Maverick Traveler

Location Independence, Geo Arbitrage, Individual Freedom

How To Immigrate To Europe (Or Anywhere Else)

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Brazil was my first country where staying on a typical 3-6 month tourist visa wasn’t sufficient.  I met incredible people, rented a room in a huge flat half a block from the beach, and decided to stay at least until my original housemate would leave.

Once my tourist visa ran out after six months, I became an illegal resident in Brazil, which meant, amongst other things, that I would need to lay low — avoiding police, etc.  I also couldn’t really leave the country and come back like a lawful resident.  My Christmas was spent on Ipanema Beach, while my expat friends all spent their holidays in their respective countries with their families.

The right approach, of course, is that when you decide you want to move somewhere for an extended amount of time (more than 6-12 months), is to get some sort of a residence permit.

A residence permit gives you all the same benefits that a citizen would have.  You are free to travel in and out of the country any number of times you want, you can open a bank account, and you might even have an ability to take advantage of the country’s generous health care and other social benefits.

Most people who want to immigrate to a European country think that’s a very difficult and complicated process — but it doesn’t have to be this way.  In fact, most countries make it pretty straightforward for you to become a long-term resident there because it means they’ll be able to tax your earnings.

First, a quick clarification.  Certain countries grant a so-called "long-term visa" which is essentially a right to remain in the country for  far longer than any tourist visa allows.  You don’t become a resident under scheme, which means you’re typically exempt from taxes, as well as using the country’s healthcare services, etc.

There’re typically four ways someone can legally live in the country long-term:

1. Get a (skilled) job

Many countries that are unable to fill their skilled jobs, so they’re eager to offer work-permits to highly qualified candidates like doctors, IT workers, engineers, etc.

To make it easier, they might easily grant work permits to those who have a job offer/contract that guarantees a certain salary.  For instance, Denmark offers work permits to those making over $66,000 per year, Ireland offers work permits for those making over $36,000 per year.

If you have certain higher education (Masters, PhD) in a highly sought out profession, that can greatly expedite your visa application.  For instance, Denmark has a "Positive List" program which lists in-demand jobs.

If you qualify, you get a resident and work permit for the duration of the contract (up to 2-3 years) which can be renewed later.

2. Self Employment/Retirement

Portugal, Spain, Italy, France and Cyprus are just few of the many countries that offer this kind of long-term ability to stay. 

You have to be able to demonstrate that you’re making enough to cover your own expenses, and that you have medical insurance so that you’re don’t start sucking off the resources of the host country’s generous social system (free healthcare, etc).

Some countries also ask that you can demonstrate having good amount in your bank account, as well.

3. Study in the country

If you choose to apply to a university or graduate school, you also get a residence permit for the duration of your studies.  Most likely you won’t be able to work while on this permit, though.

Many countries are more lenient in terms of what they consider a "school".  I’ve known people that enrolled in small French-language schools in France and were able to get a student visa.

So, don’t think you need to enroll in Sorbonne or Oxford in order to qualify for a student visa.

4. Marry a citizen

Marrying the country’s citizen is one of the fastest ways to obtain the right to stay in the country.

In most cases, you’ll need to be interviewed by the country’s immigration officials where they would ask you how long you’ve lived together, how you’ve met, and which side of the bed each of you sleeps (next to the wall or not).

If you’re approved, you’ll be given a permanent residence permit, and after few years would qualify for citizenship.

Other ways, like seeking an asylum/refugee highly vary from country to country and are too complicated to be discussed here.


Permanent Residency

After certain number of years of living legally under a temporary resident work, you can apply for a permanent resident permit (in USA, it’s called a Green Card), which is a right to reside/work in the country forever.


Citizenship

After being a permanent resident for several years, you can finally apply for naturalization (citizenship), and obtain that coveted second passport. 

Tax Considerations

If you’re a US citizen/resident, you need to pay tax on your worldwide income.  That means you’ll have to report your income regardless if you make it from US sources, and regardless if you’re living in the US.

If you’re not living in US, you may not need to pay tax on the first $95,000 (of your income, but you still need to pay self-employment taxes (13-15%).

That means that if you’re living outside US on a long-term visa (such as in France), you don’t need to pay income in either country.

