Is it possible for a US-citizen to to obtain a freelance visa before leaving the US?

#1

I am wanting to work abroad as a freelance programmer . I’m seeking a low tax jurisdiction , preferably in Europe . What countries offer a 1 - 2 year freelance visa ? I would prefer to complete and obtain my visa before leaving the States . What are my options ?

#2

Most European countries require you to apply before leaving the states, so yes you can get one while in the US. Your question is really country-specific. Pretty much every European country has visa options, but the processes, the difficulty, etc. will vary greatly.

So maybe narrow it down for us: what countries are you interested in?

If you really don’t know, there’s an excellent book that really outlines visas and basic info about countries called Getting Out: Your Guide to Leaving America.

#3

Thanks , I just went to the book store . They do not have the book in stock . I will order it online ! Is there a pdf file out there ? Or even an ebook ?
I spent 3 months in Europe last year. I was in Prague and Krakow . I am seeking to establish a home base for a while. I would like my future temporary home to be easily accessible to other counties , that way I can explore :slight_smile: My desired countries would be Germany , France , Spain , Italy , Austria , Hungary , and the Netherlands. I would like to save where possible " Taxes , Health Insurance , Required Capital , Cost of Living " . I would be open to other places as well. Out of the listed countries , which one has the easiest process ?

#4

You can find it on Amazon. Not sure if there’s an eBook version.

Re the countries you’re interested in: it sounds like you’ll have lots of options. Germany has a reputation for being very open to American freelancers (you can look up one man’s detailed process at Travels of Adam blog). I know several people who were able to stay in France as freelancers. And the Netherlands offers Americans the option of opening businesses in order to gain residency (though the process sounds a bit pricey). Anyway, the book should be a helpful starting point and once you decide on your first choice country you can research it in depth.

#5

Dude, Europe and low taxes don’t go together unless you can afford to live in Monaco.

Move to Berlin with their freelancer visa, but be prepared to pay more tax then you do in the USA.

#7

Re: “Getting Out: Your Guide to Leaving America.”

I can only imagine the look on their faces when you told them the title!

The book is written by Mark Ehrman who is himself a very interesting character, sort of like a bridge person between generations. Before you ask, yes, he did escape – as far as I know, he lives in Berlin now (or at least has lived there until very recently).

If you’re curious to hear him talk on various subjects (not necessarily practical, just general stuff) and have about 3 hours to spend, I really enjoyed Jasun Horsley (of The Liminalist podcast) interviewing him. The interview is split into two segments: