How A US Citizen May Qualify For EU Residency

The right of residence is complementary with the right of employment in another member state”; this term is specifically associated to the EU nationals and clarified by the European Commission. This particular statement however doesn’t extend up-to the U.S. citizens who’re usually known as non-EU nationals.

Since the U.S. has no particular employment ties with the EU, “the right to employment” usually depends on laws of the country where you’re applying for citizenship/residency. A few exceptions can be living continuously in any of the EU country for at-least five years whereas skilled and literate personnel such as be it non-EU researchers, students and volunteers are given much preference.

Lest you’re still in America but willing to move in the Europe, a U.S national is given a legal stay permit for 90 days without EU visa. But, if plans are for longer or permanent residence, there’s a proper procedure to be followed that includes a visit to the country’s consulate where you’re planning to move.

Embassies in different parts of the country have certain jurisdictions over their particular sectors of the U.S. which requires a visiting one nearest to your place. National laws usually differs at this point such as Germany accept visa application when in their country but for France, you need to file an application before leaving the U.S. Issuance of visa may take several days, weeks and months depending on the country and legitimacy of the paperwork.

Obtaining a work permit is necessary for a non-EU national willing to find employment in the EU which is a distinct process that that of the initial visa. However, you can file the application at the same time for both. The step is crucial even if your intentions are of self-employment. The importance is highlighted by the American Consulate to France in the following citation;

Americans who ignore basic visa requirement and apply in France for work permit must leave their country to obtain appropriate visa. Application has to be filed at French consular office. U.S. citizens shouldn’t come to France simply expecting a job waiting to change their status immediately after arrival. Such is unlikely to be fulfilled and the concern may face certain hardships on the way”

In Spain, the process is entirely different. To become a resident, one must file visa application in America and then to the associated authorities located in Spain. The U.S. consulate in Spain suggests checking the official website of Ministry of Interior or call to keep up with the frequently changing regulations.

American citizens can also qualify for the status of long-term residency by living in the European Union for least five years or more. To achieve this status or privilege, one must be financially stable, holds health insurance, comply with the Member State and conditions it put forward. The residency permit that’s achieved after five years would give access to various benefits; the same as those of typical EU nationals!


For the U.S citizens confused about how to get European residency, let the information provided above be a guide. Visit for details and assistance!