On the other hand, if you become a resident (not a long-term visitor) of a foreign country, you will be obliged to pay taxes there, and not pay them in the US.


Straight To Citizenship

If you’re a descendent (up to grandfather, I believe) of someone who is/was a citizen of certain countries like UK, Ireland, Italy or Poland, you maybe able to apply for citizenship or residency based on family ties.

I have friends in Argentina and Brazil that were able to obtain an Italian passport due to a grandfather being born in Italy before emigrating to Latin America.  Making them instant EU citizens with the ability to work/live in any of 27 EU countries!

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37 Comments

  1. Any advice on the biggest anchor of all? (Being a Colombian citizen 🙁 )

    I swear I can’t even go to Mexico or El Fucking Salvador without a visa. Everytime we ask for a work visa somewhere else we get blocked the fuck out of the application.

    Any ideas? Thanks in advance!

    • Use your Colombian charm to seduce a woman from a EU country, then marry her. You’ll get permanent residency in her country and then a citizenship few years later.

      • You see, that’s the problem.I found out that, without knowing, I killed my Colombian Charm with 5 years of Software Engineering studies.

  2. Hello
    We can help you to immigrate, study, work, start business, get citizenship of the Republic of Georgia. Georgia has one of the fastest growing economy, it has one of the liberal policies to start business, and even to immigrate.
    Just recently European Union started working on Visa Liberalization with Georgia, It means that Georgian Citizens will be able to travel to EU countries without Visa.
    In nearest future Georgia is required to make strong immigration rules but before that it’s still easy to immigrate to Georgia, work or study and get citizenship there.
    If anyone needs consultation about immigration to Georgia Please write us:
    [email protected]
    We are Professionals in immigration.

    • I have dropped an email to your inbox. Please waiting for your swift response. I have already visited Goergia this month and I found it a very peaceful and suitable place to live and start business activities.

  3. i am from afghanistan and i dont know how we can go there our country is a backward country and we are not in secure there just there is fight always. and me and my family wants to go out from our country just help us and make your informations website alot.

  4. I really want to emigrate now to Germany so I do study there at the Ludwig Maximillian University of Munich, I can do obtain a student visa for three years I can do marry there a Christian German woman from a Catholic or a Protestant background because I’m a Palestinian Christian Catholic from the Holy Land, I took the permission from my family, my brother and sister do will take of my parents who will still alive after 30 years from now, my Father is 54, my Mother is 50 and my sister is a Dentist and my Brother is a School Principle and Teacher he does like the school system
    they both will stay here in my homecountry in the Holy Land, but I have decided to immigrate and I have took the permission of my family to immigrate and to resettle in Germany to get a job a there, to become a Professor, Writer, Historian, Linguist, Polyglot, Translator, Researcher, Arabic/Hebrew Language Instructor.

  5. come to bulgaria , it’s like africa in EU 🙂

  6. Hi all ,listen can any one give me advice on how to relocate to europe which countries have a decent currency and less red tape issues for immigration.many thanks south african

    • Hello Dear,

      I am Arnold Auckland ,I am 46 Years Old, based and grown up in UK with my
      daughter. I am the foreign operation manager from Barclay,s Bank PLC, UK and
      I don’t usually stays home unless during weekends.I will like you to know
      that i have just a kid which name is Rebecca and she is just 3 years old. I
      want male or female nanny and driver who will be taking care of my home
      because i will soon be going on study. And I have an apartment room for them
      that would be taking care of my daughter in my house.

      So i will like you to know that I will be paying you 2,000 BRITISH POUNDS
      for every month and a pocket money of 100 POUNDS per week for the buying of
      some things for your self and I will also be responsible for some of the
      money for your traveling documents but you have to agree that i will pay for
      your ticket and you will pay for your working permit. And the working hour
      is
      just 4 hours per day and your responsibility in my house is just to take
      care of my daughter, cooking, taking her on shopping, taking her to where
      the school bus will pick her up from which is just 2 km ahead from home.

      And also you have a private room bathroom toilet and also if you wish to be
      having free period from 5 pm to 6 pm are acceptable.. So i will like you to
      get back to me if you are interested in being my nanny/driver for my Kid.

      I hope to hear from you soon.
      Regards
      Arnold Auckland.

