What Are The Push Pull Factors In Emigrating?

With the overall cost of living within the UK on the increase – does it really come as a surprise that recent surveys have concluded that 56% of expatriates say that they have no intention of ‘going home’?

People tend to migrate either for economic, social, political or environmental reasons – usually to find work, a better standard of living for themselves and their family, or to escape corruption or a natural disaster within their home country.

For UK residents, moving abroad to work has become more common within the working population. Many businesses are international companies operating in a number of countries. A number of graduates, who are offered their first job on a grad-scheme, curricular include a placement abroad. This nurtures a sense of adventure and often even the knowledge of a better climate is enough to entice people to move and work abroad.

Economically growing countries, such as Dubai in the Middle East, rely on well-educated experienced expatriates coming into their country to help develop businesses in areas that the host country has not yet established. To enable the host country to entice and recruit the exact workforce needed they offer expatriate workers large benefit packages; these packages are extended beyond the employee to include spouse and family.

A recent article stated that pull factors for moving abroad included:-

  • 56% of expats move abroad in search of a new adventure
  • 40% of expats were looking for a better work/life balance
  • 37% of expats moved for better weather
  • 17% of expats moved abroad for a wider range of career opportunities
  • 16% of expats moved so as to have access to better healthcare
  • 32% of expats move because they always wanted to live in that area of the world


Pull factors for an employee looking to move from the UK abroad to work often include a greater salary than a ‘like for like’ role in the UK, often a relocation package, an allowance for a house, car, travel for themselves and their family as well as access to medical and healthcare benefits include private medical insurance, dental insurance and group risk. This can be supported by the development of technology, meaning that you can easily and cost effectively, keep in touch with friends and relatives in the UK through mobile phones and webcams as well as social media.

Economically developing countries often build expat compounds. Within these secure gated communities Expats can experience and live an enviable, luxurious and modern lifestyle. International schools have been established providing a sound level of education where children of International parents of a similar background can be together. The expat style communities have proved to be a success in attracting and keeping UK citizens who have chosen to move abroad easing the feeling of being isolated. 22% of expats have admitted to finding it difficult to settle, build a social life and understand local customs, partly due to developing countries being ‘un-westernised’ having different historical traditions, practised religious beliefs and ethical views as well as language barriers. There can often be a divide between ‘locals’ and expatriates.

Tom Wilkinson, managing director at AXA PPP International, said employers keen to retain talent should take note that a large proportion of employees are moving abroad to achieve a better work/life balance.

“Those choosing to move abroad, however, need to go in with their eyes open, taking into account that there will be a customisation process where they may encounter issues and struggle with the language, housing, their finances or perhaps even loneliness,” he added. (www.healthinsurancedaily.com/healthinsurance)

The below table briefly explains the state healthcare offered by each country. However from research carried out; when looking to move abroad often a private medical insurance policy can be a necessity in giving you access to the right treatment in a difficult time.

Country Healthcare Offered
Mexico The Instituto Mexicano de Seguro Social – available to all Mexican nationals and expatriates who hold permits and jobs.

A % of annual salary is put towards this

Retired and self-employed can opt-in

Most cities have a hospital

Private care is one of the most affordable in the west

Most doctors train to a high standard in the USA

Italy Servizio Sanitario Nazionale – provides free or subsidised care to all who pay social security ( & dependants.)
Once an expatriate has an Italian Identity Card they are available to request a Health Care. This is only for permanent residents.
Temporary residents will need to seek their own PMI.
Singapore The state runs a two tier system called Medisave.
Every working individual is bound by law to contribute a proportion of their salary to this fund, including self-employed. This is exempt from tax.
Most hospitals are state fun with 29 state versus 14 independent.
UAE Healthcare is only available to Emirati citizens. Expats must speak a healthcare from the UAE’s Ministry of Health entitling you to care.
Emergency care will always be given regardless of nationality. However expats without PMI can be turned away from public facilities. PMI is gradually becoming compulsory for expats.
China and Hong Kong China does not offer a state-funded healthcare system. They offer a service that only covers half the population. The deficit is made up of patients out of their own pocket or health insurers. Most citerzens of China and Hong Kong have PMI.


South Africa Healthcare is split between private and public. The public sector is under resources whereas the private sector is fully equipped. Most expats have PMI.


Europe Healthcare differs depending on where you live. UK expats in EEA and Switzerland states can expect their healthcare costs to be covered by HM Treasury however if you retire before the age of 65 you cannot claim this benefit and therefore must have PMI for access to hospitals.
Your European Health Insurance Card entitles you to state healthcare – expiates cannot claim these fees back.


Are you moving abroad – either for work or to retire? Ensure you will always have access to the best available medical treatment where ever you are – speak to one of the team at BD Global Medical today on +44 (0)203 356 9782