The 8 BEST visa options for Europe

The 8 BEST European visa options are:

1. Visit visas / automatic ‘non-visa permissions’. The scope of visits is quite broad. For the UK for example:

A visitor may:
(a) attend meetings, conferences, seminars, interviews;
(b) give a one-off or short series of talks and speeches provided these are not organised as commercial events and will not make a profit for the organiser;
(c) negotiate and sign deals and contracts;
(d) attend trade fairs, for promotional work only, provided the visitor is not directly selling;
(e) carry out site visits and inspections;
(f) gather information for their employment overseas;
(g) be briefed on the requirements of a UK based customer, provided any work for the customer is done outside of the UK.

Also if you have a company set up in the US, and in the UK, you can do intra-corporate activities:
6 An employee of an overseas based company may:
(a) advise and consult;
(b) trouble-shoot;
(c) provide training;
(d) share skills and knowledge; on a specific internal project with UK employees of the same corporate group, provided no work is carried out directly with clients.
7 An internal auditor may carry out regulatory or financial audits at a UK branch of the same group of companies as the visitor’s employer overseas.

There are a number of other options that my clients go for:

2. The start-up visas, there are a number of them;
3. Freelance visas, e.g. for Germany and Spain;
4. The entrepreneur visas, which go beyond just tech companies;
5. Partner-based visas. Right now for the UK, for example, if you have an EU partner working in the UK, you are actually in a stronger position than a UK national vis a vis coming on a partner or married basis, and also in relation to bringing in dependent parents.
6. Investor visas – only Cyprus and Malta are offering CIB programs in the sense of a straight up investment in resulting in a passport. The others are residency programs which do not generally put you in a better position than if you came in on some other visa. The Portugal program for example allows you a pathway to permanent residency for an investment of 350k euros or 500k euros;
7. Retirement visas: there is the D7 visa for Portugal – it allows you to work in Portugal as well – and also the ‘non-lucrative’ visa for Spain;
8. Student visas – some lead to PR and involve not only a free education but also a right to work part-time – like in Germany.

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DISCLAIMER: This video is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. It should not be used as a substitute for legal advice relating to your particular circumstances. Please note that the law may have changed since the date of this video.

