To many tourists, it is the greatest fantasy to live in Europe. I say, who doesn’t want to wake up on Spain’s coast or ski down the Alps in the afternoon?
Move to Europe
You will spend your days flying, dining, and trekking your way across this glorious continent until you know how to move to Europe permanently. While it is very exciting to decide to travel overseas, you should be prepared for a lengthy, complex, and not always well-explained process.
But I’m going to explain in our guide how you will permanently move to Europe, and what to expect when it comes to long-term visas.
What is the Schengen Arrangement in this respect?
You should familiarize yourself with the Schengen Agreement before we explore ways to move to Europe permanently.
To put it plainly, border-free travel has been accepted by countries in the Schengen Agreement. This ensures that citizens and foreigners can travel easily, without having to go through border control, from one Schengen country to another.
Your passport may not be checked at the airport or train station if you are going via the Schengen Area. However, in the event of an emergency, you can always hold your passport.
It can also be observed that the Schengen region is not the same as the European Union. Although several European countries are part of Schengen, some countries, such as the United Kingdom, are not part of Schengen. Ireland and are removed.
26 countries (22 EU and 4 non-EU) are currently participating in the Schengen agreement:
- Czech Republic
How long in Europe will I stay?
If you are looking to permanently travel or travel to Europe, so you will first need to find out how long you are allowed to stay. In most cases, the length of time you will spend in Europe depends on your ethnicity, the type of visa, and the intention of your visit.
For short-term visits, most people will spend 90 days visiting Europe. Before you walk on European soil, some nationalities might require a visa. Other nationalities, such as Americans, Canadians, and Australians, are eligible to enter most European countries for three months without a visa.
The solution is a bit more complex if you intend to commit longer than a couple of months. You would need to secure a long-term visa, enabling you to stay anywhere from six months to several years in Europe.
How to Secure a European Visa?
Most citizens can stay in the European Schengen nation without a visa for three months. However, before entering Europe, some nationalities have to secure a Schengen visa, including as travelers.
You will be allowed to spend up to 90 days in Europe with the Schengen Visa.
However, for more than three months, you might be thinking about how to travel to Europe. You’ll need to wait for a long-term visa if this is the case.
It is necessary to note that there is not one standardized visa to permanently travel to Europe. Each nation exists independently and provides a range of choices for the long term. You’ll need to find out whether you’re qualifying for one of the available visa forms until you decide where you want to go.
Unfortunately, it’s not easy for anyone to get a long-term visa. For each form of visa, the requirements can differ, and some may be exceedingly difficult to receive. Not to mention, the procedure will take months or even years for visa acceptance.
How Long Will I Stay without a Visa in Europe?
Luckily, visiting Europe for a limited period without a visa is relatively straightforward. Although based on several reasons, most notably, your ethnicity and the country you want to visit, the precise amount of time you are allowed to stay.
For example, in the Schengen region, Americans are allowed to remain visa-free for up to 90 days over a 180-day span. If your 90 days have passed, legally, you will have to leave the Schengen area for at least 90 days before joining again.
Similarly, Canadian and Australian tourists can stay for up to 90 days without a visa in the Schengen region.
You’ll be free to fly to every country within the Schengen region during your visit. That means you can get to Italy, fly to Germany by rail, and end up in France without having to display your passport.
Note that your stay of 90 days is only valid for travel within the Schengen region. If you are preparing to go to another E.U. Countries that are not in the Schengen region, such as the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Croatia, may then be subject to separate visa laws.
If you come from a country that needs a Schengen visa, you will need to apply in the Schengen region before entering the country.
Why restrict yourself to a brief trip to France for two weeks or a long-overdue holiday to Spain?
You could spend months visiting different countries and cultures if you knew how to travel to Europe. You can potentially spend a whole year in Europe without having a visa, in reality!
While you can only stay for up to 90 days in the Schengen area, there are still ways to operate the scheme. You can begin by rotating between living in a Schengen country and living in a non-Schengen country. These countries are developing their own laws on immigration that will exclude them from the 90-day cap.
