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Even in 2020, moving to Europe is like the ultimate dream for many United States citizens. Some spend years researching the best European country to live in and will go as far as to take extensive tours to get a feel for what it’s like to reside there. If you want to be a part of that group of adventure-loving expats, we’ll show you the very best countries for American expats.

What Do You Need to Migrate to Europe

Before you get too excited about relocating to a whole new country and starting a brand new life, there are a few steps you need to take – the earlier you start, the better. There are immigration rules set in place for different countries, and some of them are in line with EU policies. You’ll need to do some research on both EU immigration rules and specific rules for the area you’ve been looking at.

Finding fellow expats in your new home can have many benefits for your future life there. You’ll be able to find people who know what you’re going through and they can give you some great tips on how to live in another country. Standard visiting for US citizens in most nations is typically 30 to 90 days without a visa. After that, you’ll have to leave, so while you’re planning your relocation, get to know the immigration rules and requirements if you’re planning on residing and working in Europe as an American.

Picture of a passport on top of a map
Make sure you have everything in order before you move abroad.

Best European Countries for Young Expats to Live

If you’re a young professional, working and staying in Europe is chock-full of experiences and opportunities that set you far. More and more US citizens are migrating specifically for this. Within the past few years, the European job market has opened up a lot, and there are plenty of opportunities to find work. Another bonus of living in Europe is that in most countries healthcare is free. No need to stress over having to use a good chunk of your finances to pay for a check-up.

The Glorious Nation of France

For a long while now France has been a popular expat and tourist destination. This beautiful nation has countless villages, towns, and cities. The capital city of Paris is perhaps the most popular expat destination and is home to a population of 2.2 million people, 13% of them foreigners. There are many parks, beautiful landscapes, great food, plenty of rental options, and great nightlife. It’s a relatively safe nation which is not only great for young professionals but families as well. There is a wide variety of jobs available for US citizens, especially for teaching English. Learning a bit of French before moving to France would be a great way for breaking the language barrier since most people there do not typically speak English.

Living La Dolce Vita in Italy

Italy is considered a great nation to stay in for expats and offers a lot of work opportunities. One of the drawbacks is that as a US citizen, you will be required to apply for a working and residency visa if you plan to stay for an extended period. On the plus side, there are a few great cities to choose from if you opt for moving to Italy from the US, but overall the cost of living can be quite high. You’ll also have to be prepared to do a lot of paperwork if you’re applying for a visa. It helps tremendously if you have a friend to help you go through the process, as it takes much time and effort. Luckily, the people there are all genuinely friendly and treat foreigners as if they were family. As far as renting, you’ll need to start way ahead of time as getting an apartment or property can also take time.

Canale Grande river in Venice, Italy
These nations are great for young professional expats

The Safest European Countries to Live in

You’ll find that most countries are relatively safe. Still, like all places on Earth, there are always some trouble spots. Some nations, however, hardly have any crime or trouble at all. If safety is a primary criterion for your relocation, then there are a few great choices.

Little to No Crime in Croatia

Croatia has often ranked as the safest nation globally, and the people there are very trustful of the local authorities. It has some of the lowest crime rates, from burglary to violent crimes, in the world. It’s a great place for expats to move there and raise families or start a new life. There are many job opportunities and a lot of great choice cities to choose to move to. For United States citizens living in Croatia the biggest challenge is learning the language, and that can hurt your chances of finding work. But, there are ways to work around it since there is a significant population of foreigners residing in Croatia. So you’ll be able to get tips for learning a new language.

Belgium is One of the Safest Countries in Europe

Another nation on our safety list is Belgium – ideal for raising a family and has many options for a high-end lifestyle. It also offers a lot of beautiful sights and scenery and good-paying job opportunities, and high-end housing; it’s clean and very family-oriented. The downside to all of these perks is that the cost of living is high for everything you’re getting. For US citizens seeking to work and live in Belgium, you’ll have to apply for both a working and residency visa and it can take a considerable amount of time and effort. However, the first 90 days do not require a permit.

The Palace in the capital city of Brussels
Lower crime rates are the result of higher standards of living in these nations

The Easiest European Country for American Expats to Move to

Maybe you aren’t looking to move to the harder nations to get in like Germany or Switzerland, but you’re looking to relocate. You’re in luck because there are a few different nations where it’s not hard to move there, and they either don’t require a lot or have different options.

Residency in Portugal

Portugal is one of many countries where a visa is not required for the first 90 days of entry into the nation. During that period, you can apply for a residency or work visa, which is relatively simple compared to other EU nations. They offer a few different options based on your reasons for moving to Portugal. It’s a very decent nation that’s affordable and gives you plenty of renting options. It’s clean and very safe for US citizens; however, you will need to learn the language as English is not so widely spoken there.

Easy Access for Residency Permits in Spain

Fantastic weather, beaches, excellent medical care – Spain is one of the easiest nations to secure residency. There are so many beautiful places to live, especially the capital city of Madrid. The only drawback of moving to Spain being you should learn some Spanish if you want to work there. Obtaining a long-stay visa will grant you the opportunity to stay, work, study, and even retire. The process is not at all hard to go through, but you will need to provide the necessary information and funds to be able to reside there. Aside from that, the cost of living is affordable, and it has many options for renting.

Downtown in the capital city of Madrid in Spain
Aside for the general 90 day stay, getting a working and residence permit is relatively simple

Hire a Reputable International Moving Company

Wherever you decide you want to move to Europe, you’re going to want to hire a good international moving company. Particularly one that has different services and offers to make your transition as easy as possible. There are many various shipping services to choose from, like shipping by sea or by air. You can also use an overseas vehicle shipping service if you’re moving to a country where you’ll need your vehicle. With this newly found information, you’ll be able to find a great country to migrate to and have a much easier time transitioning. And even more so if you let professionals handle the great burden of packing.