Want to live in a happy country? Know all about migrating to world’s top 3 happiest countries | World News - Hindustan Times

Want to live in a happy country? Know all about migrating to world’s top 3 happiest countries

Mar 22, 2024 02:51 PM IST

Finland, Denmark & Iceland are the world’s top 3 happiest countries.

The annual World Happiness Report is out and Finland ranked No. 1 on the overall list of the world’s happiest countries for the seventh year in a row. The top 10 in the latest report are: Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Israel, The Netherlands, Norway, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Australia. India, on the other hand, ranked 126 out of the 143 countries listed.

Migrate to happiest countries: Finland, Denmark, Iceland(Pixabay)
Migrate to happiest countries: Finland, Denmark, Iceland(Pixabay)

Wish you could live in a happy country? Here’s all that you need to know about migrating to the world’s top 3 happiest countries: Finland, Denmark & Iceland.

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If you want to stay in Finland for more than 90 days, you’ll need a residence permit. There are several different residence permits available and which one you should apply for depends on the reason for your move to Finland.

Spouse or family already in Finland: You may apply for a residence permit on the basis of family ties if your family member lives in Finland or if you are applying for a residence permit at the same time with your family member.

Student: If your studies will take more than 90 days, you should apply for a residence permit. Finnish missions (embassies or consulates) make independent decisions on issuing visas.

Researcher: You may qualify if you are a researcher.

• Hold a doctoral degree, a master’s degree or a bachelor’s degree

• You have signed an agreement on research activity (a hosting agreement) with a research organisation.

Basis of Employment: The right residence permit application depends on, among other things, what type of work you will do, what type of education you have and how much your salary will be.For some jobs, you do not need a residence permit at all.

Entrepreneur: An entrepreneur’s residence permit depends on the form of business. You are a self-employed person if you pursue a trade or profession in your own name (in other words, a ‘person pursuing a trade’) or if you are comparable to such a person because of your corporate responsibility.

Start-up entrepreneur: You will need a positive Eligibility Statement from Business Finland before you apply. Without a positive Eligibility Statement, this permit cannot be granted.


Fast Track Scheme: Denmark Fast Track Scheme is an Immigration Programme designed for certified businesses to hire highly skilled international migrants who belong to countries other than those that are included in European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. The residence and work permit visa granted through the Fast Track Scheme is issued for a maximum period of 4 years. The scheme includes public and private enterprises, along with academic institutions which primarily include Universities.

Pay Limit Scheme: The applicant should have a job offer from a Danish employer in order to apply for the work and residence visa under the Pay Limit Scheme. Applicants applying for residence and work visas under this scheme are not required to have any specific educational background or professional work experience.

Positive List Scheme: The positive list contains a list of occupations that have been recognised to have a shortage of skilled individuals and therefore are required to hire international skilled workers in order to fill the gap. Therefore, an applicant holding a job offer from the Positive List would be eligible to apply for Immigration to Denmark using the Positive List Scheme.

Residence Permit: Students and Researchers who do not belong to a Nordic region or from the EU or EEA or Switzerland would require a Danish Residence Permit to conduct research and study in Denmark. The permit can be applied for by the Danish Immigration Service before landing in Denmark.

Special Individual Qualifications: Designed for applicants who have been offered a job so closely related to them that only they can fulfil its requirements. The occupation fields listed below are recognised to apply under the Special Individual Qualification Scheme:

1. Performers or artists, such as musicians, singers and conductors.

2. Professional coaches and athletes

3. Specialised chefs

Residence and Work Permit in Agriculture: Applicants are granted residence and work permit under the Residence and Work Permit in Agriculture Scheme if they are being employed or possess a valid employment (job) offer that enables them to work in the position of a herdsman or farm manager in Denmark.

Establishment Card: Designed for those qualified individuals who have either completed or have been awarded a post-graduate or a PhD degree from a Danish University. The eligible candidates would be required to apply within a period of 6 months after completing their education. In addition, they should possess sufficient funds required to support themselves during their first year of stay in Denmark.

Denmark Start-up Scheme: Start-up Denmark is an important scheme designed for international entrepreneurs to grant them residence permits in Denmark so that they can establish and start an innovative business. The business idea proposed by the applicant has to be approved by an expert panel in order to process the application for work and residence permits under this scheme.


Given Iceland’s small population, obtaining residency is not straightforward and requires specific qualifications, skills, or personal circumstances. Applying for long-term residency in Iceland is notoriously difficult but there are options:

• Marry an Icelandic person, securing the right to live on your spouse's home turf.

• Use the student visa process and attend University in Iceland or enrol for tertiary education.

• Secure a work permit. However, obtaining a work permit is difficult because laws prioritise Icelanders and European Economic Area (EEA) citizens above others. Work permits must be renewed, but after four continuous years, temporary residents of Iceland have the opportunity to apply for permanent residence. To apply for Icelandic citizenship, most applicants need at least seven years of continuous residence in the country. Here are 3 types of work permits available to non-EEA citizens:

• Qualified Professionals: Applicants are expected to have vocational training at a University level or a technical standard approved by Icelandic bodies. The work must be relevant to a permanent field lacking in Icelandic labour, and the applicant must prove that they can do the job better than an Icelander or EEA citizen.

• Athletes: Coaches and athletes belonging to a sports club within the National Olympic and Sports Association of Iceland may be allowed work permits.

• Temporary Shortage of Labourers: Permits may be issued to labourers in fields that are lacking in Icelandic workers or EEA workers. Therefore, these permits are only temporary and can only be renewed once.

Special Ties to Iceland: Residence permits on the basis of special ties to Iceland are only granted in exceptional cases. It is assessed each time whether an applicant can obtain the residence permit - family ties and the applicant's stays in Iceland weigh the most, but in exceptional cases, a residence permit may be granted even if the applicant has never lived in Iceland.

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