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How To Work In The EU If You’re Not From An EU Country

  • by: Jonny Kramer
  • On: 4, Oct 2018
2 min read

VHR regularly supports skilled engineers and technicians from outside the EU who want to work in EU countries. One of the most common questions we receive is ‘How do I work in the EU?’

What You’ll Need To Work In The EU:

An EU Work Visa

The first thing you’ll need to work in any EU country, if you’re applying from outside the EU, is a work visa. Without it you cannot work in the EU.

How To Get A Work Visa

A work visa is a permit granted by the government of the country you wish to work in that must be put forward on your behalf by the company looking to recruit you. It is technically illegal for you to enter an EU country to look for work without a work visa. EU countries must try to fill all job vacancies with their own citizens, and only if that is not possible can they recruit from outside the EU.

Highly specialised jobs like aircraft engineers are some of the most likely to be granted work visas. If your company is unwilling or unable to sponsor you for your work visa, you can get a work visa through an immigration agency.

International employment laws vary from country to country, so do your research before you apply. What jobs are you qualified for? Are there any countries you will not be able to enter due to immigration or workplace laws? Checking first will save you time in the long run, so it’s well worth doing. Remember, the permit will only be valid for the specific country you’re working in; it will not apply to the whole of Europe. Likewise, your work permit will be tied to the company that applied for it, so you must remain in that job to carry on living there.

A Valid Passport

You won’t be able to find a job in the EU without a valid passport for international travel. As an official document, a valid passport allows for identification, proof of identity, proof of age, travel, and other benefits.

How to Get A Passport

How to get a passport differs from country to country, but in general a passport can only be obtained by going through the passport office. You’ll need a passport-appropriate photo and official documentation proving who you are and your citizenship, like a birth certificate.

What To Do Once You’ve Arrived in Europe

Once you’ve arrived to work in the EU, open a bank account and fill it with however much that country needs for you to prove you’re capable or living, working, and supporting yourself. It varies from country to country – for example, the UK needs to see proof of £945 in savings. Bring this bank statement with you to your place of work, as it will act as proof that you’re responsible. Also make sure you have a copy of any diplomas, degrees, or qualifications. Most European countries will require you to have health insurance, however this may be provided by your employer.

For more help with CVs, advice on why you can’t get a job, and more, check out the VHR blog.

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