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Ask HN: How to relocate to Europe as a software developer
56 points by yernarak 10 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 101 comments
Basically title. I have 2 YOE as a full-stack developer without degree and I am really interested in moving to Europe from non EU. Any help appreciated!

Croatia just started a program where you can stay for a year (instead of the usual 90 days) as a digital nomad.

> A DIGITAL NOMAD IS a third-country national who is employed or performs work through communication technology for a company or his own company that is not registered in the Republic of Croatia and does not perform work or provide services to employers in the Republic of Croatia.


If you have a remote job or freelancing, this is a good first step.

AFAIK there are only four countries in the world where you can stay more than three months in a situation like this:

1. Barbados was the first to start such a digital nomad program https://barbadoswelcomestamp.bb/ 2. Canada immigration authorities have openly declared remotely employed doesn't count as work so you can stay for six months without a problem 3. There's Svalbard. Yeah you can stay indefinitely and work... if you can afford it. Not to mention it "rather resembles Mordor after it has frozen over". 4. And now Croatia.

Read more at https://travel.stackexchange.com/q/45092/4188

Is there not similar thing in estonia

Oh, I haven't seen that one, thanks for the pointer, it's also a new thing, started last August. https://e-resident.gov.ee/nomadvisa/ there's a monthly gross income threshold of €3504 so for struggling freelancers it's not going to work.

Well i didnt know the august thing.. but estonia has been doing nomad / digital stuff for a while so its not surprising.

I'm a resident of Croatia. If you have any questions about living here, feel free to shoot me an email. My email address is in my profile.

Do you have a source for Canada? Afaik that is not allowed


> What kind of activities are not considered to be “work”?

> long distance (by telephone or Internet) work done by a temporary resident whose employer is outside Canada and who is remunerated from outside Canada;

Canada is one of the few countries that explicitly allows remote work on a tourist visa.

One of the few? Care to show me more then?

The UK visitor visa appears to allow working for a foreign company provided you are a full time employee.


It's pretty easy to move to (most) European countries really. It's nothing like what you're hearing from people trying to move to the US.

Most will just let you stay to work (visa/residence permit) with relatively little bureaucracy. As long as you have a job they won't bother you. There's some other requirements (qualified professional, certain income), but as a software developer you won't have any trouble. Your employer will probably help you.

If you want to get a passport usually you'll need to have found work, lived in the country for a number of years, and pass various tests for your language ability and such.

You will then likely also have to renounce your old citizenship.

Specifying the country you wish to move to and where you're coming from would allow people here to give more helpful advice.

> You will then likely also have to renounce your old citizenship.

That's limited only to a few countries (both origin and destination). Most of them don't really care about dual citizenships. https://m.dw.com/en/dual-citizenship-in-europe-which-rules-a...

> You will then likely also have to renounce your old citizenship.

While that may be true to obtain citizenship, it won't be necessary anywhere for permanent residency.

Citizenship is nice e.g. if you want to vote locally but isn't really necessary for anything else practical. Permanent residents will have equal access to health care, they have the same freedom to move elsewhere in the EU, etc etc.

Citizenship might help if you want to commit crimes with no risk of being deported though, so maybe look into it before your first bank robbery.

Does this apply for Germany, Austria, or Sweden? I speak German and have some familiarity with the (German) culture and country through a decade of study and a couple of visits. Less familiar with Sweden, but I fell in love with the country after visiting and was able to pick up some minimal understanding after studying it for a few months, so I don't think getting conversational would be too difficult.

Sweden is a bit over-bureaucratic. To get a work visa, you need a job. To get a job, you need a home address in Sweden. To rent something to get a home address, you need work visa and a job, and it takes a lot of paperwork to break this cycle. Also depending on the city finding an apartment to rent can take a lot of time [1].

Consider adding Czechia to your list. Nice place with good beer, and central enough to easily visit other EU countries.

Worth checking [2] and [3]

[1] https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20160517-this-is-one-ci...

