EU Work Visa: Go To Work In Europe With An EU Blue Card

21 Jun 2022

11 min read

Have you ever wondered how it will be to work in the EU? If you have, this post is for you. This post is perfect for any non-EU citizen who is a job seeker in one of the European countries.

Before you start planning your trip to work in the EU, you first must know some important information. This post will cover essential details such as who can apply for an EU work visa, where you can apply, and how to apply for your EU work visa.

Let's get straight to it:

What Is The EU Work Visa?

An EU work visa is a permit that allows a non-EU national to work in an EU country. The EU Work Visa is usually valid for 1 year but can be extended. To be eligible for an EU work visa, you must have a job offer from a company based in an EU member state. The EU work visa is also known as an EU Work Permit or Employment Visa. The great thing about the EU Work Visa is that you can travel to the EU countries with family members. This is an excellent opportunity for those who wish to work in the EU and can provide a great way to start a new life in a new country.

It is essential to note that the EU Work Visa is considered a long-stay visa, not a short-stay visa. Therefore, the Schengen Visa is different from an EU Work Visa.

The EU Work Visa At First Glance

Okay, now you know what the EU Work Visa entails, but before you skip ahead, we must first dive into the details. Therefore, this section will cover all the essential information about the EU Work Visa. I will explain who is eligible to get an EU Work Visa, the fee, when to apply, and how long it is valid.

Who Can Get An EU Work Visa?

Any skilled worker who meets the European countries' work visa requirements. In addition, most European countries have their own initiatives in place to attract foreign specialists and fill labor shortages in various industries.

Who Needs An EU Work Visa?

Let's say you are a citizen of the USA, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the European Union. In that case, you do not require a work visa to enter Europe. However, you must apply for a work and residence permit once arriving in the nation where you would be working.

When Do You Need To Apply For An EU Work Visa?

It is strongly recommended that you apply for a work visa in Europe at least two months before your trip to the Schengen Area where you intend to work. This is because European embassies can take up to six weeks to process an EU Work visa application. Furthermore, the processing period may be prolonged up to 12 weeks in certain circumstances.

How Long Is The EU Work Visa Valid?

An EU Work Visa usually is valid for 1 year. But as I mentioned earlier, you can extend your EU Work Visa. Suppose you want to extend your EU Work Visa. In that case, you must apply for a visa extension at the Embassy or Consulate of the Schengen country you work in. Remember that you must start the application process to extend your EU Work Visa before it expires.

What Is The EU Work Visa Fee?

The EU Work Visa fee will be different for each Schengen country. This is because each Schengen country has its own fees for an employment visa. For this reason, I will only list the 3 countries where the most EU Employment Visas are issued:

  • France Employment Visa: 99 EUR
  • Germany Employment Visa: 75 EUR
  • Spain Employment Visa: 190 EUR (US citizens)/ 114 EUR (Canadians)/ 67 EUR (other nationalities)

Please remember that Employment Visa fees may change, so I suggest you go to the EU country's website where you want to work for an updated visa fee.

Can You Get An EU Work Visa If You Are Self-Employed?

You can, however, it depends on the country you want to work in. Let me use an example. Germany has a Self-Employment Visa that allows you to start a business. However, before applying for the Germany Self-Employment Visa, you must first meet the visa requirements. Here is a brief list of Germanys Visa Requirements:

  • Proof of economic interest in Germany
  • Positive impact on the German economy
  • Means of subsistence
  • If you are older than 40, you must have proof of pension fund

The above example is only valid for the German Self-Employment Visa. Suppose you want to know more about the Self-Employment Visa for a specific country. In that case, I advise you to go to the country's Embassy or Consulate for more information.

What Are The Required Documents For A EU Work Permit?

Now that you know the general information about the EU Work Visa, we can get to the required documents. Please remember that each EU country has its own requirements, and the documents listed below are only the most common in an EU Work Visa application.

  • EU work permit application form (must have 2 signed copies)
  • Two passport photos(not older than 3 months)
  • Valid passport (should not be older than 10 years and must be valid for 3 months on the date of departure)
  • Flight itinerary
  • Proof of accommodation (rental agreement)
  • Medical insurance/ Health insurance (minimum of 30,000 EUR that must cover the duration of your stay)
  • Employment contract/ Work contract (must be signed by both you and your employer)
  • Proof of professional qualifications (your grades' transcript, diplomas, and certificates)
  • Proof of language knowledge

Where Can You Apply For Your European Work Visa?

