15 must-know benefits of becoming an EU citizen and moving to Europe

The EU passport offers the most flexibility of any identity document in the world. It allows you to travel, work and access a range of services in most European countries. 

1.   Travel the world without visas

As an EU national, you enjoy the right of free movement. This means you’re entitled to travel, work and live in another EU country. If you’re a citizen of a Schengen country – which is most EU countries – you’re also free to travel to other Schengen countries without the need for border checks. As an EU national, you can also benefit from EU-wide passenger rights for travel into, out of or within the EU by air, rail, bus/coach or ship. You can travel with pets and other animals in the EU provided you comply with the rules (pet passports). As of 2024, Polish citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 189 countries and territories, ranking the Polish passport 6th in the world according to the Henley Passport Index.

2.   Working in the EU

Free movement of workers is a fundamental principle of the Treaty enshrined in Article 45 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and developed by EU secondary legislation and the Case law of the Court of Justice. EU social security coordination provides rules to protect the rights of people moving within the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. EU citizens are entitled to:

  • look for a job in another EU country 
  • work there without needing a work permit
  • reside there for that purpose
  • stay there even after employment has finished
  • enjoy equal treatment with nationals in access to employment, working conditions and all other social and tax advantages

3. Access to affordable national healthcare plans.

The EU complements national health policies by supporting local EU governments to achieve common objectives, pool resources and overcome shared challenges. In addition to formulating EU-wide laws and standards for health products and services, it also provides funding for health projects across the EU. The European Health Insurance Card makes it easier for people from the European Union’s 27 Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland to access health and medical care services during temporary visits abroad. If you are going on holiday, a business trip or a short break or are heading off to study abroad, remember to make sure that you have obtained a card. It will help save you time and money if you fall ill or suffer an injury while abroad.

4. The opportunity to live in one of the most well-developed countries globally.

The term "developed country" is often used to describe a sovereign state that possesses a mature economy and a technologically advanced infrastructure—however, this description fails to convey the full breadth and depth of the term. The United Nations Development Programme measures human development in the world's countries by tracking dozens of data points across a vast range of sectors, ranging from GDP per capita to literacy rate, life expectancy, political stability, and access to electricity. These points are then collated into a single score, the annual Human Development Index (HDI). Switzerland has been ranked as the world’s most prosperous and developed country for the year 2024. Despite global uncertainties, the Swiss economy is known for its resilience and is expected to continue growing at a slower pace. The country maintains a balance between growth and sustainability, ensuring its economy thrives in the long term. This report aims to explore the most and least developed countries in the world in 2024. The most developed countries are also Norway, Iceland, Denmark, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and Ireland.

5.   Subsidized Education.

One of the benefits that people take into account when deciding to get EU citizenship, is that they or their children can take advantage of the European education system. Any person who holds the nationality of a European country is automatically also an EU citizen. As an EU citizen, you are entitled to study at any EU university under the same conditions as nationals. countries in Europe, such as Norway, Finland, and Germany, provide free or low-cost university education for all students. As EU citizens, students do not pay higher tuition fees in other EU member states. They are also eligible to receive a residence permit in order to obtain additional financial support. EEA and Swiss students typically receive the same rights but may differ in access to public student loans.

6.   Access to high salaries.

EU labour regulations are generally quite strong, with an emphasis on individual working conditions and labour rights, right to information, anti-discriminatory laws and job security. The highest paying countries  were Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Belgium. While it’s exciting to think about starting a new chapter of your life in one of the highest-paying European countries, there are some essential things to remember. Relocating for your career or studying requires extensive planning.  

7.   The opportunity to live in a safe country.

Most of the 25 safest countries are European. The most notable are the Nordic countries in Europe. Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Finland are not only among the safest countries in Europe, but also among the 25 safest countries in the world. The region is therefore considered the safest in the world, with a homicide rate of 0.8 incidents per 100,000 inhabitants. All five Nordic countries are also among the top ten happiest countries in the world. Europe has the world's lowest homicide rate of 3 or less per 100,000 inhabitants.

