Establishing Permanent Residency In Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, And Portugal

“Kathleen, regardless of language, climate, or location, which European country has the easiest residency visa option for someone who is in early retirement and with modest passive interest income (no Social Security yet)? I intend to live there on a long-term basis (not just spending a few months each year), so I need more stability than a three-month tourist visa. I hope you can give me more than one name in order of the ease with which one can obtain a long-term residency visa. Thank you.”

–George R., United States

As long as you can prove that you can support yourself (the definition for that varies country by country), you should find it relatively easy to establish residency in Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, and Portugal.

Details for how are covered here.


“Hey guys, does any country in the EU have an easy, low-cost entry residency program (like Panama)?

“Keep up the great work.”

–Gary B., United States

Historically, Europe has not offered the same kinds of retiree residency visa programs as have become increasingly available throughout Latin America over the past 30 years.

However, this is changing. Malta is the star right now, offering one of the easiest and lowest-cost residency programs available anywhere. To qualify, you simply need to rent a place to live paying a minimum monthly rent of 800 euros (or US$885 at today’s exchange rate).

Portugal also now offers an attractive and user-friendly residency visa option.

These residency programs are one reason these two countries feature so well in our just-out Retire Overseas Index, in which we rank Portugal as the world’s best place to live or retire… and Malta as first runner-up.

That is, our new survey rates Portugal first and Malta second among the world’s top havens today. Top this year in the New World are Mexico (specifically Puerto Vallarta) and Belize (specifically Cayo), which take third and fourth place, respectively.

The complete 200-plus-page Index is available here.

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