Published
March 22, 2024
Category

4 Easiest European Countries to Move to in 2024

In an increasingly unstable world, having a “Plan B” that includes an alternative residence or citizenship can provide peace of mind. Holding an EU passport offers a safety net, presenting flexible options for living, working, the freedom to travel within Europe as well as free access to a world-class Education. 

In this article, we will explore the easiest European countries to move to, examine various pathways to acquiring European nationalities, and discuss why opting for one might be a wise decision.

Key Takeaways

  • Malta, Portugal, Greece, and Germany stand out as the easiest European countries to move to, with Malta offering the fastest citizenship in Europe.
  • The main ways to acquire an EU passport are through citizenship by descent, naturalization, marriage or partnership, investment, and special contributions.
  • Obtaining EU citizenship provides global mobility, a high quality of life, access to comprehensive healthcare and education systems, and a robust social safety net.
  • Mirabello Consultancy is recognized for providing immigration solutions, emphasizing a personalized approach to guide clients through investment migration options.

4 easiest european countries to move to

Malta Residency - Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment 

Citizenship Time: 12-36 months

Minimal investment amount: 

  • €600,000 for a minimum residence requirement of 36 months
  • €750,000 for a reduced residence requirement of 12 months.

Investment Type:

  • The investment can be in the form of an Exceptional Service Direct Investment, Property Procurement or Lease, and charitable contributions to Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).

Requirements to Citizenship by Naturalisation for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment:

  • Main applicants must be over 18 years of age.
  • Purchase or lease of residential property in Malta. The property purchased must be valued at no less than €700,000, or if leased, it must have a minimum annual rent of €16,000.
  • A mandatory residence period in Malta, generally set at 36 months, but can be reduced to 12 months if an increased investment is made.
  • A non-refundable donation to a registered NGO in Malta, amounting to at least €10,000.

Malta presents a compelling option for those looking for the easiest European countries to move to. It's important to mention that it is one of the few countries in Europe that still offers citizenship through investment. This program also provides the fastest path to citizenship in Europe, unlike traditional immigration processes, which often involve lengthy and complex residency requirements. 

Nonetheless, Malta's appeal is not limited to being the easiest EU country to gain citizenship. As a member of the European Union, Maltese citizens enjoy the freedom to live, work, and study anywhere within the EU and the European Economic Area. They also benefit from high-quality healthcare and education systems.

The country boasts a dynamic and growing economy and offers a favorable environment for entrepreneurs and investors, complete with business-friendly regulations and a wealth of opportunities.

Portugal Golden Visa

Minimal investment amount:  

  • EUR 350,000
  • EUR 500,000 in populated areas.

Investment type: Real Estate

Golden visa requirements:

  • Non-EU investors must start with a valid entry visa for Portugal.
  • Applicants must visit and purchase a qualifying property of interest in Portugal.
  • The Portuguese government processes and approves the application, after which the applicant and their family may travel to Portugal to finalize the process and receive the residence card.
  • To maintain the Portuguese residence permit, the applicant must visit Portugal for at least seven days a year and retain the qualifying property investment.

Eligibility criteria for citizenship:

  • After five years of legal residency by investment.
  • The applicant must submit a form and supporting documentation to the Portuguese consulate in their home country.
  • The applicant is required to have a clean criminal record and must be able to support themselves financially.

Portugal stands out as one of the easiest European countries to gain residency, particularly for those who prefer a lower investment threshold and a straightforward residency process that may lead to citizenship in the long term. 

With an investment of EUR 350,000 in real estate, you’re presented with the incredible opportunity to immerse yourself in a country celebrated for its laid-back lifestyle in front of the Atlantic Ocean. This investment opens the door to life in Portugal and makes traveling to some of Europe’s most sought-after destinations easier.

Enjoy the wonderfully creamy pastel de natas and sip on the unique green wine right from its origin. From sunny beaches to historic cities like Lisbon and Porto, Portugal packs a treasure trove of sights waiting to be discovered.

For those eyeing the easiest visa to get in Europe, without the immediate pressure of securing EU citizenship, Portugal stands as an unparalleled choice.

German Residency by Independent Means

Minimal investment amount:  EUR 200,000

Eligibility criteria for Germany's Independent Means Residency program:

  • Applicants must have been residents for five years. 
  • Applicants should demonstrate sufficient financial means, have intermediate language skills (B1 level), and have no criminal record.

Eligibility criteria for citizenship:

  • For German citizenship, legal residence in Germany for 8 years is required, which can be reduced to 7 years with an approved integration course, and further reduced to 6 years if holding a German language certificate of B2 level or higher.

Among the list of the easiest EU countries to get residency, Germany should not be overlooked. With a minimum investment amount of €200,000, applicants can tap into the benefits of the strong German economy and its central position in Europe.

The German Golden Visa grants freedom of movement within the Schengen area, allowing visa-free travel across 26 European countries. It opens doors to Germany's world-class education and healthcare systems and provides the right to work and start a business within the country.

Social benefits, such as child benefits, housing assistance, and unemployment benefits, are also included. After a certain period of residence, which can lead to permanent residency and eventually German citizenship, applicants gain access to the EU job market, offering a competitive edge in job searches.