You must submit your European Work Visa application to the authority representing the country where you will work. Remember that you must submit the application in your country of residence. You can submit your application at one of the following authorities in your country:

How To Get Your Europe Work Visa?

After reading all the information above, I can only guess how stressed you are about the application process. But, don't worry just yet because I made an 8-step guide that will help you through your EU Work Visa application process.

Remember that this is only a guideline for the EU Work Visa application. The EU Work Visa application for the country you are applying to work in may differ in certain aspects.

Step 1: Check The Employment Visas For The Country You Wish To Work In

It is important to check what type of visas are available to work in the EU. Therefore, you must head over to Embassy or Consulate website for the EU country you plan to work in.

Step 2: Find Out If You Qualify For An Employment Visa In The EU

After confirming the type of Employment Visa, you must check if you qualify for the Employment Visa. You can find all the information on the website of the EU country you want to work in.

Step 3: Check If You Meet The Criteria For An EU Work Visa

Some EU countries will need you to get a job before applying for a visa. Therefore, double-check that you meet these conditions before starting your visa process.

Step 4: Complete The Employment Visa Application Form

You must complete the application form once you have confirmed you are eligible for an EU Work visa. The application form requires you to submit some personal and travel information. Remember to print 2 copies of the application form and ensure to sign both on the bottom.

Step 5: Gather Your Required Documents

Now that you have completed the application form, you must gather the rest of your required documents. As I mentioned earlier, the required documents can be different depending on the country you are applying for. Therefore, I advise you to double-check by going to the country's Embassy or Consulate website for detailed requirements.

Step 6: Schedule A Visa Interview

Let's have a quick recap. So you have established you are eligible for the Employment Visa, completed the application form, and have your required documents. Now you have to schedule a visa interview at the Consulate or Embassy.

Step 7: Attend Your Visa Interview

After scheduling your visa interview, you will receive a confirmation email stating the time and date of your interview. The visa interview is nothing to stress about. A Consulate or Embassy staff member will ask you a few questions regarding your trip and find out some personal information. Here is where you must submit your application form and required documents. Remember that you might be asked to submit additional information, but don't worry. I know you got this.

Step 8: Wait For Your Visa To Be Processed

The official visa application is now over, so all you have to do is wait for it to be processed. As I mentioned earlier, the EU Work Visa can take up to 6 weeks to be processed. In some instances, it can take up to 12 weeks.

Step 9: Collect Your Approved Employment Visa

You will receive an email or SMS when your Employment visa is approved. The last thing you must do is head to the Embassy or Consulate to collect your approved EU Work Visa.

What Is The EU Blue Card?

The EU Blue Card program aims to increase the attractiveness of Europe as a destination for professionals from outside the EU. The EU Blue Card is issued by all EU member states except the United Kingdom, Denmark, and Ireland.

To some extent, the EU Blue Card program is a merit-based system. The merits refer to someone who has acquired necessary schooling or sought-after abilities through professional experience.

What Are The Requirements For An EU Blue Card?

Before you apply for the EU Blue Card, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be a non-EU citizen (expat)
  • Must have an education degree or professional experience
  • Must have an employment contract or job offer

What Are The Benefits Of An EU Blue Card?

The European initiative possesses several distinguishing characteristics that will aid Europe's transformation into the world's most popular migration destination. Here is a list of the benefits of the EU Blue Card:

  • Working and wage circumstances are comparable to those of nationals
  • Within the Schengen area, there is no restriction on mobility.
  • Possession of a set of socio-economic rights (e.g., unemployment benefits)
  • Family reunion situations that are favorable
  • Perspectives on Permanent Residency
  • Freedom of association

Get Ready To Work In The EU!

We have officially covered everything about the EU Work Visa. After a tiresome visa application process, you can now work in the EU. The last thing on your agenda should be to research the city you will work in. One last thing, head to our FAQ section to check out some additional information.

Written By: Armando Du Preez
Fact Checked By: Richard Nathan

Frequently Asked Questions

What Countries Are In The Schengen Area?

The Schengen Area consists of 26 countries. Here is a list of all the Schengen countries:

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Can You Work In The EU With A Schengen Tourist Visa?

There is no such thing as a Schengen work visa. A Schengen visa can be obtained for various reasons, including tourism, visiting family and friends, business, and medical treatment. However, you will not be able to work in Europe with an EU Work Visa. You are also not allowed to work while on a Schengen visa for another reason.

Is The EU Work Visa Considered A Permanent Residence Permit?

No, it is not considered a permanent residence permit. Third-country nationals must have spent at least five years in the EU where they apply to be eligible.