Looking for a change of scenery or even a new life? Why not get paid to move while you’re at it!
There are several towns and cities across the United States — and internationally — that will pay you to move there. In fact, many state and local governments are cashing in on recent remote work trends by offering paid incentives to anyone willing to relocate.
Remote workers tend to be well-paid professionals like software developers and speech pathologists, and states like Kansas, Alabama, and West Virginia are offering up to $25,000 in incentives that can be used for everything from relocation expenses to daycare. If you’re willing to go international, there are countries like Chile with programs willing to invest up to $80,000 to get your startup established.
It’s up to you to find a best interstate moving companies and negotiate relocation benefits with your employer, but the following deals are worth considering. Here are places that will pay you to move there — from domestic destinations like Indiana and Michigan to international locales like Switzerland.
US Cities and States That Will Pay You To Move There
Whether you’re looking for a change in scenery or want to dive into a new culture, moving to a different US city can help you achieve your goals. From ditching the city life to live in a calmer, rural setting or swapping one metropolis for another, these places will pay you to move there. That way, you can use the extra cash to start a business, revive a sleepy town, or get access to better job opportunities.
- West Virginia
- Greater Lafayette, Indiana
- Owensboro, Kentucky
- Lincoln County, Kansas
- Richmond, Indiana
- Mattoon, Illinois
- Southwest Michigan
- Shoals, Alabama
- Tulsa, Oklahoma
- Hamilton, Ohio
1. West Virginia
When it comes to natural beauty and abundant outdoor recreation options, West Virginia is one of the most underrated states in the country.
West Virginia also has lots of historical attractions and top-notch colleges and universities, and it’s relatively close to large East Coast cities like Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. The Mountaineer State often gets overlooked by professionals on the move, but that’s changing thanks to Ascend West Virginia.
Applications are now being accepted for those willing to move to Morgantown, the Greater Elkins area, to the Greenbrier Valley, and to the state’s Eastern Panhandle. But like all good things, there are strings attached. Applicants must be at least 18 years old and have a full-time remote position with a company headquartered outside West Virginia to qualify for this talent attraction program.
If you meet these requirements and others, you may be eligible for the following incentives:
- Up to $12,000 in cash
- Access to a free co-working space
- Free outdoor recreation activities and discounts on gear rentals
- Acclimation and professional development assistance
2. Greater Lafayette, Indiana
Purdue University is consistently ranked among the top universities in the United States, and its hometown of Lafayette, Indiana is full of idyllic parks, ethnic restaurants, and trendy coffee shops that provide residents with big-city amenities and small-town appeal.
But to make this dynamic community even more vibrant, Purdue is actively recruiting fresh new faces through its Work from Purdue program.
Applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible:
- Be a US citizen at least 18 years old
- Currently live outside Indiana
- Make at least $50,000 per year
- Be a full-time employee or self-employed worker who can move while keeping their current job or clients.
- Able to move to the Greater Lafayette area within six months
Successful applicants may receive a free co-working space membership, access to professional development and networking programs, and a $5,000 relocation stipend that can be used for moving, housing, and childcare expenses.
3. Owensboro, Kentucky
Located about 100 miles southwest of Louisville, Owensboro and its suburbs are home to nearly 120,000 residents. And like other lesser-known cities and towns, Owensboro is pulling out all the stops to attract flexible, productive, and highly motivated workers.
With a relatively low cost of living, good schools, and a high standard of living, Owensboro has a lot going for it, and the city is intent on connecting with workers who meet the following criteria:
- US citizens who are at least 18 years old
- Are a full-time employee or self-employed worker who can move while keeping their current job or clients
- Currently reside outside the state and can relocate to the Owensboro area within six months
- Make at least $60,000 per year
4. Lincoln County, Kansas
From farming and fishing to mountain biking and historical attractions, rural Lincoln County, Kansas is a great choice for active professionals looking to simplify their lives and get the most bang for their hard-earned dollars.
Located just off Interstate 70 in north-central Kansas, Lincoln County is just 160 miles west of Kansas City and is actively recruiting freelance workers and employees looking to make a change. Homeownership is a real possibility in Lincoln County, thanks to affordable closing costs and low down payments. Crime rates are remarkably low, making it a great place to raise a family. Previous perks form the program included free land.
