How to Move to Europe from the USA Permanently?

Europe offers business opportunities, high standards of living, and a safe environment for retirement or to live in with your family. For all these reasons, the thought 'I want to move to Europe' is a common one, especially for US citizens. Since the Covid pandemic started, there's been an increase in US citizens giving up their citizenship and moving to Europe.

Europe is famous for its stringent immigration policies. Therefore, if you do not already have dual citizenship with a European country, moving there may seem difficult. Nevertheless, there are some avenues to live on this continent on a long-term basis.

In this article, we will outline the different paths you can take to live permanently in Europe.

Ways to Permanently Move to Europe

The complexity of navigating different countries' immigration policies can be difficult. Living on the European continent for the long term may come with similar challenges. We will discuss 2 pathways to move to Europe and settle there permanently.

1. European Permanent Residence

Every European country has its own procedures that can lead to a residence permit which you can renew. You will need to verify what the procedure is for the specific country you wish to live in. However, there are some commonalities, especially across the Schengen area. Here is how to move to Europe through a residence permit:

2. Golden Visa: 

Many European countries have this type of visa. It allows you to move into a country through varying types of investment ranging from opening a business, buying real estate, creating job positions, etc. In particular, Portugal has a simple golden visa procedure that experts such as Vancis Capital can guide you through. If the country is in the European Union, you'll be able to receive a permanent residence after you've lived there for 5 years while respecting their requirements.

3. Retirement Visa: 

Pensioners moving to Europe can use a retirement visa to live in Ireland, Albania, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Denmark, Latvia, Portugal, Belgium, Malta, and Italy.

4. Nomad Visa: 

If you make passive income or work remotely, you might qualify for a nomad visa. For example, there is the Spanish digital nomad visa. Once you have this visa, you may be eligible for permanent residence after a given period.

5. Family Connection: 

If you have a European family member, you might be able to move to their country depending on their laws. If they are from the European Union, you might be able to gain a visa through them if you meet their requirements.

It is important to note that all of these visas have time limits. However, you may renew them until you reach a permanent residence permit. You should also note that failure to renew these visas or overstaying them could lead to penalties. For instance, a possible penalty is a travel ban to those countries or the whole of the European Union.

6. European Citizenship

Acquiring citizenship is another way of moving to Europe from the USA. Once you have European citizenship, you'll be able to stay there for the foreseeable future.

Here are three paths to gaining European citizenship:

  • Family Connection: If you have a blood tie to one of these countries, you may be able to gain that country's citizenship.
  • Naturalization: If you live in those countries for a long enough period, you may be able to become a citizen of these countries. This can be achieved after receiving a permanent residency.
  • Marriage: If you marry a European, you may be able to gain your spouse's citizenship.

Traveling Ease across Europe for US Citizens

You might wonder how long can US Citizens stay in the EU without a visa. Through the agreement the US government has with the European Union, their citizens can visit the Schengen area for 90 days in a 6 month period.

Beyond that, European countries each have visas you can access for tourism or business that last months or years at a time. Additionally, you can take the tourism and visa policies of other European countries into account.

The following non-Schengen area allows US citizens to travel across Europe without holding a visa:

  • Albania: You can stay in this country for a year without a residence permit.
  • Andorra: You'll be able to live there for 90 days with no visa.
  • Belarus: This country allows you to visit for business or tourism for 30 days within a year.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina: You can visit this country without a visa for less than 3 months.
  • Cyprus: This country offers tourist visas that last 90 days.
  • Georgia: You can live in this country as a tourist for 1 year.
  • Ireland: Whether you go to this country for tourism or business, you can live there for 90 days.
  • Moldova: You can visit this country without a visa for 90 days.
  • Montenegro: You can stay in this country for 90 days without a visa.
  • North Macedonia: Within 6 months, you can travel to this country for 90 days without a visa.
  • United Kingdom: You can live on these islands for 6 months.
  • Turkey: US citizens can stay in Turkey for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa.
how to move to Europe


Now that you know how to move to Europe through residence permits and citizenship programs, all you need to do is plan everything carefully. If you are looking to apply for a Golden Visa program through investment, you can seek advice from experts such as Vancis Capital. Being a US citizen, if you desire to just travel across Schengen or non-Schengen areas for a short stay, you are ready to go, taking advantage of their tourism allowances.

Take charge of your future with our expert advisors

Get in touch to discuss how we can help you with your citizenship or residency by investment goals. One of our investment migration experts will contact you to discuss your case. With over 16 years of combined experience our team has helped hundreds of families achieve freedom.