By: Tamara Molino | CRP, GMS

March 22, 2022

Check Out These Countries That Offer Relocation Incentives

Countless companies are continuing to allow their teams to work remotely. These changes have primarily been due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting shift in corporate culture. Working remotely from home has become a new normal for numerous industries. It has gotten to the point where “home” can be somewhere new almost every year. Employees are relocating to where they are most comfortable for their personal life as they no longer need to report to a physical office on a daily basis. Because of this, many cities and provinces are seeing an influx of new workers (and new taxpayers) as their populations grow.

What Are Zoom Towns?

A Zoom Town can be loosely defined as a town or province seeing an increase in population due to remote employees opting to move in. The phrase was coined from the broadly popular corporate movement to allow people to work remotely during the pandemic and the meteoric rise of “Zoom” as the virtual meeting platform of choice. 

Due to this phenomenon, various local and regional governments around the globe are getting creative in their competition for new wage earners. It has gotten to the point where these destinations are offering relocation incentives to remote workers considering a move within their borders. Many of these towns are looking to revitalize and compete by growing their population and gaining more working professionals. 

Now that people are accustomed to working remotely, many are looking into international relocation. There are Zoom Towns in other countries, some offering lucrative relocation incentives. If you’re looking to relocate internationally within the next year, here are some of the fastest-growing Zoom Towns abroad:

Switzerland

The village of Alibnen in the mountains of Switzerland is offering a rich relocation incentive. The town will shell out USD 25,200 to newcomers. On top of that, the Swiss government will give USD 10,000 per child that relocates with the family. Of course, there is some fine print for this great incentive. First off, applicants have to be under the age of 45. The property purchased in Alibnen has to be a permanent home, not a secondary residence. Also, the property has to hold a minimum value of 200,000 francs (about USD 201,600).

Italy

When many people think about Italy, they think about gorgeous landscapes and delicious food. This is why it is a popular destination for remote workers researching international relocation destinations. If you are considering Italy, it is worth looking at the town of Candela. This small town is offering grants of €800 euros per person and up to €2,000 for couples with children. Applicants of the grant can also take advantage of tax breaks. The only major requirement for this program is that the relocating workers have to live in Candela full-time, rent a house, and have a job with a minimum yearly salary of €7,500.

Greece

Another example of a creative incentive program is the Greek island of Antikythera. The program is closed as of the time of this article, but the island of Antikythera was trying hard to boost and revitalize it’s population number of 50 residents by offering relocation incentives. Those willing to relocate there could apply to receive housing, land, and an allowance of 500 euros a month for the three years from the Greek Orthodox Church, approximately USD 20,000 in incentives. 

Fortunately, Antikythera’s incentives worked! The island has seen an influx of young families and is now home to a climate research center.

Croatia

Legrad is a small town in northern Croatia that is looking to increase its population of just over 2,000 residents. In doing so, anyone looking to relocate to Legrad can bid on a house starting at just $0.16 (1 kuna). While an entire home for only 16 cents sounds great, there is a drawback. There are a limited number of homes in the town that can be purchased at the incentive price. However, there is good news – the mayor of Legrad pledged up to $3,979 (25,000 kuna) towards any refurbishments that newcomers would like to make to their houses. 

GMS Can Help with International Relocation

Global Mobility Solutions (GMS) is the industry leader in the corporate mobility market. Since 1987 we have been helping companies relocate their employees both domestically and internationally. Our relocation-specialized team stays up-to-date on all the government-provided relocation incentives offered in various cities, states/provinces, and countries. 

Our team also can help with any visa and immigration questions you may have when it comes to moving an employee to a new destination. You can contact us today with any questions or book a free consultation with one of our experienced consultants who can provide you with a courtesy review of your current relocation program and provide feedback on how to maintain a competitive talent mobility program.

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Vice President, Global Services Tammy is responsible for GMS’ regional operations teams in North and Latin America, EMEA, and APAC. Tammy provides over 14 years of leadership experience in the areas of international assignment management, global network management, global consulting and business development. Her experience in global mobility includes new client implementations, policy and compliance development, global compensation and billing, vendor management, case management, and real estate home sale/purchase programs. Tammy travels extensively and studied abroad in Switzerland, Chile, Peru, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

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