How to move to Europe for a year (2023)

Want to escape to Europe for a year? Don't worry, I've put together a little checklist of everything you need to consider before you commit and how to move to Europe for a year. are you ready? Let's start.

Sometimes we want to live abroad, but we don't want to cut all ties and make it a permanent move. There are a large number of different visas and agreements across Europe,moving to Europe is easyA year without many problems.

That said, uprooting and moving to another continent is a big leap that requires careful consideration.

location, location, location

So the first thing to think about is where you really want to live while in Europe. It's a big place with a lot of options to consider. Each country has its own atmosphere, culture and unique selling points.

Even within each country, you have many different cities, towns and rural areas where you may want to live.

You can also choose several places you want to experience during the year. There is a lot of freedom of movement in Europe, so you might want to stay in one place for four months and move on.

Depending on your visa status, employment status or budget, this may be a real option for you.

I have lived abroad for many years and I love helping others to find a job abroad and create their "abroad plan".Check out my lessons belowGet started ASAP!

(Video) 5 Years Visa in Europe without Job offer|Move with Family| MOVE TO EUROPE!


The next thing to consider is your budget. It's not always the most fun part of planning a year abroad, but unfortunately it's necessary. Your budget will determine whether you should work while in Europe for a year, or whether you can take a more touristy, laid-back approach.

How to move to Europe for a year (2)

It will also determine where in Europe you can live. Places like Scandinavia are inherently more expensive to live and work in, so if you're looking for somewhere with a low enough cost of living that you get more bang for your buck, this won't be an option.

In general, Eastern Europe is cheaper than Western Europe, with the exception of Portugal and parts of Spain.

Work or play?

Once you've set your budget for the year, it's easy to see if you need to work. If you need a job, then you really need to look at the visa, which I will explore in more detail in this article.

If you're planning to move to Europe as a tourist for a year, you'll need some planning to exceed the visa-free maximum stay limit, but it's definitely possible.

Schengen area

If you do not intend to work while in Europe or do not intend to work full-time, as a US citizen, you can travel visa-free to the 26 Schengen countries for 90 days of the 180-day period.

So if you fly to Slovakia and want to travel to Austria orGermany, even up toPortugal, you don't need a visa to do this.

How to move to Europe for a year (3)

The most important thing to remember with a Schengen visa is that you cannot work legally. Of course ifyou are a remote workerOr self-employed, hard to track but technically you shouldn't be working without a work visa, it's country specific.

Another thing is that when your first 90 day period ends, you have to leave the Schengen area for at least 90 days before you can re-enter. You can actually spend 90 days in France, but on the 90th day you have to leave the Schengen area for at least three months.

There are many non-Schengen countries in Europe with a visa-free stay of up to 90 days, including Croatia, Ireland and Cyprus if you wish to stay longer,The UK offers a six-month visa-free stay to US citizens.

(Video) The shocking reality of moving to Europe.

A goddess

You need a visa if you plan to work in Europe for a year or if you want to stay in a country for a whole year. There are many different visas and each country has different entry criteria.

Most countries offer sponsored work visas, family visas,studious, or pension visa.

How to move to Europe for a year (4)

These are fairly standard and you will need proof of income, letters of recommendation and in some cases an acceptance letter from a current job or university.

Another route you can take is a remote work visa.These digital nomad visasAnywhere from one year to five years, depending on the country.

You usually have to meet a minimum monthly income requirement, which is basically to prove that you can afford yourself abroad.

Minimum requirements often reflect the cost of living, for example digital nomad visas are more affordable in Portugal than in Germany.

Language learning

If you are moving to another country where English is not the native language or you already speak it, you should at least learn the basics.

It doesn't matter if many Europeans are bilingual or trilingual, if you plan to live in Europe for a while,You must be able to speak one language or the other.

If nothing else, it helps you avoid red tape when you need to find accommodation, check in or pay your bills. It's hard to try to solve all these problems if you can't contact the person in charge.

(Video) 4 Easiest Countries in Europe Americans Can Move to LONG TERM!

In addition, some visas require a basic level of native language proficiency. For example, the German spouse visa saysYou must prove that you have reached the A1 level in German.Besides that this is a great skill, not knowing the language can affect your chances of getting a visa.


