English Speaking Expat-Friendly Countries
Last updated on March 17th, 2021
As an expat, when you want to move to a foreign country to live abroad, one of the immediate questions appears: “Do they speak English?” A common language like English is important whatever you do in a foreign country. You can find various countries in which English is spoken. Some of them have great holiday places, beaches, and other attractive sides. On the other hand, some of them have great tax offers especially for expats and foreign investors. It’s also important to look at a country’s way of life compared to your home country. Perhaps their daily life is much different than that of your own country. This could be a plus for those who like change, but a challenge for those who don’t. It’s all about finding the best place for you.
Thankfully, some countries might just check all the boxes. So, in such countries, you may enjoy both the tax benefits and the great quality of life of your prospective country.
In this article, we will list the English speaking countries where you can live, conduct business, and be comfortable at the same time. We will try to give you general opinions about the quality of life in those countries. In the countries below, you can get by with the English language very well. You can conduct business, and communicate with the locals. Most of them also offer favorable tax benefits and great areas for holiday purposes.
Belize is one of the Central American countries. Despite this, it is not a Spanish-speaking country. It actually counts as an English speaking country as It was a British colony until the ’70s. About 63% of the residents speak English in Belize. Not to mention that its official language is English. Although they speak Belizean Creole and Spanish a lot, you will be fine with English when you communicate in your social life.
Along the Caribbean Sea, it has a long coastline. You can explore the Mayan ruins as well as fishing, going snorkeling, and so on.
In Belize, you can find people from different nations living in harmony. They include the Spanish, North Americans, and Mayans. So, you don’t need to worry about learning a different language.
Furthermore, if you want to move here with your family, you should know that primary schools are also under the British education system. Alternatively, there are public Catholic schools. Also, you can find international schools based on the American education system.
It is worth noting that Belize is a British Commonwealth country. It has similar laws with the North American countries. So, if you want to establish a business in Belize, you may not face trouble in understanding the documents if you are from North America.
Singapore is a country where you can find political stability as well as safety, as there is a low crime rate there. You can also find people from various nationalities already living there. They include people from China, Malaysia, and India.
It is important to note that it has four official languages, which makes it one of the best countries for polyglots. These are English, Mandarin, Bahasa Malay, and Tamil. Furthermore, most locals of Singapore are native bilinguals. 83% of the people in Singapore speak English. So, you can be comfortable in doing business or signing contracts in the country, as well as communicating with the local people.
Singapore has a high quality of life. Also, it has a modern infrastructure and essential amenities throughout the country. Its streets are quite clean and safe as well.
Parallel to the high living standards, living in the country is also quite expensive. However, if you can afford it, it is a great place to live with its quality of life and safety.
Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory where the official language is English. It is on the southern coast of Spain. So, you can both enjoy the beauty of its coast of Spain along with the English speaking community.
It has been a European tax haven for a long time. The reason is that there is no capital gains tax when you set up a business. Also, when you decide to be a tax resident, the maximum tax rate would be around 25%.
What is more, it is easier to get a residence permit in Gibraltar and the local residents are welcoming to expats.
Dominica is located in the Caribbean. Dominica was also a British colony until the 1970s so it technically counts as an English-speaking country. Before that, it was a French colony. So, people speak a dialect of Creole French as well as English. In fact, 94% of people in Dominica speak English.
More than 2000 Americans live in Dominica. Most of them are retirees, though. So, if you want to live in a more quiet environment, Dominica will work fine for you. If not, it may be better to choose a more upbeat place. It is also worth noting that income taxes exist in Dominica, unlike Saint Kitts and Nevis.
It is also important to note that it is a great opportunity for investors as well. Dominica has the most affordable citizenship by investment programs in the world. It is sufficient to invest $100.000 in the country. What is more, you obtain citizenship within around three months. After this, you can travel visa-free to around 140 countries. There is also no taxation on wealth, gift, inheritance, foreign income, or capital gains tax for residents. If you want to stay in the country, you can buy a property of at least $200.000, and then enjoy the same benefits mentioned above. So, Dominica is a great place to live for both investors and other expats who wish to live there.
Maltese and English are the two official languages in the country. Malta was under British control until 1964. This is why we can see the effects of the English language in the country. The rate of English speakers is 89% of the local residents in Malta.
When it comes to taxes, it offers great benefits to expats compared to other places. For example, if you are a non-EU citizen, and setting up a company in Malta, you can obtain residency in the country. In this way, you can both claim a tax refund and minimize your taxes. Also, as a foreign company, you only have to pay a 5% tax while the local ones have to pay 35%. Your foreign-source income is also not subject to taxation in Malta.
It is a Mediterranean island, so it has a warm climate that attracts most expats. Not to mention that the quality of life is high, and the cost of living is quite affordable. You can enjoy ancient architecture as well as great views to watch. Many expats living there call this their “second home country.”
The official language in Malaysia is Bahasa Malay. It is a mix of a few different languages. Despite this, most people living there speak English. Malaysia was under British control until 1946. This is why English has a great influence in areas of education and business in the country.
As an English-speaking expat, you can find job opportunities in the sectors of tourism, information and communication technology banking, finance, and marketing.
Another benefit Malaysia offers is that your foreign-source income is not subject to taxation. It also ranks 11th for disposable income and savings. The reason is mainly because of the low cost of living and lower taxes it offers.
The Bahamas is a country in the Caribbean. English is the official language of the country. 87% of the Bahamians speak English well. It also attracts millions of tourists and cruise ships each year. Not to mention its great islands and world-class beaches as well.
