British Expats

British people who emigrated from the U.K., and their descendants, are called “British expats” or “the British diaspora”. The United Kingdom has the highest number of expatriates worldwide. They mostly live in the United States, Australia, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand. According to the Institute for Public Policy, nearly 5.5 million people who were born in the U.K. live outside the country.

The British Diaspora

Australia has nearly 1,300,000 British expats. Other countries with high number of British citizens include Spain (762,000), Canada (604,000), The United States (679,000), South Africa (212,000), Germany (115,000), New Zealand (215,000), The UAE (55,000), Ireland (292,000), Cyprus (59,000), France (201,000), Switzerland (45,000), Pakistan (48,000), Singapore (46,000), Thailand (42,000), Netherlands (45,000), Hong Kong (37,000), Israel (45,000), Turkey (35,000), Kenya (29,000), Portugal (38,000), Saudi Arabia (26,000), Jamaica (25,000), Greece (18,000), India (32,000), Barbados (27,000), Sweden (18,000), Belgium (29,000), Japan (24,000), Italy (27,000), and Norway (14,000).

Why Do People Leave the United Kingdom?

According to one of the largest visa consultancy companies in the U.K., nearly 4,000 people per week are trying to get a visa and leave the country.

Most British expats are young professionals who are trying to move to Australia, South Africa and Canada. Some of the common reasons for leaving the U.K. include increased crime rate, increased tax rates, high house prices, high rents, and high cost of living in general. Young people usually want to leave the U.K. temporarily, in order to study and work abroad, get more work experience, live in a different culture and meet new people.

Another reason for moving to a foreign country is an increasing number of foreigners who move to the United Kingdom each year. Even the British villages are attractive to foreigners, so British people feel like there’s just not enough room for everyone.

Getting a visa to move abroad usually costs £1,500. The best candidates are doctors, construction workers, electricians and plumbers. Most applicants succeed in getting a visa. The major obstructions are poor health, criminal records and age.

If you are moving to an EU country, you won’t have any problems with getting a visa, although finding a job may be a bit difficult. Most of these countries will choose to hire their own citizens.

If you are moving to the United States, Australia, or New Zealand, your chances of getting a job will be better. Before you decide where you want to work and live, find out more about job opportunities for expats.

Contact other British expats who live in different countries. This is a good way to prepare yourself for moving to a foreign country.

Here are several useful websites:

British Expats
Brit Net
Brits abroad