The Safest Countries For Expats Looking For A New Home

World Globe With Word Safety As Title

For expatriates seeking to acquire second citizenship, prioritizing safety is key. Identifying the world’s safest countries for expats involves considering various aspects such as healthcare quality, political stability, crime rates, and economic prospects. We examine the top global destinations renowned for their security and well-being, offering insights for expats looking to make informed decisions.

Whether France and Spain’s robust healthcare systems or Malta and Singapore’s economic resilience, expatriates are spoilt for choice. We delve into each country’s unique offerings, from healthcare accessibility to investment opportunities, ensuring that your quest for a second passport is secure and beneficial.

Things To Consider When Looking For A Safe Place To Relocate Overseas

Safety is at the top of your list when considering moving abroad, mainly to acquire second citizenship. You’ll want to look at various factors contributing to expatriates’ overall well-being and security in a potential new home or foreign country.

Health Care Systems

A top-notch healthcare system is a key part of any safe country. If you’re planning to become an expatriate, thoroughly check out your intended destination’s healthcare infrastructure. Countries like France and Spain are known for having some of the best healthcare systems in the world.

France offers universal health care to all residents, regardless of age or income. Spain’s public health care is ranked 8th globally. The health care system in Colombia is well-regarded, with private clinics offering shorter wait times. However, they come at a higher cost.

If you’re a foreigner with permanent residency in Colombia, you’ll have access to universal health care, ensuring comprehensive coverage. Costa Rica’s universal health care system is recognized for helping the country achieve a high life expectancy. Portugal’s health care system gets high marks for the quality of care and the attentiveness of its doctors.

New Zealand and Singapore expatriates also have access to high-quality universal health care. In Dubai, private hospitals provide advanced medical services with English-speaking staff, which is excellent for the expatriate community.

Before moving, consider if you’ll need private health insurance and get to grips with the associated costs and coverage details. This preparation gives you peace of mind about health and medical services in your new country.

Political Stability

A stable political environment is a cornerstone of a safe haven for expatriates. The Political Stability and Absence of Violence/Terrorism index can help you gauge the likelihood of governmental upheaval or violent disruptions in a peaceful country. Countries with high levels of political stability are generally safer for expatriates.

For example, the Nordic countries are celebrated for their political stability, contributing to their reputation as one of the safest places on Earth.

Crime Rates

Crime rates give you a clear picture of safety in any country. The Global Peace Index and Numbeo statistics offer insights into the world’s safest cities and most dangerous countries based on crime rates. For instance, Qatar is recognized as the safest country in terms of crime as of 2023.

Conversely, Venezuela has the highest crime rate. Expatriates need to understand the crime landscape to ensure their safety and security in their new homes.

Economic Stability And Employment Opportunities

Economic stability and the availability of job opportunities are essential for expatriates seeking second citizenship. A stable economy often goes hand in hand with safety and provides a good environment for expatriates to flourish. New Zealand, for instance, benefits from a high economic contribution from its expat population and has an impressive expat employment rate.

This suggests that the best countries have a vibrant job market for newcomers. Countries like Portugal and Canada are also known for their economic stability. Portugal has a high relative revenue per capita from expatriates. Canada has many adults pursuing higher education, which can signal a strong job market. When you’re considering relocation, it’s wise to research the dominant industries in your potential new home. Manufacturing, for example, is a significant employer in many countries.

Health and social work are common in Scandinavian nations like Norway and Denmark. Knowing the economic landscape and job market is key for expatriates to ensure a stable and prosperous life abroad.

Our Picks For The Safest Countries For Expats Looking For A New Home

Considering all these factors, we have compiled our top picks for the safest countries for expats looking to relocate overseas. These nations offer expatriates a seamless pathway to residency or citizenship alongside unparalleled safety and quality of life. Each country is chosen for its unique blend of political stability, environmental security, low crime rates, economic opportunities, and exemplary healthcare systems. This ensures a secure and prosperous environment for those looking to move abroad.

Countries Flag Of Malta


Malta’s Healthcare System

Malta‘s healthcare system is recognized for its excellence, with the World Health Organization ranking it 26th and other assessments by placing it at 19th. The country’s life expectancy surpasses the EU average, reflecting the effectiveness of its healthcare services.