The Bahamas is also a tax haven offering favorable tax laws for foreign investment in the country. For example, international business companies in the Bahamas do not pay corporate tax unless the income is derived locally. They are also exempt from stamp and estate duties for a duration of 20 years.
On an individual level, citizens and non-residents are exempt from taxation on personal income, inheritance, gifts, or capital gains. Instead of this, they pay value-added tax (VAT), property taxes, stamp taxes, import duties, and license fees.
An even better plus for the Bahamas is the high quality of life that is found there. It is one of the best countries for those seeking a slow and relaxed life. Many Americans already favor the Bahamas, as it is much more comfortable compared to the United States or even Europe.
So, if you wish to live on an island, and benefit from tax benefits, the Bahamas can be a great place to live.
Located in the Atlantic Ocean, the Bermuda islands are still a British overseas territory. Being an English speaking country, the rate of English speakers in Bermuda is 97%. There is no income tax in the country. However, the cost of living is high. The property prices are relatively expensive as well. Still, it wouldn’t pose a problem if you have enough cash and want to be closer to the United States.
Jersey is another island located in western Europe, in the north of France. The official languages are English and French on this island. We can say that it offers a high quality of life, and stability. Along with this, its finance sector is rapidly thriving.
The income tax in Jersey is a 20% flat tax rate. Furthermore, there is no capital gains tax.
In urban areas, 64% of people speak English in the Philippines. They also teach English in schools. Also, in schools, they only use English for the courses of mathematics, information technology, and science courses.
The Philippines also has great beaches and landscapes to explore. Retirees are especially attracted to this country thanks to its low cost of living and serene island lifestyle.
Another benefit is that foreign-source income is exempt from taxation in the Philippines.
The two official languages of the country are Irish Gaelic and English. However, English is the most common one. Only 5% of the people speak Irish Gaelic daily. Its location is also favorable for expats who want to be closer to the European area.
Ireland offers residency by investment. Through its Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP), you can be a resident of Ireland within 3-4 months. Also, you can be a citizen of Ireland and the EU in five years. So, if you are a high-net-worth individual, you can choose this option in such an impressive quality environment. In addition, Ireland’s economy is the sixth-best performing economy in the world. It highly welcomes foreign capital, and it is known for its protection of investor funds.
Also, the corporate tax rate is 12.5%. So, it is very attractive for business people who want to establish a business there.
Not to mention that it has a modern infrastructure, and it offers high-quality healthcare and education.
In Vanuatu, 62% of people speak English. The country is located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It is on the east of Australia and west of Fiji.
It is also a tax haven because there is no taxation on income, withholding, capital gains, inheritance, or exchange control. The country is also recognized as a “flag of convenience” country.
Another advantage of Vanuatu is that you can get residency and citizenship in the country. In fact, you can also get a second passport in a few months through an investment.
Isle of Man
It is a small island located between the United Kingdom and Ireland. There is no doubt that everyone speaks English there. What is attractive about the island is that it is very close to London, Dublin, and Edinburgh.
As to the income taxes, we can say that they are not huge considering its location and importance. There are two types. One is 10% and the other is 20% depending on your income.
Mauritius is an island country located in the Indian Ocean. Its official language is English. The income tax rate is between 10-15%. Furthermore, its laws state that if you do not remit your money to the country, you won’t have to pay taxes on them.
What is more interesting about Mauritius is that it has become the first country to introduce custodian services on digital assets. An example of this is Bitcoin.
Puerto Rico is located in the Caribbean Sea. People speak both Spanish and English in the country. It is an unincorporated US territory. So, it benefits from some of the rights by the association of the US.
If you move here with your business as a US citizen, you can benefit from the 4% corporate tax rate.
Other English-Speaking Countries
Most of the countries above have tax benefits if you’re specifically looking for those. You might just be looking at other countries where you can travel and get by with English. In this section, we’ll cover some of the best countries which are “English- friendly”
More than 90% of the Dutch people speak English in the Netherlands. Everyone knows that it is a quite stable country in northern Europe. Furthermore, services of healthcare, education, and transportation services are highly modern and developed.
It may not be beneficial to become a permanent resident for tax purposes. However, as a Dutch resident, you have the right to travel in the Schengen area as well. For corporations, however, the tax treatments may seem better. Dividends and capital gains are exempt from corporate tax in the Netherlands.
Especially countries such as Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia have seen quick growth in the last few years. You can also consider the investment potential in these countries.
You can enjoy lower tax rates especially in areas of Vilnius, Riga, and Tallinn. Not to mention that you can communicate with the people there easily by speaking in English.
We all know that countries like Norway, Denmark, and Sweden in this area are developed in almost all fields. They are indeed rated as the happiest places in the world. This means that the quality of life is already perfect. The main language is English in these areas.
However, you should be careful about the tax treatments. The tax rates are quite high in these countries. So, you may just want to spend time there on a short basis. If you don’t become a tax resident there, it would be great to live in Scandinavia.
In areas like Serbia, Bulgaria, and Croatia, the main second language is English. Especially in big cities such as Zagreb, Belgrad, and Sofia, you can easily communicate with people in English.
You can also find some countries where flat tax rates and favorable tax treatments are possible. Also, some of them welcome foreign investment and business in their country quite contentedly.
So, the bottom line is that you should consider your priorities before moving to a country. We suggest that you should ask yourself if you want to invest in the country. Or if you want to bring your business there? Will it be advantageous for you to be a tax resident in that country? Or do you want to go there just to visit and explore?
It’s all about finding the best place for you.