That means you might spend an interesting year from country to country jumping about. Before going to England, Ukraine, Croatia, or another non-Schengen country, spend the first three months in the Schengen country.
Many of these locations allow you to stay up to 90 days, too. That ensures you can return to France or Italy and reset the 90-day clock by the time you’re finished spending a few months in the Balkans or the UK
In the end, you will switch as many times as you want between the Schengen and non-Schengen countries. And while you’re not going to be able to work or file taxes, you can still survive as a tourist for one year in Europe. And if you’re not bored with the nomadic lifestyle, you can do this for as long as you want, realistically!
How to move to Europe From the U.S. permanently?
You will have plenty of fun possibilities waiting for you in Europe as an American citizen. It’s pretty easy to call Europe your new home, whether you come to work overseas, study, or just spend time traveling.
Americans need to receive a long-term visa to remain in Europe for more than 90 days, much as any other foreigner. And if you’re planning to find a career during your visit, you have to apply for a work permit visa, such as an E.U. With the Blue Card.
Any countries have special arrangements with the US, but obtaining a long-term visa as an American can be smoother. Being an American, for example, granted me the right to a residency permit in Germany.
You can also apply for a working holiday visa in Ireland as an American. Although Ireland is the only country with a U.S. working holiday policy in Europe, it also offers you the ability to travel abroad. Although there is no age restriction, to qualify, you have to be a current university student or a recent graduate.
For a Year (or More!) How to Fly in Europe
How To Move Permanently to Europe?
The laws and long-term opportunities for visas differ from country to country. And there could be stringent protocols and extended wait times in certain situations.
But it’s still possible to move to Europe, considering what you might say. There are a few different forms to secure a long-term visa, but some countries are easier to travel to than others.
Get a university student visa to remain in Europe
Many European countries provide citizens studying in college or university with student visas. With a student visa, you will be allowed to remain in Europe before the end of your degree. And you may be allowed to work part-time in certain countries to raise extra cash for your travels.
A few countries also provide visas for students studying a foreign language, such as Spain and Germany. That ensures you can study for a few hours a week in a language school and get a long-term visa to stay for the remainder of your lessons in Europe.
One downside to the student visa is that the courses themselves would need to be paid for. This could cost anywhere from a few hundred and several thousand dollars, based on the program.
However, for locals and ex-pats, many nations have accepted free higher education. It is entirely open to attend universities in Germany, Finland, and Norway. Although schools are not exactly free in France, Austria, and Sweden, they are very cheap relative to schools in the U.S.
Seeking a career to get a work visa for a European business
One of the best ways to permanently remain in Europe is to get a job in a European country. You should apply to the EU until you have a job. A Blue Card that allows you to live, stay and work for the length of your work contract in Europe.
Of the E.U. Blue Cards are for highly qualified employers who earn more than 53,000 Euros a year in sales.
You would already hold a graduate degree at the time of applying for the Blue Card, and a full-time contract.
Alternatively, you can apply for a Job Seeker/Employment Visa for six months. This visa will allow you to travel to Europe initially and spend the next few months searching for work. You should apply for the E.U. until you find jobs. With the Blue Card.
Websites such as Linkedin, Indeed, Glassdoor, and CareerBuilder list thousands of positions around Europe that are open.
For tourists, most countries still have their own local work centers. Germany has Xing, France has work in Paris and Norway has Finn.no, for starters.
To get a long-term visa, marry a European!
Last but not least, on a long-term engagement or family reunion visa, you should still get married! This residency visa is valid for a total of five years and can be extended for the length of your marriage. You’ll be able to work and get the benefits of a marriage visa, like a normal E.U. Nationwide.
Even though holding a wedding could cost money, the marriage visa itself is free of charge. And though I highly recommend falling in love first, one of the most interesting ways to permanently migrate to Europe is to get a visa by marriage.
By Descent or Heritage, Get European Citizenship
You may be qualified for European citizenship if you have ancestors from a European country. Several countries in Europe encourage you to apply for citizenship if you have a European-born parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent.
Claiming European citizenship will effectively allow you to travel, work, and research all over Europe without ever needing to apply for a visa!