8.   A better work/life balance.

Work–life balance refers to the level of prioritisation between an individual’s work and personal life. A good work–life balance is achieved when an individual’s right to a fulfilled life inside and outside paid work is accepted and respected as the norm – to the mutual benefit of the individual, business and society. Enabling a better work–life balance for workers across the life course has been an EU policy goal for many years as it is central to ensuring that work is sustainable for all.

9.   EU funding programmes.

The EU has several different funding programmes such as Horizon Europe for research and innovation that you may be able to apply for, depending on the nature of your business or project. There are two different types: direct funding and indirect funding. You can apply for grants and contracts managed by the European Commission on the Funding and Tenders portal or the European Institute of Innovation & Technology website. Grants are given to specific projects that relate to EU policies, usually following a public announcement known as a call for proposals. You can apply for loans and equity financing supported by the EU in the Access to Finance section.

10.  Starting a business. 

As an EU citizen you are entitled to set up your own business (even as a sole trader) in any EU country, Iceland, Norway or Liechtenstein, set up a subsidiary branch of an existing EU-based business that is already registered in one EU country. The requirements vary depending on the country. However, the EU encourages all countries to meet certain targets for helping to set up new companies, including: setting up in no more than 3 working days, costing less than EUR 100, completing all procedures through a single administrative body, completing all registration formalities online, registering a company in another EU country online (through the national contact points).

11.  Freedom and security for travellers.

The border-free Schengen Area guarantees free movement to more than 425 million EU citizens, along with non-EU nationals living in the EU or visiting the EU as tourists, exchange students or for business purposes (anyone legally present in the EU). The abolition of internal border controls cannot come at the expense of security. Since no checks are carried out at the borders between Schengen Member States, EU countries have decided to join forces to attain the objective of improving security through efficient external border controls, while still facilitating access of persons who have a legitimate interest to enter the EU territory.

12. The ability to pass on a second citizenship to future generations. 

By securing a second passport, individuals can pass on their newfound citizenship to future generations, preserving and perpetuating their family’s ancestral heritage for years to come. If you can obtain a new passport, your children will be able to enjoy all of the benefits of EU citizenship Holding an EU passport provides your children an alternative to their home country's economic, social, political, and even health insecurity. Europe is home to some of the world's best universities. If you're worried about your child or grandchild getting into a reputable university, investing in EU citizenship may be the best option. By broadening your opportunities in an EU country, you increase their chances of being able to afford a top-tier education.  

13. Consular Protection for EU citizens. 

One of the benefits of becoming an EU citizen is that you can turn to the EU Consulate for help as well. This consular protection can be life-saving if your passport is stolen, you experience an illness or accident while traveling, or you need to be evacuated from a dangerous situation. As an EU citizen, you are entitled to seek help from the embassy or consulate of any other EU Member State if you need assistance in a country outside the EU where your own EU country does not have an embassy or consulate (you are 'unrepresented'). This is one of your fundamental rights as an EU citizen.

14. Access to famous historical sights and green spaces. 

Europe is the cradle of ancient civilizations. Most part of human history revolves around Europe. It is the birthplace of the most famous ancient civilizations like Greek civilization, Roman Empire and many others. Countries like Italy and France are enriched with many ancient sites like the great Colosseum, Rome and the Vatican city.  One of the marvels of going through Europe is seeing the incredible layers of history as structures and public spaces. It very well may be a challenge, though, to select and find your place in time with the broad scope of beautiful twists.

15. Food safety and consumer rights.

The EU has some of the strictest food and product safety regulations in the world. A regional alert system helps protect citizens when dangerous products are found. Consumers have the right to return unwanted products and receive refunds if their booked travel is canceled or seriously delayed.

Contact us if you have European roots and you can apply for an EU passport to start your life in your dream country.