We’re proud to share that VanHack is one of the world’s largest (if not the largest!) communities of developers who want to relocate with over 214,000 members from over 170 countries. 

This allows us to gather data about where tech talent wants to relocate to like never before.

In fact, we ask each VanHack who signs up where their top choices for relocation are as part of our onboarding process with over 60,000 tech professionals have added their preferences. This gives us a real time view as to where top tech talent wants to move.

These days, software developers are in demand globally and have more options than ever before in terms of where to live and work, so it’s important for countries to work on creating easy and fast visa processes, low taxes for tech talent and other benefits in order to attract the best talent in the world to their shores. 

This report will give an overview of the top ten countries that our candidates want to relocate to, the general quality of life in those countries, and will briefly break down the visa process for those who are considering making a move.  

Without further ado, here are the top ten countries VanHackers want to relocate to: 

Canada

Overview 

Canada is widely considered the best country globally in terms of overall quality of life. This multicultural country is generally very safe, offers world-class public healthcare, and the average pay grade for software developers is more than enough to live a very good life.  The tech scene is growing fast with companies like Wealthsimple and Shopify growing into global brands valued in the billions of dollars. 

How to Relocate 

 

For the most part, moving to Canada is straightforward for tech talent with the government introducing the Global Talent Stream visa in 2017. In fact, we’ve created the Ultimate Guide to the Global Talent Stream to explain how to get a work permit using it. 

Vladislav and his family recently relocated to Canada after getting hired on VanHack as an iOS Developer.

 

United Kingdom

Overview 

The United Kingdom, or UK., consists of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Steeped in history, the U.K. offers residents a vibrant culture and excellent public healthcare. The Pound Sterling, which is the nation’s currency, is among the strongest in the world, and the average pay for tech sector employees, including software developers, is enviable.  

 

How to Relocate 

There are several Visa options for software developers wishing to relocate to the U.K., including the skilled worker Visa and an entrepreneur startup visa. Biometric data may be required to process a Visa application and subsequently grant a work permit. More information is available here.  

The U.K. also has a very cool new initiative called Tech Nation that highlights the many ways to bring your talents there. 

 

Germany

Overview

 

A beautiful country with diverse landscapes, modern cities, and quaint country villages, Germany is a country with a very rich history spanning more than two millennia. The country is very safe, offers top-notch healthcare, and has one of the best tech sectors of any country on Earth. Software developers in Germany are paid handsomely and are in high demand.  

How to Relocate 

The Germany Working (Employment) Visa is the best bet for software developers wanting to relocate to Germany. The Visa allows skilled workers to enter and work in Germany for up to two years before extending the Visa. More details are available here.  

relocate

Gilson arriving in Germany to work as a .NET Developer. What a nice family!

The Netherlands

Overview

The Netherlands is one of Germany’s much smaller neighbors to the west. An architectural delight, there are very few modern cities that retain a sense of old-world charm in the same way as Amsterdam, the countries canal-laden, cobblestoned capital. A first-world health care system and progressive tech-first mentality make this country an excellent choice for software developers wanting to relocate.  

How to Relocate 

Those wanting to relocate to The Netherlands from another European Union member state do not need to apply for a work permit. Non-EU nationals will need to apply for a work permit. A few different types of work permits are available for skilled workers, including the GVVA single permit and the Highly-Skilled Migrant Worker permit. The immigration process involves filing a standard application for a work permit and providing some background information. More details can be found here.  

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VanHack meetup in Amsterdam in 2018.

Ireland

Overview 

The small island nation of Ireland sits off the western coast of England but is actually part of Europe. Another country with a rich and storied history, Ireland offers a high quality of life, all of the first world amenities available in other larger countries, and highly competitive salaries. Tech jobs are plentiful, and there is a huge demand for skilled software developers

How to Relocate 

Before a foreign national can get permission to work in Ireland, they first need immigration permission. The process involves having an employer file paperwork on behalf of the employee, including a certified copy of a job offer. All of the details can be found here.  