Your dual citizenship, best of all, would allow you to live in most European countries. So, you should also live in Italy or France, even though you have an Irish passport because both countries are in the EU.
Citizenship by descent is granted in some countries, such as Germany and Ireland, only to people whose parents or grandparents were born in Europe.
On the other hand, if your great-grandparents were indigenous, Lithuania and the Czech Republic would grant you citizenship. And other nations, including Italy, Hungary, and Poland, will grant you citizenship as long as a native parent can trace your ancestry back to you.
Europe’s best places to immigrate to
With 44 countries in Europe to choose from, it can be a real challenge to find the correct home for your next move.
For long-term ex-pats, each nation has its own set of laws and regulations. There are, however, a few interesting areas where securing visas is easier for foreigners.
Immigrate to the nation of Estonia
Estonia is an up-and-coming destination for expatriates, full of natural wonders and ancient architecture. This tech-savvy, inexpensive nation proudly invites foreigners from all walks of life.
So, if it sounds tempting to spend your spare time swimming in a lake or trekking up the mountains, maybe Estonia might be the right place for you.
For job, study, or self-employment, you may apply for a visa in Estonia. The D visa, or long-term visa, is referred to as this type of visa. With a D visa, you can stay in Estonia for up to one year.
You will apply for a residency permit when you arrive if your school program or job contract is longer than one year. This will encourage you to continue staying longer than what your visa says in Estonia.
Travel to Belgium to immigrate
Belgium is an ideal spot to settle in Europe, home to mouth-watering waffles, rich chocolates, and craft beer. In major cities, English is frequently spoken, and the central location of the world makes it convenient to fly to other locations.
Not to mention, relative to other countries in Europe, Belgians have a greater quality of life.
You should apply for either a non-immigrant or an immigrant visa if you wish to stay in Belgium for more than 90 days.
Non-immigrant visas are for people who plan to stay for a few months or years in Belgium, but who do not plan to eventually travel to Europe. For starters, for students, foreign employees, and au pairs, non-immigrant visas are issued.
If you wish to stay permanently in Belgium, then you should apply for various forms of visas for immigrants. Full-time staff, entrepreneurs beginning a business, and self-employed jobs are granted long-term immigrant visas.
Request for an Artist Visa for Germany
Germany makes it reasonably easy for you to move to Europe, unlike other nations in Europe. Especially provided that through the artist visa, they help talented freelancers and musicians.
This visa is issued for some occupations. You will possibly convince the immigration officer to accept your application, as long as you have a good portfolio and job experience. For eg, the regular recipients of the visa are painters, singers, photographers, and dancers.
An artist’s visa, however, is only eligible if you reside in Berlin. You should only apply for a standardized freelance visa if you intend to travel to another city in Germany. While this visa has more requirements to fulfill, for self-employed employees and digital nomads, it is also another option. Traveling to Germany is also healthy, and the nation provides very reasonable salaries-in other words, it’s an excellent place to live your ex-pat life.
In Italy, get a long term visa
Italy is also considered one of the planet’s finest holiday destinations.
It’s plain to see why you would like to move to Italy. You will be able to enjoy gourmet meals, jaw-dropping landscapes, and excellent culture every day of the year, after all!
You should apply for a long-term visa in Italy with enough money in your savings. You’ll need to show you have enough funds to support yourself financially for the length of your stay for your submission.
If you have at least €30,000 in deposits (about $33,000), you stand a better chance of being accepted. But keep in mind that it’s not clear the exact total.
The only stipulation is that, when living in Europe, you can not work. But if lounging in Tuscany or venturing through Rome sounds up your alley, it may be a smart idea to move to Italy.
Spend a Year in Visa-Free Albania
You could spend a year relaxing on the Adriatic coast or skiing in the Albanian Alps in Albania as an American citizen.
You can enter Albania without a visa and remain for a whole year without a residency permit. When the year is over, you will need to quit to reset the clock at the time limit for 90 days. This is an excellent opportunity to fly across Europe, as you can stay without a visa for up to three months in the Schengen region.
You will come back to Albania for another year after the 90-day restriction is up!
