British expats have long been drawn to Southeast Asia due to the promise of sunshine, but now countries in that part of the world are making the move to Asia even more appealing welcoming expats with open arms by making it very easy to acquire long term visas. As a result, British retirees are flocking to these countries in their thousands.
Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand are three of the countries that have “rolled out the red carpet” to British expats wanting to settle down in the region.
Since being introduced in 2002, My Second Home (launched by the Malaysian Government) has done its job of attracting British expats by encouraging almost 20,000 former British residents to settle in the former British colony.
Malaysia have gone one step further, making the transition of moving to the country far easier by creating an Expatriate Service Division, along with handing out a large number of 10-year visas and long-term work visas, further encouraging expats to settle down rather than go through the hassle and long process involved with looking to live in other countries.
With just a few pockets of Asia possessing a good standard of English it would be advised to take an interest in learning a few key phrases when you first move out to the area and ensuring you do your best to develop an understanding of the local dialect over time. Language can be a huge barrier when moving to a country that is not fluent in English. So to stop yourself sticking out you should at least make an effort to fit in.
There is also a high quality of health care offered to expats looking to settle down. Additionally the majority of these countries enjoy stable politics, with it looking like there will be little change to this.
Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines offer long term visas to retirees to boost their local economies. This is a very different decision in comparison to places like Singapore, who will only offer visas for expats to settle and work in their country.
British expats are at the top of the list for Thailand’s long term staying scheme, followed closely by American and German expats, who made more than 35,000 applications in 2011.
Sun loving Brits flock to the beach resort of Phuket making it a popular beach destination for people of all ages. Anyone over 50 will be offered a one year staying visa, which can be extending with very little hassle.
A major attraction that grabs a number of foreigners in Malaysia is the ability to buy any number of freehold properties in the country. There are some restrictions put in place; some states set a minimum purchase price to foreigners, which is typically around £100,000.
Along with the Philippines, Malaysia has set a minimum investment quota that expats must place in the country before they are considered to be able to qualify to stay for a long period. Which is around £30,000 which can be deposited in a local bank account. In the case of the Philippines the minimum investment rate declines with your age, which is great news for retirees who want to move to the country. Even better is the fact that buying your own apartment can count towards your qualifying investment – it couldn’t be much easier, could it?