Hi guys thanks sorry I just want to check that this live stream is working before I get into the content if someone could drop me a message that would be awesome okay according to YouTube it seems that I’m it seems that we’re live now so um so thanks so much for connecting I’m going to cover some hopefully really useful content on this stream the title of this is the is the eight best European uh visa options and um I’m not going to make you wait I’ll just go straight through them and just connect with some conversations I’ve been having with people uh this week and some useful insights so the first one is uh visit visas and there’s actually a lot that you can do on on-visit visas and in particular if you’re a non-visa national and you don’t need to make the visa application first you’re exercising automatic permission um even if you’re doing something in relation to business as long as you respect the work uh prohibitions in other words prohibitions on actually taking employment you can actually structure your visits quite effectively so I’ll get into that but then the second is start-up visas and there are a number of them um on the uh academy I’ve got which is which is linked now I’m sorry for not putting the link on the last live stream uh you can actually sign up for free and there’s various uh courses on their um which you can take which is which are the key courses including the key European uh start-up visa courses there’s actually some more um they’re going to be published soon but you can see that the key start-up visa roots and all of those are with a successful visa applicant so you can hear their stories and see example documents um and all the uh sample documents you would need and application walkthroughs so the third one is freelance visas and I’ll get into that then we got entrepreneur visas so not just the start-up visas which usually targeting tech but broader entrepreneur visas where you can do other businesses then you’ve got partner-based visas then investor visas then you’ve got retirement visas and then about number eight is student visas so um plenty to get through so let’s just start with the visit visas now um the rules for the up and I just highlight of course and all of these matters do take specific legal advice if you want to speak with me or them by European partner lawyers then I’m very happy to assist this is just for information purposes only now if we just go to the visitor rules for the up for example we are still within Europe notwithstanding um Brexit I think there’s something there’s some good um some important points to be illustrated um and I was speaking to some Americans this week about how they could structure their visits as well looking to set up a business in Europe and first of all there are specific general activities which you can do on as I say in this case a up visit visa you can attend meetings conferences seminars and interviews what you can’t do is this which is um you can’t take employment in the up do work for an organization or business in the up establish or run a business as a self-employed person unless it’s expressly allowed by the uh permitted activities so the permitted activities are here so as I say you can do you can attend conferences seminars or interviews you can and this is this was the important one for my clients negotiate and sign deals and contracts you can attend trade fairs for promotional work only providing you’re not directly selling so in their case that was actually quite important because there were there was a particular product that they were selling which they would want to use there would be a number of trade fairs but the u’s as I say in that example individual coming over would be doing the promotional work but wouldn’t be speaking directly with our prospective customers and then you’ve got carrying out site visits and an expense and inspections and then being briefed on the requirements of a up based customer provided any work for the customers done outside of the up so in this case we were using that as well because they can come in be briefed on the requirements of the customer and then go back to the us and actually work with the customer on you know zoom calls uh or whatever and with the advent of corona in Europe uh you know a lot of work can be done uh remotely so basically you can structure your business affairs so you’re coming in for a specific limited purpose um for the up you do need a letter when you come in which you can produce upon uh challenge or that’s what most of my clients do and that letter will just set up the itinerary of exactly what you’re doing when and that will evidence that you’re complying with the rules if you’re a non-visa national like a u’s national for example you can still apply for a visa and ask for express clearance through that process for the activities you’re going to be doing but it just depends on how far you’re going to be you know pushing any boundary or how far you’re going to be close to any boundaries about what you can cannot do where there’s being prudent I think but where there’s any scope for risk then it’s better to ask for clearance beforehand but I do have a number of uh American uh clients who for example who do quite a lot within the up uh simply under the visitor rules now the next aspect of that so as I say number one being numb number one option being a visit visa and just again sticking with the up for the moment um is the intra-corporate activities so here if you have a u’s entity or if you’re setting up a us entity um sorry let me just go over to the screen share so if you have a foreign entity or you’re going to be setting one up and you also have a up entity then you can do these things advise and consult troubleshoot provide training and share skills and knowledge so that’s quite that’s quite important that’s quite broad and it allows you to do more than the activities you’d be able to do just as a general visitor so although there is that prohibition against work the that prohibition is subject to these exceptions and if you if you do have two related companies or you know a parent company has two subsidiaries or your foreign entity is a parent company in the up one is a subsidiary for example then you can either apply for a visit visa or if you’re a non-visa national simply come on that basis as I say usually with a with a letter that would protect your position upon any challenge as unlikely as that may be um now would I highlight that before you before you set up a business um in the up but also for some of the European roots you lose the opportunity to apply for a start-up visa because generally there’s a requirement that you have not set up a company already and the start-up well it’s targeted to people who are setting up new businesses but they don’t have any history in the country in question and certainly that’s true of the up so if you already if you set up an entity and that’s trading then you wouldn’t then be able to apply for the start-up visa so uh so be careful about that um but that but you can you can still set up entities for example in the up but I would just do your visa a bit eligibility checks first so that’s option number one is first of all just check whether you can come on a visit visa to do what you want to do because there’s there isn’t necessarily much of a point going through some of the more involved processes if you haven’t um first checked whether you can do that a on a visitor visa be very careful about infringing any uh work prohibitions in the in the process so that’s visit visas next one is the start-up visas and as I say there are um a number of them so the ones on which I’ve done like full complete walkthrough courses are include at the up Estonia Denmark France um and also we’ve got one coming we’ve got some others coming out soon on Denmark and Netherlands which should be out in the next week or so there are a number of them and it’s it yeah so it’s worth checking those out I’m generally there’s an emphasis on tech um but most businesses being start in my experience most businesses that are being started now have a strong tech element or certainly ought to have a tech element to be competitive it’s not for more traditional businesses and for uh for the uh some clients I was speaking with this week who are looking to bring a more traditional product uh to Europe then you might be better off with one of the routes rather than the start-up routes and I would definitely think about this if you have a software background and most of them have the emphasis on uh software as a service but before you before you do that and before you go through the process of looking to get endorsed and everything which is one of the areas that my courses touch on uh you can as I say just sign up to the platform for free and get some more information about them uh before you go through all that process check that you can’t come in on some other basis not necessarily just a visitor basis but an but another visa that would still allow you to do what you want to do but without necessarily having to be assessed on your start-up you know or you know on its success and one of them is the like the passive income visas and retirement visas which I’m going to come to in a moment because one of them for example for Portugal allows you to work uh allows you to work in the country and just demonstrate a