Moving Within the EU Post-Renunciation
I’ve created this sub-thread to the Post-Renunciation Matters thread for replies to Petlover’s request for information on moving between countries within the EU. If, in commenting, you comment on a country’s policies, health or otherwise, please keep such comments within the context of immigration and/or practical solutions, but not opinions/discussion of the policy itself. We all have different opinions on such policies, but for maximum impact, the focus of this site is tax and citizenship matters.
@CoffeeBean and pacifica777
Thank you both for the links to the appropriate IBS post/thread. Apparently I wasn’t using the right search terms to find what I was looking for.
From reading the post, I gather it’s fairly straightforward for a former citizen to get a “fast-track” green card if they have an immediate family member who is a US citizen. Does anyone know anything about this in more detail? How fast is the fast track? And, if I recall correctly, there’s a particular date when it’s wise to abandon the green card for tax reasons, right?
I reliquished in 2017, but my daughter still has US citizenship, although she’s never lived there. Would that matter?
Unfortunately, we find ourselves in a bit of tight spot as citizens of Austria, a country that is planning to mandate vaccines for EVERYBODY by February. Please do not misunderstand me or misconstrue this comment as a vaccine debate. My daughter sustained a vaccine-related injury when she was a toddler, which caused one of her kidneys to permanently fail, however, this is not recognized as grounds for an exemption to the coming mandate. With her US passport, it is simple enough for her to enter the US, where the mandates are not as extreme, with only a PCR test and perhaps quarantine. My husband and I would like to join her for an indefinite stay should it become necessary, but weren’t sure how to go about this. Expedited green cards sound like a great option.
It’s truly terrible how difficult these times are and what we are all experiencing due to the pandemic. I wish everyone all the best for staying healthy and safe.
Sit tight, it may be a simple matter of paying a fine, which is a lot cheaper than uprooting your lives. That being said, I’m not too impressed with Austrians these days: protesters wearing yellow stars at demos organized by the FPÖ is some world-class cognitive dissonance.
Would it not be simpler to move to another EU country temporarily? With an EU passport one can live in any EU and EFTA state including Switzerland and you won’t have to go through the US immigration hoops.
Pop over the border to the Südtirol, for example. It’s practically the same accent, and since the Italians seem to have their act together now about enforcing the green pass, they likely won’t find themselves in a mess requiring a universal vaccine mandate. (I would still recommend one sit tight and ride it out in Austria, the situation will evolve.)
What I think is pretty clear now is that for the foreseeable future, life without vaccination or a proper medical exemption is going to be very, very constrained in most developed countries (Canada: no domestic flights, no university) unless of course you shift to the UK or one of the redder parts of the US, in which there is “freedom” but also a much greater risk of getting sick.
As I have had to point out to some weeping Brits in the past and now we are out of the EU, there is no completely unrestricted freedom for an EU passport holder to just rock up in any EU nation they like and call it home.
All nations have a right to make sure that anyone moving in has enough money to support themselves, has the ability tp pay for healthcare and ensure they are not going to be a drain on the state. Practically, this generally means you have a job, another provable source of income, a lot of money and that you sign on to the local healthcare systems.
Of course this may by just fine for Petlover, or it may not and individual states all have their own rules.
Petlover is in Austria I believe so she is still in the EU and can have freedom of movement within the block. Of course she will have to pay taxes and contribute to health insurance of whichever EU nation she decides to live in, if she is retired her retirement benefits and healthcare are transferable within the EU.
I agree that for UK citizens without another EU passport that freedom has now ended.
From EU gov citizens info site
“EU countries must not set conditions (other than needing a passport or national identity card, or to report their presence to the authorities) for EU citizens to enter their country.
This means that you should not be asked to prove that you have an offer of employment, money to live off, are registered with a college, or have any other particular business or purpose to visiting the EU member state.”
Of course once you are a permanent resident of that EU country, then you must pay taxes and contribute to healthcare insurance within the rules of that state.
