EU Residency, Live In Europe, Work in Europe, Europe Residency.
Europe is a place of wonder. The incredible diversity and endless opportunities have attracted people for centuries. Today, the EU is uniquely positioned to meet the challenges of the coming century. But, they’ll need people, ideas, and investment to thrive.
This need means there are more ways than ever to share the experience. Professionals, investors, entrepreneurs, students, retirees, and many more are welcomed by the 26 European Union members. Having something to contribute is much more important than where you come from.
For millions, EU residency is achievable. And, a European residence permit is often a pathway to full citizenship and an EU passport.
- The obvious ways
- EU Income-Based Visas
- Spain Non-Lucrative Visa
- Portugal Passive Income Visa
- Cyprus Income-Based Visa
- Austria Residency by Independent Means
- Ireland Person of Independent Means
- EU Residency by Investment
- Portugal Residency by investment
- Spain Golden Visa
- Bulgaria Investor Program
- Latvia Residency by Investment Programme
- Malta Residency by Investment
- Greece Residency by Investment
- Cyprus Residency by investment
- Italy Investment Visa
- EU Start-up residency visas
- Estonia Digital Nomad Visa
- Student Visas
- Are you excited about EU Residence?
The obvious ways
The simplest way to move to the EU is through your family.
Many EU countries offer a direct and simple ancestry path to residency and citizenship stretching back many generations. Check out the Easiest countries in Europe to get Citizenship in our detailed article.
You may also be eligible for permanent residency if your spouse or partner is an EU resident. Children and other relatives (including parents and parents-in-law) can also use family ties to get residence in many EU countries.
Don’t despair if your family doesn’t open the door for you. Here are 18 other ways that you might use to move to the EU.
EU Income-Based Visas
Does your business allow you to work from anywhere? Do you have a steady income from existing investments or a pension? You may qualify for a Person of Independent Means residence permit. Below are some examples of EU countries that offer these visas.
Spain Non-Lucrative Visa
Prove you can afford to cover your expenses, and Spain will welcome you in.
To qualify for the non-lucrative visa for Spain, you must prove that you can support your self.
The income you show should come from passive income sources such as investments, rental income, or pensions.
You must show an income that is four times the IPREM, Indicador Público de Renta de Efectos Múltiples for this residence permit. In 2020, this is approximately €30,000 for the applicant and around another €6,000 for each dependant.
We’ve written a detailed article on Spain’s Non-lucrative Visa with all the information you’ll need to know.
As we’ve said, you can’t use this residence program if you declare an income from working. However, some digital nomads and freelancers do use this visa to live in Spain.
If the Spain non-lucrative visa looks like a pathway for you to live in Europe, what are your next steps? We suggest a consultation with our Spain Immigration Partner here. They’ll be able to look at your specific circumstances to ensure a successful application.
Portugal Passive Income Visa
The Portugal passive income visa (D7) has main two requirements.
- You must be based in Portugal for at least eight months per year.
- You can show enough income to support yourself. The income needs to be passive, that is, from sources such as rental income, dividends, investment income or a pension.
Our partner believes that €20,000 of annual income should be sufficient to prove that you can support yourself.
There are some great benefits to this visa. You have full rights to work in Portugal. So, you could:
- freelance for clients inside and outside of Portugal.
- run a location-independent business as a digital nomad.
- be a remote worker for a company outside of Portugal.
- get a job in Portugal.
- open your own business in Portugal.
You can work in Portugal and could be eligible for some pretty great taxation rates. If you apply for NHR (non-habitual residency) you don’t pay tax on income from outside Portugal for ten years.
Our partner in Portugal has been able to help many of our clients in getting the Portugal passive income visa. You can speak to them about your situation and to get advice on your next steps towards setting up a life in Portugal. Please click here to book a planning session with them.
Cyprus Income-Based Visa
Like all income visas, the Cyprus Income-Based Visa is easy to get for those who can show a steady income.
At present, the amount is around €9,500 (CY£5,600) for a single applicant and €4,500 (CY£2,700) for each dependent.
Here is the official website on the Cyprus residency visa for further details
Austria Residency by Independent Means
Austria also has an income visa that does not allow you to work. This income should be regular and must continue for the length of the visa.
Income sources can include:
- Austrian or foreign pensions.
- Profits from enterprises abroad.
- Income from assets, savings or company shares.
At the moment, the monthly income is least twice the amount of the standard rates of the General Social Insurance Act (ASVG). This would be:
- €1,993 for a single person.
- €2,994 for married couples or partnerships.
- An additional €298 for each child.
You’ll need a certificate of good character from your local police station, and health insurance.
Finally, you must be able to speak German to A1 level or have at least a three-year tertiary education.
Here is the official website for further information of the application process and documentation required.
Ireland Person of Independent Means
Irelands income visa has a higher income requirement than some mainland Europe visas.
The threshold income for the Stamp 0 visa is €50,000 per year. And, you’ll also need a lump sum in savings to cover emergencies. This amount varies depending on where you are in Ireland, but bank on needing to show €100,000 in savings during the application process.
