4 Ways to Move to Europe Without Big Costs

It is not necessary to marry a foreigner.

4 ways to move to Europe without big expenses

Yury Vilensky Co-founder of Hello Move migration platform. Helped 250 people move abroad.

To legally reside abroad for more than 90 days in a row, you must obtain a temporary residence permit (permit). The latter can be extended and eventually acquire a permanent residence permit (permanent residence) and even citizenship of a foreign state.

There are different options for obtaining a residence permit. Some of them are quite complex. For example, a document can be issued by Residence Permits/Enterprise Greece for investments in real estate in the country for significant amounts – an average of 250,000 euros (almost 21 million rubles). Of course, this is not for everyone. As well as marrying a foreigner, reuniting with a spouse abroad, or obtaining permanent residence due to ethnic roots.

Therefore, we will analyze more interesting features that will be available to more people.

1. Startup visa

An interesting option to move a business abroad or start a new project.

Attended for

Adult entrepreneurs with an innovative startup idea and a working prototype . In addition, candidates must have start-up capital (usually several subsistence levels in a bank account) and have no criminal record.

Where it operates

In 20 European countries. Specific application conditions and requirements vary for Europe Startup and Entrepreneur Visa Index/Nano Globals from country to country.

What is required

A business plan for an innovative startup that solves any social, economic or environmental issues. If the enterprise is not working yet, a product prototype is needed. If the business is operating – indicators that confirm that the service or product is popular. Experts call it traction.

Let's analyze the specific requirements for business plans using the example of Latvia. The project must be Startup Visa/Magnetic Latvia new to the country's market. It is desirable that it be focused not on the capital – the state wants to develop the infrastructure of small towns. The advantage will be the connection of business with port activities: special economic zones have been created around the two ports, which are important for the government. The business plan itself should include 15 pages and a short presentation describing the applicant and the project.

How to get

When the business plan is ready, it must be sent to the authorized body for consideration. It is different in different countries. Thus, in Latvia, the project evaluates Incubation (INK) program/Magnetic Latvia as one of 13 accredited business incubators. After the approval of the business plan, you need to send documents to the consulate or visa center and obtain a residence permit for a period of one to five years with the possibility of extension.

2. Student visa

A good option for young people.

Who is it for

For adult graduates of schools, bachelors and masters. The applicant must not have a criminal record.

Where it operates

In all European countries. But in some states, a foreigner may not enroll in any educational program. For example, in Switzerland, only people who already have the right to stay in the country (for example, on a work visa) can receive the Recommendation of the Higher Education Council on Admission of Foreign Nationals to Medical Studies in Switzerland/Higher Education Council medical education.

What is required

A document confirming enrollment in a foreign university. With this method of obtaining a residence permit, the most difficult thing is to enter and find money.

In most European countries, higher education is paid and quite expensive. So, to study in Sweden, Finland, Denmark or the Netherlands, you will have to pay Country Profiles/The European Commission from 7 to 25 thousand euros per year (1-2 million rubles). In France and Belgium, you can find options for 5-7 thousand euros per year (about half a million rubles), and in Poland – for three thousand euros (250 thousand rubles). There are free options, for example, in Greece Language Requirements/Study in Greece and the Czech Republic How to apply/Study in the Czech Republic, however, for admission you need to know the language of the country.

To pay for studies, significant personal funds, a scholarship or a grant (one-time payment) will be required. The latter are issued by employers, foundations, universities, governments, ministries of foreign affairs or education, and regional authorities. Information about potential sponsors can be found on the websites of universities, international educational organizations and government departments.

For the admission itself, you will need a diploma of secondary (for undergraduate) or higher education (for master's and postgraduate studies), a portfolio, a motivation letter and a certificate that confirms knowledge of a foreign language. The same documents will come in handy when applying for a scholarship or grant.

How to get

To begin with, it is worth deciding on the country and university, the size of the required scholarship and how to find a sponsor will depend on this. When choosing a university, you can focus not only on personal preferences, but also on different rankings, for example, QS World University Rankings or THE World University Rankings.

The admission process itself will look something like this.

  1. Preparing documents.It will be not only a diploma, but also a motivation letter with a portfolio. In the first one, you need to tell about yourself and your desire to enter the university. The second will include achievements, projects, scientific publications and recommendations from teachers and employers.
  2. Passing the required exams.You will have to confirm knowledge of a foreign language – a specific test will depend on the requirements of the university. Most likely it will be IELTS or TOEFL for English, DELF for French, Test DAF for German. Some programs will also require additional exams. For example, to enroll in law at some British universities, you need to pass the Do I Need to Sit the Test/LNAT LNAT test.
  3. Applying. You need to register on the institution’s website and upload documents in your personal office.
  4. Interview with a representative of the university. Some universities conduct interviews with candidates they like before making a decision.