The requirements are similar to those for the other destinations on this list, and eligibility can be determined in these four easy steps:
- Apply by filling out an application
- Get pre-qualified by talking to a knowledgeable program representative
- Confirm eligibility and learn about program incentives and conditions
- Accept an offer and start the move planning process
In addition to Lincoln County, Shawnee County offers additional pay to move programs including Choose Topeka Program, which features a $15,000 stipend to purchase a home.
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5. Richmond, Indiana
Richmond is a city of about 36,000 residents located in east-central Indiana between Dayton, Ohio to the east and Indianapolis to the west.
Surrounded by lakes, rivers, and reservoirs that are magnets for outdoorsmen and women, Richmond is home to a number of popular attractions like a municipal art museum, a civic theater, and even a symphony orchestra. To top it all off, a tangible sense of community pride is hard to miss, and the food and entertainment scenes rival those in much larger cities.
Richmond is currently recruiting remote workers, and in addition to a $5,000 cash incentive, successful applicants may get a free 1-year membership at a local downtown co-working space and professional real estate and relocation assistance.
In addition, they’ll have the option of choosing one of the following:
- Arts Package – includes theater and symphony tickets and an art museum membership
- History Package – includes memberships to three local history museums
- Outdoor Recreation Package – includes memberships to a public golf course and nearby nature preserve
- Fitness Package – includes access to a pool and gym
- Sports Package – includes tickets to college and semi-pro athletic events
6. Mattoon, Illinois
Mattoon, Illinois may be just what the doctor ordered for remote workers determined to trade in the hustle and bustle of city living for the peace, quiet, and a low cost of living.
The city of about 17,000 residents is located in east-central Illinois, between Chicago to the north, Indianapolis to the northeast, and St. Louis to the southwest. To attract new residents, civic organizations, local businesses, and proactive community leaders have put together an attractive incentive package.
The Move to Mattoon program includes the following benefits:
- Up to $5,000 for moving expenses
- More than $2,500 in gift cards from local businesses
- Free membership for one year at a local co-working space
- A free six-month family membership at the local YMCA
- Free storage for six months at a local self-storage facility
- Free internet for six months
To qualify, applicants must currently live more than 100 miles away from Matton, commit to living within city limits for two years, submit to a background check, and be a remote employee (self-employed freelancers aren’t eligible) who makes at least $45,000 per year.
7. Southwest Michigan
Southwest Michigan is just a hop, skip, and jump from Chicago, Indianapolis, and Detroit, but it couldn’t be more different than its big city neighbors. The truth is that it’s famous for its windswept beaches, abundant parks, and outdoor recreation activities. However, Southwest Michigan is also known for good schools, quality healthcare, and top-notch colleges and universities.
Move to Michigan is actively encouraging remote workers across the country to make a move, and they’ve put together a competitive package that includes up to $15,000 that can be put toward the purchase of a new home, plus nearly $5,000 in additional incentives that successful applicants can take advantage of in their first year.
In addition, successful applicants can choose any of the following two benefits:
- Complimentary car service for one year to and from several regional airports
- One-year memberships to a local athletic club and driving range
- A one-year pass for the South Shore Rail
- Complimentary membership for one year at a local co-working space
- Annual passes to three public beaches
8. Shoals, Alabama
Tuscumbia, Florence, Muscle Shoals, and Sheffield (known as “the Shoals”) are located along the Tennessee River in northwest Alabama. Collectively, they’re popular with lovers of history, art, cuisine, live entertainment, and natural beauty.
The Shoals Economic Development Authority’s Remote Shoals Program may provide up to $10,000 in incentives for qualified applicants who make $52,000 or more per year as full-time remote employees or independent contractors.
Remote Shoals distributes benefits in these three installments:
- 25% upfront to help with moving costs
- 25% after residing in the Shoals for six months
- 50% at the end of the first year
9. Tulsa, Oklahoma
Located on the Arkansas river and known for its art deco architecture, Tulsa is a remote workers dream thanks to the Tulsa Remote program.