The infrastructure in Malta combines public and private offerings. Public healthcare is free for Maltese citizens and accessible to EU residents with an EHIC. The archipelago boasts eight public hospitals, including one on Gozo, and a plethora of health clinics and pharmacies.

Mater Dei Hospital, the principal public hospital in Msida, is spearheading Malta’s healthcare digital security, which is poised for further advancements in medical technology through a partnership with Vitals Global Healthcare.

With a substantial doctor-to-population ratio, Malta‘s healthcare system is well-prepared to cater to its residents. Non-EU citizens will require private health insurance, which is more affordable compared to the U.S., and private hospitals are noted for their specialized clinics.

Political Stability In Malta

Malta‘s political landscape has been stable since its EU accession in 2004, with a democratically elected government renewed every five years.

The country is recognized as an advanced economy by the IMF. It holds the 27th position in the 2021 Index of Economic Freedom. Fitch Ratings has confirmed Malta’s A+ rating, reflecting its economic resilience.

Malta is well-regarded for property rights, judicial effectiveness, and government integrity, ranking 30th out of 194 countries for political stability. These factors ensure a secure living environment and attract tourism and investment, contributing to the island nation’s prosperity.

Crime Rates In Malta

Malta is distinguished by its low crime rates, which contribute to a high quality of life and are advantageous for businesses. Malta’s safety profile, marked by its Crime Index of 41.22 and a Safety Index of 58.78, showcases its status as a secure environment for expatriates. The low rates of significant crimes such as muggings, robberies, car theft, and assaults affirm Malta’s position as a highly desirable location for those seeking a new home abroad. This data highlights the country’s commitment to ensuring the safety and well-being of its residents.

Economic Stability And Employment Opportunities In Malta

Malta‘s strategic location makes it a prime gateway to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, enhancing its appeal as a capital city and a business and investment hub.

The economy is classified as high-income by the World Bank, and the Heritage Foundation’s 2021 Index of Economic Freedom ranks Malta highly. A 10.4% GDP growth in 2021 indicates a flourishing business environment.

The economic forecast is positive, with increased domestic consumption, exports, and tourism anticipated. Malta’s economic strengths include:

  • Its strategic position.
  • Multilingual populace.
  • Tax-efficient system.
  • Developed finance and ICT sectors.
  • Open market economy.
  • Productive labor force.

These factors create a stable and prosperous environment for expatriates seeking employment and business opportunities in other countries.

Citizenship By Investment In Malta

Malta’s Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment process is an avenue for expatriates to gain citizenship through naturalization by contributing to the country’s economic development.

The program includes a thorough due diligence process to ensure the integrity of applicants.

It provides visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to over 180 destinations and includes immediate family members. To qualify, applicants must make a financial investment, purchase or lease property, and donate to a registered entity. Residency in Malta for a specified period is also required.

Malta’s tax system, which does not levy inheritance, death, net worth, or wealth taxes, is based on domicile and residency. With double taxation agreements with approximately 60 countries worldwide and the allowance for dual citizenship, these features offer financial and personal benefits for new citizens.

Malta Flag And Buildings In Background


Portugal is recognized as a haven of safety and stability for expatriates looking to acquire second citizenship. Its healthcare system, political environment, low crime rate and rates, economic stability, and immigration policies all contribute to its attractiveness.

Portugal’s Healthcare System

The healthcare system in Portugal is a well-established mix of public and private insurance. Most people are covered by public insurance through the NHS. The system is known for its high-quality, patient-centered care and infrastructure, ranking 9th globally in quality.

Private insurers in Portugal have more regulatory freedom than their American counterparts, especially regarding benefit design. The NHS’s direct negotiation of drug prices and the use of external reference pricing help keep healthcare costs affordable. This has led to Portugal having the 6th lowest increase in health spending as a share of GDP over the past decade.

Political Stability In Portugal

The political scene in Portugal is characterized by its stable parliamentary democracy. Since the late 1970s, there’s been a history of peaceful transitions of power between rival parties. Civil liberties are generally well-protected, and while issues like corruption and legal constraints on journalism exist, there’s a strong track record of prosecuting high-ranking officials involved in corruption.

Political parties operate with equal opportunity, and elected officials can legislate without undue interference. The judiciary is independent, and freedoms of assembly and organization are upheld, allowing NGOs, including human rights groups, to operate without interference.

