Where IT specialists live well. Experts on where IT specialists relocate to and where they are willing to accept them

The words IT and relocation are increasingly seen together, especially in recent times. We learned which countries have become a new home for many IT professionals in 2022, where they issue a special IT visa, what you need to consider when relocating, and why some countries are more suitable for relocation than others. All this in a big report .

Over the past six months, IT emigration has reached unprecedented proportions. About 40,000 professionals in this field left Russia in February-May alone . At the same time, it is worth separating the directions for moving, which are the most popular at the moment, and the directions where the conditions for life and work of IT specialists are most comfortable and suitable. And about that, and about the other side of the medal of relocation of IT specialists - in our large material. 



  • Part I. Which areas for relocation are the most popular among IT specialists in 2022.
  • Part II. In which countries are the most suitable conditions for the life and work of IT specialists.
  • Part III. The experience of an IT-schnitsa who has been living in Germany for 3 years.

“In the spring and early summer, there were traffic jams at the migration authorities”

Which countries are most often chosen by IT professionals for relocation in 2022? And why? All the details on this account were shared with us by Varvara Shatova, co-head of international relocations at Intermark Relocation. 

— In the spring and early summer, traffic jams arose in the migration authorities due to the large number of relocated people: in March-April, we observed the peak moment of processing files from Ukrainian citizens, followed by Russians and Belarusians .

Not without innovations in connection with the tense situation in the world. Some European countries - for example, the Czech Republic - have generally stopped accepting new applications from Russians for obtaining a residence permit and permanent residence, and Spain has suspended a number of programs, including a start-up visa with application within the country. However, recently we have seen an improvement in the situation: Germany has facilitated visa programs, Portugal has “unfrozen” immigration processes, and in Spain, many specialists are waiting for a nomad visa .

At the same time, there are a lot of demanded directions for relocation. The most popular, according to our observations, are Georgia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Serbia, UAE, Israel, Cyprus. But the list of countries is constantly changing. Initially, a fairly large number of IT specialists left for Uzbekistan, and Montenegro also does not lose its popularity due to its attractive climate, location in Europe and the simple process of opening an IP. 

In 2021-2022, dozens of countries have launched a Digital Nomad visa program, i.e. digital nomad visas. The undeniable advantage of such a visa is the ability to stay in the country for up to 1 year, extend the visa for the next year, and in some cases relocate your family. And in Portugal, this is also a direct way to obtaining permanent residence and a passport. 

In addition, many IT professionals have begun to look at Asia and Latin America - for example, Indonesia is developing a new visa for digital nomads, which will be issued for a period of five years. Therefore, of course, this direction will also become popular in the future.

Things to think about before relocating 

— There are a huge number of reasons why IT specialists choose these countries for moving. Among them, the opportunity to work remotely, expanding their capabilities, horizons and social circle, mobile and dynamic lifestyle. IT companies, on the other hand, choose these locations as safe jurisdictions from which they can conclude international agreements.

I note that all the countries listed above are also quite “budget” locations. That is, if you need to relocate only a few top managers, Dubai may well be suitable, but when it comes to an extensive team with families, it is worth considering: where these families can live at the same (or even better) level, where they will work efficiently and be satisfied with their after-tax compensation, where they will be satisfied with the standard of living.

From the company’s point of view, when transferring employees, it is worth paying attention to such nuances: how much the employees’ salaries will have to be indexed, what compensations to include in the repackage and how much all this will cost in the end, etc. 

Reasons for moving 

- The list of requirements in each country will be different. We can highlight several common grounds for the digital nomad visa type and its counterparts:

  • citizenship of a third country;
  • the presence of a home contract (in the country where the foreigner is moving from) and confirmation of the remote work format;
  • existence of a long-term lease agreement;
  • minimum confirmed stable income;
  • medical insurance;
  • certificate of good conduct.

And if you relocate together with the employer, the basic requirements will be different: 

  • the basis of everything is a work contract;
  • applicable form of registration at the place of residence in the country;
  • insurance;
  • often meeting the minimum wage of the country of relocation;
  • often confirmation of qualification;
  • for visa countries - visa and work permit (not EAEU).

Relocation terms

— It is difficult to say how long the process of relocation of IT specialists will take — it all depends on the country.