Next, you need to find a place to live. This will again depend on your budget and plans, but it's something to really consider.

Immigrate to Europe for a year if the budget is insufficientin the work plandomestic helper.

This usually meansyour job includes accommodationby default. It also means you don't have to worry about going to the trouble of finding accommodation abroad.

If your job doesn't involve overnight stays, you can check into a hotel or Airbnb while you look for a place to stay. Forums and Facebook pages are a good option.

Even if you don't want to move permanently, other expats will know the best real estate sites to put you on the right track.

One thing to check is the length of the housing contract. Many European housing contracts are for six months or one year.

Three-month contracts are rare, so if you're running on Schengen visa-free travel, you might want to stay in a hotel or find a cheap studio apartment on Airbnb.

If you're traveling with friends or loved ones, it's obviously a better deal and you'll have more options.

bureaucracy and red tape

With such a large movement, there is usually a lot of red tape involved. When you are in a new place for a year, you have to start doing things.


This means registering at a local council office, going through various stages of paperwork and, inevitably, frustration with the process.

Again, expat forums are a gold mine when it comes to dealing with red tape. They have been there and done that, so they know all the solutions and the best way to solve the problem.

Moving abroad every year is an annoying reality, but once you settle in for the first month or so, it's nothing to worry about!

Where to go next?

Finally, make a plan for your next steps. Who you areback to America? Are you planning to try to stay longer in Europe? Or going overseas to Asia?

When it comes to living abroad, you have to think about the future, at least a little. This is because visas take time to process. If you are extending your visa, it will take time.

Make sure you know exactly when your visa expires and that you leave the country on or before that date. You definitely don't want to overstay your visa and not only will you be deported, but you may not be allowed to return.

It's really not worth the risk. Mark this date in your calendar and make sure your next flight or train is booked before then.

Ready to move to Europe for a year?

Overall, moving to Europe for a year is a good idea. There are so many ways to do this and with so many countries in Europe you can experience so much culture, history and beauty in one place.

Once you're in Europe, it's so easy to get around that you can easily tick a few things off your travel bucket list while experiencing life in a completely different place.

It was a wonderful experience that will change you and leave you with many wonderful memories!


How can I move to Europe for a year? ›

Visas. If you're going to work in Europe for a year, or if you want to stay in one country for the full year, you're going to need a visa. There are a ton of different visas, and each country has different entry criteria. Most countries offer sponsored work visas, familial visas, student visas, or retirement visas.

Is it hard for a US citizen to move to Europe? ›

Can US citizens move to Europe? Yes, Americans can move to Europe. There are a variety of options available, with Golden Visas, Digital Nomad Visas, and other residency schemes available.

What is the easiest European country to immigrate to? ›

The easiest country for obtaining a residence permit in Europe is Portugal. There are options like a D7 visa for financially independent persons, a StartUp visa, a visa for retired persons, and the Golden Visa for investors.

How easy is it for an American to work in Europe? ›

As a US citizen, you do not have an automatic right to work in Europe. You need a valid Schengen work visa or a work visa for a specific non-Schengen country. Many Americans looking to work in Europe will use their 90 days per 180 days visa-free period to apply for jobs before obtaining a work visa.

Can US citizens stay in Europe for a year? ›

With a valid U.S. passport, you can stay up to 90 days for tourism or business during any 180-day period. Do not overstay! You must wait an additional 90 days before applying to re-enter the Schengen area. To stay longer than 90 days, you must have a visa.

How long can a US citizen live in Europe? ›

U.S. citizens can travel to most European countries for up to 90 days (within 180 days) as a tourist. However, for those who want to live there, acquiring a long-term visa and/or residency permit is your ticket to calling Europe home.

Is it cheaper to live in Europe than the US? ›

Overall, Europe has a lower cost of living due to lower healthcare expenses, a weakening euro currency, and low inflation. Europeans, however, tend to pay more of their income to taxes, and average wages tend to be lower than in America.

What is the easiest European country to live in as an American? ›

Spain is one of the easiest European countries to move to as a US citizen. Since you are from an English-speaking country you can easily get a temporary visa via the North American Language and Cultural Assistant program.