[2] https://www.eurofound.europa.eu/country

[3] https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/country_result.jsp?cou...

Thanks very much for the info! Moving internationally is difficult enough without the destination being particularly bureaucratic. Maybe I'll target Germany first and just travel to Sweden if I manage to live the dream and move to Europe for a time. I'll also check out Czechia, sounds interesting. thanks!

@pajko is wrong and maybe is mixing Sweden with another country.

You definitely don't need an home address in Sweden to get a work permit or a job (source- moved to Sweden, now a citizen) and the bureaucracy is really light for you and not over complicated for an employer.

The process can take only a few weeks for a software engineer and a company registered in immigration services (most bigger SW companies are) and involves documentation from you and the company, "approval" from a union and putting a job add on a public board.

There were few cases where engineers were not paid enough, and that's really low pay, or didn't get the proper insurances from their employer which caused their permit to be revoked, but those are really rare cases.

You get your permanent residency semi-automatically after 4 years and citizenship after 5.

Getting into Germany is easier than into Austria for a non-eu. Check details for red-white-red card, though. But it takes a few months from what I hear.

Germany has one of the easiest visas.

I’m not sure about the renouncing your old citizenship, at least not in general. I don’t believe Belgium has that for instance.

The Netherlands does this.

I made this move from the US to the EU. If you interview and get into a job in the EU, they're definitely willing to help relocate.

I would look into Dublin, Ireland, as your foot in. There are a ton of companies looking to expand their presence in Ireland for those sweet, sweet tax breaks.

Some of it will depend on your country of origin/citizenship as this can either make it much easier or much harder to get a visa. Some countries have bilateral agreements to enable skilled workers to move between them. You should investigate that.

On the job side, you'd probably want to start looking for jobs that advertise relocation assistance. The exact rules and process for getting a work permit will depend on the EU country you're applying to work in.

There are often specific permits for highly skilled workers, but with no degree and 2 years experience it might be hard to make that case until you're more experienced, unless you have a specific area of expertise you can demonstrate.

Good luck!

Bucharest is great nowadays if you would like to relocate to Europe. Cheap living, salaries on par with Western Europe, access to good education if you want to pursue interests further, good private healtchare, transporation.

Some of the companies that are currently recruiting in the area: Amazon (FirecrackerVM is built there, many Rust jobs), Bitdefender (great cybersec defense company), UiPath (the European unicorn), Oracle, HP, Accenture, IONOS, Luxoft, Ericsson, Adobe, IBM Romania, SAP, Endava, Bolt, Dell Technologies, Fitbit, Deloitte, Thales, Cegeka, Huawei etc.

If game development is your thing: Electronics Arts, Ubisoft and many other indie game studios

If banks and telco is your thing: Orange, Vodafone, DIGI, T-Mobile, ING, BCR, BRD, Deutsche Bank, Transylvanian Bank, etc.

I moved to Bucharest from Bangalore and it was anything but easy.


Romania has some really regressive policies towards immigration especially for non EU countries such as your dependents not being able to come with you, having to petition to IGI for their approval for family unification (which can take anywhere from 1.5 to 3 months for them to approve even before actually applying for visa), the visa process which is a real pain as mentioned in the article thanks to some poor management of the Embassy in India. COVID made it worse and I’ve been away from wife for more than a year now.

Finding a job is also difficult due to the quotas that they have for foreign workers and that work permits are tied to specific jobs (not very different from H1-B) and that work permits /resident permits need a yearly renewal. Since I was hired as a highly qualified worker, I have it slightly better with work permit/resident permit renewal being once every two years. Permanent residence is an option after 5 years of continuous stays and you need to prove you’ve assimilated well into the society with some tests on history and culture that I’ve not yet researched into.

If you manage to have patience and endure through this though, you might enjoy it.

Bureaucracy is a nightmare but the country is amazing.

Germany is a very easy to entry point for you as a software developer. The market is huge and there is shortage of good candidates. Polish up your linkedin profile and start applying for positions in germany. Good luck!


I'm in Germany working with an international team of software developers.

