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5 Ways to Live in Another Country Temporarily

Want to explore living in another country but not ready to commit just yet? Here are a few ways to live abroad temporarily to help you decide whether living abroad is really something for you.


As a Tourist

If you want to visit and try living in a country for a short-term, being a tourist is the easiest way to experience that. Depending on the passport you hold, you may or may not need to apply for a tourist visa for the country that you are intending to visit.

The duration you can stay as a tourist varies by country and the passport that you have. Most countries in the world would allow tourists to stay in the country for 30, 60, or 90 days, and in some instances, up to 180 days in a single visit.

However, it is often the case that you are not allowed to work or be employed by a local company as a tourist. If you are looking to work in the country, you may have to apply for a work visa.

Also, if you are looking to live in a country for a year or two, it’s generally not advisable to remain a tourist by exiting and re-entering the country. Immigration officers can get caught up on this by the first few times you do it and they may or may not let you in the country upon your re-entry at their discretion. To live in a country for an extended period of time temporarily, you should apply for other types of temporary visa or a long-stay visitor visa.

As an Employee

One way to live abroad and make money at the same time is by getting a visa that allows you to work abroad. Generally, you need to have a skill set that is in-demand, or you are already working with a multinational company that offers its employees opportunities to work abroad. If you are under the age of 35, there is also a chance that the country you are living in has working holiday visa agreements with other countries that you can take advantage of without having to find any pre-arranged employment.

You can read more about working abroad here: The Two Main Types of Visa to Work Abroad

As a Business Owner

If you are a business owner or someone who is planning on having a business, there are some countries that would provide you with an entrepreneur visa. The requirements for such a visa are quite stringent and you may have to demonstrate a higher-than-average net worth or by involving local/foreign investors to back your business ideas. Starting a business on an entrepreneurship visa can be a risky move, as businesses do need stability to thrive and a temporary visa status may be a hindrance to growing your business properly. If you are indeed looking to start a business overseas, perhaps it might be worth exploring countries that offer permanent residency instead of a temporary entrepreneurship residency status.

As a Student

Most countries around the world accept international and exchange students. Exchange students are students who are completing a portion of their study programs overseas away from their home institution, while international students are students who are pursuing and completing the entirety of their study programs away from their home country.

International students typically will have to pay a premium on their education compared to citizens and permanent residents of the country they are studying in, although this isn’t always the case. For instance, many countries in Europe and South America offer free education for all students, regardless of their residency status.

As a Retiree

Getting a retirement visa is a popular option for those looking to spend their retirement days in another country. Although retirement visas are usually intended for long-term or permanent stays, technically speaking, they are temporary visas because they are only valid for a number of years and they have to be renewed. It is not uncommon for retirees to obtain retirement visas first and renew them a few times, and then apply for permanent residency afterwards if they decide to stay in the country on a more permanent basis.

To qualify for a retirement visa, applicants typically have to be of a certain age and they must demonstrate some form of financial liquidity in their bank account, or a proof of a monthly pension / retirement fund.


Hi, I'm Ryan.

Over the past 10 years, I've lived & worked in 5 cities across 3 countries.

I like helping others to move abroad, and helping them to decide whether they should.

MY VISA GUIDE β†’

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