Move To Europe: 6 Easy Countries For Americans To Get A Job


Move To Europe: 6 Easy Countries For Americans To Get A Job
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Inflation, surging housing prices and a deepening political divide are just a few of the issues on Americans’ minds lately. Throw in a rise in remote work opportunities and a strong dollar, and it’s no surprise that Americans are flocking to Europe in droves—and not just for a visit. They’re relocating altogether.

In fact, Sotheby’s International Realty reported that inquiries from Americans interested in moving to Greece were up 40% this year, while U.S. citizens contributed to 12% of Sotheby’s Italy-based revenue in the first quarter of 2022.

And though Europe used to be known as a difficult place for foreigners to relocate for work, with recent labor shortages causing disruption in many countries, some European governments are making it easier for non-EU citizens to get a work visa.

Below, we share five of the European countries where it’s easy to get a work visa—plus one other country on the horizon. We also dive into the intangibles—from the weather to the healthcare system to safety and security—that make the expat lifestyle so enticing.

Portugal

Portugal consistently tops lists of the best places for expats to live, and in fact, the number of Americans living in Portugal rose 45% in 2021, according to government data.

For those looking into short-term relocation, Portugal is a great option. The country recently launched a short-stay visa for seasonal work. Under the Portuguese Work Visa, workers are allowed to stay and work in the country for up to nine months and can work for more than one company, provided it’s a seasonal job.

You’ll get as close to Europe’s Old World charm as possible in Portugal. The laid-back lifestyle, graceful cities, rugged coast, bustling cafes and neighborly people are a huge draw for outsiders. But you’d be mistaken if you thought old-world charm was synonymous with “old-fashioned.” Portugal’s infrastructure, education system and healthcare are as advanced as you’ll find anywhere—just without the fast-paced lifestyle.

Ireland

Ireland makes it relatively easy to secure a work visa. The country is experiencing shortages in some sectors and is actively filling those gaps with migrant workers. One caveat: Workers need to have a job before applying for a work visa. There are two main work visas in Ireland: the Critical Skills Employment Permit, for highly skilled workers in professions that are deemed critical to growing the Irish economy, and the General Employment Permit, which covers all kinds of jobs. After you receive one of these permits, you can begin the straightforward application process for permanent residency in Ireland.

With a move to Ireland, you’ll surely be greeted by some of the world’s warmest people. It doesn’t hurt that your new home is straight out of a fairytale, with green fields, ancient castles and colorful towns. You’ll also get to enjoy all that Ireland has to offer year-round, as it never gets bitterly cold, thanks to the passing Gulf Stream.

Germany

Germany’s Chancenkarte, or “opportunity card” allows workers to move to the country before they have a job secured, if they meet a series of requirements, including at least three of four criteria. They need to be under 35 years old; have sufficient German language skills; have at least three years of prior work experience; and have a foreign university degree or vocational school diploma.

The opportunity card allows people to look for a job or apprenticeship in Germany rather than applying from abroad, which can be hugely helpful in securing a job. Applicants must be able to prove they can afford to pay their living expenses in the meantime.

With a great diversity of stunning landscapes, legendary festivals and markets, as well as a clean and orderly environment, it’s easy to love living in Germany. Plus, its excellent transportation system means you’re well-connected while in the country or if you want to travel to the rest of Europe.

Denmark

Denmark is in such dire need of skilled workers—from science to legal to technology industries—that its Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) has introduced full lists of wanted professionals. There are over 70,000 jobs included in these lists, most of which are based in Copenhagen.

Workers who receive a job offer in an industry included on the two lists can apply for a Danish residency and work permit that would be valid for up to four years. To make the transition easier, workers who apply for a job on the list from abroad are given a residence permit valid for one month prior to a start date.

When it comes to Denmark, its youthful, modern cities, diverse nature, cleanliness and low crime rate make this Scandinavian country an expat haven. Plus, a move to Denmark comes with great healthcare and social services, so it’s a no-brainer for those looking to relocate from the States.

Finland

This Scandinavian country is facilitating international recruitment with its recently-launched “Quick Lane,” a 14-day fast-track process to get highly skilled workers—and their families—into the country quickly and begin filling worker shortages. Typically, the average waiting time is around 24 days. Those who qualify for the accelerated visa service are “specialists” and start-up entrepreneurs. After 90 days in Finland, non-EU workers will need to apply for a residence permit.

Part of what makes Finland so enticing: For the fifth year in a row, the country is the world’s happiest country, according to World Happiness Report rankings based largely on life evaluations, like freedom to make life choices and generosity of the general population. If that’s not enough of an endorsement for relocating to Finland, you can be assured of a few things: You have a greater purchasing power; it’s an extremely safe country; and jaunts to the sauna are a regular part of the Finnish lifestyle.

Italy

This one isn’t necessarily easy, but it’s enticing. Italy is introducing a new Digital Nomad Visa that will invite people to live and work in the country. The government signed the visa into law earlier in 2022 and it is expected to launch sometime soon. It’s no surprise that the government created it: Over the past few years, many parts of Italy have been on a kick to recruit new residents with lucrative offers like paying people to move there.

Designed for non-EU digital nomads, the visa is designed to attract highly skilled workers. There will reportedly be a long list requirements, including having a certain minimum income, health insurance, a decent place to live and a clean criminal record

It’s also not a permanent thing: The simple visa will only allow you to reside in Italy for a limited time. But it will give you a taste of la dolce vita.

READ MORE:

• Want To Move Out Of The US? How To Get A Second Passport

• How To Move Out Of The US (And The Best Places To Escape)

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