Are you thinking of buying a seaside property in another EU country and don’t know how long you can live there continuously? What are your rights for longer stays? Are there any advantages to owning a property in the EU? There are some rules about how long you can stay in another EU country. In this article, we look at how long you can legally stay in another EU country and what the benefits are if you own property there.

As a citizen of the European Union (EU), you have the right to travel and reside freely in other member countries. This means that you are free to move, buy your property, work or study in another EU country without major restrictions. You will have heard of someone who has bought their property in Bulgaria, Croatia or lives permanently in a Hungarian or Austrian border village. Nowadays, it is already common for university students to study in Scandinavia, the Netherlands and most often with neighbours in the Czech Republic. Free movement within the EU Member States is regulated by Directive 2004/38/EC on the right of EU citizens and their family members to move and reside freely within the EU. Each EU member country also has its own specifics, generally the following criteria for residence are set out:

1. Short stay (3 months or up to 90 days): If you are an EU citizen, you are free to travel and reside in another EU country for up to 90 days without any special visa requirement. This type of stay applies to tourists, family visits, business trips or short-term studies. During these 90 days, you have the right to free movement, employment or freelance business.

As long as you own property in that country, you have the right to free movement: Owning property in another EU country gives you the right to move and reside freely in that country. You can live and use your property there without having to apply for a residence permit.

2. Long-term stay (over 90 days): If you plan to stay in another EU country for more than 90 days and do not own property there, there are certain formalities you need to comply with. Most EU countries require you to register with the local Aliens Office and apply for a long-term residence permit. This permit may allow you to work, study or live in the country for a certain period of time. This permit is usually granted for 5 years.

3. As a property owner, you can also apply for Permanent Residence: In some cases, owning a property can be a step closer to obtaining permanent residence in that country. After you have been there for a certain period of time, which usually ranges from a few months to a few years, you may be eligible for permanent residency status. This status allows you to stay in the country indefinitely and with the same rights as a local resident.

The conditions for permanent residency can vary from one EU country to another, but usually require you to be a long-term and continuous resident, a landlord or tenant with a rental contract, have paid health insurance and have a certain amount of money in your account. For example, you must have valid travel documents, health insurance and funds to cover your expenses during your stay.

All in all, as an EU national owning property in another EU country, you have certain benefits and rights regarding your stay in that country.
As a property owner, you are obliged to pay local taxes and comply with laws in that country: In addition to residency laws, there may be taxes and other laws that affect property ownership. For example, the obligation to pay annual property tax or local taxes.

It is important to note that even if you have the right to move and reside freely in another EU country, you still have to comply with the local laws and regulations set by that European Member State.

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