Work Visa For Europe – 5 Easy Steps to Apply for EU Work Permit and Get Employment

If you wish to travel to any of the countries in the Schengen area to work, you will need to apply for an employment visa. There are no Schengen visas for working purposes available. You must apply for a long-stay or National visa.

You will need an employment visa if you are going to Europe for any kind of employment such as:

  1. Employment
  2. Working as an Au Pair
  3. Professionals who have experience and/or specialist knowledge
  4. Working on a self-employed basis
  5. Starting up a business

Nationalities that do not require an EU work visa

People who come from the United States, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, and EU citizens do not require a working visa. However, if you come from any of these countries you are still required to have a legal right to stay in the Schengen zone and have a work permit. Residence and work permits can usually be applied for once you arrive in your chosen country.

Applying for EU work visa from the United States

If you are a non-US citizen, live permanently in the US and are not from the above countries, you need to apply for a National visa if you are planning to work in Europe.  You are not permitted to work if you hold or are applying for a Schengen visa for up to 90 days – this type of visa is for tourism, business, or medical purposes, and visiting family or friends only.

The National visa allows applicants to enter the Schengen zone for over 90 days, usually up to a period of 1 year. If you are planning to stay longer you’ll need a residence permit.

National visas are usually offered on a single entry basis which means you can enter the Schengen country once only. However, you can apply for a multiple entry which will allow you to go in and out of the country you are living or working in within the validity of the visa. There are certain groups of people whom a multiple entry visa would be considered such as students, professionals and those conducting research.

Each country has its own requirements to cover its specific industry needs, so their criteria, as well as the application process, can differ.

For example, the Italian consulate has different categories of visa from the German consulate, so you should check the individual requirements before you begin.

To apply for your EU work visa you must apply at the consulate of the country you are planning to be employed in. US consulates are in many locations throughout the United States and each of them has a jurisdiction that they cover. Therefore, you must contact the one that covers the area in which you live. For example, if you live in Connecticut (not Fairfield County), Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, or Vermont and you are planning to work in Germany, you must apply to the German consulate in Boston.

The first thing you’ll need to do is to find out which consulate you need to contact:

Some consulates have outsourced the processing of visa applications to third parties, such as VFS Global. If you find this to be the case, just follow the instructions on the website – it’s the same. The only difference is where you submit your documents to.

To begin applying for your EU employment visa, you should follow these 5 steps:

  1. Complete the application form
  2. Book an appointment
  3. Prepare your paperwork
  4. Submit your application
  5. Receive your visa

Step 1: Complete the application form

The first step is to complete your application form in full. Most of the consulates have easy-to-use systems which will allow you to complete your form online. If you prefer, you can download it and print it off. Either way, you must complete this in full and sign it.

Step 2: Book an appointment

The next step is to book an appointment in order to hand over your application for processing. The consulates in the US have online booking systems where you can schedule a convenient day and time. During busy periods, it may be necessary to keep checking the system for cancellations if you can’t book an appointment straight away. Usually, you’ll have to create an account before the system will allow you to book.

You need to apply for your work visa at least 2 weeks ahead of your departure date. 3 weeks before is advisable. Consulates have relatively quick response times and usually have a decision in 10 to 15 days, sometimes quicker. Don’t rely on those timescales because certain types of visa can take longer – as much as 6 weeks. At the earliest, you can apply 12 weeks before, so apply as soon as know when you are leaving.

Making appointments with the embassy or visa application center is generally free and can be done yourself. However, If you are running short of time or not sure which consulate to apply to or have no idea on how to get this done yourself then not to worry, we will make the appointment for you for a small service fee!

Step 3: Prepare your paperwork

This part of the process is very important to get right. You must present all the required paperwork to the consulate – originals AND photocopies. If you don’t, this will, more than likely, result in a denied application. It’s recommended that you spend time looking at the requirements of the consulate you are applying to because they can differ slightly. For an EU work visa, documents include:

1) Application form – fully completed and signed (you may need 1 or 2 copies depending on the consulate)

2) 2 identical passport-sized

3) Passport with at least 3 months beyond the end of the trip, issued in the last 10 years, 2 blank pages

4) Round trip reservation and/or itinerary – to include dates and entry and exit from Schengen area

5) Proof of legal residence in the US

6) Travel insurance – to cover €30,000 in case of medical emergency, hospitalization, and repatriation

7) Employment contract

8) Proof of qualifications

9) Proof of language knowledge

10) Nulla Ostra (Entry clearance)

11) FBI check

12) Visa fee

Step 4: Submit your application

When the time comes to submit your application to the consulate or visa application center, get there early. It won’t look good if you are late and you may have to re-schedule your appointment. Don’t forget anything. Before you leave home, check you have all the required documents, otherwise the consulate will send you away to get them – again delaying things. In addition, dress appropriately. This may not seem like much, but it goes a long way in making a good impression.

You may be asked questions if the visa official wants to confirm anything, so answer them to the best of your ability and be polite. Don’t think they are out to get you! They simply want to satisfy themselves that you have honest reasons for wanting to go to Europe to work. Common visa interview questions are:

  1. Can I see your bank statement?
  2. Are you planning to meet anyone in Europe
  3. Do you pay income tax?
  4. Have you bought the flight ticket already?
  5. How many employees do you have?

If this is your first time applying for an EU work visa, you may have to provide biometric data which includes fingerprints and photograph.

The current fee for your EU working visa is €99/$113. Most consulates will allow you to pay the fee by cash or money order. However, some may allow you to pay by credit or debit card. You should check the permitted ways to pay on the website of the consulate you are applying to.

Don’t jeopardize your Schengen visa interview at the last minute. Use this comprehensive and thorough visa interview guide to crack the visa interview!

Step 5: Receive your visa

You will be notified when your passport is ready for collection. Some of the consulates have useful tracking tools, so you can find out the progress of your application. You can either return to the consulate or third party to pick your passport up. You may have to make an appointment to do this, but with most consulates, you can just turn up within the document collection hours. If you have already provided a pre-paid, self-addressed envelope, you can have your passport posted back to you.

At this stage, the best scenario for you will be if your visa has been attached to your passport. However, there are times when visa applications get refused for one reason or another. A few of the most common visa rejection reasons are:

  1. Damaged or invalid passport
  2. No employment contract
  3. Flight booking not confirmed
  4. Travel insurance not valid
  5. Cannot confirm the purpose of the trip

To avoid these rejections, make sure your passport is valid and not damaged. Also, you must present all required documents and satisfy all of the requirements of the visa authority you are applying including booking flights, valid insurance, and making sure the purpose of your trip is clear. These really are simple things to attend to when applying.

Conclusion

There are just 5 steps that stand between you and your EU work visa:

  1. Complete the application form
  2. Book an appointment
  3. Prepare your paperwork
  4. Submit your application
  5. Receive your visa

It’s recommended to follow them in order when applying for your working visa. Then, in the end, you can look forward to a new life in Europe.

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