Get a Visa for long term residency in Spain
Spain is also considered one of Europe’s safest areas for foreigners to permanently move to. And, happily, Spain is also full of stunning towns and varied scenery, making it an excellent choice for ex-pats.
As an employee, learner, au pair, entrepreneur, and real estate investor, you will apply for a long-term visa. Many considerations, such as your school schedule or job deal, can depend on the amount of time you will spend in Spain.
And you’ll be qualifying for a non-lucrative resident visa provided you have enough money to support yourself. The visa itself has a validity of just three months. However, after you arrive, you will apply for a residency permit. This permit is valid for a term of two years and can be renewed for a duration of seven years.
In France, get a Year-Long Visa
You should apply for a visa for a long stay if you wish to spend time in France. This extended visitor visa would allow you to stay for up to a year in France.
To apply, you will need evidence of housing, health care for the length of your stay, and enough money to support yourself. There is no particular sum of money needed, but I’ve heard that it should be necessary to provide at least €2500 per month.
You will still require a detailed notarized letter specifying that you will not participate in any work-related activities, because you will not work on this visa.
Schengen Visa Overstay Rules Expired
Technically speaking, because you have a long-term visa, you cannot stay in the Schengen region for longer than 90 days. Doing so will result in heavy fines, expulsion, and, in some cases, in the future, being barred from traveling to Europe.
It’s illegal to overstay for even one day for this excuse. This law is not uniformly applied across Europe.
Some countries are more relaxed than other countries about overstaying. Many individuals feel that it is better to enter and exit Italy, Spain, and Greece. Officers in Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, on the other hand, could be more rigid concerning visa laws.
But at the end of the day, it’s all up to the discretion of the customs officer at the airport or train station to search for your visa.
Apply to Germany for a Temporary Residency Permit
One of the first areas that I looked at when I was looking at ways to permanently migrate to Europe was Germany.
While most German long-term permits are issued to students and workers, another form of permit is actually granted to residents of privileged countries, like the US.
This is the type of visa which makes it possible for me to live in Munich and fly all over Europe. Actually, I didn’t even realize that there was this sort of permit until another American friend of mine was accepted!
According to the German government, such permissions are issued only for a period of one year (although they can be renewed). However, for the length of my health care contract, which is 1.5 years, I was granted a residency permit.
Now you know how to permanently move to Europe.
If you come to live, learn, or just start a new life, Europe is a perfect place for you to call home. And you’ll have plenty of choices to pick from, with so many opportunities to stay in Europe for the long term.
You will potentially travel to Europe without a visa as a visitor for a few months. So you’ll need to apply for a long-term visa if you want to stay longer.
Or, if you’re very smart, you can take advantage of the Schengen and non-Schengen loopholes. You can realistically live in Europe forever by spending 90 days in Schengen and 90 days in a non-Schengen nation!
With so many long-term stay opportunities, you don’t even need to consider overstaying your visa. Europe is just too pretty to risk never returning.
Test this Secret Moving to Europe Tip
If you enter and depart from various countries, you can get away with overstaying. That’s because it’s unknown whether all the countries in the Schengen Region share your entrance and departure dates.
For starters, let’s assume you’ve arrived in France by plane. Your passport will be stamped with your entry date and your arrival will be registered by the French government.
You then move across Europe for the next several months and finally plan to fly back from Italy. The Italian computer system, it is claimed, is independent of the French one. The Italian immigration officer, therefore, would not know when you first arrived in the Schengen area.
He will need to manually measure the time between your arrival and departure stamps in your passport and see if you overstayed. And these officers don’t have the time, or inclination, to look at any stamp in your book on the basis of my experience.
Once again, however, this presumption is founded on previous experience and other travelers’ knowledge. I’ve heard of people living without any trouble for many weeks, while some have been found overstaying for only a few days. Currently, I’ve been overstaying in Germany for two weeks, and the airport officials haven’t turned a blind eye!
So, while you can legally overstay in Europe during your time, it’s hard to know if it’s going to succeed. It is probably unconstitutional. You can even get deported or barred from Europe by yourself.