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Europe Work Visa: Everything You Need to Know

iVisa | Updated on Nov 24, 2022

Each EU country has its own visa policies, which differ from country to country. The work visa programs have been established to meet the labor needs of the respective countries and to cover the shortage of jobs generated over the past decades.

Therefore, the work visa criteria and requirements, as well as the application process, depend very much on the labor needs of each country and its legislation.

Let's look at some of the most common questions about working in Europe.

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Can anyone work in Europe?

Anyone who meets the established criteria and requirements can work in Europe.

Citizens of the United States, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, and Switzerland, as well as citizens within the EU, do not need to apply for a work visa for Europe. However, upon arrival in the country where they will be working, they do need to apply for a residence and work permit.

Citizens of other countries must apply for and obtain a work visa before entering European territories for work purposes.

Types of work visas for Europe

The first thing to make clear is that a Schengen work visa does not exist. This type of document can only be requested as a tourist visa, for visiting family and friends, business, and medical purposes, among others.

Hence, if you wish to work in any EU countries or Schengen member countries, you must apply for the appropriate travel permit issued by one of said European nations.

Requirements and documents needed to apply for a work visa for Europe

The standard requirements for a European work visa are as follows:

Application form

Two identical photos - These photos must have been taken within the last three months.

Valid passport - Your passport must not be more than ten years old and must be valid for at least three months prior to your intended travel date.

Round-trip flight reservation - You must indicate the dates and flight numbers of your inbound and outbound flights.

Travel medical insurance - One that covers any medical emergency with hospital care for up to 30,000 euros.

Proof of accommodation - Showing where you will be residing.

Employment contract - A signed employment contract between you and your future employer.

Proof of language skills - It is important that you can adapt to the country you will be working in. That is why many countries will ask you to meet a specific level of their official language.

Please note that individual European countries may have additional requirements.

How long is a Europe work visa valid for?

Most European work visas are valid for one year. However, in most countries, applying for a visa extension is possible when the visa expires.

Cost of the work visa for Europe

The cost of the visa depends on the European Union country you would like to work in. For example, the cost in France can be as high as $100, whereas the cost in Germany is $80. However, countries such as Spain may vary the cost depending on the citizen applying.

This data may be subject to change over time, so be aware of any changes in the fee schedule.

Easiest European countries to obtain a work visa

Europe is known for being a difficult place for non-European citizens trying to relocate for work. Today, however, this is changing. Here is a list of Schengen countries where it is easiest for non-European citizens to obtain a work visa.

Germany

Germany, through a points system, the "Chancenkarte", allows job seekers in Germany to move to the country before they have found a job, instead of having to apply from abroad.

Denmark

Denmark urgently needs workers in all kinds of sectors and is looking for professionals from other countries to help. The greatest urgency is in fields such as science and engineering, or professionals in law and healthcare, from teachers and IT specialists to electricians, blacksmiths, and metal workers.

Ireland

Getting a work visa is relatively easy in Ireland. You must have already found a job before you can apply for a visa permit.

The country has two main work visas: the Critical Skills Employment Permit for highly skilled workers and the General Employment Permit.

Portugal

Portugal has launched a short-term visa for workers who intend to stay in the country for up to nine months. You are also allowed to work for more than one company, as long as it is for a seasonal job.

Finland

Finland has a 14-day expedited process for highly skilled workers to enter the country, accompanied by their families. The government defines people who can benefit from this service as specialists and start-up entrepreneurs, giving them access to the country.

Is it difficult to get a work visa for Europe?

Each member state of the European countries has its own immigration policies with respect to citizens wishing to apply for a work visa.

This means that the ease will depend on the country's specific immigration policies. The chances of being accepted will also depend on the profession and whether it meets the country's labor needs.

Therefore, before applying for a work visa, you should check that you have a good chance of meeting the criteria.

Are there visas for digital nomads in Europe?

Many European countries offer digital nomad visas to foreign telecommuters. These include Portugal, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Malta, Romania, Spain, and Norway.

How to apply for a European work visa with an agent?

To get a work visa for Europe, follow the steps below:

  • Check what work visas the country offers.

  • Find out if you are eligible for a work visa.

  • Gather the necessary documents for a work visa.

  • Schedule a visa interview.

  • Wait for your visa to be processed.

This is the standard procedure for applying for a work visa in Europe. However, there may be some differences depending on the country you are applying for.

Can I extend an EU work permit?

You will be able to extend an EU work permit in most countries. However, this document will never replace a residence permit or working holiday visa. This extension will only apply for formal work from a business.

What can I do if I need help from iVisa?

For more information about working visas in Europe or about iVisa, you can contact our customer service team or write to [email protected]. Our experts can assist you 24 hours a day.

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