About 22,5% of Germans are first to third generation immigrants. Not even the people who don't want more immigrants generally hate immigrants - certainly not you individually. Since there's comparatively little "segregation", with immigrants and non-immigrants having attended the same schools and living in physical proximity, you will be hard-pressed to find people frothing at the mouth at the sight of someone who looks like an immigrant.

One thing that is true however is that Germans will expect you to act German when you're in Germany and you'll be treated like anyone else for better or for worse. There's no "immigrant card" you can play. Complaining about other's behavior - often to their face - is a very German past-time. At least if you fuck up you'll know, because Germans will tell you about it at length. God help you if you screw up the same thing a second time.

The expenses (rent, day to day, etc.) are considerably lower in most German cities versus Paris, London or some other hubs. While racism exists in some places, it’s an exaggeration to put it like this. I say this based on my own experience as an immigrant backend developer who came to Germany with a work visa.

Agree on pay, especially after taxes. But immigrant hate isn't quite true. At least it depends where you go, e.g. Berlin is extremely multicultural and tolerant. But your experience in a small farmer village may be different.

They don't and the pay is fine. Don't act like a d** and you'll be fine.

To be fair, aside from perhaps very specific domains (e.g. finance) or corporations, the pay probably looks dismal if you compare it to SV levels. Making six figures is certainly something hard to reach.

Ditto on the immigrants thing though, Germany is certainly not the worst country in that regard.

There's almost no place in IT which is comparable to SV pay. It's not very useful as a benchmark if it's a complete outlier. But there's also a lot of reasons people don't want to live/work in SV - even given the massive pay.

Comparing salaries in Germany to the ones in SV is a nonsense. In Germany you have free healtcare, free education and cost of living and renting is lower than SV. 120k in SV are like 60k in Germany.

No free healthcare. You have to buy insurance (legal requirement). Depending on your pay, you may buy private insurance at a fixed monthly premium, or public insurance at 15% of your income. Your employer covers half the cost for each one.

Currently, the max on public insurance is about 800€/month incl. „Pflegeversicherung“ for when you need permanent care after injuries or old age. You‘re paying half of that, your employer pays the other half.

There‘s also tuition at universities but it’s not comparable to US universities. I don’t know the current level. It was the equivalent of around 100€ per semester when I was a student.

The number of figures is pretty irrelevant when you factor in cost of living.

That is partially true. The absurd remunerations of SV engineers factor in the cost of living, for sure, but generally people can consolidate a decent amount of capital in a few years if they have a good position.

Even if you have to spend $2000 for a two-bedroom flat, if you earn $150k/yr you are likely able to save more money than someone earning €50000 with a €500 flat.

(I am not saying SWEs are underpaid in the EU, if anything it is still an absurd amount of money compared to people who add real value to society, but there is certainly a stark contrast)

It's not just accommodation. Larger European cities are also usually pretty good for walking / cycling / public transport, so you often don't need a car. Cost of schools starts at $0 (details depend on a country). Basic coverage means you may not need a hospital visit emergency fund. Etc.

That is true. I am not disparaging our (most of europe’s) social security model, which I would never give up for a US-like one; but at higher levels of compensation that is usually not a factor, unless you have a terminal illness that will gut your finances.

(I am european with a MSc and have never paid for education, do not have a car, and am very happy with most of the social security programs. I only tried to see things from another point of view)

Have to agree with oji0hub. Once you factor in cost of living, health system, governmental support etc. Life in Germany is actually ahead of its American counterpart.

It makes it even worse for Europe, then. Cost of living has been growing consistently faster than salaries.

Well, you should not promise them to return wit tanks and they will be pretty welcoming

At least for Germany it seems fairly straight forward. You simply need to qualify for a blue card. https://service.berlin.de/dienstleistung/324659/en/

The target salary you need to achieve is € 44k / year.

As described in other comments, once you have found a job your employer will be able to help you take care of the admin topics of getting a visa.