You can’t work in Ireland on a Stamp 0 visa.
Read more about other Income-Based Visas around the world and how to qualify.
EU Residency by Investment
Are you looking for a way to invest some of your hard-earned money in the strong economies of Europe? You could get an impressive return on your investment, as well as residency or citizenship. European countries offer different opportunities which means you can choose an investment area you are comfortable with.
Here are some of the most popular European investment visa programs.
Portugal Residency by investment
Invest between €350,000 and €500,000 in real estate (depending on the age of the building and area). This visa is a part of Portugal’s famous Golden Visa program.
Have a read of our Portugal Residency by Investment Page for more information
Spain Golden Visa
Invest more than €500,000 in real estate, and you’ll be eligible for a Spanish residence permit. There are no restrictions on the location of the property, and you can use the investment to generate rental income.
Please visit our Spain Residency by Investment Page for more information
Bulgaria Investor Program
This investment visa has two tiers of investment into a Bulgaria Government Bond program for five years. At the end of the five years, you can withdraw the entire amount from the fund.
- €512,000 will get you a permanent residence status and a five-year path to citizenship.
- €1.024,000 reduces your time to EU citizenship and passport to just two years.
The administrative process for the Bulgaria Investor Program requires using a registered agent.
Latvia Residency by Investment Programme
Latvia’s residency by investment program has a €50,000 minimum investment requirement. There are three main investment options:
- Invest at least €50,000 in a small company of fewer than 50 employees and with a company turnover of less than €10 million.
- Buy €250,000 or more of Latvian government bonds.
- Purchase a property worth at least €250,000.
Any of these options allow you to apply for Latvian residency. And, the visa is a pathway to Latvia permanent residency and citizenship.
Please read our Latvia investment visa page for more information.
Malta Residency by Investment
Malta’s residency by investment program is one of the oldest in Europe.
Invest a minimum of €220,000 in real estate, and you can get a residency visa. For some investment areas and developments, the minimum is a €275,000 purchase.
There are additional conditions and fees associated with this visa.
Please read our Malta Investment Visa page for more information
Greece Residency by Investment
Invest more than €250,000 in real estate. You can rent out this property after the purchase is complete. Your spouse and all dependant children are also eligible for residency under this visa.
Have a read of our Greece Residency by Investment Page for more information
Cyprus Residency by investment
Invest more than €300,000 in approved real estate. This program targets new build properties, and you can rent out your purchase if that suits you. The Cyprus application process is usually very efficient.
Please read our Cyprus Residency by Investment Page for more information
Italy Investment Visa
There are several options for investment residence in Italy. But, the business options for the Investor Visa for Italy are often overlooked. And, the Italian government recently lowered the investment amounts.
You can invest €500,000 into a private limited company. Or, for innovative Italian start-ups, the amount drops to €250,000.
After five years, you can get permanent residency, and after ten years, EU citizenship is yours.
For information on other investment visas, please have a look at our Investment Visa Page. The article also has additional information on the best Citizenship by Investment programs in Europe and around the world.
EU Start-up residency visas
Are you on fire with an entrepreneurial spirit? Do you have an amazing idea for a business? EU countries are looking for you to make a difference in their economies. They’ll offer you residency to bring your ideas to life in their country. Here are some examples.
Sweden offers residency to those who are planning to run or invest in a business. You must be able to show you have the required skills and experience to run the company. Additionally, you must show sufficient funds to support yourself and your family.
Austria offers a Red-White-Red residency card to qualifying start-up founders. The program has a sliding points scale with several factors assessed. Funding, capital, innovation, and membership of accelerators or incubators are all considered in the assessment.
A French Tech Visa is available to people with an economically viable innovative start-up project. The “Passeport Talent” (“Talent Passport”) is targeted at start-up founders, investors, and employees. You’ll also need to show you have sufficient funds to support yourself and any dependents. France also has Business Investor and Selected Companies programs that offer accelerated residency.
For more information, see our article on Startup Visas around the world.
Estonia Digital Nomad Visa
Estonia has a residence permit targeted at Digital Nomads. You’ll need to show that you have a location-independent income of at least €3,500 per month before tax.
This visa is perfect for:
- Digital nomads.
- Remote workers employed by non-Estonian companies.
The visa is valid for a year, and costs €100 to apply online. Estonia’s digital nation program means you can apply online for many Estonia residence permits and visas.4
Many countries in Europe offer excellent student visa programs. Some of the world’s finest educational institutions welcome international students. And, many EU countries provide a post-study work visa that allows you to stay on after your studies to find work. These visas are an excellent pathway to permanent residency and EU citizenship.
Top EU and EEA Student Visa programs
- The Netherlands
Please see our article on Student Visas here for all the details you need to choose.
Are you excited about EU Residence?
The European Union is home to 450 million people and has a GDP of around €20 trillion. Happily, an EU ancestor or a lucky birth are not the only ways to be a part of this unique project. We hope this article gives you what you need to come and join us.
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