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Working in Europe

Travel Forums Europe Working in Europe

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1. Posted by sanpedro72 (Budding Member 9 posts) 10y

Hi all,

My working permit for Latvia is coming to an end, but I don't want to return to the states just yet. I would rather find another country to work in, maybe in online marketing or hotels and resorts. Anyone have any leads or contacts? I am Googling myself crazy. A little help goes a long way. :)



2. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3290 posts) 10y

Unless you are highly qualified (informatics or computer work in general, or holding Masters or PHD) there is no way you'll get a work permit. This goes for all of Western Europe.

Thus the only way to do it is to work illegally - under the table without social security benefits. This is mostly unqualified and untrained work like cleaning dishes.

Feel free to try any country in Europe, but then don't complain when you get deported.

3. Posted by sanpedro72 (Budding Member 9 posts) 10y

Hi, thanks for replying but this doesn't sound to promising. I know there are tons of US expats working around Europe. In fact, I was just traveling through Latvia when I was offered a job. You mean, this is not possible for other countries as well?

4. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 10y

Completely out of the question. Maia is right; in order for a company to rent a US expat rather than a local, it has to go through a long burocratic process in which it has to prove to the authorities that a) no national fits their profile and b) no other EU citizen does. Only after that, and surrounded by tons of extra rules is it possible for non-EU citizens to come work here. So basically, you will need some VERY special qualifications, ánd you need to be hired by a company first. To top it all, you yourself will have to be in your own country during this whole procedure; provided a company would show an interest in you, it cannot file the procedure before you're back home.

EU does this to protect their own citizens; since unemployment rates are rather high at the moment, ánd since working somewhere also would give you a right to 'our' costly social security, all countries together try to severely limit the number of non-europeans. Working illegally is a remote possibility, but since fines are astronomically high when caught, not many employers will do this. If you'd find an illegal job, prepare for real shitty work and payment, and please realise that neither your employer nor your own insurance company will accept any claim of you if something bad happens.

Niels (Amsterdam)

5. Posted by sanpedro72 (Budding Member 9 posts) 10y

My lord!

That's nuts. I have nothing the EU, but the states doesn't have such a policy in place as far as I know, and I've worked with a lot of foreign nations. Do you suggest outside the EU like Turkey, Switzerland, or Norway?


6. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 10y

I do agree that the States have a more sensible immigration policy than the EU, but then, social security as far as I know is virtually non-existent there, and that's what it's all about, really...

I doubt whether you'd stand a chance in Turkey; again, the unemployment rate among nationals is really high, so they too may be protective of their 'career market'. On the other hand, the fact that you speak decent English makes you more exceptional there than you are in the EU, plus they don't enforce regulations too strictly for a lack of officials to do the job... Norway and Switzerland are out, because they're too well-organised to swim through their burocratic nets, and probably not interested in having you legally. But you might consult their websites on this, and see if they say otherwise there:


good luck,

7. Posted by sanpedro72 (Budding Member 9 posts) 10y

Thank you for your thoughtful reply, and the links. I'm just really not excited about returning to the states (I lack patriotism except when it comes to my family). In fact, I'm a Dutch descendant (Leonders/Lunders), but I don't know if that helps for jobs in the Netherlands. Cheers! Jacob

8. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3290 posts) 10y

Whether being a Dutch descendant will give you any brownie points is something the Dutch embassy can tell you.

Btw, (despite traditionally being an immigrant country) the USA and Canada are quite strict who they let in too. You would be amazed at the hoops an applicant for a green card has to jump through.

And all those Mexicans serving term in jail for illegal immigration into the US are proof enough to the US government's determination to play hardball.

If you are interested in the topic, I can recommend the book "Do They Hear You When You Cry" by Fauziya Kassindja.

9. Posted by sanpedro72 (Budding Member 9 posts) 10y

Good points, very well thought out. I really don't like this inter-country drama actually. USA, Canada, EU, everyone is over protective. Can't we all just get along? Hence the beauty of outsourcing (a hint of sarcasm). Hmmmm...South America maybe. I did find a place in the Schengen zone to chill for a bit, but...

Man, the world is a tough place to be in these days...

Well, I am one of the expats who gave up "everything" not to be in the states unless he actually wanted to be there.

Regulation stinks.

10. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 10y

no brownie points for dutch descendance, I'm afraid; we spread our genes around pretty much everywhere over the last couple of centuries :-)

And don't get your hopes up about SA, either; see the appropriate threads in that forum, the bottom line is that illegal options are easier there, but legal ones are actually harder to come by than in Europe. I'd try Kazachstan, or maybe Kongo, if I were you :-)