Friday, January 15, 2016

Retiring Out of the Country

When it comes to retiring and moving to another country, Americans have many options. Some desirable countries to retire to are difficult to acquire residency while others are relatively easy to immigrate into. Below is a list of popular countries to move to during retirement and how easy/difficult it may be to gain residency.

Canada 
Like most countries, before applying for a permanent Canadian residency with the office of citizenship and immigration, one must visit and decide which providence they want to move to. In order to process a Canadian visa, the applicant must decide which type of residency best suits their application. For example, a retiree may choose a sponsor application if they know a family that is willing to sponsor them.

It may be difficult to retire to Canada because their citizenship requires applicants to come into the country to work and support themselves. However, education and income can make gaining a visa much easier, as Canada greatly takes these factors into consideration. For example, if you have a net worth of $1.6 million and are able to invest $800,000 in the economy you may apply as an investor.

You can download the application form on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website, print, and fill it out. Once you have filled out the application, you can submit it with a processing fee and supporting documents (photocopy of personal information from your passport, birth certificate, and financial information). When you move you must also submit two copies of all the items that are crossing the border with you, along with two copies of items that may arrive later.

Mexico 
Mexico is easier than Canada when it comes to requirements to gaining a permanent visa. To apply and be granted for a Mexican visa you must meet one of the following requirements:

Be granted residency on humanitarian grounds Have four years of regular status of temporary residency Have some sort of family connections in Mexico Apply for retirement status and prove you have funds and/or sufficient monthly income to support yourself if you intend on not working

You can apply at the nearest Mexican Consulate/Embassy.

United Kingdom
Out of all of the following countries, the UK seems to be the easiest to retire and move to. Retirement status is an option for any foreigner over the age of 60 that has proof of an income (pensions, 401K, other income investments) of more than $25,000 per year. They must also have a close connection with the UK that is broadly defined as being one of the following:

- A relative that resides in the UK
- A previous UK residence Business connections
- A strong sense of identity with the UK

Visa applications should be applied for at any British Embassy/High Commission/Consulate in the applicant’s country of nationality. This process usually takes one to three months. Applicants usually receive a four-year visa; after four years if the candidate can still prove sufficient income they are indefinitely granted a visa.

Germany 
In order to apply for a German visa, a retiree must have knowledge of the German language, and legal and social systems of the country. If you have a passion for the German culture it will be fairly easy to gain citizenship after retirement. First, you must apply for a residence permit at the nearest German Consulate. This process takes one to three months and costs about 60 euros. With your application form you may also be required to submit: two passport photographs, a valid U.S. passport, An anmeldebestatigung from local authorities confirming a registered German address, tax returns and bank statements proving you have sufficient funds or income to live in Germany, and proof of health insurance coverage in Germany.

Japan 
Out of all of the countries listed, Japan is one of the hardest countries to retire to, and the hardest place in Asia. In fact, most retirees use a spousal visa if married to a Japanese citizen or a work visa. If these do not apply to you there are other steps you can take in order to gain citizenship.

To apply for a series of successive long-term stay visas, and to transition to permanent resident status over time takes several years and requires a deep understanding of Japanese culture and language. First you must be able to stay for 3 years, each time on a one-year visa. After these three years, you may apply for a long-stay visa that is valid for 3 years. After the use of both visas, or a total of 6 years, you are allowed to apply to become a permanent resident and own land in your name.

To apply for your visa, visit the nearest Japanese consulate or embassy with documents that show the following: financial status, criminal convictions, and immigration history in Japan. The easiest way to apply is to go through a travel agent specializing in Japanese visa services.

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