There is no need to speak German and many Berlin based tech companies have English as the official office language (at least in the engineering teams)

For blue card you need a university degree. So (my) the advise would be: get a university degree.

If you don't have a degree, but have a decent amount of experience, Germany will generally still happily take you (but not all EU countries - depends how desperate they are for devs). You need to go through the standard German skilled migrant process though, rather than the simplified Blue Card one.

Depends where you are from, and where in Europe you want to move to.

If you are from India/Middle East/Africa... Be prepared for a 10x effort if you are male. If you are a female, young, good looking, will make things much much easier thou, and can be an advantage.

I guess you want to relocate to western Europe and not eastern.

You need to find a country and then find the biggest it consultancy there. That is your best option. Big multinational it firms hire alot. The only hurdle I see is the lack of degree. That is a piece of paper that would expedite things.

There are a number of ways to move to Europe, or any other country for that matter. Your exact options depend dramatically on your specific situation. Things like which passport(s) do you hold, specific skillset, etc.

In general, my advice to folks looking to move to another country is "simply" to get a job in that country with a company that will sponsor your visa.

Now, one thing that I noticed over the years (and the reason for the double quotes around "simply") is that getting a job overseas is often times not trivial.

Many companies will be reluctant to even consider your application. Maybe they are afraid that you will get home-sick and leave after 6 months, maybe they do not want to deal with visa paperwork, maybe they see your hire as too expensive, maybe they are afraid of language issues... whatever the reason might be.

Whenever I changed continent, I have had most luck applying to companies with a large, mostly international workforce. These companies routinely hire people from all over the world and are used to the associated bureaucracy. They usually have immigration lawyers, which helps. In some cases, they might even have agreements with their host country that will make your visa paperwork much easier and much faster. In some cases there will be no need for a visa at all. Examples include universities and research institutions, large multinationals, NGOs etc.

You say that you do not have a degree. This might matter more in Europe than in other parts of the world but it will not make it impossible for you to find a job. I assume that you already checked out the monthly "Who's Hiring" threads and identified companies sponsoring visas. That would already be a good start.

Hope this was somewhat useful :-)

try jobs in netherlands/amsterdam. they don't require dutch, most people here (>90%?) speak very good english. just find a job that does visa sponsorship (a lot do). good luck.

Plus you can get a knowledge migrant status which means you get first 30% of your salary tax free for a few years and various other perks (free transfer of driver's license for example)

I moved from India to Sweden last year and I was surprised with the relatively easy process.

I would suggest to apply at companies which hire international developers. It's easy to filter them on AngelList and Hacker News' whoishiring thread.

I haven't seen this talked about in the comments so thought I would mention it: depending on where you're from and where you're planning to go, you could try a Working Holiday Visa.

Not all countries are part of this program and the ones that do all have their own requirements (usually there is an age limit of < 30 years but this can vary). So have a look if the country you're from supports the program and if so which countries you could go to. The big advantage if you can get it is you get a one year visa without the need of having a job or anything before going. You can then just fly over to the country, find a place to stay and search for a job while there.

As others have said I would recommend Ireland. I spent 3 years working in Dublin after I graduated and it was the best time of my life! Irish people are very welcoming and you will find a job fairly easily (although your first one could be a tech support / very junior role). Biggest issue of Dublin is the housing market is a disaster at the moment so don't expect to get your own 2 bedrooms apartment. Although that's mostly a Dublin issue, but that's where you would get the most jobs in the country.

There are other countries too where you could find english speaking jobs (Netherlands, Germany...) but you would still probably need some basics in the local language for day-to-day life. Ireland doesn't have that issue obviously.

We're a fintech company based in Germany and we've helped a few employees move to Germany from outside EU. If their annual salary is greater than €44k the process is fairly easy. If I recall, we've applied first for their Germany work permit (takes 1-3 weeks in our experience) and then soon after arriving they apply for a Blue Card which allows them to work/travel across the EU.

You should get in touch with some of the local recruiters, we've found some great candidates that way.

How do I find such recruiters?

