Permanent residence in the EU

Permanent residence in the EU

Immigration to Europe, especially to EU countries, is a popular destination among foreigners who plan to live in a developed country with high levels of security, wages, and social guarantees. To move to an EU country for permanent residence, an applicant needs to choose a basis for legalization - obtaining the status of a temporary or permanent resident. An immigrant can become a full-fledged resident of a European country with access to rights identical to those of the indigenous population after obtaining EU citizenship.

To move to an EU country for permanent residence, an applicant needs to choose a basis for legalization - obtaining the status of a temporary or permanent resident.

Pros and cons of living in Europe

The advantages of living in the European Union can be attributed the following:

  • high salaries (on average from 33,500 EUR per year);
  • comprehensive social security (pension payments, financial support in case of loss of capacity or unemployment);
  • demanded universities (European countries are in the top ten in the world in terms of education);
  • innovative medicine (free or at the expense of basic insurance);
  • high level of personal and public safety.

Disadvantages of living in EU countries:

  • high prices for renting and buying real estate;
  • language barrier when communicating with the local population;
  • aviating list for an appointment with narrow medical specialists;
  • competition for employment with indigenous citizens.

Where is it better to go in Europe: TOP-5 countries for immigration

When choosing a country for permanent residence in Europe, one should take into account the level of wages, the complexity of mastering the state language, the demand for various professions in the labor market or prospects for starting your own business. It is also necessary to study the nuances regarding access to education at local universities and schools (for children), medical care, and features of immigration legislation (how easy it is for a foreigner to obtain citizenship).

Wishing to immigrate to the EU for permanent residence is enough to obtain citizenship of any union country for this purpose. The legislation of the European Union regulates equality of rights for all holders of passports of each state agreement. An EU citizen can live permanently in any union country, without restrictions on time and with access to the labor market, education, commercial activity, medicine.

The following are the best European countries for immigration from post-Soviet states according to the above criteria:

  • Germany
    A state with a developed economy and progressive immigration policy attracts many foreigners. Immigrants note a high level of wages (the average indicator is 3060 EUR/month after tax), an abundance of vacancies in the local labor market, assistance from social services for integration into society. German universities provide quality education, and a reliable banking network allows residents to use attractive products from financial institutions.
  • France
    The second largest country in Europe with access to the sea and ocean is characterized by a high standard of living, a variety of demanded areas for employment, a mild climate and a loyal immigration policy. The average monthly salary is about 2300 EUR (after tax deductions). Foreigners also note low bank interest rates (mortgage under 2-3%), quality medical services and social support.
  • Poland
    Many residents of post-Soviet countries choose Poland for permanent residence in Europe due to close mentalities, easy-to-learn state language from Slavic group, low cost of renting real estate. The local labor market has a shortage of personnel in areas that do not require high qualifications, which allows foreigners without special experience or education to find work. Another plus of immigration to Poland is the simplicity of legalizing stay in the country.
  • Netherlands
    The Western European country is characterized by a high level of security, developed economy, good ecology. Local residents have a high level of English proficiency and are friendly towards immigrants regardless of their nationality, gender, religion. The average salary in the Netherlands is approximately 3200 EUR after tax. Foreigners can find a job in their specialty or without due qualification, or register their own business with development prospects.
  • Spain
    The state on the Mediterranean coast attracts immigrants with a warm climate, an abundance of vacancies in the tourism sector, an active lifestyle of the local population. Spain’s immigration policy is one of the most loyal in the European Union and allows to claim local residency on many grounds available to foreigners.

Ways to move to Europe for permanent residence

To move to Europe (EU) for permanent residence, a foreigner needs to obtain the status of permanent residence or citizenship of one of the union countries. Full access to rights identical to those of the indigenous population becomes available to an immigrant only after obtaining an EU passport. You can get EU citizenship through the procedure of standard or accelerated naturalization (through investment, family reunification) or through repatriation. The initial residence permit can be obtained by a foreigner through marriage, family ties, education, work and other grounds established by the legislation of the chosen country.


Repatriation is a procedure for restoring civil rights for persons or their descendants who previously had territorial or ethnic affiliation with the respective country or people. Immigrants who documentarily prove the basis for granting them citizen status can participate in the program, for example using a birth certificate of a suitable relative. The procedure of repatriation is relevant for persons whose ancestors up to great-grandparents were residents of an EU country. This is the simplest, fastest and most accessible way to arrange a passport for moving to Europe and receiving all privileges of EU citizens.


Foreigners who are admitted to study at a university in Europe have the right to claim temporary resident status. Temporary residence is issued to an immigrant for the period of completion of the educational process. Usually, only half of the period spent in the country with a student’s residence permit is included in the period required for obtaining a passport by naturalization in the EU. Temporary resident status can also be claimed by interns, participants in language courses and professional development courses. Usually, an applicant is required to pay for education before obtaining temporary residence and have enough funds for living in the country.


