How to Apply for European Resident Status
If you are from a country that is not part of the European Union, and you intend to stay in an EU country for more than three months, you will need to apply for a residency permit. This is issued by the member state to allow you to access the benefits of the country while you are there. Some countries will require additional considerations to grant full access to healthcare, etc., but in general, a residency permit is the first application you should make.
You should remember that not all countries in Europe are members of the European Union and may, therefore, have a different legal procedure to obtain a residency permit.
Types of Residency Permits
Temporary Residency Permits for Scientific Researchers
This type of permit is only available to researchers, with a minimum requirement for the applicant to be the holder of a Master’s degree with a path of study that is leading to a doctoral degree. Only certain institutions can apply for these residency permits, and you should check that they are listed on the individual country's website. There should be a valid agreement between the scientist and the institution that clearly explains remuneration, the scope of the research, and the duration of the scientific research. Additionally, the following documents are mandatory:
Four recent passport-size photos
Two copies of the application forms
Valid insurance documentation
Confirmation of fee payment
European Blue Card
This permit is reserved for highly qualified individuals and remains valid for a maximum of three years. It is issued after verifying that the applicant has completed higher education and has an offer of employment lasting for at least one year. The documents required for this permit are the same as those required for researchers, except that a certificate confirming completion of a higher education qualification is also required.
Residency Permit for Family Members
According to European law, a "family member" is one who is legally married to the applicant or a biological or legally adopted child. Anyone who wishes to travel to a country without holding this status will be treated as an individual applicant.
This residency permit is issued to family members of foreigners living in Europe. The term "family" is described as that which includes a spouse and a child, the child being under the age of 18 years. For a foreigner to obtain a residency permit for his or her family, they have to prove that they are financially secure, and the following documents are required to be supplied:
2 duplicate copies of a correctly completed application form
Recent colour passport
A letter of employment or contract from the employer to confirm that there is a regular income. This demonstrates the ability to support the needs of the family and dependents for the length of the stay.
Health insurance documents
Two copies of authentic travel documents for children under the age of thirteen years
Marriage certificate, birth certificate, and any other notified documents that prove legal relationships
Proof of application fees being submitted
A European Residency Permit is a lasting authorization to live in a European Union nation. To qualify for a residency permit in Europe, the applicant must have lived in the country where they are applying, normally for at least five years. A residency permit in the European Union is valid until further notification, meaning that you do not have to renew it unless the regulations change and you are notified. To apply for a European Residency Permit for non-European residents, there additional requirements. The qualifications for a European residency permit are as follows:
You should have lived in the country where you are applying for at least five years.
You should have the financial ability to sustain your stay in Europe. If you have dependents, you will need to prove that you have resources to support them.
You should have an adequate command of the official language of the nation where you are applying for a European Union Residency Permit.
You should have a thorough understanding of the country in which you are applying to reside. This may include taking a residency test.
You must have adequate living space for you and the individuals making up your family unit.
You should remember that not all nations in Europe are member countries of the European Union. For instance, Norway, North Macedonia, or Switzerland will not qualify you to acquire a European Union residency permit or citizenship. Many changes have taken place in the European Union recently, including the withdrawal of the United Kingdom. If you apply for British citizenship or a residency permit, this will no longer give you access to the European Union for free movement and travel. Most countries will require residency to be established for at least 5 years before applying for any type of permanent residency permit.
You should thoroughly investigate the laws as they relate to your specific needs and location before making any payments, as these are often non-refundable.
If your wife or husband is a resident of a European Union nation, you may have the option to apply for a residency permit, if not citizenship, through them. The European Union country of residency may also shorten the amount of time you have to live in the nation before applying for citizenship. However, this does not preclude gaining the other necessary prerequisites for citizenship, such as language ability and tests.
A duplicate of your birth certificate
A duplicate of your visa, if applicable
Confirmation of residency; work records, bank statements, travel records, and proof of address
Confirmation of employment status, which is through the provision of employer’s appointment letters; if you are independently employed, demonstrate financial records from your recent self-employment history to show that you are financially stable
If you are married to a resident of an EU nation, you will need to supply verification of the marriage document. This is normally a marriage certificate, birth certifications, and family photographs
Note - Make duplicates of the significant documents and never present their originals unless required specifically by the application process.
The application forms are normally generally available on the official website of the country where you are looking to live. Each nation has its own format, but you will need to provide the following:
Your complete legal name
Present and past addresses
Level of education and training
Your residential history within the European Union
Details of your family, including children
Some of the applications may require a financial deposit, and some may require a financial levy to be paid to prove a permanent commitment to that country. The costs of each application will vary between nations, and you should research these costs before going ahead.
It can take some time to process the applications, depending on how straightforward they are, and on the load on the immigration department for that country. Some may require more information before they can go ahead, and you should ensure that you remain in contact with them during this process.
Should you need an extension to a residency permit, you will be informed. You should ensure that you have maintained correct records so that you can be contacted; a delay in this may mean that your permit is not renewed and you may lose the entitlement. If you fail to apply in enough time, you may have your application denied. There are other reasons that you may be denied the permit, some of which include:
You are viewed as a danger to the country and its security.
You have been missing in the nation where you are living for 12 continuous months during the most recent five years and you are associated with misrepresentation or failure to register as required, such as overstaying a temporary visa.
The permitted quota of EU residents represented by your original nation is now capped and you cannot be permitted to stay in excess of that cap.
If you are granted an EU residency permit, you will be entitled to nearly indistinguishable rights from the nationals of the nation you are living in.