My experience in these matters is limited due to my not being an EU national, but I understand there to be a difference between visiting another EU country, and establishing residence to stay beyond 90 (?) days. For the latter, at minimum one needs to prove means of support and health care – one can’t simply move to another EU country and expect to receive benefits, for example.
Thanks everyone for your ideas and comments.
Turns out expedited green cards are not all that expeditious. Anywhere between 6-123(!!!!) months to process, depending on which office it goes through. That just won’t do.
Like Ron above, I’m not very impressed with Austria’s responses to the pandemic at all, either. The emergency measures keep getting extended and with each new emergency order – of which there have been over 350 since March 2020 – the government gains new powers at the expense of citizens’ constitutional rights. It’s disturbing not knowing where you stand on a daily basis because of the constant orders and decrees. It’s making me crazy, especially since there is no end in sight. None of the orders is subject to any kind of judicial review before going into effect and many of them are eventually overturned by the court because of constitutional violations – but only AFTER the order was implemented, executed, and already expired. The recognition of unconstitutionality is always after the fact, too late to make any difference.
In February, Austria plans to start mass vaccinating everyone and the fines are stupendous: €3600 or 4 weeks jail for missing the first shot; €1450 or 4 weeks jail for the second shot as well as each booster thereafter. I’m not really interested in seeing an Austrian prison from the inside. Although the government also tags on the possiblitiy for health exemptions, in reality it’s impossible to obtain one. The “Ärztekammer”, or Austrian medical board, is so steeped in the pharmaceutical lobby, that doctors cannot issue exemptions without facing threats of having their licenses pulled for committing apostasy. It’s really terrible. Last year, for example, when the first mask mandate was introduced, the order specifically stated that asthma patients were exempted if their condition was certified. I’ve had asthma since I was 12 and have been to lung specialists in Austria for monitoring and therapy, but none of them was willing to provide an exemption certificate for fear of the medical board. It’s great that there are vaccines available, and more different types are in the pipeline, but they definitely aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution to be given to everyone indescriminately, which appears to be what Austria is attempting to enforce.
I agree with Heidi, who suggested relocating within the EU. My husband and I aren’t retired (only late 40s), but we are “digital nomads”, so as long as we have decent internet, we can earn a living no matter where we are. I still need to learn how health insurance and residency permits work within the EU, though. I only know it’s easier than if you’re coming from a non-EU country.
My research is pointing me towards Spain as an option. Any Brockers from there? Supposedly, the state of emergency has ended there and only masks are required in places where social distancing isn’t possible. It’s also possible to enter with just a PCR test. I appreciate the fact that the courts in Spain have made several clear decisions defending citizens’ constitutional rights and freedoms, in clear contrast to what is happening in Austria. Most recently Spain’s court smacked down the idea of a covid passport that one region was trying to introduce, so it seems to me like Spain still values some liberty at least. Sad to say that the same no longer applies to Austria.
Yes EU citizens are free to travel and seek work within any EU state. Eu citizens are allowed to live up to 6 months without become officially resident.
EU citizens are permitted to come to member states to find work and can claim limited jobseeker allowances .
Pre Brexit the UK through David Cameron negotiated a time limit on these allowances for EU citizens settling in the UK . It did not however stem Brexit.
Other EU states can deport non citizens for crimes, health or if they become a financial burden on the state.
We have British friends who live in Portugal. They say have an excellent state run healthcare system and if you are officially a tax paying Resident then healthcare is included through national insurance and with a small cost per visit.
Rules governing EU citizens seeking employment and residence in other EU countries .
“EU countries must not set conditions (other than needing a passport or national identity card, or to report their presence to the authorities) for EU citizens to enter their country.”
But they DO set conditions in order for you to STAY. This is what you are missing and why Petlover needs to be aware. Yes you can seek employment, the individual state can throw you out if you do not find employment or prove you can support yourself and pay for your healthcare.
