Table of Content
1. Getting Healthcare Abroad
Quite a number of countries that provide free or low-cost universal healthcare only do so for its citizens and permanent residents.
You may or may not receive the same privilege as a temporary resident—this varies from one country to another.
A temporary visa holder may be asked to maintain their own private health insurance, or opt into a partially-subsidized health coverage from the government.
Some countries extend healthcare benefits to temporary visa holders as well if they are active taxpayers.
1.1. Private Health Insurance
Let's explore a few examples. Singapore 🇸🇬 has a national health insurance plan, but it can only be utilized by citizens and permanent residents. Those on temporary visas will have to pay out of pocket, or via a private health insurance.
Similarly, countries like Australia 🇦🇺 and New Zealand 🇳🇿 would require you to be on specific types of health insurance when applying for a temporary visa, since only permanent residents and citizens can access free or subsidized public healthcare. This health insurance can be purchased from local private companies.
1.2. Government Health Insurance
In countries with universal healthcare such as Canada 🇨🇦, Germany 🇩🇪, and several other European countries, citizens and permanent residents can access free or subsidized public healthcare on the same level.
Individuals on temporary visas can also access subsidized public healthcare, but they may have to pay insurance premiums to the government.
For example, in the province of British Columbia in Canada 🇨🇦, international students can access public healthcare like citizens and permanent residents do, but they are required to pay a monthly insurance fee to the government. This fee does not apply to citizens and permanent residents.
2. Getting Education Abroad
Countries like the UK 🇬🇧, Singapore 🇸🇬, and Australia 🇦🇺 offer heavily subsidized education to their citizens and permanent residents, where they only pay a fraction of what international students would have to pay.
As a non-citizen or a non-permanent resident in these countries, you may have to pay for a relatively expensive education by comparison, and you would often not qualify for any local student loans.
However, there are some countries in Europe and Latin America that extend free or low-cost education to international students.
3. Other Government Services
As a temporary visa holder, you will most likely not be able to participate in political activities such as voting.
You might not be able to receive any government funding or loans as well.
Additionally, there are some government-run programs that temporary residents might not qualify for, such as childcare, seniors, pension, and jobseeker programs that are oftentimes only available for citizens and permanent residents.
To put it briefly, as a temporary visa holder:
You're not a citizen.
The government may provide you with some support, but they owe you nothing.
Don't think that once you move to another country, you will be treated the same as everyone else. It happens in some countries, but not always.
More on the Cons of Moving Abroad
The following 6 chapters take on a slight naysayer approach, to counter the notorious social media narrative that moving to another country is always a "cool" thing to do. Moving abroad can be one of the best decisions you can make for yourself... But if you're not careful, it will derail your life.
- Becoming a Second-Class Citizen and Losing Stability Abroad
- Why It's Not Easy Getting a Job Abroad
- Is Dating Abroad Easy? Depends on the Country You’re From
- Growing Your Finances Without Long-Term Stability Abroad
- Getting Healthcare and Education in Another Country
- Moving Abroad vs. Moving to Another Part of Your Country