You want to move to Europe to further your career but you are unsure about the documents you need? As an American citizen, you can work in Europe. However, in order to work in any country in the European Union, you are going to need to apply for the respective permit. The ETIAS visa waiver, currently being developed by the European Commission, will be a requirement to enter and visit the Schengen Zone.
It’s important to distinguish between the ETIAS travel authorization and a work permit or visa for Europe. ETIAS stands for European Travel Information and Authorization System, a program designed by the European Commission to secure its external borders and increase the security of the region. Recently, the European Parliament voted to implement the ETIAS to strengthen the Schengen Area and its borders. It is expected that citizens from 60 countries will be eligible to obtain an ETIAS for Europe by completing an online form with their biographical details and passport information.
Once an ETIAS has been approved, it grants its holder a stay of up to 90 days in the Schengen Area. An ETIAS holder can travel to Europe for business or tourism purposes, however, he or she cannot use ETIAS to work or study in Europe. It is up to the European member country to determine if an individual can receive a work permit or work visa.
Do I Need a Permit to Work in Europe?
Currently, US citizens can travel to Europe for business purposes and for a determined period of time. If you are an American national and wish to live and work in Europe for an extended period of time you need to contact the embassy or consulate of the country where you wish to move to. Citizens of the USA, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, and New Zealand may apply for a residence permit after entering the Schengen region without a visa.
Bear in mind that European countries outside the Schengen Zone, such as England or Northern Ireland, have different conditions and regulations for foreigners who wish to work in their territory. When it comes to working in Europe, some of the steps you need to follow will vary depending on the country where you are looking to work in. For example, France offers a one-year visa while in Austria, foreigners can apply for a job seekers visa that grants a six-month stay in the country while you look for a job.
If you are looking for a long-term position you will have to obtain or secure a work permit first. An employer will need to apply for a work permit on your behalf and this isn’t always easy as an employer needs to demonstrate that they cannot find a European citizen to fill the vacancy. Obtaining a work permit to live and work in Europe will vary from person to person.
American citizens should also consider that the Schengen Zone and the European Union promote the free movement of people. Thanks to the policies in the region, European citizens can move freely in Europe and obtain work in any member country. This makes the job market much more competitive and diverse.
Before you decide to move to Europe check with the embassy of the country you wish to live in. Research and investigate what are your options and the requirements involved for US citizens. Remember that at the moment you can travel to the Schengen Zone without applying for a visa. Yet, as of the end of 2022, you will need to apply online for an ETIAS travel authorization in order to visit the region for business or tourism purposes.