Crime Rates In Portugal

Portugal stands out as a premier destination for expatriates seeking safety, confirmed by its sixth-place ranking in the Global Peace Index. This recognition underscores Portugal’s peaceful environment, bolstered by effective law enforcement and innovative policies such as drug decriminalization since 2001, which have significantly contributed to its low drug-related crime rates. The country’s historical association with INTERPOL since 1930 and organizations like APAV highlight its commitment to public safety and support for crime victims.

Recent statistics from Numbeo further affirm Portugal’s status as a safe haven, showcasing a Crime Index of 31.12 and a Safety Index of 68.88, indicating low crime levels and high safety for both residents and travelers. The decline in overall crime rates since the 2000s, especially in severe and violent crimes, alongside very low concerns about hate crimes, positions Portugal as an attractive and secure choice for those looking to relocate.

Economic Stability And Employment Opportunities In Portugal

The economic outlook in Portugal is optimistic, with unemployment rates decreasing and inflation slowing down. The labor market is strong, with record-high employment and activity rates. Wages are increasing faster than inflation.

Economic growth is expected to rebound. The government’s fiscal policies are likely to lead to a budget surplus. Public investment is on the rise, particularly with the implementation of the RRP, signaling a positive future for economic stability and job prospects.

Portugal’s Golden Visa Program

The Golden Visa Program in Portugal has been a significant draw for expatriates looking for a safe home abroad. However, recent changes have been made to address housing concerns, including the removal of real estate investments as a qualifying category for the program. The program continues to offer various investment options, such as venture capital funds, job creation, and cultural heritage support.

These changes don’t affect previous applications and their renewals. The program still offers an attractive option for those seeking residency in Portugal.

Countries Flag Of Greece And Oceanscape Background


Greece’s Healthcare System

In Greece, expatriates who contribute to the tax system can benefit from the ESY. Direct access to specialists is a notable feature, facilitating prompt medical care.

Despite challenges from past economic downturns, the healthcare sector is undergoing reforms to enhance universal coverage. The private healthcare sector is chosen by many for its perceived superior quality and includes a comprehensive range of services. Pharmacies are conveniently located throughout urban areas, providing accessible medical advice and treatments.

State-funded emergency services are available through the European emergency number 112, with the caveat that availability may vary in less populated regions and islands.

Political Stability In Greece

Parliamentary democracy with a history of peaceful transitions characterizes Greece‘s political system. While the country grapples with issues such as corruption and discrimination, the judiciary maintains a level of independence, and constitutional freedoms, including those of assembly and the press, are generally respected. The media landscape is conducive to investigative journalism, and public officials have a legal framework to disclose their assets and income.

Crime Rates In Greece

Greece offers a welcoming and secure environment, with a Crime Index of 46.75 and a Safety Index of 53.25. With a notably low incidence of violent crimes and a robust police presence, Greece ensures a peaceful setting for both residents and visitors. The nation’s efforts to maintain safety and security are evident, making it an attractive choice for those looking to experience Greece’s rich cultural heritage and tranquil lifestyle.

Economic Stability And Employment Opportunities In Greece

Greece‘s economic landscape shows promising signs of growth and resilience, recovering steadily from its previous financial challenges. With a focus on bolstering property rights and fostering entrepreneurship, Greece is becoming increasingly attractive for business investments. Despite this positive momentum, ongoing societal challenges underscore the importance of sustained reforms to ensure long-term stability and prosperity. This dynamic environment offers opportunities for those looking to engage in the evolving Greek economy.

Residency By Investment In Greece

The Greek Golden Visa Program is a cost-effective option for those pursuing residency in Europe. It grants access to the Schengen Area and provides public healthcare and education benefits. The program’s investment threshold is comparatively low and allows for family inclusion.

Investment opportunities are available in the Greek real estate market, which is recovering from a downturn. Tax incentives for foreign residents, including retirees and digital nomads, add to the appeal. Since its launch, the program has attracted a wide array of international investors.

The application process for the Golden Visa is efficient and does not necessitate an initial visit to Greece. Permits issued under the program are valid for five years and can be renewed. While the Golden Visa does not lead directly to citizenship, it establishes residency, which is a step towards naturalization after seven years, subject to fulfilling requirements such as tax residency, language proficiency, and cultural integration.

