Alright, so you’ve made the decision to move to another EU country, what now? Well, there are quite a few rules and regulations that you have to follow before you can call Europe your second home. And you might want to hold off on packing your stuff because some of these requirements-like getting permits and finding accommodation- might take some time.
It’s important to note here though, that if you’re a citizen of an EU member country already, then moving to any other European country like Malta will be significantly easier for you than it is for nationals of countries outside of the EU states. For example, EU citizens that are moving from one European country to another will have a much easier time getting access to work opportunities, and they’re allowed to hold onto their social security benefits as well, which is great.
Here’s what you need to know if you plant on moving to and working in Europe.
Working in another EU Country
The free movement of labour between EU states is an important tenet that underpins how these countries are organized.
This means that EU citizens are allowed to:
- Live in any EU country
- Look for work in any EU country of their choosing
- Work in any EU country without a work permit
- Continue living in an EU country even after their employment contract has ended
- Access the same employment opportunities and enjoy the same working conditions as the nationals of that EU country
- Access to all the tax and social advantages that nationals of that EU country enjoy
Now, whether or not you’re already an EU national, there are still plenty of opportunities for you to live and work in Europe if you like, granted that you prepare yourself appropriately.
Here are some important considerations to make as you start to prepare for your move to Europe.
Choose a Country: Europe is a continent that’s teeming with a rich and well-preserved history, a kaleidoscope of proud cultures and plenty of opportunities for the future. However, with 44 unique countries for you to choose from and each offering something different, selecting just one is understandably tough, especially if you’re planning on spending a considerable chunk of your life in said country.
One of the most effective strategies that you can use to narrow down your choices is by reducing your number of options to just 5 favourites and then take it from there.
Language: Keep in mind the language barrier that exists in each of the countries on your list as well, and whether or not you’d be willing to learn the local language in order to communicate with the locals.
Locals in countries like France, Italy and Germany don’t really speak much English beyond just a few conversational phrases, whereas people in Scandinavian countries as well as the Netherlands and Luxembourg are quire fluent in the English language. With that said, learning to speak the local language will be to your advantage when navigating daily activities as well as bureaucracy matters.
Cost: The cost of living in most European countries is pretty reasonable, and this includes places like Spain, Malta and Croatia to name but a few. Some countries even offer free or very affordable health care at really high standards, while things like foie gras, wine and baguettes are sold at dirt cheap prices when compared to other places around the world.
On the other hand, you also have places like Switzerland, the UK, Denmark and Iceland that are pricey. However, if you’re after a really high quality of life, having income security, environmental integrity and excellent quality universal healthcare then you probably won’t mind the cost of living in places Sweden and Norway.
Bureaucracy: As someone that’s new to the European country that you’re planning on moving to, you’re likely to deal with a massive amount of bureaucracy. So be sure to arm yourself with knowledge on tax regulations, banking and immigration laws of the place you’ll be moving to, as that can make life much easier for you.
VISA: There are different types of VISA’s available for people that want to move to Europe, and the one you choose will depend on the amount of time you plan on spending there, as well as your intentions for moving.
Generally speaking, if you want to start living in Europe but you don’t have a job lined up yet then you can apply for a job-seekers VISA or something similar. This will enable you to stay in your chosen EU country for up to six months as a job-seeker.
Again, do your research on the immigration laws of the particular country that you’re moving to and find out which VISA you should apply for and how long it’ll last etc.
Tax and Banking: Consult with your tax attorney or a duly qualified professional who will help you to maintain your bank and investment accounts. Be sure to fill out the appropriate paperwork prior to moving to Europe so that you don’t end up falling victim to double taxation.
Work: As previously mentioned, there are plenty of work opportunities all across Europe, and this includes short-term and long-term work. Some of the most common job opportunities available for expats include working in the tourism industry, in the hospitality sector, working as an au pair, as well as Teaching English as a Foreign Language aka TEFL.
Just keep in mind that you’ll require a TEFL certification before you can apply for a TEFL position though, but it has really flexible work and it pays really well too.
Transport: Most countries and cities in Europe have organized public transportation so you probably won’t have to purchase or rent a car in most places.
Whether you’re planning on starting a business in Europe or just want to move there to work for someone else, the process of moving to any EU country is usually straightforward. Just make sure to do your research and prepare accordingly to enjoy a smooth stay.