Retirement Visa Programs

What Are Retirement Visa Programs

A retirement visa will allow you to spend your well deserved retirement years in a foreign country. To be granted a retirement visa, you must be of retirement age (typically from 50 years of age and above) and have enough money to support yourself.

Literally millions of people are choosing to retire and live in other countries, for financial reasons and their standard of living, as well as to enjoy a better climate, lifestyle, healthcare and more.

The Benefits

Your own retirement goals may include:

  • Reduced tax exposure (inheritance, wealth, etc.).
  • A higher purchasing power and living standard.
  • Access to affordable, long-term healthcare.
  • Potential for long-term residency/ citizenship.
  • Visa free access to more countries for travel.
  • Educational or other benefits for self or family.
  • An alternative to citizenship by descent, citizenship by investment or nomad visas.

The Requirements

Eligibility differs by country and by applicant.  We can help do a full eligibility assessment.

  • Your own circumstances – e.g., age, financial status, family makeup – establish eligibility.
  • The criteria differ for each country and program – monthly income, health cover, necessary residency periods, etc.

Each country has its own requirements for:

  • Supporting documentation.
  • Proof of sufficient resources.
  • A personal interview (some countries only).

    Request for more information

    Countries With the Best Retirement Programs

    Kenya Mauritius South Africa
    Argentina Belize Brazil Chile Costa Rica
    Dominican Republic Ecuador Mexico Nicaragua Panama
    Asia & Oceania
    Australia Cambodia Fiji Malaysia New Zealand
    The Philippines Thailand
    Greece France Italy Ireland Malta
    Portugal Spain

    Countries With the Best Retirement Programs


    Kenya, Mauritius, South Africa


    Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Uruguay

    Asia & Oceania

    Australia, Cambodia, Fiji, Malaysia, New Zealand, The Philippines, Thailand


    Greece, France, Italy, Ireland, Malta, Portugal, Spain

    The Process

    Due Diligence and Application

    • Complete our evaluation form (no charge).
    • Discuss your retirement goals and plans with one of our professionals and review feasible options.
    • Identify specific formalities that may be needed.
    • Complete the application forms and gather the required supporting documentation.


    • Submit your application to immigration authorities.
    • Processing time varies between countries.

    Contact an office nearest to you

    With 30 years of immigration experience, each of Harvey Law Group’s lawyers carefully studies each client’s needs, resources and determines the immigration solution that best aligns with our client’s vision and values.

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      Frequently Asked Questions

      Each country has its own specific requirements and as retiring abroad becomes more and more popular, the choices have become almost limitless. Ease of retirement depends on the desired country and the country of origin.

      There is no retirement visa for the USA. However, consider the E2 Visa which is an investment visa that can be used by retirees who still have the energy and spirit to establish and manage a business. Also consider the EB5 investment visa.

      This will depend on the individual requirements of each client and their balance of spending on housing, healthcare, food and drinks as well as entertainment objectives.

      Yes, there are several visas that allow for long term residence in Thailand.

      Yes, and places like Thailand, Malaysia and The Philippines all have a number of expat retirees living there already with their specialised retirement programs.

      Various countries offer permanent residence options in return for a qualifying investment or some other benefit (e.g. bringing funds to the country or establishing a business).

      Different countries have different rules for pension payments. 


      For example a UK State Pension will only increase each year if the recipient lives in the European Economic Area (EEA), Gibraltar, Switzerland or countries that have a social security agreement with the UK (note: you cannot get increases in Canada or New Zealand. There will be no yearly increases if the recipient lives outside these countries.

      In the USA, Social Security pension is still paid even when overseas. As a United States citizen, a recipient may receive their Social Security payments when living outside the United States as long as they are eligible for them. This applies to most overseas destinations.

      Your work or personal pension scheme may have a different arrangement. Contact your pension provider for specific information about moving abroad.

      An expatriate or expat is a person who moves from their home country abroad – sometimes temporarily or often permanently. Retiring abroad has become an increasingly popular option. A growing number of people are choosing to live in another country after they retire. Some are looking for something new and exciting and some are looking to improve their standard of living or perhaps to enjoy a better climate, maybe even a healthier lifestyle or better healthcare or affordable nursing care.

      Visa and residency requirements vary and for some people this whole process can be quite daunting as there are so many destinations available and so many factors to consider. Harvey Law Group is a professional immigration law firm and as such, has an obligation to advise a client on the destinations and programs most suited to their retirement goal. It is highly recommended that you work with a qualified attorney when making plans for retiring abroad.