Not sure if this is helpful, but I'll give you my story.

I graduated from my CS undergrad degree in the USA in May of 2020. One of the job offers I had was from a relatively new tech company in Norway, and the offer was for an on-site position in Oslo. They had a booth at a recruiting event at my University (in Texas, if that matters) but I applied online like everyone else. After a couple of interview rounds, the last of which was in-person in Norway (seems surreal given the state of the world now), I received a job offer from them which I ultimately ended up not taking.

At the time of the offer I had two previous technical internships (neither of which were at well-known companies), a solid (>3.5) GPA, and a couple interesting side projects on my resume (e.g. compiler, android app game, NLP course projects). The technical interview portions were all pretty easy compared to what larger US-based tech companies will throw at you, but keep in mind that this was for an entry-level position. No Norwegian language skills were required for the postion.

I was offered the job as a US citizen, and though I had German citizenship (but no passport) at the time, I don't think that factored into me getting the offer. They had other international employees at the office, including one from Brazil, so I figured having citizenship in an EU-member country didn't matter that much. As you may know, Norway isn't in the EU itself but they do have a lot of economic/labor agreements with the EU.

Anyways, the (yearly) salary was something on the order of 590,000 kr or around 63,000 USD at the time, though the value of the Norwegian Krone has increased a good bit since I got the offer near the beginning of the corona economic downturn. As I understand that's about the expected salary for that sort of position in Oslo, so take from that what you will.

I had my own reasons for taking an offer in the US over one in Europe, but hopefully some of this info was helpful.

How old are you and which country are you currently in? There are a few ways to do it; I made the move in 2012 on a Working Holiday Visa. You had to be under a certain age and be a citizen of a country that has this visa scheme agreement with the EU. The visa allows you to work in the EU country for a year. I saved up about 6 months of expenses, moved, then looked for work here. It was much easier to interview on-location and being able to start immediately than trying to get someone to hire and relocate me remotely. I ended up at a large company which, after my allowed year, helped me get a proper work and residence permit and stay in the country.

As Italian, I suggest to migrate in Netherlands. It's a country with a huge IT sector, few bureaucracy compared to others, high salaries and low taxes (for Europe). Everyone speaks english correctly and there is very few racism in the society.

I moved to Berlin few months ago to work in a fintech company and the process was super quick and easy. It only took 2,3 weeks to finalise everything.

Now, I applied for a blue card, but since you don't have a degree its best to apply for work permit.

The waiting time for this whole process largely depends on the waiting time in your home country for the embassy appointment. I recall in my situation - people had to wait up to a year for a work permit appointment, while for a blue card the waiting time it was only a few days!

In both situations blue card or work permit, you have to have an employer, since you will need documentation from their side.

1. Find a job with an employer who will sponsor your visa. 2. Buy a plane ticket.

Exactly. It's not hard at all to get into EU, compared to US. Getting a visa is straightforward so long as there's a job for you.

1b) apply for Visa at the embassy

Unless you're from a country with an extensive visa-free agreement for Schengen. In those cases you enter the country as a tourist, and then apply for a work permit (not visa) at a local government office. It is generally not possible to get a visa from the embassy if you're from a country where this is possible.

Can you give an example of a specific set of countries where this applies (country of origin of course non-EU)

I don't think you can legally work without the work permit though.

Correct, you need to have enough money to get by while the work permit is processed. If you get a job via remote interviews, and book the work permit appointment in advance of coming, you can turn it around pretty fast though - I had my work permit appointment the week I arrived, and then went straight to work.

Forgot to add, I am from Kazakhstan

Do you count the UK or just EU countries? London still has top class developer jobs going, but I assume it's much harder to get in nowadays.

I would assume it's the same amount of effort as before, if you're coming from outside the EU.

I can attest to the UK having well-paid developer jobs though, especially in London. I'm not in London but I have friends who are and they're doing well.

I would go even further and say it's easier now for non-EU people, because we just eliminated a whole class of advantaged competition. Now when you compete with someone from the EU you're on equal terms.

