Postelection destinations for disgruntled Americans | US presidential elections 2016: What do I need to know? | DW | 08.10.2016
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US elections 2016

Postelection destinations for disgruntled Americans

Polls suggest that most Americans won't get the president they want this year. It's a big world if they decide to give up on their homeland.

The national myth goes that immigrants and malcontents built the United States, which perhaps explains Americans' quadrennial proclamations of their preparedness to bolt should their candidate not win the presidency. The numbers don't necessarily bear this out, though. Despite all the promises, there's no real year-on-year change in US emigration to Canada, for example, following presidential elections. Still, the 2016 campaign has proved more polarizing than most, and plenty of Americans have promised that they're outta here should Trump or Clinton win. Here are a few places they might go.

Australien Melbourne Hafen (picture-alliance/robertharding/J. Schlenker)

Daily direct flights connect Los Angeles to Melbourne


Oceania's largest island fills its domestic skills gap through a points system that privileges highly trained workers such as barristers, bricklayers and, of course, brain surgeons.

What Americans need to live there: Skills that Australia is looking for. Otherwise, mixed- and same-gender marriages, betrothals and de facto partnerships are recognized for Americans lucky enough to have an Australian love in their lives.

What Trump supporters will like: Naturally big and beautiful, the Pacific Ocean has proved an effective border wall for Australia, which uses the world's largest body of water to keep out people who have internationally recognized claims to asylum.

What Clinton supporters will like: Even Australia's right-wing regimes run left of the US Democrats on domestic policy. Gun control? Following a mass shooting in 1996, the federal government bought back or confiscated more than a million firearms nationwide, leading to a gun murder rate of 0.15 per 100,000 population - compared with 3.4 per 100,000 population in the United States. Publicly funded universal health care? Since 1984.

Panama Trump Ocean Club in Panama-Stadt (Getty Images/AFP/R. Arangua)

A licensing agreement allows this Panama City building to bear the Trump name


The US military's 1989 removal of CIA-installed dictator Manuel Noriega aside, Panamanian leaders have been mostly cozy with their counterparts up north for well over a century. The United States supported the Latin American linchpin's independence from Colombia in 1903 - and gained sovereign rights to its forthcoming eponymous canal in the process.

What Americans need to live there: A modest savings will support a higher standard of living in Panama than it would in most US states. A monthly income of just $1,000 (900 euros) - say, from Social Security or anything else relatively legitimate - is good enough for a pensioner's visa, whatever one's age.

What Trump supporters will like: The mostly Spanish-speaking population aside, Panama is a lot like being in the United States. The dollar is accepted as legal tender, and direct flights leave Panama City daily for destinations like Dallas, deep in the heart of Trump-friendly Texas. Plus, as a haven for shell companies, Panama offers myriad ways to dodge US income taxes. In the first presidential debate, the Republican candidate said evading such collective contributions "makes me smart."

What Clinton supporters will like: Avoiding taxation is not necessarily partisan, and US media report that a number of Clinton allies used the country to offshore their wealth, as revealed in the Panama Papers this spring. The massive leak even found that Clinton's senatorial campaign finance manager was connected to a Panamanian bank account that could legally have hidden wealth from the IRS, the US tax agency.

Artikelbild Seychellen (Fotolia/Unclesam)

There are worse places to sit out a presidential term or two than Seychelles


With year-round temperatures hovering around 30 degrees Celsius (85 F), Africa's least-populated nation is a pleasant spot to ride out the next four to eight years on nearly unspoiled beaches.

What Americans need to live there: Twenty thousand Seychelles rupees (1,350 euros/$1,500) in the bank, about double that for the application fee and the ability to make a "special contribution to the economic, social or cultural life of Seychelles."

What Trump supporters will like: An investment hub with thriving tourism, the 115-island archipelago is an ideal place for soaking up sun and daydreaming about installing an Indian Ocean version of Atlantic City - and then having a swim instead.

What Clinton supporters will like: Inches south of the Equator and vulnerable to global warming and extreme weather patterns, Seychelles is so serious about fighting climate change that it has assigned a permanent ambassador to the task. It's one place where they'll never have to hear a debate about the benefits of carbon emissions.

Singapur Yachthafen (Getty Images/AFP/R. Rahman)

Singapore is pricey, but it's very, very clean


The Southeast Asian city-state is a multilingual economic powerhouse that sucks up labor from around the region and across the world.

What Americans need to live there: Short of having an acceptance letter from a university or a partner, parent or child in Singapore, well, it's tough. After years of employers looking abroad to solve Singapore's labor shortage, the "Manpower" Ministry recently instituted new rules to make the hiring of foreigners more difficult. But 50,000 Singapore dollars (32,700 euros/$36,500) and a solid business plan are a good start.

What Trump supporters will like: "I am the law-and-order candidate," the nominee told the Republican convention in July. Supporters who took Trump at his word will really appreciate Singapore, a tightly run technocracy where order is the law and laws are written to favor businesses. This is the country, after all, where an American 18-year-old was caned after being accused of spray-painting on cars - the US president at the time was Bill Clinton.

What Clinton supporters will like: A history of good relations - at the Clinton administration's request, the teen was whacked four times with the cane rather than the six he was sentenced to. And, as Obama's secretary of state, Hillary Clinton helped get Singapore to sign on to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact (though she's less into that now). 

Schottland Trump International Golf Links (Getty Images/J.-J. Mitchell)

Trump himself has close ties to the UK

United Kingdom

Prime Minister Theresa May intends to begin Brexit talks next spring, which will be the next step in fully withdrawing the most aloof EU member state from the bloc and, some Brits hope, reinvigorating the UK's special relationship with the US.

What Americans need to live there: Money. Even with its pound diminished by the Brexit vote, the UK is expensive. Annual overseas tuition starts at 15,000 pounds (17,000 euros/$19,000). Foreigners who wish to reside with their UK citizen partners of the same sex or another one need to pair up with someone who pulls in at least 18,600 pounds. 

What Trump supporters will like: Should they naturalize, they'll be able to vote for the UK Independence Party to keep further immigrants out. Purely superficially, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson's mussy blond mop compares favorably with the Donald's own do. A Trump-branded golf course is within the UK's borders, in Balmedie - but supporters may have to get their 18 holes in soon: There's a chance that Scotland could secede to rejoin the EU.

What Clinton supporters will like: The National Health Service, gun laws that have reduced firearms murders to one-thirtieth of the US's total, and a ready supply of affordably priced and appropriately spiced curry - because everyone likes that.


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