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When asked about my motives for applying to the position, shall I mention, among other things (like being a good fit and seeing a lot of opportunities in the position) that I do want to relocate to "a greener pasture"?

On one of the interviews the manager asked me directly why am I considering moving to their country; I replied with "a few of my friends are working / were born here and they praise it; moreover, I like your climate and the outdoors opportunities".
But if the interviewer does not bring this up, shall I mention this myself?

My thinking of what the recruiter might take of it:

  • On one hand, he isn't just looking for a job with a larger salary, he has a goal; if we hire him, he'd rather stay with us for a long time than quickly change employers (because he'll be bound by the visa sponsorship).
  • On the other, maybe the only reason he had applied is an opportunity to relocate. As soon as he gets into the country, he can arrange some other form of visa and leave our company straighaway!

A note: I am only applying for jobs that are a good fit for my profile / experience / skills.
A second note: I've mentioned "greener pastures". I'm applying from a lower-income country to jobs in the world's most developed countries such as Australia.

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    Being open and honest with your intentions is best. If your main motivation for looking at an opportunity is to relocate to a new country, what does it hurt to say so? – Mister Positive Feb 14 '18 at 13:51
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TLDR: Be honest, prepare a response that is true, and explain why you don't want to stay in your own country. Don't sound desperate. Sound like a professional who is making an informed life choice.


Relocating to different countries is common nowadays. It doesn't really matter where you are from for you to be smart, hard-working and good at your job. Companies tend to know this by now.

I can't speak for Australia, or the mindset there, and I don't know much about their visas either, but I can talk about Europe.

I'm from Germany, and know a lot of people that have relocated here. For some, the reasons are "I want to see the world" or "I want to get international experience". Those are usually younger people that have not started a family yet. But the ones that have started a family would say something like better social care and schooling for their children. That's what the US American I know said about why he wanted to move to Germany, at least.

Those are fine reasons. You work to live, after all. We all do. And your boss knows that. There is nothing wrong with wanting to live in a better place, whatever your interpretation of better is. I have a friend who moved to a lower living standard country so he could be close to the sea because he enjoys surfing. That's a fair reason.

I believe it is important to be honest in those cases. Especially if the company provides relocation help.

In many countries, questions like "are you married?" or "how many children do you have?" are not allowed to be asked during the interview, but they are essential for the relocation support. If they offer to give you a relocation package, pay your move, your tickets, get you a place to stay or help with getting the visa, those things matter. So honesty is key.

Of course the company needs to have a certain mindset. They have to be open about accepting international people. Many companies in non-English speaking countries don't do that, and that would be a problem, but in a country that uses English as it's official language, you're not at a big disadvantage.

On the other, maybe the only reason he had applied is an opportunity to relocate. As soon as he gets into the country, he can arrange some other form of visa and leave our company straighaway!

This is probably easier said than done. Most countries make it very hard for foreigners to remain. There is no really good reason to do that.

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It's very hard to give an answer, as each case is going to be different.

When I was still involved in the hiring process at my current employer, it certainly wasn't something I asked about, nor was interested in: almost everyone we hire in our department comes from abroad -- and many of them from a different continent. I've always assumed that if you didn't want to move, you wouldn't have applied.

But we are a large, international company. For a smaller company, who hasn't hired foreigners before, this may be different. I'd still would not bring it up myself, but I would prepare an answer in case they ask about it.

  • Thanks @Abigail; unfortunately I can't upvote your answer due to low Rep... :) – Alexander Feb 16 '18 at 14:30

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