If you'd like to be your own boss then getting a self-employment visa might be the best option for you. There are a number of good guides out there about how to become self-employed. Below you can find some countries that have easy self-employment visas. 30 Days to Move Abroad has some good tips that will help make your move go smoothly.
You might also be interested in retirement visas. Many of them don't have age limits either, but rather ask for proof of funds.
Denmark has a green card programme available for those who fulfill the requirements. If you're current self-employed and make enough money you can apply.
Germany also allows non-EU passport holders to get freelance visas. However, they require that you have German-approved health insurance (you can find info on Toy Town Germany as well as How to Germany, and there's more info at the bottom of this page) as well as at least two offers of freelance employment. and enough money in the bank to support yourself. It also helps if you speak German a little bit to help you deal with the people at the immigration and tax offices. The book Painlessly Relocate to Germany also has some good tips.
Japan has self sponsored visas. Here's more information about self sponsorship and the requirements. You will have to be in Japan in order to apply for this visa.
Mexico has FM3s. Rules have changed though. Now you can't get this visa unless you already have another visa, such as a work or marriage one. Here's what Guy Courchesne has to say. Basically, you need your passport, about 2000 pesos, a degree, the application, and a letter written in Spanish outlining what you plan to do and why you are qualified to do it. If you have a TEFL cert that will probably help your application. Speaking Spanish will make the application process a lot easier. After you get the independent FM3 visa you'll need to get a tax number to be able to write up receipts for students or companies if you plan to go that route.
Paraguay allows you to become a permanent resident quite easily. You'll need a criminal background check and your birth certificate apostillised. Then you submit them to the nearest Paraguayan embassy or consulate. Finally you go to Paraguay and start the process. You have to deposit $5000 into a Paraguayan bank and wait a few months. The total time start to finish is about 1 year. 3 years after you get permanent residency you can apply for citizenship. You don't lose the $5000. You can withdraw it once you prove solvency to the government. International Man has more info.
Singapore has been voted one of the best places to start your own business. Find out more in this article.
Switzerland allows those from EU countries to get a self-employment visa or an independent visa. If you're not from the EU, then you can get an investor visa.
In the United Kingdom you used to be able to go the HSMW visa.
Edit: the HSMW programme has been stopped. I've kept the info up for reference. The Highly Skilled Migrant Worker Programme (Tier 1)gives points based on age, experience, education, etc. Here's how to apply. This is the main UK immigration website.
You might try taking a look at the following articles for more information about becoming self-employed.
- How to Get Private Students and Teaching Private Classes
- Supplementing Your Teaching Salary
- Teaching Online and Earning Money Online
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