      For most countries, retirement visas are currently offered to those who are over the age of 55 with a specific monthly income which varies from country to country.

      For many people approaching their golden years, retiring abroad is rapidly becoming an achievable goal as more countries are offering a wide variety of visa options. An increasing number of people are starting to make a reality out of their dream of retiring overseas as there are opportunities for varying budgets and lifestyle choices. Retiring abroad has a number of benefits and depending on what is important, this could be to enjoy a new culture, perhaps travel to new places, enjoy a warmer climate, this list is endless.

      Living overseas offers many perks, including a lower cost of living, new experiences, a better climate, and access to affordable healthcare. Meanwhile, remembering that retiring in a home country offers stability and convenience, and family and friends nearby all while staying in your comfort zone. Retiring abroad      is an important decision.

      Some countries, such as Portugal, South Africa, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Colombia and Panama, have visas specific to retirees who can demonstrate that they meet a minimum available income/savings requirement. Income can come from a variety of sources, including a pension, social security or income from investments.

      Other countries offer residency to foreigners who make real estate purchases. Retiring abroad to a new destination country firstly depends on the citizenship of the applicant and each applicant’s case is unique. Depending on the passport one has, some countries will allow a stay visa free for up to 6 months and that is a great way to also be able to spend time back home too. This can lead to one considering retiring on a part-time basis also known as flexi-retirement.

      Tax laws vary from country to country and clear, professional advice is needed from a tax consultant. Even though one may be living in another country, one may find that taxes back home are still due.

      This depends on which destination is of interest. Many retirees like to think about accessible, affordable healthcare which can be found in many overseas destinations. Fortunately for most countries, income can come from a variety of sources, including a pension, social security or income from investments.

      A will made in a home country will not necessarily deal with assets in the same way because of local laws. Therefore, it is important to make a will in every country where assets are held.

      When contemplating retiring to a new country, several crucial factors should be considered:

      • Visa/Residency: Evaluate the ease of obtaining a visa or permanent residency.
      • Healthcare: Ensure there is affordable, modern, and reliable healthcare.
      • Standard of Living: Assess the general standard of living and whether you can maintain your current lifestyle.
      • Language: Determine the languages spoken and whether you need to learn a new language.
      • Climate: Consider the climate that suits your preferences.
      • Natural Threats: Investigate natural threats like hurricanes, earthquakes, etc.
      • Infrastructure: Ensure a solid infrastructure with amenities, utilities, and banking services.
      • Exchange Rates: Understand how changes in exchange rates may impact you.
      • Tax Implications: Investigate the tax implications of moving abroad.
      • Transportation: Evaluate transportation links and whether you need a car.
      • Aviation Links: Consider aviation links for easy family visits.
      • Time Zones/Proximity: Reflect on the difference in time zones and proximity to your home country.
      • Communication Services: Assess cell/mobile phone service and reliable high-speed internet.
      • Cuisine: Determine if the local cuisine aligns with your preferences.
      • Political Stability: Investigate political stability in the country.
      • Economic Stability: Evaluate the economic stability of the country.
      • Religious Practices: Understand the main religious practices in the region.
      • Pollution Levels: Consider pollution levels and environmental factors.
      • Housing Needs: Reflect on housing options – ownership vs. rental, city vs. coastal vs. countryside.
      • Lifestyle Preferences: Consider your preferred lifestyle and available recreation facilities/activities.
      • Work/Volunteer Opportunities: Explore options for part-time work or volunteering.

      Local vs. Expat Ratio: Understand the percentage of locals vs. expats in the community.

      It is advisable to do some research to find out what healthcare options are available in the destination country. It may be different to what is allowable in a home country and it may be better and more affordable. In many countries, there will be some costs involved in healthcare and health insurance may be required at first, or you may be asked to pay some of the cost of treatment or even the full cost of any medical treatment.

      Try testing the waters by going on holiday first, which is a great start to finding your dream retirement destination. Then consider renting in an area you are thinking about. Try to find other expat retirees and ask for their advice on whether to rent or buy. Examples of countries where buying a home can currently enable you to reside in the country include Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Malta and Panama. Other residency by investment programs may rely on other forms of investment, such as business investments or investments into qualifying funds. Examples of such programs include Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, France, Monaco and Singapore just to name a few.