Can you move to Europe without a job? ›

That said, you can also move to Europe without a job contract in place. It may surprise some, but there are many other visa opportunities for you to get a taste of life in Europe. These include working holiday visas, job-seeker visas, freelancer visas, remote work visas, entrepreneur visas, and digital nomad visas.

Which European countries are not accepting immigrants? ›

Gallup's updated Migrant Acceptance Index ranks North Macedonia, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro – southeast European countries that along with Greece and Italy faced the initial waves of refugees – as the least-accepting countries for migrants.

Is living in Europe better than USA? ›

Quality of life: European countries offer shorter working weeks, longer holidays, and a greater focus on work-life balance. This emphasis on quality of life is one of the biggest advantages that Europe has over the US.

What is the easiest English speaking country to immigrate to? ›

Canada is one of the most welcoming countries to immigrate to. It is also one of the easiest because it has a vast landmass and a small population. Canada covers several programs for immigrants to move to attract new residents.

What countries can US citizens work in? ›

As an American, you can work in Australia, Ireland, Singapore, New Zealand, Canada, and South Korea. If your visa requires you to get a background check first, National Background Check, Inc. can help with all the necessary background checks and travel paperwork you will need to safely and effectively travel abroad.

Can a US citizen live and work in Europe? ›

Yes, US citizens can move to Europe, but how easy it would be depends on which European country you want to live in. Every country has its own immigration rules. You'll need either a work permit (for a job in your target country), or another kind of residence visa.

What is the easiest country in Europe for an American to get a job? ›

Luxembourg. Getting a work visa in Luxembourg is relatively easy, and the country offers a number of options from short-term to long-term. Although it's a small European country, Luxembourg has had the highest minimum wage and the lowest unemployment rate in Europe for the past 40 years.

What is the 90 180 rule? ›

Your total stay in the Schengen area must be no more than 90 days in every 180 days. It does not matter how many countries you visit. The 180-day period keeps 'rolling'.

How many years can a US citizen live abroad? ›

While the normal limit is a year, you can stay longer and still preserve your US citizen if you are a military service member, Government employee, or meet any other criteria discussed above i.e., work for a US multinational or you proactively preserve residence.

Can I leave the US for a year? ›

Absences of more than 365 consecutive days

You must apply for a re-entry permit (Form I-131) before you leave the United States, or your permanent residence status will be considered abandoned. A re-entry permit enables you to be abroad for up to two years. Apply for a re-entry permit.

Is moving to Europe a good idea? ›

Pros of Moving to Europe

Among the pros are accessible and affordable transportation between European cities, allowing for less expensive tourism; a strong exchange rate; more cost-effective home prices; and an overall healthier lifestyle, ex-pats say.

What is the best European country to move to from USA? ›

Switzerland: Although many European countries offer a better quality of life than the U.S., Switzerland takes the cake. It's globally ranked for its safety, infrastructure and natural beauty. All of this, of course, comes at a cost: Switzerland is one of the world's most expensive countries to live in.

Can I move to Europe for 6 months? ›

Yes, as long as you have a visa that allows it (e.g. a double-entry or multiple-entry visa). However, take note that you must calculate your days of stay so as to ensure that you don't stay for more than 90 days in ANY 180-day period (see here for more info). How do you count the 90-day limit for any 180-day period?

Can I buy a house in Europe as an American? ›

Yes, US citizens can purchase property in Europe. In fact, many US citizens are purchasing property in Europe in recent times due to the soaring dollar and rising interest rates, which have made American buys splurge on real estate acquisition across all of Europe as property prices have decreased respectively.

Where can Americans move to in Europe? ›

for American Expats
  • Braga. Portugal. The Portuguese people are explorers and we owe many discoveries to them. ...
  • Madrid. Spain. ...
  • Brighton. United Kingdom. ...
  • San Sebastian. Spain. ...
  • Hamburg. Germany. ...
  • Athens. Greece. ...
  • Brest-Terres Océanes. France. ...
  • The Algarve. Portugal.

What is the cheapest European country to live in? ›

Poland. Compared to its counterparts, Poland is considered one of the cheapest countries in Europe to live in. It is also one of the most economically developed countries in Eastern Europe. The quality of life in Poland is of comparable standards, plus it is low-cost.