Persons who get a job in European countries have the right to move to the EU and arrange temporary residence. A residence permit is granted to applicants for the duration of an employment contract, but no more than 1-4 years with the right to reissue. Working temporary residence can also be obtained by applicants as part of intra-corporate transfer or long-term secondment. Highly qualified foreigners can claim a special type of residence - an EU blue card when employed in a profession in a chosen union state.

Purchase of real estate

A number of EU countries (for example, Greece or Spain) provide foreigners with local residence status in case of purchasing residential or commercial real estate for a certain amount. Depending on the legislation of the chosen country, the applicant can dispose of the acquired property at his discretion - rent it out or use it only for his own residence. Laws also limit the right to resell the object within a certain period. When living in the country, the applicant can subsequently replace the status of a temporary resident with permanent residence and a local passport.

Starting a business

Most EU countries (for example, Hungary or France) welcome foreigners who want to conduct commercial activities on their territory. An immigrant has the right to obtain a residence permit when opening a new business or buying shares of an existing enterprise. The standard term of temporary residence is from 1 to 4 years with the right to reissue. There is also an opportunity to obtain resident status through the creation of a startup, the opening of which is sponsored by European licensed organizations.


An applicant can move from Russia or another post-Soviet state to Europe through investment in the economy of the chosen country. For example, Spain and Lithuania provide a residence permit to persons who invest certain amounts (from 250,000-500,000 EUR) in certain areas regulated by law. A number of countries (Cyprus, Malta) give foreigners the opportunity to immediately arrange permanent resident status for investments, bypassing the stage of living with temporary residence. Investments in particularly large amounts can become a basis for accelerated naturalization (for example, in Romania after 4 years instead of 8 when investing from 1,000,000 EUR in the local economy).

Illegal immigration

Staying in European countries with an expired resident status, illegal documents or a visa that does not correspond to the purpose of the trip (for example, tourist) is considered illegal. The offender can be forcibly deported from the country with a ban on subsequent entry throughout the EU and/or Schengen area. Other possible consequences of illegal immigration are annulment of local documents, fine and even administrative or criminal punishment according to local legislation.

Relocation to the EU: an instruction for Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians

The process of immigration to a European country on general naturalization terms includes obtaining an entry permit, moving, obtaining temporary resident status, staying in the country with temporary residence and replacing it with permanent residence. After observing the census of sedentary life, an applicant can apply for a passport of the corresponding EU state if he meets other requirements for an applicant.

Visa opening

In most cases, to legalize stay on the territory of a European state, a foreigner needs to first open a national visa. The entry permit is requested at the diplomatic representation of the chosen EU state on the same basis on which temporary residence is subsequently arranged. The applicant submits documents to the consulate or embassy, upon approval of the request receives a visa and moves to Europe before its expiration date.

Residence permit arrangement

Upon arrival in the chosen European country, an applicant applies to the immigration service and submits a dossier for obtaining a temporary residence permit. The package of documents depends on the type of requested temporary residence. Sometimes temporary residence is arranged by an applicant in advance in his country of permanent residence, and after moving abroad he applies to local Ministry of Internal Affairs for resident card itself. With temporary residence, an immigrant has the right to stay in Europe for a specified period (usually - up to 1-2 years) and extend his status if there are grounds.

Permanent residence arrangement

An immigrant has the right to arrange the status of a permanent resident in European countries after preliminary residence with temporary residence for an average of 3-5 years. Permanent residence equates the applicant in rights with the citizens of the state, with a few exceptions such as the ability to join the armed forces or run for government. In some cases, foreigners can immediately obtain permanent resident status, bypassing the stage of living in the country with temporary residence - for example, through investment (Cyprus, Malta), family reunification or marriage with a holder of a local passport (Slovakia, Italy).

Citizenship obtainment

A foreigner can become a citizen of a European country by naturalization on average after 5-10 years after opening the initial residence permit. The applicant must meet other requirements, in addition to observing the census of sedentary life, such as no criminal record, knowledge of the state language at a conversational level, having a permanent official income. With a package of documents, an applicant applies to the citizenship affairs service, sometimes - goes through an interview. In case of approval of the request, an immigrant takes an oath (if applicable) and receives a certificate with which he can apply to the Ministry of Internal Affairs for arranging a passport of an EU country.

How to immigrate to the EU easier?

Immigration to Europe through the procedure of naturalization takes foreigners from 5 to 10 years, during which a foreigner needs to live in the chosen country and maintain grounds for extending resident status. Faster citizenship arrangement through investment (within 4-5 years) requires significant financial resources from an applicant. The easiest way to immigrate to an EU country is with a passport from one of the member states of the agreement, arranged by repatriation. Entry into citizenship and relocation are possible already after 12 months from the beginning of the procedure.

For residents of Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, repatriation programs in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria are relevant since many of them can find roots in Eastern Europe. EU citizens are equal in their right to choose their place of residence throughout the agreement territory, so with a passport from any union country an applicant can immigrate to any EU country without additional documentary requirements.

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