Singaporean Flag On Building Rooftop


Singapore’s Healthcare System

Singapore’s healthcare system is known for its high-quality and innovative approach, ranking 10th in the 2022 World Index of Health Care Innovation. You’ll find its strength in its high scores for Choice, where it stands at 12th globally. Its top-notch digital healthcare infrastructure also plays a key role in its success. With strong research universities and a commitment to patient-centered care, Singapore has climbed to 5th place in this category, thanks to improvements in patient safety, transparency, and shorter wait times to see a doctor.

The nation’s healthcare quality is impressive, with Singapore ranking 13th for quality. This was demonstrated by its effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ranking third in mitigation efforts. However, Singapore has room for growth in the Science and Technology sector, ranking 15th, with a noticeable gap in medical technology development.

Singapore provides universal coverage to its citizens, backed by the highest per capita healthcare spending among its ASEAN peers. This investment has positioned Singapore as a regional healthcare and medical hub, setting high standards for care. The focus on quality has helped Singapore achieve one of the highest life expectancies in the world and the lowest infant mortality rate.

Political Stability In Singapore

Singapore’s political landscape is marked by its stability and the dominance of the People’s Action Party (PAP), which has been in power since 1959. The city-state practices a modified version of the Westminster Parliamentary system. It has been led by the Lee family for generations, with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the son of Singapore’s founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, at the helm.

This political stability has been a key to Singapore’s success as a thriving island state and a central business hub for Southeast Asia. The government’s pro-business economic and trade policies have significantly established Singapore as a leading financial, aviation, shipping, and trade hub in the Asia Pacific region.

Crime Rates In Singapore

Singapore is famous for its low crime rates, some of the lowest in the world. Violent crimes like murder and street robbery are rare, and gun-related crimes are exceptionally uncommon. The country’s dedication to law and order has earned global recognition. Singapore is ranked as the safest country/area in the 2022 Global Law and Order Index. This ranking reflects the public’s trust in the police force and their feeling of safety, even when walking alone at night.

Economic Stability And Employment Opportunities In Singapore

Singapore’s economic stability shines through in its impressive economic freedom score of 83.9, making it the world’s freest economy in the 2023 Index. The country’s economic foundations are solid, with strong protection of property rights and effective enforcement of anti-corruption laws. Singapore’s GDP per capita is over US$70,000, highlighting its status as one of the world’s wealthiest economies.

The nation’s open and trade-driven economy benefits from over 25 Free Trade Agreements, including membership in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The Ministry of Manpower’s Fair Consideration Framework ensures that employers in Singapore give the local workforce a fair shot at job opportunities, contributing to the country’s high standard of living and economic prosperity.

Residency By Investment In Singapore

Singapore offers foreign nationals the chance to obtain permanent residence status through the Singapore Global Investor Program (GIP). This program aims to attract entrepreneurs and investors ready to make significant financial contributions to the country’s economy. Eligibility for citizenship is on the table after two years of permanent residence, and the Singaporean passport is one of the strongest for travel.

The GIP Scheme, also known as the Investor Scheme, lets investors either start new businesses or enhance existing ones in Singapore. The government helps forge partnerships between foreign investors and local business networks, creating a welcoming environment for investment. Spouses and children under 21 can apply for permanent residence with the main applicant. In contrast, parents and older children can go for a 5-year Long Term Social Visit Pass, which is renewable and tied to the investor’s re-entry permit.

Living in Singapore offers you the perks of the country’s political stability, economic prosperity, reputable education system, and reliable healthcare. The country’s tax regime is investor-friendly, operates on a territorial basis, and introduces regulations that encourage investment. It’s worth noting that Singapore enforces a single citizenship policy and does not allow dual citizenship.

Final Thoughts on Secure Expatriation

Embarking on the journey of acquiring second citizenship requires careful consideration of various pivotal factors, from health care and political stability to crime rates and economic opportunities. The countries we’ve scrutinized offer more than just a safe haven for expatriates; they provide comprehensive health care, stable governance, low crime rates, and thriving economic environments.

As you navigate the considerations of relocation and citizenship investment, remember that safety goes hand in hand with a nation’s quality of life and the vibrancy of its expat community. Whether choosing the Mediterranean allure of Malta, the serene landscapes of Portugal, the historic charm of Greece, or the dynamic buzz of Singapore, your quest for a secure and prosperous life abroad is within reach. Each destination promises new beginnings, anchored in security and opportunity.


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Rihab Saad

Managing Director
Next Generation Equity

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