portugal speak some English. Where to move? Just an hour north of Lisbon, Caldas da Rainha is a medium-sized town with a cobbled city center and a large expat population. Fancy something more rural? Discover the Alentejo region, which includes the cities of Beja and Évora. Don’t want a car? “Then city living in Lisbon or Porto could be for you,” says Terry Coles, International Living’s Portugal correspondent.

Spain

Spain captivates with its 3,000 miles of coastline, low cost of living, excellent healthcare, top-notch infrastructure, outstanding personal safety and great weather. “Spain’s sun-drenched Mediterranean coast ensures retirees will never need to shovel snow again,” says Marsha Scarbrough, International Living’s Spain correspondent. Sunny city options include Madrid and Barcelona (home to world-class museums, opera and theater) or Valencia (which mixes medieval and post-modern architecture). Then there is “Green Spain”, along the northern coast, which offers a climate similar to that of Oregon or Seattle. The Costa del Sol and the Costa Blanca promise 300 to 320 sunny days a year.

Mexico

Mexico has been a popular expat location for at least 50 years, thanks to top-notch, low-cost health care, a pleasant climate, good highways, reliable electricity and water, good mobile phone service and Internet access. Another bonus: it is easy to become a resident, thanks to reasonable income conditions. To obtain a temporary residence in Mexico, you must have a monthly income of approximately $2,100 per month or $36,000 in the bank. Permanent residency requires around $2,700 per month or $149,000 in the bank.

Costa Rica

In Costa Rica, the national currency is “Pura Vida” (pure life). The draw: a tropical climate, lower cost of living, friendly locals, affordable medical care, extensive real estate options and, of course, its natural beauty. Costa Rica is also safe and stable, with a progressive government. “LGBTQ same-sex marriage is legal and women’s rights are mandatory,” says Kathleen Evans, International Living correspondent in Costa Rica. There’s also a new digital nomad visa and an updated law to attract retirees that includes perks like a lower threshold for investors and the ability to import two cars and a shipping container of household goods duty-free. tax.

Belize

With over 200 unspoiled islands scattered along Belize’s coastline, it’s no wonder Belize is such an expat choice. Expats love nature, outdoor activities related to water, as well as the abundant inspiration that attracts many artists, photographers and writers. One of the best places to move is Caye Caulker, an eight kilometer long island off the mainland coast that International Living calls “a charming Caribbean island where ‘go slow’ is the motto”. Here, a couple can live comfortably from $1,500 per month.

Italy

Italy has so much to offer. Expats are drawn to the art, culture, architecture, world-famous cuisine and slower pace of life, as well as everything from romantic cities to timeless hill towns. According to Italian Citizenship Assistance’s Permunian, many people apply for Italian citizenship to give their children the opportunity to study anywhere in the EU – with university fees being much lower than in the US – and to access universal, high-quality health care, usually free of charge. . Also, with Italian citizenship, you can reside anywhere in the EU without any restrictions or time limitations. “Many are also looking to invest in property because the Italian real estate market is much more affordable than the US,” he says.

According to International Living, outside of major cities, homes in Italy start at just $50,000 or less. Here’s something else that drives people to move: Many places in Italy offer people money to move there. In fact, in 2020, a deep-pocketed village in Italy was offering people up to $52,500 in grants to move there and work. The good life, In effect.

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