I want to emigrate, just 'cause I wanna.

Everyone encounters the “America: Love it or Leave it” people. People who respond to every complaint on the subject of public policy with an invitation to leave if you don’t like it.

Someone said that to me earlier today and after much eye-rolling, I started getting curious about whether or not it would ever be that easy anyway. So, let’s say I wanted to go to say, England or Belgium or Canada. Would any of those three nations accept a petition for residency just because you want to? Or do you absolutely have to have a pressing reason such as marriage, job, ancestry, refugee status, whatever?

In short, are there any industrialized nations that will let you live there for no other reason then you wanna?

I immigrated to Canada from the States. I have one of those ‘America: Love it or Leave it’ decals on my laptop. It’s great going across the border and seeing the meaning change.

To immigrate to Canada as a skilled worker you need either a) a job offer, usually where you are filling a job where there is no qualified Canadian applicant, or b) be in Canada as a foreign worker or student, or c) have training in a skilled trade (nurse, pipefitter etc. ). Further details here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/skilled/apply-who-instructions.asp#list.

Other options include people who have lived here recently, like students who wish to immigrate, entrepreneurs, provincial nominees (immigrants who are really needed in a certain area), refugees, and family members of current immigrants or citizens. There is a point system, and it takes a long time.

Mention my name, you’ll get sent to the front of the queue. :wink:

Canada outlines the steps and requirements pretty clearly here:


Unless you are of some great value to them, like you speak Quebecian or want to invest at least $400k into a Canadian business, your best bet is to get in through the marriage route or the skilled worker (i has a canadian job, eh) route.

For the latter, you need to be living there legally and employed for a year. To be there legally, you basically need to already have a job lined up and get a guest worker visa.

Normally I wouldn’t advise calling an embassy for anything that wasn’t terribly pressing, but I’d assume the people there are very versed in the “how to join our country” routine in plain english.

There are countries that make it difficult to immigrate there and others that may even give you money. I don’t know if the latter is still true, but in 1967 Austrailia was going to give me the equivalent of $300 (American) to be an immigrant in Austrailia. I had to have a sponsor (which I did) and the usual papers, but that was it.

Denmark, on the other hand, at about the same time would not allow most people to become immigrants unless they could prove that they could do a certain job better than a Dane (or unless they wanted to take low wage seasonal field work.) Even if you were in Denmark and became engaged, you had to leave to apply for permanent residency.

I have heard that Ireland had a fairly lenient policy for a while. I don’t know if that is still true.

You should be able to determine the current laws of each country by a search on the internet.

I’m in the UK and I’d love to emigrate to the US. Do you just, like, want to swap?

Hmmm… wonder if this would be possible. Probably not legally, but given willing participants I wonder if it would be easy without getting found out.

While this might not work very well, I could see it as the premise of an hilarious romcom, starring Sandra Bullock and Julia Roberts.

I thought Renee Zellweger was the go-to girl for British accents?

But no other Hollywood actress looks like a potato.