It’s also the reason that UK citizens did not lose even a fraction of what they thought were their “rights” under freedom of movement, they never really had any without a lot of money or a high paying job offer.
If they have both, they still have freedom of movement now.
Complete freedom of movement in the EU is a myth.
Do you not watch those UK TV programs ‘life in the sun’ where young UK entrepreneurs were able to move to France, Spain etc to set up businesses like paragliding or scuba diving etc. They go with little or no money and make a go of it. They now need a firm job offer, proof that they have greater skills or qualifications than EU citizens before they can get a visa to work.
On the other end of the spectrum, I am in the medical world and the Royal college of radiologists have informed me they are now 50% down on their ability to read xrays as the tele radiology has all but tried up as Drs in the EU are no longer able to read the UK NHS xrays.
I know we differ on this so I will say no more but myth it is not.
Petlover will be able to move within the EU without a job offer.
Do you not watch those UK TV programs ‘ new life in the sun’ where young UK entrepreneurs were able to move to France, Spain etc to set up businesses like paragliding or scuba diving etc. They go with little or no money and make a go of it. They now need a firm job offer, proof that they have greater skills or qualifications than EU citizens before they can get a visa to work.
On the other side of the story, I am in the medical world and the Royal college of radiologists have informed me they are now 50% down on their ability to read xrays as the tele radiology has all but tried up as Drs in the EU are no longer able to work and read the UK NHS xrays.
I know we differ on this so I will say no more but myth it is not.
Petlover will be able to move within the EU without a job offer.
If you don’t mind rain rather than sun, Ireland is another EU country you could consider, they have a comprehensive healthcare system ( both state and private insurance) and they speak English there!
“Petlover will be able to move within the EU without a job offer.”
I have not denied this, free movement allows anyone in the EU holding an EU nationality to go seek work in another nation, the issue is the ability to STAY and the myth is that there are no restrictions and staying is an unlimited right. It is not.
Sorry to have to press this, but this is important and on topic.
Yes I could move to Belgium and I did and to a very good job. No job, satisfactory income and medical care meant you were out on your ear and it mattered not one jot if you were from another EU nation and a so called “EU citizen”.
This was highlighted during Brexit where there was much complaining about EU citizens coming to the UK and becoming a burden on UK tax payers in various ways, doing untaxed work such as hand car washing, filing for UK child support for children living in other nations, living on unemployment and housing allowances when their seasonal work dried up….It was made very clear that the UK had always had a right to impose rules that would have ended a lot of this abuse and removed people who were not adequately supporting themselves or could not prove any income at all.
Petlover needs to know that absolute freedom to rock up and live where you like is a myth and that they need to check local regulations, and that they can meet them, before rocking up with their furniture.
“”For stays of over three months: EU citizens and their family members — if not working — must have sufficient resources and sickness insurance to ensure that they do not become a burden on the social services of the host Member State during their stay.”
The above is open to member state interpretation, the UK made absolutely no effort to control new EU immigrants, made no effort to put rules in place that they had to abide to and no effort to to remove those that were a burden.
This is not true of many other member states who carefully keep a check of who lives where, have rules in place that immigrants must abide to regarding provable income and healthcare, have police checking where people live and an ID card system and that WILL remove those who do not meet their criteria.
Pellover needs to check local requirements and ensure they can meet them.
Remember how quickly internal EU borders snapped shut during the first wave?
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if countries began requiring proof of vaccination before granting residence to other EU nationals. No sensible government will want to increase its unvaccinated population.
I am not arguing that moving within the EU comes without restrictions and responsibilities, but all EU members have the right to move within the block with or without a job offer. Job seekers are permitted to come for 6 months and receive a job seekers allowance. They can stay longer if they can show they are actively looking for a job and/ or are able to support themselves.( I believe Cameron negotiated for a time limit on EU immigrants support benefits within the UK.) As a third country UK citizens can no longer able to move to the EU without a job offer and have now to apply for a visa and also show that no EU citizen is better qualified for that job. My daughter had applied for a senior position job in the Czech republic post Brexit, she was told by the recruiter that she would need an EU passport to even consider her, luckily she did have another passport.