Greece Golden Visa

Minimal investment amount: EUR 250,000

Investment types:

  • Investment in real estate property with a minimum value of EUR 250,000, or enter into a 10-year lease agreement for hotel accommodation or furnished tourist residences.
  • Acquisition of Greek government bonds with a minimum value of EUR 400,000 with a residual maturity of at least three years at the time of purchase.
  • Investment in shares or corporate bonds with a minimum value of EUR 800,000.
  • Investment in mutual funds with a minimum value of EUR 400,000 targeting shares, bonds, and government securities.
  • A minimum of EUR 400,000 contribution to a company based in Greece, except for portfolio investment and real estate investment companies. 

Eligibility criteria for citizenship: Residing in Greece for seven years

Conveniently located at the crossroads of Europe, Greece offers more than its rich history and breathtaking landscapes. It’s also one of the easiest European countries to move to. The Greek Golden Visa Program, with a minimum investment of EUR 250,000 in real estate, offers investors and their families several benefits, including visa-free travel within the Schengen zone. Additionally, after residing in Greece for seven years, they can apply for citizenship. 

The streamlined application process is designed to be efficient, without the need for stringent residency or language prerequisites, further strengthening the reputation of Greece further strengthening the reputation of Greece as having one of the easiest visa to get in Europe.

Beyond the ease of access, investing in Greece is a financially sound decision. The real estate market promises attractive rental yields and potential for property value appreciation, appealing to those looking to diversify their investment portfolio. The non-residency option also adds flexibility, as it allows investors to benefit from the program without committing to full-time residency, aligning perfectly with the global investor lifestyle.

5 main ways to get EU passport

Citizenship by Descent

If you have parents, grandparents, or even great-grandparents who were citizens of an EU country, you might be eligible for citizenship by descent. This process varies significantly between countries, with some nations offering relatively straightforward pathways, while others may have more stringent requirements or limitations on how far back you can trace your lineage. It's essential to research the specific regulations of the country you're interested in, as this could be one of the fastest and least costly methods to obtain an EU passport.

Naturalization

Naturalization involves becoming a citizen of an EU country through residency. Typically, this route requires you to live in the country for a certain period, ranging from 5 to 10 years, depending on national laws. During this time, you'll need to demonstrate integration into the society, which could include language proficiency, understanding of the culture, and economic contribution. This process is more time-consuming and requires a significant commitment to your chosen country, but it's a viable option for many.

Marriage or Partnership

Marrying or entering into a registered partnership with an EU citizen can facilitate your path to obtaining an EU passport. While this method can expedite the naturalization process in some countries, it's important to note that you'll still need to comply with various requirements, such as living in the country for a specific period and proving the genuineness of the relationship. The exact criteria and timeline differ by country, making it essential to consult local immigration laws.

Investment

Several EU countries offer citizenship by investment programs, designed to attract wealthy individuals willing to make significant financial contributions to the country's economy. These programs often require investing in real estate, government bonds, or local businesses, with the investment thresholds and benefits varying from one country to another. While this route offers a quicker path to citizenship compared to naturalization, it involves a substantial financial commitment and thorough due diligence to ensure compliance with all legal requirements.

Specializing in golden visa and second citizenship programs, Mirabello Consultancy stands out for its commitment to delivering seamless and efficient immigration solutions. They offer a bespoke service that begins with a comprehensive, cost-free initial consultation to evaluate your unique needs and guide you toward the most suitable investment program. Their dedication is reflected in the personalized attention given to each client, ensuring a smooth transition through every application process step. Mirabello Consultancy has a proven track record in handling, processing, and distributing a significant number of investment migration solutions across the globe. Their ongoing support, extending even beyond the acquisition of citizenship or residency, establishes them as a trusted partner in securing a better life through strategic investment.

Special Contributions

Some EU nations grant citizenship in recognition of special contributions to the country, whether through exceptional achievements in sports, arts, science, or significant economic contributions that go beyond standard investment programs. These cases are typically very rare and subject to the discretion of the government, requiring a detailed submission that highlights how the individual's contributions have significantly benefited the country.

Why should you consider citizenship by investment for getting an EU passport?

First and foremost, an EU passport is a key to unlocking unparalleled global mobility. EU citizenship grants you the right to travel visa-free or with visa-on-arrival access to around 180 countries worldwide.

Investing in EU citizenship grants access to the European Single Market, among the largest and most lucrative economic zones globally. A 2019 estimate revealed that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of member countries averages 9 percent higher due to the single market's integration benefits. With a population of approximately 450 million people and a GDP nearing 16 trillion euros, the EU's international influence is substantial, both economically and politically.

For families and individuals valuing education, an EU passport provides access to some of the world's leading educational institutions, often at reduced tuition rates. Beyond academic excellence, Europe is renowned for its high standard of living, robust healthcare systems, and comprehensive social security benefits. This reputation is further supported by data from leading rankings. According to the Quality of Life Index by Numbeo, nine countries within the top ten are located in Europe, showcasing the continent's exceptional living conditions.

FAQ

What is the cheapest permanent residency in Europe?

If you're looking for the cheapest and easiest EU country to get residency, you should familiarize yourself with the Golden Visa programs offered by Portugal, Greece, and Germany.

Which EU country gives citizenship fastest?

The Maltese passport is the easiest EU passport to get, available in only 12 months with an investment of €750,000.

What are the easiest European countries for Americans to move to?

Portugal, Greece, and Germany are the easiest European countries to move to from the USA thanks to their golden visa programs that can potentially lead to citizenship. Meanwhile, Malta offers the fastest citizenship in Europe for those seeking to quickly acquire European nationality.

So we've provided you with essential insights on the easiest European countries to move to. For more personalized advice and in-depth information, consider booking a free consultation with our experts in the field. 

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