Relocation and work Visas: what nobody tells you

Does the relocation to another country — especially Europe — for a tech job really have to be that complex and "nightmarish"?

Unlocking tech talent stories

July 19, 2021

How many times have you stared out the window daydreaming about leaving everything that is “normal” about your current life to move across the world? I know the feeling; I’ve been there too. If you’re thinking of working in Germany, Portugal or other countries in Europe, keep on reading to know what you’d need to get a working Visa.

Relocating to another country can boost your professional career, but it also can significantly impact your personal life. Moving to a new country requires getting used to a new way of living, a new culture, sometimes the language and making new friends. It might be complex and lonely at first, but give it time and try your best to be open to new things and experiences, only that way you’ll truly be able to fit in the new lifestyle.

A lot of excitement comes to play when planning the move, but it’s not all rainbows and blue skies. Bureaucracy and paperwork are two of the most important things, and they’re not especially exciting.

This article focuses on the must-dos before moving to Europe, especially everything related to paperwork. Please note that this is an informative and general article; if you plan to move to any EU or Schengen Area country, you should always check the governmental and official websites.

Let’s jump right in, shall we?

It involves quite a lot of paperwork

We’re not going to lie to you: when you choose to move abroad, you’re in for quite a big stack of paperwork before, during and after you arrive at the final destination. The first and most important thing is to have all your documents out to date, especially the passport since your national ID will not be valid if you’re not an EU or Schengen Area citizen. If you’re a European, Schengen Area, or have double citizenship (one from a European country), you won’t need a VISA to enter an EU country.

Non-EU citizens will require a VISA to enter any EU country if they wish to live in the country for more than three months and, on top of that, work for a national company. Ensure that you learn everything regarding the VISA process before going to the nearest embassy of your destination country to kick off the process officially.

Similar application processes in European Union countries

Many EU and Schengen Area countries have laws and practices that are the same or very similar for foreigners wishing to relocate. If you’re moving from another EU country, the process is relatively simple; it complicates when you’re from a non-EU country or don’t have an EU passport due to double nationality. The embassy of your destination country will inform and walk you through each step of the VISA process as they are the ones that issue the paperwork.

Employment Visa

If you’re a non-EU national and your goal is to work in Europe, you need an employment Visa. The European Union has agreements with some countries which enjoy the same working condition as nationals of their host EU country. Ensure to check if your home country is on the list, as it will speed up things quite a bit.

If you’re a national of a country with no agreement with the EU, your right to work in an EU country depends on each country’s laws. Check out the Immigrant Portal for more information.

The standard requirements for a European employment VISA are the following:

Language barrier

While English can help out in most countries, the EU has 24 official languages. It’s great to know how to say some words in the official language of your host country as it will help you get settled in faster. Most startups don’t ask for previous knowledge of their official language as English is widely used in the startup world, but it will win you some points if you can say something, even if it’s as simple as a greeting.

More paperwork when you arrive

If you thought all the paperwork you filled in while still at home was all you had to do, we’re sorry to inform you that there will be more when you arrive at your destination country. You will be required to present all paperwork at the Fiscal Department to get a Personal Tax ID, with which you will be able to start working, open a bank account and rent or buy a place. EU and non-EU citizens that plan on staying in any European country for longer than three months need to formalise their right of residence by registering at the town hall.


Whichever road you decide to take, we know the hardest step is to get started. 🚀✨

0 Comments
Submit a Comment

Continue reading

Share This