This incentive program includes:
- $10,000 cash remote worker grant
- free desk space at a coworking space
- other relocation incentives including exclusive events and community perks.
To qualify for the remote employment program in, you’ll need to be able to move to Tulsa in the next 12 months, have remote or self-employment outside the state of Oklahoma, be 18 years old, and eligible to work in the USA. The incentives are open to college graduates
Vermont is home to 650,00 Americans who thrive in an environment packed with outdoor activities. If you love biking, hiking, and skiing, Vermont should be at the top of your relocation list. The Think Vermont program helps subsidize moving costs by offering financial incentives up to $7,500 to make moving easier. Eligibility requirements include having a a remote position out of state or an accepted position with a local employer. The program is currently receiving more applications than they have funding for, but you can still apply to receive a grant as more funds are allocated.
11. Hamilton, Ohio
A quick 20-minute jaunt from Cincinnati, Hamilton is an excellent choice for people who want access to the big city, but prefer a quieter residence nearby. The city is offering $5,000 to pay down student debt for young professionals that make the move to Hamilton. Payments are doled out in monthly installments of $200 over 25 months. If you leave early, you’ll forfeit the rest of the payments.
To qualify, you need to:
- Have student loans of at least $5,000
- Have graduated in the last seven years
- Have a degree in science, technology, engineering, math, or arts
In addition to the US, many countries around the world are using the strategy to bring in new people. You’ve seen the news posts offering houses in Italy for just $1, but there’s usually a catch — you have to make it your primary residence, start a business, or remodel a building. Here are some of the best international places that will pay you to move there.
If you decide to take on these opportunities, you’ll need to get your things there safely. Working with professional movers can make your life easier by handling visas and the logistics of getting your things abroad. Pick from our list of the best international moving companies to make that happen.
Chile is a country looking to build its tech market. They have launched Start-Up Chile to amplify the opportunities for tech workers. If you are a tech entrepreneur, the program offers you $80,000 equity-free, in addition to work visas, training, and office space.
Chile continues to be one of the safest and most economically stable countries in South America. A low cost of living and a diverse geography are two of the attractions for expats. You have your pick of snowy mountains for skiing or sandy beaches on the coastline. Think California without the high cost of living.
This picturesque Swiss village needs more people. That’s why they decided to pay $25,000 to every adult and $10,000 to every child in the town. The only rule is that you must be 45 years or younger and be willing to reside in the town for 10 years.
The beautiful Swiss mountains are the backdrop to your daily life. Keep in mind the village is tiny, so life has a leisurely pace. For some that’s paradise.
Frequently asked questions (faqs)
What companies will pay you to move?
Levels vary greatly, but most companies that transfer employees and relocate new hires offer some form of relocation assistance. It’s always worth asking about relocation benefits before accepting a position or agreeing to a transfer, and it’s up to you to negotiate the best relocation package possible.
Where in the U.S. will pay you to move there?
There are several cities and states that will pay you to move there including West Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Illinois, Michigan, and Alabama.
Can I move to a state with no money?
Many states offer programs to help low-income individuals with relocation costs and logistics. These programs offer housing assistance, stipends, job training, grants, and food subsidies. The exact program details vary from state to state, but you can talk to a social worker to learn more about your options.
What state offers $10,000 to move there?
Oklahoma offers the Tulsa Remote program, which offers remote workers $10,00 towards housing to help them make the move.
What countries will pay you to move there?
Cities and towns from Denmark to Vietnam may pay you to move there if you meet specific requirements.
What other cities and states will pay you to move there?
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of pay to move programs. Other popular cities include Newton, Iowa, northwest Arkansas, and Rochester, New York. Plus, Alaska is another popular state to move to thanks to the permanent fund dividend — a program that pays full-time residents a portion of the state’s mineral revenues.
Will Canada pay you to move there?
It doesn’t look like there are any offers currently on the table for moving to Canada.
Who usually gets the best relocation deals?
College grads, freelancers, and potential homebuyers generally get the best relocation packages.
What are the most common relocation perks?
These programs include perks like student loan payments, low state taxes, on-site housing, and annual memberships to local gyms and coworking spaces. Some programs also include grants for home purchases, tax credits, and welcome packages with goodies from the state.
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