What is the friendliest country to move to? ›

Download Table Data
CountryRank2023 Population
60 more rows

Where can US citizens go without a visa? ›

AMERICAS: American Samoa, Argentina, Belize, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Falkland Islands, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, and Uruguay.

Which country is easiest to get citizenship? ›

List of Easiest Countries to get Permanent Residency
  • Canada. Canada is largely considered the easiest country to immigrate to and acquire citizenship status. ...
  • New Zealand. New Zealand offers a Skilled Migration Program for individuals aged under 55 years. ...
  • Portugal. ...
  • Thailand. ...
  • Ireland. ...
  • Australia.
Dec 26, 2022

Am I too old to move to Europe? ›

You are NEVER too old to move abroad.

Because whatever stage of life you're in, single or with a family, we strongly believe, that you should never let your age put your off fulfilling that dream of moving to another country. However, there are also some things to consider.

Where are Americans moving to? ›

And secondly, they are also states where housing is more affordable and available than in parts of the country that lost residents. The states that attracted the most new residents in 2022 are Florida, Texas, North Carolina and South Carolina, followed by other states in the South and West.

How can I move out of the US permanently? ›

If you're planning to move out of the US permanently, or even give up your US citizenship, then you need a second passport. You can move to certain countries for 5 years and then apply for citizenship, or you can buy a passport and have it in hand in 90 days to 8 months.

What are the least welcoming European countries? ›

Seven European countries were among the ten countries considered least accepting of migrants in 2019, a Gallup poll revealed on 23 September. The countries are North Macedonia, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Latvia.

Who has the most asylum seekers in Europe? ›

Since 2013, Syria has been the country of citizenship of the largest number of asylum seekers in the EU.

Which countries in Europe have the strictest immigration? ›

Liechtenstein. Liechtenstein follows the strictest immigration rules because it's a small country, and it can easily be overpopulated. For that reason, moving and getting a residence permit to Liechtenstein is one of the most difficult immigration processes in Europe.

How much money do you need to live in Europe? ›

How much does it cost to live in Europe for a month?
CityCost of living for a single person (USD)Cost of living for a family of four (USD)
4 more rows
Mar 7, 2023

Why are so many Americans moving to Europe? ›

A strong exchange rate, affordable housing, and free healthcare are just some of the reasons leading so many American citizens to make the move across the pond.

Is America healthier than Europe? ›

American adults are less healthy than Europeans at all wealth levels. The poorest Americans experience the greatest disadvantage relative to Europeans. The United States spends 2 to 3 times more than European countries on medical care per capita.

Which country welcomes immigrants the most? ›

Canada. Located in North America and sharing the longest binational land border of the world with the USA, Canada is undoubtedly the most desirable country in the world to immigrate to. The government is known for its welcoming attitude toward immigrants.

What is the cheapest English-speaking country to live in? ›

Possibly the cheapest English-speaking country to live in is South Africa. Not only can you get by without having to go to language school, but most South African cities also have a high standard of living, similar to Western cities, which will make the transition much easier.

Where is the safest English-speaking country to live? ›

Singapore. Singapore is a country where you can find political stability as well as safety, as there is a low crime rate there. You can also find people from various nationalities already living there. They include people from China, Malaysia, and India.

What countries does the US not work with? ›

Combined, the Treasury Department, the Commerce Department and the State Department list sanctions concerning these countries or territories:
  • Afghanistan.
  • Belarus.
  • China.
  • Crimea.
  • Cuba.
  • Eritrea.
  • Iran.
  • Libya.

What is this Golden Visa? ›

In 2019, the United Arab Emirates launched a new visa system for long-term visa holders. This is known as a Golden visa. This Golden Visa allows foreigners to live, work and study in the United Arab Emirates.

Is it hard to get a job in Europe? ›

Finding a job in Europe may not be hard if you have the required qualifications and experience. Finding a job in Europe will be easy if you follow a well-planned job search strategy and get your work visa. If you found this blog engaging, continue to read… Plan your visit to EU countries.

Can I move to Europe without a degree? ›

By: Vanessa M.W. Is it possible to move to Europe without a degree? Yes, it's absolutely possible to move to Europe without a degree!

