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How easy is it for retirees to immigrate?

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ITTR = It's time to retire

My wife and I are both of retirement age.
Citizenship: husband Canadian, wife American.
We are wondering how much difficulty
we might experience trying to immigrate.
We would like to know which countries are
the easiest, and which ones are more difficult.
Any and all replies will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance.

  • Report Abuse

    I'm an Ex-pat living in the Caribbean so maybe this will help.

    Since you are married to a US citizen you'll find it fairly easy to relocate to Puerto Rico, Culebra, Vieques or any of the US Virgin Islands. Relocating to any of those islands will be no more difficult than living in the US.

    Immigrating to any other Caribbean island is not all that difficult but it can take several months to a year to get approval. Most islands will require you to invest a sum of money in Real Estate. While the amount will vary from island country to island country it is usually in the range of $350,000US to $750,000US. You will also have to: 1) prove to the local government that you have the financial means to support yourself without working, 2) are in good health, and 3) do not have a criminal record. Once residency is granted you will be required to pay a fee (depending on the island anywhere from $1,000US to $35,000US per person)

    You can get specific immigration information for any island by going to the "official government website" for the islands you are considering. You'd be wise to hire a local attorney to help you navigate the bureaucratic red tape.

    Things to consider:

    a) You'd be wise to spend an extended time (several weeks to several months) visiting an island BEFORE you consider moving. Living on an island is far different than visiting on vacation.

    b) Assuming you live either in Canada or the US you will find your living expenses in the Caribbean are probably going to be about 30% to 35% higher than they are where you now live.

    c) You will probably want to have Medical Evacuation Insurance as medical care on many islands is not up to the same standards you find in the US and Canada.

    d) Every island has a different vibe so visit multiple islands BEFORE you select the one where you want to retire.

    e) Keep in mind that most islands are small so it's somewhat like living in a small town without the ability to easily leave that small town and "go to the big city".

    f) On most islands you WILL NOT be allowed to work (if you have to supplement your retirement income) without a Work Permit which are very difficult to to get.

    g) Housing costs will probably 25% to 40% higher than they are "back home".

    h) Utility costs, especially electricity, are very high compared to mainland US and Canada so people tend to use A/C sparingly.

    i) Expect power outages, less than optimum phone service and sporadic and/or slow internet.

    j) Expect to replace appliances much more often than you do now.

    Good luck following your dream.

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    To add to RoamsAround post: You should find out about medical insurance. In the USVI, I know Canadians who have to go back to Mother Canada for doctor's visits and procedures. Also, if you have stateside medical insurance, it may not be accepted here. Medicare is another thing entirely, as that is accepted. Medical evacuation insurance- read the fine print. Many policies allow you to go to the nearest facility that can provide the service you need. Here in the USVI, that is Puerto Rico. You want to pay extra for the one that will take you where you and your doctor want you to go.

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