      • hello dear ,

        i am mina . i am 44 years old . i imajored in english language translating in iran , my country is a backward country then i and my two sons immigared in Armenia . i am interested in being nanny/driver for your Kid, if you want . i like kids so much.

        hope to hear from you soon
        mina

      • Rajat Kumar Mathur

        May 22, 2017 at 8:56 am

        Hi Arnold

        I don’t know how old your post or you have got nanny for your daughter or not. if not, please respond.

        I am Rajat Kumar Mathur from India and planning to migrate to EU for better and bright future of my kids. My wife can become a good nanny for your daughter. She is very kind in nature and love children.

        I am an I.T. Professional aged 42 years having 2 kids. if you feel positive please message me on my email id : [email protected] for further details.

        Rergards

        Rajat Kumar Mathur

      • I am 47 years old Pakistani man i can do your job without any problem. I will take care of your daughter and make her happy.I am honest and hardworking.I know my duties and responsibilities.
        If you trust me than send me a email. I am sure you will be not disoppointed.

      • hi it sounds like I might be interested to come take care of your daughter. am in the US but would like to come to Europe

  7. how hard would it be as a US citizen to simply fly to Germany and stay there for ever? Do they seek out illegal immigrants from the US? What if I have a college degree in computer science but no job offers? Can I just head over and start looking?

    • abdulla alkhanaizi

      July 26, 2016 at 4:01 am

      they seek out illegals regardless of your nationality and your education
      even though they need engineers and college grads but you have to go there legally and that could be done i think by getting to a German university for 4 years and they would give you a 1.5 years in your visa to stay and find a job and that what i think would do ( i am mechanical engineer grad)
      BTW German universities are free for all and the cost of living is similar to the US…

  8. I am living in the death valley of Ethiopia, how can you help me to take my leg from the valley? i want to make EU my home.

  9. CommentHi, i am from pakistan my name is Nazakat Shah and age is 45years old.i want migrate to living permentaly in Amrica with my family and i want working any pretty Amrican house as a cleaner or other worko so i am request to any Amrican family to send me and my family sponsor.thanks my cell no. is 009233699923 and my email [email protected]

    • My uncle who stays in america is willing to accept anyone to work as a cleaner or gardener with accommodation and monthly payment.Provided you can work and ready to obey instructions.Send your willingness to migrate to [email protected] let me send your details to him.

  10. All I want to do is to retire in Scotland and pursue my arts (writing & painting). But it looks like the only way into the UK is via working in the tech fields. Any ideas? I used to be a teacher (several decades ago) but if teaching in a Highland school for 5 years lets me stay & apply for citizenship, I’ll do it.

    • My uncle who stays in america is willing to accept anyone to work as a cleaner or gardener with accommodation and monthly payment.Provided you can work and ready to obey instructions.Send your willingness to migrate to [email protected] let me send your details to him.

  11. South African needing to be in Europe!!!!

    • My uncle who stays in america is willing to accept anyone to work as a cleaner or gardener with accommodation and monthly payment.Provided you can work and ready to obey instructions.Send your willingness to migrate to [email protected] let me send your details to him.

  12. Hi, I want to migrate in Europe. I have completed post graduate study in business from Canada and presently working in India as a Business Development Manager. Any suggestion, please mail @ [email protected]

    • My uncle who stays in america is willing to accept anyone to work as a cleaner or gardener with accommodation and monthly payment.Provided you can work and ready to obey instructions.Send your willingness to migrate to [email protected] let me send your details to him.

  13. My uncle who stays in america is willing to accept anyone to work as a cleaner or gardener with accommodation and monthly payment.Provided you can work and ready to obey instructions.Send your willingness to migrate to [email protected] let me send your details to him.

  14. wouldn’t have put it better. Also just starting out my IM career as I travel the world.

  15. We specialize in assisting our clients with getting an EU residency permit through Poland. Access to 22 EU countries. Residency & Security for peace of mind.

  16. Hey is there any chance for an Indian Chartered Accountant in USA. It is same as CPA in USA.

  17. It seems that without a higher education it would be impossible for me to immigrate to EU this is sad for me.

  18. I’m interested in getting to the European union, England to be specific I’m open to ideas or offers [email protected]

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