Some people seek to relocate to other countries to escape harsh living conditions in their country e.g jobseekers. Some others relocate to other countries to utilize the available human and economic resources e.g. business owners. Whether as a way of elevating your status, carrying on with a progressive career, or for leisure, you’ll find this list of best countries to live and work in Asia helpful.
Asia holds great potentials for expats; however, discovering the best location that fits your needs is as important as your reason for relocating. It’s better you didn’t relocate than to relocate to an environment that does not suit your career or business expectations. This article will help you make the right decision.
- The best countries to live and work in Asia was compiled in no particular order.
- Factors like happiness level, crime rate, ease of getting along with the country’s culture, and ease of obtaining a visa were put into consideration when compiling this list.
- You may wonder why some countries with low minimum wage appear on this list of best countries to live and work in Asia. But, be rest assured that they made the list because of other important factors that are not just tied to financial returns.
Best Countries to Live and Work in Asia
China is one of the most powerful countries in the world with a population of over 1.3 billion people. China has many industrial cities and is one of the best economies in the world.
The Asian giant has one of the largest growing economies, helping it to rank low on unemployment numbers. More so, China’s healthcare services are relatively affordable.
- Monthly Cost of Living: $380 – $1,000
- Top Cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou
- Monthly Minimum Wage: $1,071 – $1,225
Cons: China’s cultural heritage may seem difficult to cope with at first especially for people from western countries or with strong western influence.
The best way to get a visa into China is either through sponsorship or study. You’ll need to secure a job in China first then the company can help you process your visa on sponsorship. The second best way to relocate on a work basis is to relocate to work as an English-Teacher.
2) South Korea
South Korea is easily a choice location for expats because of the opportunities available to expats, and the ease of getting a visa.
South Korea records a higher employment rate in Asia for foreigners who want to work as English Language Teachers.
- Monthly Cost of Living: $590 – $600 Single expat, $1,000 – $2,900 (Family of 4)
- Top Cities: Seoul, Busan, Incheon, Gyeongju, Jinhae, Daegu
- Monthly Minimum Wage: $1, 482
Getting a visa is relatively easy for South Korea especially if you want to work as an English Teacher under Korea’s “E2” visa. The government of South Korea is also known for investing heavily in English Education.
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Cambodia is located in southeast Asia and records a low cost of living. Foreigners can find jobs with NGOs, multi-national companies or as English teachers. The minimum wage in the country may seem small but if you could make up for it with freelance jobs, then Cambodia is a country with an accommodating culture.
The share of the labour force in Cambodia is 0.68%. The International Labour Organization (ILO) records that the reason for the low unemployment rate is because a major part of the workforce (80%) are in the informal sector. This is an opportunity for foreign skilled labour to tap into.
- Monthly Cost of Living: $585 – $600 Single expat, $1,000 – $2,091 (Family of 4)
- Top Cities: Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Battambang
- Monthly Minimum Wage: $192
Cons: Low minimum wage.
Visa: Relocation to Cambodia is easier for foreigner through a long term “business” visa. Because the country lacks some of the comforts of many western states, it’s open to investment and business.
Malaysia is the “Asian home away from home” for citizens of English speaking nations. Nonetheless, it doesn’t mean that the opportunities are not even for people from non-English speaking countries. It only means that the country’s culture is easy to adopt for English speakers.
Located in south-east Asia, with many supermarkets and shopping malls, Malaysia has also become a centre of attraction for high real estate activities just like Hong Kong.
2020 employment and unemployment rate reports put Malaysia at 3.38% which equates that the population is experiencing close to full employment.
Although the country is full of opportunities, it is, however, difficult, and almost impossible to just fly to Malaysia to start a career. As a professional with years of experience on your side, you should work your employment before leaving for Malaysia.
Some of the booming industries in Malaysia; Electrical and Electronics, Construction, Automotive, Manufacturing, Banking and Finance, Food, Media, Tourism.
- Monthly Cost of Living: $$ 467 (single), $1,654 (family of 4)
- Top Cities: Kuala Lumpur, Malacca, Ipoh, George Town, Johor Bahru
- Monthly Minimum Wage: $283 – $394
According to Scandasia, Singapore is ranked the 11th best country in the world to live and work in. With a happiness score of 6.267, research also suggests that most immigrants move to Singapore because of the promise of safety and quality healthcare.
Jobs in high demand in Singapore; I.T (AI Specialist, AI Developer, AI Engineer), Digital Marketer, Robotics Engineer, Data Scientist, Data Engineer, Backend Developer.
- Cost of Living: $ 575 (single), $3,200 (family of 4)
- Top Cities: Singapore, Hougang, Tampines, Pasir Ris, Yishun, Choa Chu Kang
- Minimum Wage: Singapore has no minimum wage law. However, cleaners and guards in Singapore earn as much as $1,000 and $1,100 respectively.
- High cost of living.
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It is commonly said that many start-ups go to Vietnam to bootstrap their business and get the most of their dollar.
As a foreigner, job opportunities may not be easy to come by in Vietnam, though it is not entirely impossible to find. But the opportunities are huge for business people who wish to utilize the Vietnam community to grow their business.
- Monthly Cost of Living: $700 – $1,400
- Top Cities: Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, Nha Trang, Hou An, Da Nang, Hue
- Monthly Minimum Wage: $180 – $325
- Low wage is an issue when you want to travel to Vietnam. It may be far lower than what you earn in your country, but the low cost of living covers it. And if you do have another source of income outside the country, then you’re in luck.
- Congestion and traffic in major cities.
The best way to get a visa is through a work visa. Some companies may promise a work visa upon arrival but you should ensure by all means that you obtain the visa before leaving your country.
Worthy Inclusion: Best Countries to Live and Work in Asia
When deciding which country to live and work in Asia, the cost of living and minimum wage shouldn’t be the only things you’ll consider.
Some people will pick a country with security and minimum wage over a country with higher minimum wage and pollution.
Access to food, education, health care standard, employment rate, and life expectancy should also be put into consideration.