For many Americans, work hasn’t just gone hybrid or remote — it’s gone global.
The number of American workers hired by international companies grew 62% last year, according to the State of Global Hiring Report from Deel, an HR platform that specializes in global hiring.
That’s based on 300,000 contracts between Deel customers and workers. The majority, 85%, of Deel’s contracts are for remote jobs, but there’s also interest among a select few to actually move abroad.
For a few years now, a growing share of Americans have moved to Portugal for work and life, thanks to its good weather, affordable living and recent launch of a digital nomad visa.
And interest isn’t slowing down: Portugal was the No. 1 country where American users were applying for visas in 2023, according to Deel data.
Here are the top seven countries where Americans are trying to move abroad, based on the number of visa requests being sent through Deel’s immigration and visa support feature:
PortugalSpainUnited KingdomUnited Arab EmiratesCanadaGermanyFrance
Deel users are generally trying to move to Southern Europe, and Americans are especially interested in moving to Dubai.
Expats across Spain and the UAE, in particular, are highly satisfied with their personal, financial, social and work lives abroad, according to global data from online community Internations. As of 2023, the top three cities for expats to thrive in their new lives abroad are all in Spain: Malaga, Alicante and Valencia.
The normalization of remote work has sparked an existential question, says Deel CEO Alex Bouaziz: “Now that people are able to get some of the best jobs remotely and can live anywhere, where are the most appealing places for remote workers?”
Would-be expats have more options to consider places with higher quality of life factors or favorable tax advantages, he says.
“It’s interesting how people redistribute themselves,” Bouaziz adds, “or consider ‘what becomes my center of gravity when it’s not work, which I can do anywhere? Where can I live my best life?'”
Many workers are highly interested in location flexibility, whether they want to move around or simply untether their work from where they live. The most noteworthy change in the remote work landscape in the last year was an uptick in companies actively recruiting for work-from-anywhere positions, FlexJobs lead career expert Toni Frana recently told CNBC Make It.
The remote-work job board has seen “a huge increase in job-seekers looking at work-from-anywhere jobs” since the pandemic, Frana says, “and that’s hardly died down.”
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