British Expats May Need To Reinvest To Gain EU Residence Visas

British expats may need to reinvest their assets in order to meet EU residency visa requirements and establish permanent homes in EU countries. Applicants must show that they and their dependents have incomes sufficient to prevent them becoming a burden on the state.

What constitutes both ‘income’  and ‘sufficient income’ varies from one country to another. Unfortunately, many popular expat investment structures do not generate ‘sufficient income’.

 

“This raises a problem for many expats who have invested in EU-compliant, tax-efficient investment products,” said Jason Porter, director of specialist expat financial advice firm Blevins Franks and head of its new European Emigration Advisory Service.

“Many have placed their financial assets in life insurance bonds or UK pension schemes and intend to utilise the flexible and often tax-efficient withdrawal facilities associated with such structures.

“The potential irregularity of payments and the fact some of these may not be regarded as wholly constituting income could have consequences in terms of meeting the sufficient income requirements of a residency permit.

“Some jurisdictions have developed an interpretation that a simple deposit of the income required for the period of the residency permit in an account which can be drawn upon is sufficient. Others are far stricter, expecting to see income in its regular, taxable form, such as earnings, pensions, rentals, dividends or interest.

“These expats will need to take advice on what is effectively a balancing act between tax efficiency and meeting the income stream requirements of the residency permits best suited to them.”

Expats will not be granted a residence visa unless they can demonstrate this income stream and a visa is essential for anyone wishing to spend more than 90 days in an EU country.

Taking advice early is essential, allowing any potential problems to be identified, and addressed, in good time.

 

Jason Porter is a Director at Blevins Franks Financial Management Limited and head of the company’s new European Emigration Advisory Service. Blevins Franks has been advising UK nationals retiring to France, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus and Malta for over 40 years, through 22 local offices in these countries.