Registration of a company in Georgia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Serbia, Turkey and Cyprus is very fast and can take just a few days. Also in these countries there is an option to register a company by proxy. As for opening an account, now it is a complex and not fixed process in time.

The fastest and most realistic scenario for the relocation of employees is 1-1.5 months (taking into account the closure of all domestic issues). For Serbia, Turkey and Cyprus, please add 2+ months.

Universal set of steps for relocation

— For concretization, we will proceed from the fact that we are entering the country on a digital nomad visa.

The general checklist of steps will be as follows:

  1. Find out if your profession belongs to the list of "digital nomads". In this list, for example, there are categories such as accounting, marketing, creating online courses, consulting and others.
  2. Determine the source of income that will give you the opportunity to live and work remotely in the selected country.
  3. Select several priority options by country of deployment.
  4. Think over a number of important everyday issues: informing the relevant authorities in the current place of residence (tax, housing and communal services) about a long departure, banking issues, buying a local SIM card, issuing a medical policy, the availability of the Internet and WiFi, etc.
  5. Make a detailed plan with deadlines for preparatory steps in the current country and in the country of deployment. Allow additional time for force majeure factors.

Nuances to be prepared for

— The nuances in the process of IT emigration can be different, since the requirements for documents for issuing entry visas and the timing of their consideration are constantly changing; very flexible tax legislation and migration aspects, conditions for opening bank accounts, family transportation; the list of countries where it is possible to travel and where entry is complicated is constantly updated. 

In summary, we must be prepared for new requirements and promptly look for alternative solutions.

“No country promises to make someone rich. If there are such illusions, then you will be disappointed.”

Now let's move on to the areas that are most suitable for relocation of IT specialists at the moment. Yulia Medvedeva, an expert on emigration, the founder of the Emigrantista project - conscious emigration, helped us figure this out.

The first direction that should immediately be indicated is, of course, Germany. Firstly, because it is a fairly large IT hub in Europe. In addition, Germany is different in that in addition to visas for highly skilled workers and for job search, they have separate, special visas for IT specialists. The country has an accelerated procedure for obtaining this visa and then it can be exchanged for a residence permit. Also, such a visa provides very good conditions for moving: there is a lower salary bar than under the Blue Card, and when moving, you do not need to take the German language. In general, the main requirement is to have a work contract with a German employer.

The second direction that I can mention is the Netherlands. There are no separate IT visas in this European country, however, there are visas for highly qualified workers, and if the salary level matches, you can also get a Blue Card. 

The Netherlands has rather high wage requirements, as it is an expensive country and has a high standard of living: in the case of a visa for a highly qualified specialist, the minimum bar is about 2.5 thousand euros, for a Blue Card - more than 4 thousand euros. This is the salary level that should be specified in the employment contract. 

The third direction I would call New Zealand. It may not sound very mainstream, but New Zealand was very popular among Russian-speaking IT people some time ago. Then its popularity declined, but this country was still a very good place to move. 

Firstly, New Zealand provides a lot of opportunities for finding work, in particular due to the fact that a huge number of interesting start-ups are based here. 

Secondly, getting a visa as an IT specialist to New Zealand is quite realistic, albeit a little more difficult than, for example, to Germany. Moreover, it will immediately be a long-term visa, which assumes that you will stay to live in New Zealand. 

You can also try to get an equivalent of a talent visa in New Zealand, without a specific job offer. That is, get an immigrant visa that allows you to enter, stay in the country and look for work already in place. But for this you need to have a high level of education, a good specialty in demand and a fairly long work experience - and all this will need to be confirmed. 

Relocation terms 

— You can move to Germany and the Netherlands very quickly — within a few months from the moment you receive a job offer. The main thing is to correspond to the title of a highly qualified specialist: to have a higher education in your specialty, to have work experience in this field for at least 2 years (if you have more experience, excellent, this is your plus). The process of relocation to New Zealand will take longer, especially if you intend to apply for a similar talent visa. Therefore, in this case, I can not talk about any exact dates.