What do I need to do to move to Europe? ›

Moving and living in Europe requires a bit of preparation, but it is worth it all.
  1. Sort out your finances in advance. ...
  2. Get easy access to your money. ...
  3. Apply for a visa. ...
  4. Store your personal belongings. ...
  5. Get insurance. ...
  6. Check up on your health before you go. ...
  7. Update your driver's license. ...
  8. Renew your IDs and cards.

How long can Americans stay in Europe? ›

With a valid U.S. passport, you can stay up to 90 days for tourism or business during any 180-day period. Do not overstay! You must wait an additional 90 days before applying to re-enter the Schengen area. To stay longer than 90 days, you must have a visa.

Which European country is easy to find a job? ›

top 5 countries in Europe to study and work
  • Germany. Germany has remained consistently at the top of many lists for the past three years, and rightly so. ...
  • The Netherlands. ...
  • Spain. ...
  • Norway. ...
  • Switzerland.
Feb 17, 2023

Which EU country speaks English? ›

The English language is the de facto official language of England, the sole official language of Gibraltar and of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, and one of the official languages of the Republic of Ireland, Malta, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey and the European Union.

Can you move to a country for a year? ›

To move abroad for a year:

Establish where you will live. Make arrangements to store what you can't take with you, and hire an international shipping company for large items that you can't pack. Apply for all necessary documents, including your visa.

Can you move abroad for a year? ›

You CAN live abroad for a year (or more)!

Whether you are joining a program or striking out on your own, a student looking to learn a new language or a professional wanting to work in a different culture or a volunteer, there are thousands of opportunities out there just waiting to be found.

How can I legally immigrate to Europe? ›

You should always apply for a visa or residence permit directly from the authorities of the EU country you plan to move to. There's no EU institution that handles applications or issues visas or residence permits on behalf of individual countries.

How long can a US citizen live abroad? ›

A naturalized citizen can live for as long as they wish in another country, with almost no risk to their U.S. citizenship status.

Can a US citizen live abroad forever? ›

While the normal limit is a year, you can stay longer and still preserve your US citizen if you are a military service member, Government employee, or meet any other criteria discussed above i.e., work for a US multinational or you proactively preserve residence.

Can a US citizen live in another country for years? ›

No Longer Can One Lose U.S. Citizenship By Living in Another Country. At this time, no penalties exist if a naturalized U.S. citizen simply goes to live in another country. This is a distinct benefit of U.S. citizenship, since green card holders can have their status taken away for "abandoning" their U.S. residence.

How much money do I need to live abroad for a year? ›

When you budget for a move abroad, you anticipate and save up towards those costs. The travel community online often suggests from $5000 to $8000 USD per person as a starting budget to move overseas.

How can I move to Europe with little money? ›

10 steps to move overseas with no money
  1. Get on board with finding work abroad. ...
  2. Find the right work abroad program. ...
  3. Make the decision. ...
  4. Tell friends and family you're moving abroad. ...
  5. Begin the visa process & figure out housing. ...
  6. Learn about the logistics of life as a foreigner. ...
  7. Prepare yourself financially.
Jan 4, 2023

Where can US citizens work without a visa? ›

  • Svalbard. Transferring to Svalbard from the US is relatively easy because you don't need a visa to enter, work, or live on the archipelago. ...
  • Mexico. Mexico seems to be the top destination for US citizens to start their new life. ...
  • Portugal. ...
  • Ecuador. ...
  • Malta. ...
  • Spain. ...
  • South Korea. ...
  • Australia.

Can a US citizen become a citizen in Europe? ›

There are several ways of claiming or applying for citizenship in Europe as an American: You can have citizenship by descent, by naturalization, by investment, or by exception. Citizenship by descent requires you to have a family history tied to the second nation.

What is the best European country to move to from the US? ›

Switzerland: Although many European countries offer a better quality of life than the U.S., Switzerland takes the cake. It's globally ranked for its safety, infrastructure and natural beauty. All of this, of course, comes at a cost: Switzerland is one of the world's most expensive countries to live in.

Can Americans move to Italy? ›

Living in Italy as a US citizen is possible if you have the right permit. There are 2 types of residence permits in Italy: 1. Permesso di Soggiorno: a temporary, renewable residence permit with varying durations of validity.


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