Everyone always talks about London, but misses out some of the other cities/large towns.

Manchester maybe a better option than London. Manchester is cheaper and has almost all the things you want from London without a lot of the negatives. Pay isn't nearly as good but the costs of living in Manchester are about 1/2 to 1/3rd of what London is.

If you want better weather the south-coast has Bournemouth (lots of smaller to mid-sized companies that do web development and insurance).

I moved from London to Manchester and my experience wasn't positive. While it might be cheaper there wasn't a lot of jobs. You are better off sticking to the South East.

There are plenty of jobs in and around Manchester.

South East is expensive and you wouldn't catch me going anywhere near London for any reason what-so-ever.

yeah I'm based near Leeds and I've had a great career working across Yorkshire. I just reference London for the international audience, and because it's got that kind of urban metropolitan environment that most developers seem to prefer (even though it's not my cup of tea).

We're not known for the good weather up here, but thankfully it's spring this week so it's nicer.

Yes, developers jobs are well paid in London, depending on the company, there are several places that take advantage of their developers and pay poorly. My advice to most London devs is move company often until you find a salary you're happy with, companies need you more than you need the company.

Any advice on being a software engineer and moving to a Scandinavian country, Germany, or Austria specifically? I know German and would feel comfortable learning a Scandinavian language after studying Swedish for a while. My ideal would be to work remotely and live in the countryside, but if another situation is more realistic then that's fine too.

You might be confused but there is a high possibility that such communities have a job section as well as useful content for those who have already moved. We suggest looking through a few websites where you will definitely find vacancies for candidates from all over the world:

ExpatCareers.com Expat.com Expatica.com Iamexpat.nl

If you can transfer within the company, this is the easiest route by a country mile. Your company will help with the transfer, organise some of the logistics and official matters. It is still not easy sailing, but some sort of support network is available. It is how I moved from Australia to Germany.

I have the same sentiments as you, op. I am interested in migrating as well. To have a new beginning and try my best to live my life to the fullest. I have learned a lot from this thread; thank you for creating this post-op.

i feel like 90% of remote dev jobs in europe used to be from amsterdam -- this is prob 10 years ago (or more!).

it was so over the top it looked like a scam.

but i don't think it was a scam.

i'm not sure what it was, or is.

like, there are no devs in amsterdam?


Andorra is kinda easy.

Obviously right now is probably ill advised as various countries in Europe are dealing with the pandemic differently and vaccination might become a factor at some point down the road.

Find out which European country you want to live in, it's a wide ensemble of laws, culture and practices and simply "moving to Europe" will vary a lot depending on which country you move to.

Language is probably on top of the list, I know in some countries just speaking English will be ok and companies won't care, but you will want to do some research on that (i.e. I lived in Germany for a short time and I'm glad I knew enough German to get around).

As far as software development goes, there isn't a shortage of companies hiring, you might even be lucky enough to find a company that is willing to sponsor your. Check your own countries rules re earning money in another country, they might want to tax you.

Overall I'd say you need to research:

- Which country do you want to go to

- What are their immigration requirements (not all of Europe has the same immigration rules, despite what anti EU idiots think)

- Daily language use

- How much does it cost to rent a place

- How much does it cost to live there (food prices vary a lot)

- Right now this is a terrible idea, but go to the country and stay in the city you think you want to live in and test it out, this isn't a substitution for actually living there, but is a start to find out if you hate it or not

In ref to buying a passport, yes this is an option, some countries still do it, usually quite expensive.

Apply on LinkedIn, get a job. Make sure you have a photo. We don't do the whole 'no photo on cv' thing here.

If you want a boost, check out the Finland IT program. They pretty much want a bunch of developers and IT people to move there, and it's an official govt. program. If you want, you can get citizenship in a couple years and become an EU citizen

It's absurdly easy, just look for a job that qualifies for Green Card (almost any developer job is).

Caveat: since you are assumingly planning to immigrate from a poor country, you should remember that immigration will most certainly lower your living standard for a while or maybe forever, and certainly and forever lower your social standing.