Spain

Overview

A beautiful country spanning from the Mediterranean Sea to the border of France, Spain is far and away one of Europe’s favorite holiday destinations. With year-round sunshine, some of the best beaches anywhere in the world, and a relatively low cost of living for a high quality of life, it’s no wonder that so many software developers are choosing to call Spain home.   

How to Relocate 

The employer needs to initiate the work visa process for those wishing to relocate to Spain. After the employer submits their paperwork on behalf of the employee, the next step involves filing an out-of-country application at a Spanish Embassy. More information is available here. Note that there is a path to working in Spain for freelancers that involves proving financial solvency, along with additional education and background checks.  

The United States of America

Overview

The land of the free, the home of the brave, and the home of Silicon Valley, the USA needs no introduction. The worlds’ leading economic, social, and military super-power, The United States of America is the second-largest country in North America and is always at the epicenter of technological advancement. With the possible exception of Japan, there is no other country with as many cutting-edge, high-paying software development jobs as the United States.  

How to Relocate 

The process of immigrating to The United States for work is tedious and over-complicated. There are numerous pathways to entry, depending on the specific skills and industry of the applicant, each with its own extensive requirements. More information is available here. Generally speaking, having an employer file the paperwork on behalf of the applicant will be the most expeditious way to proceed.  

Australia

Overview

The large island nation of Australia is the only country on Earth considered by many to be a continent. An English-speaking commonwealth country, Australia has some of the best beaches and most diverse ecosystems of wildlife in the world. Australia has a lot to offer experienced software developers, such as a great public healthcare system, heavenly weather year-round, and a booming software sector with an abundance of high-paying jobs.  

How to Relocate 

In order to move to and work in Australia, applicants will need to prove that they have proficiency in English and that their job is in demand, which software developers are. There are different requirements depending on if an applicant is applying for a temporary work visa or a permanent work permit, and more details can be found here.

New Zealand

Overview

Australia’s little brother, New Zealand, is undoubtedly one of the most naturally beautiful countries on Earth. A small island nation, New Zealand is renowned for its overall safety, low levels of crime, very high quality of life, and stunning natural scenery. The tech industry is booming, and software developers from far and wide are making the move to New Zealand in search of a better life.  

How to Relocate 

The process of relocating to New Zealand depends entirely on which country an applicant is coming from. Software developers are in demand, however, which may make the process easier than it would be otherwise. By selecting their country here, those interested will be able to see their options for immigration to New Zealand.   

Portugal

Overview

Last but not least, Portugal is the westernmost and one of the most affordable countries in Europe. Bordering Spain, Portugal offers beautiful weather year-round, mild winters, excellent cuisine, and beaches that rival its neighbors. A small but diverse country Portugal offers great healthcare, a good overall quality of life, and offers excellent pay to software developers, who are in high demand.  

How to Relocate 

Out of all the countries on this list, Portugal may be the hardest to relocate to; this is because Portugal requires that companies post their job openings and make them available to any Portuguese citizens who are qualified before they can hire a foreign national for the role. Once that requirement has been met, the process involves the employer filing the paperwork on an applicant’s behalf. More details are available here.  

Honorable Mentions 

Sweden, France, Switzerland, and Denmark are all Western-European countries that deserve to be mentioned here. Each of these countries is safe, offers a high quality of life, and has an abundance of high-paying jobs for skilled and experienced software developers.  

Where do you want to relocate?

Regardless of where they choose to relocate, one thing remains certain, the demand for skilled software developers globally is at an all-time high, and the trend is sure to continue well into the 21st century and probably beyond.   

Check out over 200 jobs from around the world that sponsor work visa and offer relocation on VanHack.    

See 40 new senior developer profiles every 2 weeks and get notified about upcoming hiring events!

See 40 new senior developer profiles every 2 weeks and get notified about upcoming hiring events!

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