While few would dispute the fact that the UK is clearly a popular choice for inward migration, many may be surprised to discover the number of UK citizens that regularly embark on a new life abroad.
According to various sources, in the decade 1993-2002, the UK experienced higher levels of emigration than had been previously recorded. Outward migration over the period increased from 266,000 individuals in 1993 to 359,000 people by 2002.
With emigration clearly on the increase and many individuals stating an intention to stay overseas for at least four years, it's perhaps not surprising to discover that for the majority of those intending to emigrate the major reason for wanting to leave the UK was given as better opportunities for employment.
The primary reasons given for emigration are simple and straightforward. Almost without exception, those wishing to emigrate are looking for a better lifestyle and a better future for their families. They want to live in a healthier environment, where the climate's milder and there's generally less congestion. Additionally, they seek an improved standard of living with the opportunity to achieve a better work/life balance.
With many countries experiencing a skills shortage - the labour deficiencies existing in Australia, for example, have been well reported and could even provide a degree of solace for recently laid-off Rover workers - the opportunities for migrants with the right skills are clear.
However, for those able to demonstrate the ability, vision and necessary means to set up a viable business - one that could bring new career opportunities and prosperity to a region - an alternative route to being awarded a visa is clearly emerging.
More and more small-business owners and entrepreneurs are discovering that very real opportunities exist for them overseas.
For example, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States, in particular, are actively seeking individuals with backgrounds in business. It goes without saying that having the necessary assets to succeed is also essential.
But it isn't simply a case of selling up that thriving UK venture and heading off for a new business opportunity overseas.
To be even considered for a visa, an individual will have to demonstrate a genuine commitment to settle in their chosen country - one supported by business plans, cash-flow forecasts, verifiable proof of assets, as well as letters of support from any potential overseas customers and suppliers that could endorse the viability of the business plan and the depths of their research.
Add all the usual checks and medicals and it's still a process only for those who are totally committed to the idea of emigrating.
As every business is unique in terms of the skills, services and products it offers, it is also important to choose an emigration company capable of assisting with identifying suitable business opportunities, assisting in the development of business plans and advising on both tax planning strategies and investment opportunities.
As government-funded incentives may also exist in the chosen country it could also be worthwhile to check for eligibility to any such financial entitlements.
A good emigration specialist will also provide sound relocation and resettlement advice prior to departure and arrange for their client to meet accountants and real estate agents during an overseas visit.
This is something that will not only assist in the creation of a business plan designed to enhance the visa application, but will also provide the opportunity to start considering domestic property options as well as suitable businesses that may be for sale