Universal set of steps for relocation

— We can offer the following checklist if you are planning to move to Germany, the Netherlands, or another European country for work:

  • you put your resume in order;
  • you organize information on your LinkedIn;
  • you begin to actively respond to vacancies and look at the feedback. In line with this, change something in your resume, improve your LinkedIn profile, write new cover letters, etc.;
  • you receive several invitations to an interview, go through some of them and choose the best job offer;
  • from this point on, your employer is already taking key steps. He submits an application to the migration service, after which they contact you from there and ask for the minimum documents from the “passport-profile-photo” series; 
  • you bring all this to the consulate of the country in which you now live, wait for some time, and they put a D visa in your passport. Then you enter with this visa into the territory of the country in which you will live and work, and exchange, rudely speaking, this visa for a residence permit. The first residence permit can be given to you for a year, two, or three - it depends on which immigration program you entered this country under. 

Nuances to be prepared for

- You may encounter various subtleties in the following areas:

  • local language. Since the IT sector speaks English, you will only need to know this language to work in many countries. But at the same time, if this is not an English-speaking country, most likely, after a while you will begin to feel uncomfortable. You need to understand that you will not feel completely at home until you speak the local language. 
  • Money. You need to be prepared for the fact that you will need to pay several months in advance for your first apartment, plus leave a fairly large deposit. In addition, at first you will have a lot of expenses for paperwork, transferring invoices to your name, etc. It is better to prepare this money in advance. Here is an approximate budget that it is desirable to have for a comfortable move: about 10 thousand euros for one person, plus another 5 thousand for a second adult, if you are moving to another country with a child, lay down another 3 thousand euros. 
  • Standard of living. You will most likely feel a decline in your standard of living in the first year after you move. Firstly, the financial aspect (those very expenses) will unsettle you a little and you will need some time to recover. Secondly, it will be difficult morally, which, of course, will also affect the quality of your life. This does not mean that you made a mistake, or that you chose the wrong country - it's just such a period that you will need to go through. Hard times will definitely end, and everything will be fine. 
  • Moving with family. If you are moving not alone, but with your family, then most likely you need to think about what your loved ones will do. Because if you do not decide on this in advance, it will increase the migration crisis of adaptation many times over and affect your overall well-being. 

Relocation bonuses

— It should be kept in mind that no country gives any super-bonuses and does not promise to make someone rich. If there are such illusions, then you will be disappointed. 

But, if you move for work, you get all the social benefits that locals get. That is, you receive all social support, some benefits, free medical insurance. Most likely, you will have a pension, but it depends on how long you work in this country. Well, actually, subscriptions, education for children, etc. - you will also have all this exactly to the extent that all the inhabitants of this country have in general. 

“When looking for housing, I advise you to write according to the maximum number of ads - far from all answer”

Here is what software engineer Katerina told us about her personal experience of moving :

— I moved to German Stuttgart from Ukraine in 2019. I chose Germany because it has always been famous for its standard of living and safety, and for a programmer it is also the prospect of working with such giants as Porsche, Mercedes Benz and Bosch.

My relocation process consisted of the following steps: job search - interview - 2 weeks internship - getting a work contract - submitting documents to the embassy - waiting for a visa / looking for housing in Germany - obtaining a work visa - moving to Germany. I came here already with a work visa, making it back in Ukraine. My employer during that period fully accompanied me in matters of bureaucracy and contacted the embassy.

Since apartments in Germany are rented empty, almost all furniture and appliances had to be bought from scratch. I brought something from Ukraine, I bought something else here. If you take into account the first installment for renting an apartment (for 3 months) plus cosmetic repairs, the move cost me about €5,000.

I searched for the first apartment through sites such as Ebay Kleinanzeigen, Immobilien DE. Difficulties were at the very beginning due to the fact that I did not yet have a German card or a credit history in Germany. I found my apartment in about three months. When looking for housing, I advise you to write according to the maximum number of ads, since out of 100 ads only 20 will answer you.

As for expenses, I spend 650€ monthly on housing (I rent in half with a partner). If you take into account all the expenses, taxes, trips to restaurants, gyms and shopping for the soul, I spend about 1500 € per month.

In general, I settled in a new country well. I like the local mentality, I made friends pretty quickly and I don't regret my decision. I recommend IT specialists moving to Germany not to be afraid of moving and carefully calculate the budget.