certain amount of passive income so if you can do that you might it may not be necessary for you to go through an endorsement process if you can qualify for that so they’re the start-up visas obviously I’ve got lots of more like detailed videos and walkthroughs on this channel and uh on the courses which you can check out but the next one is the freelance visas for uh and the reason I mentioned these as a separate category is you don’t for these have necessarily have to go through an endorsement process and always be supported by an incubator or be supported by uh venture funding so for the freelance visas um there’s usually some approval uh process in other words some government assessment or you know that assessment might be delegated to a chain to a chamber of commerce there is some assessment of what you’re doing but as a freelancer you’re not expected to have like a hugely scalable business you could have say a digital agency of some kind that would only get to a certain size or a business that’s premised on your ability to provide services rather than having a scalable sass product so that’s the next category the one after that so we’re on number five now is the partner based visas and this is super important if at the at the moment especially if you’re if you’re looking at the up if you have a European partner then there’s this limited window of opportunity to come into the uh to the up and secure what they call uh pre-settled status you’ve got to be residing in the up by the end of the year now the odd thing at the moment is under up law you have more rights as a European national living in the up than a British national does in this respect that it’s much easier to bring in number one dependent parents or dependent family members and that could include say you as a not non-European national bringing your parents in and it’s also much easier to just bring in a spouse and it’s easier to bring in a partner and that’s because a European national in the up is exercising treaty rights or rights under the under the exit arrangements and those include rights to bring in non-Europeans uh non-European family members and the scope of that is much broader than if a British person was looking to bring in their dependent parents or say you know mother-in-law father-in-law and also bringing in a spouse so that’s definitely worth checking out and if you are in a position where you’re looking at you know investor visas for example different residency programs I’m always check first as I do when I’m speaking people or to people always check first there’s not another there’s not a European family member who can exercise treaty rights in some way and I say that in connection with the up but it’s also true in some other European countries as well and the basis for that is that the EU treaty allows freedom of movement and that freedom of movement can’t be effective if someone who’s say moving from France to Spain is not able to bring their non-European family members with them to Spain that’s why the uh the relevant regulations allows a European uh citizen to move from one European member state to another and bring their non-European family members because if they were inhibited from doing that then free movement of European citizens within the EU would be in would be inhibited and so in order to secure that non-European family members exercise what can be viewed as secondary treaty rights which are often much more powerful than if they were simply applying under the relevant domestic legislation without relying on EU treaty rights so that’s definitely something to consider before your European move the next one is the is investor visas and uh I think firstly in terms of citizenship by investment it’s really only Cyprus and Malta who offer you know true citizenship by investment programs in the sense of a straight up investment which results in relatively short term in securing a passport although there’s various you know quite rightly safeguards involved where someone say for Cyprus for example you need to first now secure a Schengen visa and the other investor visas are residency programs um which don’t you know result in in in a passport but secure you a pathway to residency permanent residence and then citizenship at some point thereafter and that’s often subject to local language requirements so when it comes to the investor visas uh I definitely exhaust all other options first in terms of your visa options because in most investor visas within the uh within Europe do not uh are not true citizenship by investment programs and very importantly they don’t put you in a position which is any better than if you were to apply for one of the other visas that I’m talking about and if you go on to a residency route you’re not treated any more favourably for example for Portugal there is the 350 000 euro pathway where you uh purchase a qualifying uh property in the developing area or a 500 000 euro option where you invest in property and it’s great for some as quite popular with applicants from certain jurisdictions because you only have to be in in Portugal for uh seven days per year so you can effectively have a have a holiday in Portugal and maintain your residency there however if you do that because you’re not really living in the country you can’t it doesn’t provide a pathway to citizenship you’d need to actually be in the country for longer and have true you know local ties and for a lot of so the reason I say exhaust all other options before you do that is that it’s not for everyone and a lot of people are happy to be in Portugal for uh six months per year or is this the case four months in the first year and then six months from year years two to five and if you can do that then you don’t need to an investment unless you wanted to do for other purposes you don’t actually you don’t actually need to you could apply for the d7 visa and secure that relying on passive income or rental and although it’s at the moment uh shut down for example if you’re u’s applicant you can’t apply but these are all sort of temporary uh corona based uh suspensions but these programs like the d7 visa for example will be you’ll be able to apply for it again very soon um so I would exhaust the retirement type visa options before you go for an investor visa option obviously it may be a cheaper for you but also be involved less investment risk if any investment risk now the so that brings me nicely on to the retirement visas so on the uh in the academy you can again just uh we’ve got the non-what’s referred to for Spain as the non-lucrative visa we’ve got a course on that so again feel free to sign up so it’s the Spanish residence visa it’s called the non-lucrative visa is based on the experience of Kurt who was successful in securing the visa and he’s got the example documents and so forth to allow you to apply and that’s basically a retirement visa but with some working restrictions but that secures residency and I just think the retirement or basically passive income visas are worth looking at first before you go down an investor visa route or citizenship by investment pathway and the next one is student visas and I think this is super especially uh for uh Germany and I’ve got a course that’s coming out shortly on this and I have some YouTube content on this as well so uh Germany and incidentally my um my wife and my daughter are German citizens as well I learned German and um I have a lot of connections with Germany and uh the student visa is I think a fantastic option because it hits a number of uh areas that other visas don’t within the EU include including the up so within the EU or the up so for Germany you can um first of all you can secure visa options which are either free or at very little expense or which involve you actually being paid so with a with a grant that so that’s the first one is the cost of the actual degree for non-Europeans you can spend uh you know huge sums of money in certain in certain countries and certain institutions but there’s there are options which especially for Germany which involve you paying little or nothing or actually being paid with a grant it also involves a right to work part-time you have that in the up as well um but that’s available and also a pathway to permanent residence which is very important so in the up for example you if you have a student visa then you don’t have a pathway to permanent residence and you’ll do you will have the post study work option starting soon but the post study work is um that will be for two years after your tier four studies but then you’d need to switch into a sponsored route so you don’t have from the beginning a pathway to permanent residence which you do for Germany so I definitely recommend uh checking it out as I say I’ve got a course coming out on that so if you sign up you can if you enrol in the academy and you can get details about that um so yeah so those are those are the eight options um I think it’s great to look at it like that and if you run through that as a broad sort of checklist to start with then um hopefully that provides a really helpful basis for starting to research things if you if you do want to touch base with me schedule a consultation feel free to do so um thanks so much for your time and I’ll see you in the next live stream bye for now you

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