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Working remotely? Get paid for moving to the countryside in these countries

Rural areas have long competed with cities for jobs, talent and investment. But since Covid, remote working means people can work from anywhere.

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The countryside needs you – and many rural places will pay you to relocate there.

For some, the pandemic and the ability to work remotely has made this more possible.

Here are a few examples of paid rural relocation grants.

Relocate to rural Portugal

In 2020, Portugal launched a rural grant scheme called Emprego Interior MAIS (Inland Employment PLUS).

Workers moving to rural areas can apply for up to €4,827 funding. In most Portuguese villages, this would be enough to cover the annual rent on a small house, says the Financial Times. Applicants need to stay for at least a year.

Ireland’s relocation incentives

In Ireland, the government unveiled a plan last year to attract workers to rural towns and villages as part of its Rural Future policy. It includes relocation grants and tax incentives for workers moving to rural areas.

Through a €1 billion Rural Regeneration Fund, the Irish government is also funding the creation of 400 remote working hubs in rural areas with high-speed internet access. These will be created by converting buildings like town halls, theatres and cinemas.

Italy’s call for new rural residents

In southern Italy, the Municipality of Santo Stefano di Sessanio, a mediaeval village with 115 residents, launched a relocation scheme in 2020, including grants of up to €8,000 a year for three years.

The offer included a house for a “symbolic rent” and a non-repayable grant of up to €20,000 for an entrepreneurial start-up.

The municipality wanted to fight the “depopulation and desertification” of rural areas, it said. Of Santo Stefano di Sessanio’s 115 residents, 41 were over 65 and only 13 were under the age of 20, the municipality added.

Get paid to relocate to the US – or Australia

Vermont, a state in the northeastern United States, offers up to $7,500 to cover relocation expenses for workers moving there.

Its schemes include the New Remote Worker Grant, for workers working remotely for an employer from a home office or co-working space in Vermont.

Australia also offers relocation assistance, including up to AUS$6,000 if you relocate to a regional area.

Other places that have offered cash incentives to relocate there include Spain, Greece, Switzerland and Croatia.

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