The Top 10 Most Welcoming Countries

Portugal, Taiwan, and Mexico top the table when it comes to the friendliness of the local population towards foreign residents, but expats can expect a frosty welcome in Switzerland, Austria, and Kuwait, according to the respondents of the Expat Insider survey.

For the first time ever in the Expat Insider survey, Portugal claims the top position as the country with the friendliest attitude towards foreign residents — relegating Taiwan and Mexico to second and third place. Additionally, expats can expect a warm welcome in Cambodia, Bahrain, Costa Rica, Oman, Colombia, Vietnam, and Canada: between 81 (Canada) and 94 percent (Portugal) rate the local population’s attitude towards foreign residents positively in these countries, which is far above the global average of 67 percent. Moreover, in each of these destinations, local residents are perceived to be welcoming (from 62% in Canada up to 86% in Colombia) rather than distant. It seems like the friendly atmosphere may have a positive impact on the overall satisfaction with life abroad: aside from Cambodia (22nd), all destinations rank among the top-15 countries for that factor.

1. Portugal

Portugal has climbed nine places to claim the title of the friendliest country towards foreign residents worldwide. The sunny country offers an equally warm welcome to its expats, with 36 percent of our respondents saying they felt at home straight away — nearly double the global average (19%). When asked if they would possibly stay in Portugal forever, almost half (47%) said yes. According to a Dutch expat, the Portuguese “look after each other”. Close to four in five expats (79%) regard the Portuguese as welcoming, and almost a third (29%) say that local residents make up the majority of their friendship group — a figure much higher than in the average global expat circle (19%).

Maria Ines AmaralFounder and CEO