EU Visa Options for a Remote Working US Citizen

I am a researcher and writer who works as a contractor for a large US-based website. I make between $50,000 and $90,000 USD per year. I’ve been in the UK for about 6 months and my visa runs out soon. What are my options for freelancer-type visas in EU countries? This is with the understanding that my client(s) will be almost exclusively US-based for the foreseeable future.

I’ve read a little about the Czech Republic visa and that’s the only one I’ve been able to find definitive information about. I’ve seen a little bit about the autonomos visa in Spain but I can’t seem to wrap my head around it. Also of concern is that because I’m still required to pay US income taxes, I’d prefer as little tax responsibility in my new country as possible.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

I am not a tax expert, but it sounds to me as though you’re best looking at tax treaties to make sure you don’t pay tax twice.

Trying to live in a low tax country may be a bad move here, as often rent is higher due to that privilege.

That said, I think there’s also something called the FEIE that gives you some leeway from the US tax man, but I have no experience with it other than “I’ve seen something about it on the internet”.

Hopefully this info helps you to continue researching.

When I called the French embassy in the US twenty years ago, they said that I could get a yearly visa, if I arranged with my American bank to send $2000/month to a French bank. I’m sure many EU countries have the same type of arrangement.

Soon? Why did you wait so late? These things take time - though I wouldn’t know exactly how long as I haven’t gone through this process. I guess you could go live in an EU country of your choice for a couple months while going through the process.

Well, thanks for those tips!

According to the IRS website, The FEIE basically renders me exempt from earned income taxes up to about $100,000/year so long as I stay out of the USA for 330 days in a 12-month period. That makes everything considerably more comfortable.

“Soon? Why did you wait so late?”

No, this is me being proactive. As a digital nomad, I have no plan or need to settle down in the coming months. My UK visa is almost up, but I have no desire to become a permanent UK resident at this point. I’ll be in the Schengen Area for part of this summer, so if there’s a relatively straightforward path (such as the Czech program I mentioned, or the Spanish Autonomos program if it applies) to a least a long-term visa, I might as well start the process. I would like to have a semi-long-term place to stay by early 2020, but in the mean time I have plenty of different places to go.

At any rate, thanks for the tip, I will continue trying to track down long-stay visa options; I hope I can find something as simple as the monthly savings requirement you mentioned from France.

Good luck. I’m not positive but you may have to apply from your home country. I assume that’s what you did to stay in the UK.