If you have more money, will it be easier to move abroad?
The 4 pointers below speak for themselves.
- Passport from a developed country + Wealth = So many options
- Passport from a developing country + Wealth = Many options
- Passport from a developed country + Little wealth = Some options
- Passport from a developing country + Little wealth = Very few options
When applying for a visa to move abroad, here's what immigration officers almost always want to know:
Do you have enough money to support yourself if we let you into the country?
And you gotta show you do.
When Applying for Temporary Visas
Pretty much all kinds of temporary visas (student visas, working holiday visas, spousal visas, retiree visas, etc.) will require proof of funds in the form of bank statements, where money in the account should be accessible at all times.
This means that investments, fixed deposits, and properties that form part of your net worth are usually NOT taken into consideration.
Proof of funds refers to the amount of money you have to show you have, not what you have to pay to get the visa.
If you are planning to apply for a temporary visa, here are 3 steps to take:
- In the government website of your destination country, check the amount of money you need to show as proof for the visa you are looking to apply.
- Ensure you have enough money in your chequing or savings account—essentially, a bank account that allows you instant withdrawal of your cash at any time.
- Maintain the balance in the account over a few months—this is because a visa application usually requires a few months’ worth of bank statements as proof of funds.
- The funds that you want to show as proof should be kept in your bank account for a few months.
- If a visa requires you to show a proof of funds of $10,000, depositing that amount today in your account and submitting a visa application tomorrow will raise red flags. Visa officers will question the source of funds and wonder if that is really your money.
What if your funds are spread out across multiple bank accounts?
- That is usually not a problem, but it means you have to submit multiple sets of bank statements in your application.
- If the proof of funds required isn't too large, it's probably best to keep them in one bank account.
So How Much Money Do You Need to Show?
The answer to this is that it varies from country to country, and the type of visa you are looking to apply for. Generally:
A work visa will require the least or no amount of funds to show as proof because the visa comes with the right for you to be employed and get paid in your destination country.
- If you are eligible for a spousal visa, your partner is the one who will have to provide proof of funds to sponsor you.
- In countries where international students have to pay a relatively high amount of tuition compared to local citizens or permanent residents, getting a student visa will require significant proof of funds depending on the tuition amount they have to pay.
- To obtain a retiree visa, applicants will have to show that they possess an amount of money befitting for retirement, or proof they are able to receive regular income (such as pensions or investment income).
When Applying for Permanent Residency
Similar to temporary visas, when applying for permanent residency, it is common for countries to ask applicants to show that they have a certain sum of money so that they are unlikely to be a burden to the government. The amount required will typically increase if the applicant has dependents (e.g. partner, children).
The 3 articles below explores 3 ways to move abroad primarily by using money.
- Golden Visa, Investor Visa, Elite Visa — coming soon
- Permanent Residency by Investment — coming soon
- Citizenship by Investment — coming soon
Although important, money is only one of many life assets that you can use to move abroad. If you don't have much money, you can still use your citizenship, ancestry, age, health, relationships, skills, education, or languages to move abroad!