Review usually takes from one week to two months.

Then you can apply for a scholarship or grant. It will require the same documents as for the university. The chances of receiving financial assistance increase if there are scientific publications, an honors degree, proven fluency in a foreign language, and good recommendations from teachers and employers.

After receiving a document confirming enrollment, you can apply for a visa through the consulate. A residence permit is issued for a year, and then renewed upon presentation of a document on the transition to the next course.

Students have the right to work and work. After successful completion of studies, you can get a graduate visa. It gives the right to stay in the country from nine months to two years, look for a job or start a business in order to extend the residence permit. After that, you can get permanent residence and citizenship.

3. A visa for talented people

It is aimed at attracting “brains” to the country.

Who is it intended for

On people whose talent or knowledge is recognized. For example, scientists, artists, actors, writers, designers who can prove that their skills are highly valued. And, of course, they do not have a criminal record.

Where it operates

In the UK Apply for the Global Talent visa/GOV.UK (Global Talent) and FranceInternational talents and economic attractiveness/Official website of the visa center of France (Passeport Talent). The first program is aimed only at finding talented people, and the second includes other categories, such as investing in French companies.

What is required

Documentary evidence of talent. These can be diplomas, nominations, certificates, articles, recordings of speeches on forums, and so on. Documents must be international or directly related to leading Russian companies like Yandex. Publications, in turn, cannot be self-promotion – they must be other people's reviews of the applicant's work.

Moreover, such evidence does not have an expiration date – you can provide some achievements from the beginning of your career. Although, of course, it is better to show something fresher, for example, for the last 3-5 years.

How to get it

Let's look at the example of the UK, where this program is narrower and less associated with employment than in France. The whole process takes from five months to a year.

To get started, you need to choose one of two categories: Exceptional Talent or Exceptional Promise. The first option is more suitable for experienced professionals who have been doing something for a long time and have many achievements. The second is for beginners who have already achieved serious success in some area, for example, they made a film that received international awards.

Then you need to collect all the documents that can confirm knowledge, skills and achievements. You will also need three letters of recommendation to apply for a visa. They must be either from a British or international organization, or from a British citizen, necessarily a well-known specialist in some field.

All documents must be uploaded to the GOV.UK website and the application must be filled in there. After that, it is automatically sent to the Home Office of England and to organizations accredited by the government. The latter are divided by industry. Scientific achievements are assessed Work in the UK as a researcher or academic leader (Global Talent visa)/GOV.UK )/GOV.UK – Arts Council England, and in the field of digital technologiesWork in the UK as a leader in digital technology (Global Talent visa)/GOV.UK – Tech Nation.

After approval from one of these organizations and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, you can take all the documents to the visa center and wait for a visa. A residence permit is issued for a period of one to five years at the choice of the applicant with the possibility of extension and obtaining permanent residence.

4. Self-employed visa

It is similar to a start-up visa, but there are differences.

Who is it for

For individual entrepreneurs with successful experience in creating and running a small business. For example, designers, programmers or freelance photographers.

The applicant must not have a criminal record.

Where it operates

In the Netherlands. Similar programs are also availableSelf-employment or self-employment/France Visa Center in France, and visas for freelancers are issued in EstoniaEstonian Digital Nomad Visa/Republic of Estonia, e-Residency and GermanyVisa for self-employment/Make it in Germany.

What is required

Successful freelance business with case studies for clients from the Netherlands. It can be a website, photography for a brand, logo design, and so on.

Another important condition is a well-thought-out business plan. On the one hand, it should outline the prospects of the enterprise and its benefits for the country's economy, as well as confirm your competence as a businessman. On the other hand, to show that the business started will provide sufficient income for living and working in the Netherlands. For example, a designer can describe how to find clients, the planned number of orders for a certain period and income from them.

How to get it

First, you need to apply for an entry visa and a residence permit at the Dutch consulate in Petersburg or the embassy in Moscow and submit biometric data. After that, you need to send documents and a business plan to the Dutch Migration Service (IND) and pay the fee.

The business plan itself is evaluated by the Self-employed person/Immigration and Naturalization Service by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) based on three criteria : the prospects of the enterprise, the benefits for the country and the experience of the creator of the business. You can score a maximum of 300 points, the minimum threshold for passing is 90 points in total for all items. The final decision of the migration service mainly depends on the number of points.

The process usually takes from 90 days to six months. If the application is approved, the residence permit is issued for two years with the right to extend for the same period. Then you can already get permanent residence and citizenship.