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5 Easiest European Countries to Get Residence Without Investment

12 Apr 2023

5 Easiest European Countries to Get Residence Without Investment
Have you been looking into moving to another country?

Many of us set our eyes on the attractive horizons of better weather and more affordable living that can be found in some countries over the channel. Since Brexit, moving permanently to European Union countries for UK citizens has become increasingly tricky. 

If you’ve done any research, you might have encountered some concerns around finances. Namely, many countries offer a 'golden visa', which is a residency-by-investment program that requires a certain investment to be made. With some countries requiring a minimum investment of 250,000 euros (approximately £220,000), moving to Europe can feel impossible. 

But don’t sell out your hopes. Some European countries do have an easier option for UK citizens. We have compiled a list of some of the easiest countries to obtain residency in Europe without any investment.

1. Ireland 

an standing looking out at dramatic cliffs of Ireland

Ireland is one of the easiest countries for British citizens to move to, as it has a Common Travel Area agreement with the UK. This means Britons can live and work in Ireland without need of a visa or work permit. As a result, there are no residency or investment requirements. What’s more, life in Ireland can be an easy transition from most parts of Great Britain. 

However, it is recommended that British citizens inform the UK government and other relevant bodies of the move to ensure that their tax and National Insurance contributions are organised. If you are moving to Ireland from the UK, find out how to start your move with Bishop’s Move. 

2. Germany 

German flag outside a state building

Since the UK is no longer a member of the European Union, moving to Germany has become more difficult. However, there are several different ways to move without the need for a large monetary investment. 

One great way to relocate to Germany is through employment. If you are offered a job in Germany, your employer can apply for a work permit on your behalf. It will allow you to live and work in Germany. If you work for yourself, you can apply for a residence self-employed permit. The application process requires proof of your business plan and financial resources.

Moving to Germany provides a number of great travel, work and education opportunities for the whole family. While the language barrier is present, Germany has countless resources for newcomers to learn German, and many natives also speak excellent English. 

For help moving your belongings to Germany, contact Bishop’s Move. Our expert international moving services are the ideal helping hand.

3. Portugal

Lite-up Lisbon’s bridges at dusk 

Portugal offers some excellent permanent residency options for British citizens without a costly investment. One of the most well-known visas Portugal offers is the D7, also known as the Retirement Visa or Passive Income Visa. This type of visa allows you to apply for residency in Portugal, regardless of your country of origin, as long as you earn enough from sources outside the country. The minimum yearly income required to be eligible for D7  is €8,460, plus 50% of this amount for your spouse and 30 per cent for each dependent child.

With the visa, you can reside in Portugal indefinitely, as long as you can provide proof of your income earned. This income can be from sources such as real estate, transferable equity, pensions, intellectual property, or financial investments. This includes working as a freelancer or in a remote position, but you cannot work for a Portuguese employer.

If you decide that the right choice for you and your family is moving to Portugal, Bishop’s Move can offer plenty of advice.

4. Spain 

Sunrise at Ronda Bridge in between two cliffs

Moving to Spain is a popular option for expats and a dream for many retirees. Since Brexit, many are wondering if they can still go. Fortunately, Spain offers a long-term visa program for British citizens who are considering retiring or living off their savings in the country. However, this visa program does not cover work permits, and applicants must demonstrate that they have sufficient income to support themselves in Spain.

It can be trickier if you want to work when relocating to Spain. If you are offered a job by a Spanish company, you will also need to obtain a residence visa and provide proof of a contract of employment from the Spanish company. The company will then need to demonstrate that they were unable to find a suitable candidate within the EU before offering you the job.

If you’ve sorted your visas, the next step is to start your move. Bishop’s Move can help get you started on your move to Spain or any other worldwide destination, so get in touch today for a free quote for your specific moving requirements.

5. Italy

blue water in the harbour of Portofino, Italy

For Italian food enthusiasts, it's good to know that moving to Italy without investment is possible. In fact, there are several options available for Brits who want to make the move. Each visa has its own costs, criteria, and waiting times. Firstly, if you've received a job offer from a company in Italy, you can apply for a working visa. Similar to Spain, employers are required to demonstrate that they couldn't find a suitable candidate within the country. If you can support yourself without working, you can apply for a national visa, commonly known as a retirement visa. Anyone can apply for this visa if they can prove their financial independence.

If you have family members with EU citizenship or permanent residency in Italy, you may be eligible to join them on a family visa as a UK citizen. This includes spouses, children, and parents of EU citizens or permanent residents in Italy. If you're in a long-term committed relationship with an EU citizen or a permanent resident in Italy, you can join them on a family visa, even if you're not married. In this case, you'll need to provide evidence of your relationship. 

It's important to note that the waiting times for visa approvals can vary depending on the type of visa and the volume of applications. The application process usually involves providing detailed documentation, such as proof of income, insurance coverage, and a clean criminal record. It's a good idea to start the application process well in advance. Once you are ready to move, it’s time to practise some Italian and look for a removal company for Italy.