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I'm new and I'm sorry if this question doesn't belong to this stackexchange.

I happen to be born in a country that is not safe for me personally. And I'm considering moving to Europe. I still didn't decide on the exact country, but my goal is to be able to leave my original country as soon as possible and never go back (legally, of course).

I work from the internet and I can afford to live in low-cost small towns/cities in Europe (around €1000 per month). So I think there are two ways to achieve my goal:

  1. Acquire a short temporary visa just to get there and then apply for asylum. I believe my asylum application has sufficient reasons to be accepted.
  2. Apply for temporary/long-term residency and stay there until acquiring permanent residency.

If one method fails, I would try the other one. But I am seeking advice on which method is better (assuming both can succeed) and the pros and cons of each.

(Any other ideas related to my goal are quite welcome.)

Note 1: I am a non-EU citizen.

  • Have you found any countries with a category of long-term visa or permit for which you would qualify as an internet freelancer? – phoog Dec 27 '19 at 14:10
  • @phoog I'm still researching the various countries, but I assume that most of them do have some requirements (on income, savings or both). I'm not sure whether I qualify or not. This is why I'm asking whether seeking asylum have some cons compared to waiting some time for the requirements of freelance residence permit to be met. – RationalFragile Dec 27 '19 at 21:46
  • One thing to consider: The asylum system is currently overloaded in most EU countries. Even if you have a strong case and are successful in getting your claim recognized without going through the courts, you could still be waiting for months for an interview or various other bureaucratic hurdles. During this time, you might receive some financial help but would typically not be allowed to work. – Relaxed Dec 28 '19 at 20:38
  • @Relaxed Does this include online work with international clients? I would need to open a bank account though since I wouldn't be able to use my bank account in my original country. (Of course I would have some amount of money that would sustain 3 months or so, but I wouldn't wanna count on it completely.) – RationalFragile Dec 28 '19 at 22:35
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    @RationalFragile “I’d need to open a bank account” - you might find this difficult or even impossible to do as an asylum seeker. – Traveller Dec 30 '19 at 4:47
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Responding to the title of your question: if you obtain permanent residency in another country, you'll always be a visitor - a tolerated, long-term visitor to be sure, but not a citizen. Your passport will be that of your country of origin, and you may face challenges when it's time to renew it. (If you can achieve permanent residency, as @phoog notes in Comments, you may be able to leverage that status into citizenship.)

If you are seeking or have achieved asylum status, it's a bad idea to use the passport of your country of origin for travel, as it puts your asylum status at risk and there's always a risk of being transported (even against your will) back to your country of origin. Learn more about this subject by using the search box at the top of this page, and look for "asylum" or "asylee returns to country of origin," and you'll see lots of info. You could start with this Expatriates thread.

Thus, unless you can get permanent resident status in a country that will (after time) allow you to become a citizen, you'll be better off achieving asylum status. An asylee — after some period of time — can usually achieve citizenship in the country granting asylum status, and abandon the country-of-origin passport.

The first EU country of arrival must process an asylum petition if one is proffered, but such petition may in the alternative be entertained by the second or a subsequent country, which may - but is not required to - refer the petition back to the first EU country of arrival.

  • I never considered the case where my passport would expire. Would it be a better idea to apply for asylum when facing a challenge that requires me to go back or to apply for asylum since the start? I'm basically asking whether there are some cons for seeking asylum that might be avoided if I can just stay there until the typical 5 years of naturalization have elapsed. – RationalFragile Dec 27 '19 at 21:49
  • "EU rules generally provide that a migrant seeking asylum must do so at the first EU country of arrival." Can you please explain what does this mean? Does it mean that you can't apply for asylum in country A if you first visit country B after leaving your original country? Or does it mean that you lost the right of applying for asylum if you go to country B and then leave it once? – RationalFragile Dec 27 '19 at 22:20
  • @RationalFragile an additional important right of asylees is "non-refoulement": they cannot be deported to their country of origin. By contrast, permanent residents do not enjoy the same protection. If this right would be important to you, that is a sign that you should be seeking asylum. As to passports, once you have asylum you should no longer use your passport, even if it has not yet expired. Instead, you will use a refugee travel document issued by the country of refuge. – phoog Dec 28 '19 at 0:52
  • @DavidSupportsMonica Thank you for the clarification. I'm sorry if this is a stupid question but does this include flights that have a stop or does it only concern actually having a visa for another country? – RationalFragile Dec 28 '19 at 9:44
  • I don’t know what amount of time in the first EU country qualifies as “arrival.” Having a visa and using it for entry certainly would. – DavidSupportsMonica Dec 28 '19 at 10:41

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