There’s no such thing as Green Card in Europe, and each country has their own immigration rules.

There is the Blue Card though, which is EU-wide.

you need a university degree for that

Oh absolutely, not relevant for OP, just pointing out that "There’s no such thing as Green Card in Europe" isn't quite true as a Blue Card is pretty similar.

It would be nice to narrow your search to a specific country because some EU countries are not welcoming foreigners of specific nationalities. And some others countries are saturated of foreigners (specifically from one or two countries) and there are mixins. But it changes from city to city too.

So even if you get a job in EU, better to check what is your budget. You don't want to live in a neighborhood full of immigrants with their specific "traditions".

That was racist / xenophobic - did you really want to post this?

Maybe they should have phrased it better - but there are some places in Paris (an example I'm familiar with) a typical tech worker would make for an awkward situation at best and a dangerous one at worst. Especially if the tech worker doesn't present as a monogamous heterosexual.

Where exactly ?

For someone from the west and specifically LGBTQ any area around any mosque that doesn't allow women would be hard to enjoy long-term.

I assume the easiest method is to obtain a EU passport.

So the followup is how to get an EU passport?

If I recall correctly (read it a few years ago), some EU countries, you could buy your way into a passport. Not sure if it is still true. And I remember the larger (richer?) EU countries were not happy with the countries doing that.

> I assume the easiest method is to obtain a EU passport.

I am... not sure this is true, and I'm not sure why you would think it is? Usually its much easier to obtain a work visa than a passport.

Again, I think it depends where you're coming from - and what you want to do.

I work in the UK and have a number of Indian (national) colleagues (some previously subcontractors, some offshore brought onshore).

Getting people into the UK office to work seems relatively easy - if you've got a decently paying job waiting for you, you get a visa (and just have to deal with paperwork a bit of paperwork and renewals).

Transferring between jobs is a little trickier, but seems to work fine (just need to bridge the visa requirements across the two jobs).

Getting UK passport makes the job switching easier - but is a fair sized hurdle to pass. Years of residency required, tests to pass etc. People I know who took this, were those that settled with a family and intended to stay long-term.

One 'gotcha' with just the visa is that it makes travelling for work harder, depending on where you want to go. EU passport holders can pretty much go where they like globally for that important meeting next Monday (y'know, back when we could jump on a plane).

Yes it was true: https://www.euronews.com/2020/10/20/buying-eu-citizenship-wh...

In particular Malta and Cyprus, evidently had low barriers. But according to the article, 19 EU countries provide some kind of residency scheme.

Another site provides some interesting details: https://imperiallegal.com/european-passport/

€2M spare cash is not a low barrier. It's not the "easiest method" either. They're fun articles, but realistically very few people can afford this - and if they can, they know.

Yes but OP did not say "low barrier". Had they said that, then you would be correct.

Arguably having €2M also is not easy. Ignoring the criteria is not very productive for OPs question.

It's easy to get a UK passport if you've already been living here for 6 years on an eligible visa.

You said it's low barrier. That's the point I'm disagreeing with.

Getting a visa is definitely easier than getting a passport. My advise is to look for a good employer, and have a relocation agency take care of the rest. They know what to do and know the intimacies of - e.g. - tax benefits you might be eligible for.

(n.b. Not immigration specialists but married to expat tax advisor)


If you have enough $$ to buy a passport then you are probably not using HN or a jr developer. This means a multi multi million dollar investment in a country and some amount of bribery.

Next also unrealistic option is to buy a “Golden visa”, which starts around €250k in real estate investment in Malta and takes 2 years.

The “easiest” shortcut is to marry an eu citizen.

Another route is to get a 1-year student visa by attending a full time language school, then finding a local company to sponsor you for a gig.

Or, they could just apply for jobs online.

> If you have enough $$ to buy a passport then you are probably not using HN or a jr developer

Facts not in evidence. OP in no way implied they were poor, or of limited means.

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