EU citizens have the ability to live, work , seek work or retire within the EU. Their benefits are reciprocal as is their healthcare insurance coverage . UK citizens no longer have these rights.
Many countries are asking for Vac certs to even cross their borders let alone settle there , but that is a personal choice, that can be overcome .
Without vaccination Petlover will have to research her move carefully.
Some EU countries were pretty lax at registering new EU workers. We knew a few Brits who had been working in Spain and France for many years who had never registered and were still driving in the EU with their UK llicenses.
I remember Nigel Lawson former UK chancellor and chairman of the Brexit campaign was living unregistered and untaxed in France until he was exposed. He later applied for residency.
When my daughter worked in the Czech Rep , she did in fact need to first register and officially received a resident permit. So yes, there is a discrepancy in practice between States. I believe Brexit and Covid concerns have tightened this up.
Good question Ron re vac certs at borders!
It’s really difficult to uproot one’s life spur of the moment.
The majority of EU countries don’t require vaxxed status to enter, only PCR or antigen tests, a certificate of natural immunity through infection, and a few require varying lengths of quarantine additionally.
Apparently it’s not a problem to stay in another EU country for 3-6 months if you don’t seek employment or any kind of government services. Also, if you “overstay”, it’s possible to leave for another EU destination. I’m looking into the health insurance repercussions at the moment. Many EU countries do have reciprocation deals, but you need to tell your insurer where you will be and travel with the appropriate paperwork for the destination.
Austria is turning up the heat and the pot is about to boil over. Strikes are planned. Now they are saying the vaccine mandate might start on the first of the new year, a month earlier than announced. I’m not sure we can get organized that quickly since that’s only 5 weeks away, especially if strikes cause more disruption. Once the measure goes into effect, though, it will be impossible to get out; it’s an extreme measure, for sure, and punishes not only the unvaxxed, but also disadvantages anyone with immunity from previous infection, a medical exemption, as well as those who experienced severe adverse reactions to previous doses and cannot receive or don’t want boosters. It’s quite the dilemma. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be an issue of people’s health and genuine welfare, but rather a political football being abused to usurp power and exert undue control.
Greece, the UK and the Czech Republik (among others) have condemned Austria’s plan as schockingly fascist due to the level of autocratic control being imposed to oppress a targeted group. Maybe this is grounds to seek asylum in another EU member state?
You are able to move to another EU state and stay 6 months without being permanently resident. Perhaps you could rent a holiday home in Spain or Portugal and wait and see if this vaccine mandate is challenged by law. You could always move again temporarily.
I have a friend in Switzerland who has many allergies and is hypersensitive to albumen based vaccines. She has other medical problems so the doctors thought it important that she receive a Covid vaccine. They started slowly and gave her mini doses over a number of hours and monitored her. She was fine. The MRNA vaccines are not egg albumen based. Perhaps you could speak to your physician about this?
Please note the guideline in the introduction to this thread, focus your questions and answers on the practical issue of Moving Within the EU Post-Renunciation at this time and, per the introduction to this thread, “if you comment on a country’s policies, health or otherwise, please keep such comments within the context of immigration and/or practical solutions but not opinions/discussion of the policy itself,” as “we all have different opinions on such policies, but for maximum impact, the focus of this site is tax and citizenship matters.”
The AfD and their ilk are making noise in Sachsen about offering asylum to unvaccinated Austrians. An amusing publicity stunt given that Sachsen is now shipping COVID patients to other Bundesländer because it’s own hospitals are full.
If you decide to move to another EU country on a temporary basis for up to 6 mths (not as a permanent resident) your could use an EHIC card , (European health insurance card), which is provided by your resident country Austria. This can be used for emergency healthcare within the EU. So no need to look to switch insurance cover unless you have a chronic illness which needs constant care.