Popular expat destinations for 2014

Contributed by Gary Stringer, 09 January, 2014

It seems that a handful of nations become increasingly popular within the expat community with each passing year, with the influx of more than 208,000 expats into Qatar in 2013 a key example of this. This begs the question of which nations will become popular with those relocating around the globe in 2014, with a number of governments launching initiatives to ensure that they are the in-country for expats in 2014.

Saudi Arabia:

The Middle Eastern nation are hoping that an influx of skilled expats will address the workforce shortages in the health industry, with too few doctors and nurses being a huge problem in Saudi Arabia. They have placed adverts for around 3,500 vacancies in a number of countries, but given that it can often be a difficult place to relocate, the Saudi government are only advertising the vacancies in Muslim nations.

Given that they are likely to impose restrictions on age and experience for applications and the fact that jobs are solely being advertised in Muslim nations, it is unlikely that Saudi Arabia will become a popular destination for European and North America expats in 2014.


Canada already has a strong expat community and is hoping to attract more skilled expats in order to boost their workforce and spark economic growth. They are using a combination of 3 strategies in order to attract those considering relocating abroad, which they hope will continue into 2015.

The first of these is the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) scheme that enables up to 15,000 people to become permanent residents in 2014, providing they have a year’s experience working in Canada and meet a minimum language requirement. The second of these is the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) which aims to welcome expats throughout the country, not just the major cities.  This led to in excess of 40,000 expats arriving on Canadian shores last year.

Through the Start-up Visa Program, the third of these initiatives, they are also encouraging entrepreneurs to begin their business adventure in Canada or invest in Canadian start-ups. The combination of these and the fact that they enable a wide variety of expats with an array of skills to settle here makes it a likely candidate for 2014’s most popular expat destination.


A recent Hydrogen report revealed that technology skills will be in demand across the globe in 2014, but in particular they will be required in the USA. San Francisco and Silicon Valley remain the most popular tech destinations and given the expected investment in the industry in 2014, there is likely to be a huge number of vacancies. Experts state that the technology professionals are happy to take up positions in both start ups and established organisations, meaning that they are willing to fill the variety of positions expected to become available in the US.


A surprising inclusion on the list, yet Cyprus’ fortunes are turning around and the perceived impact of their financial crisis on expats was never as bad as anyone feared. Michael Brinksman, content editor at expat resource Whichoffshore states that “as many British expats chose to keep their savings in the UK, the financial crisis did not actually hit them as hard as many predicted.”

Since the financial crisis and subsequent bailout, the property and tourism sectors are rapidly improving once again and remain the pillars of the Cypriot economy. With this in mind, the government are offering a number of incentives to expats relocating to Cyprus. An example of this is that anyone buying a new property for their own use or permanent residence will pay just 5% VAT, as opposed to standard rate of 18%.

The warmer climate and lower living costs really do make Cyprus an attractive proposition and with a strong existing expat community it could be the number one expat destination for 2014.

Are there any other nations that you feel could be the most popular this year? Let us know in the comments, as we’d love to discuss the issue with you.

Tags: business | Europe | North America | Middle East | professionals | entrepreneurs | investment | Canada | Cyprus | Saudi Arabia | Qatar | offshore |



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