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"Looking for work" visa or student visa while working for US company

"Looking for work" visa or student visa while working for US company

Old May 27th, 2022, 02:21 AM
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"Looking for work" visa or student visa while working for US company

Hello, I want to live in Europe, but I have a job in the US (hoping to get relocated eventually). I was wondering what are the consequences/if anyone would notice if I got a "looking for work visa" but was actually working with a company based in the US? Anyone have experience with this or getting a student visa and doing the same thing? Thanks!
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Old May 27th, 2022, 08:00 AM
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Were you planning to spend more than 90 days "looking for work"? If you're a U.S. citizen, you can travel to/in the 26 Schengen countries* for a maximum of 90 days (out of 180 days) without a visa. You can't get a student visa unless you're enrolled in a school there, and AFAIK the visa would be in effect only for the dates of enrollment. *Do a google search for the list of countries.

I don't know anything about relocating to Europe for a job, but I know every country has its own process for obtaining a work permit, some more onerous than others although a company that hires you would likely assist in obtaining the necessary visa. Also, each country probably has different residency requirements, like insurance, liquid assets, etc. You should do some legwork before you leave the U.S. Make the best use of your 90 days by having some interviews lined up.

If you were thinking of staying beyond the 90 days without a visa, just don't. You could be fined, would probably be deported, and your name could end up on a "no-entry" list which would put the kabosh on your long-term hope of moving to Europe.

FWIW, a distant relative of mine recently moved to Ireland (not a Schengen country). Although he had an open offer of employment through a trade union, the visa process took 5 years, partly due to Covid and partly due to the process itself.

Last edited by Jean; May 27th, 2022 at 08:07 AM.
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Old May 27th, 2022, 08:31 AM
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It's best to be truthful.
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Old May 27th, 2022, 09:02 AM
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I've never heard of a "looking for work visa", where did you get that info? The only type of work visas I've heard of were for people who already had job contracts.

This may be a surprise to you, but you can look for work on the internet easily, you don't have to be on-site. Unless you are talking menial labor and I don't think they give work visas for that.

You have to actually be a student to get a student visa. If you plan to be a student, the institution should give you info on whether that is possible. YOu can't get one without actually having been accepted and possibly enrolled.
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Old May 27th, 2022, 09:07 AM
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Is there such a thing as a "looking for work visa"? If you told the immigration officer you are there to look for a job you would be on the next flight back to the US. You won’t receive a student visa unless enrolled full time in an accredited educational institution within the country, and would then be limited, at best, to part time employment. You need to check the immigration rules for the country you would like to stay in, but frankly your chances are slim to nil unless you have a special skill that can’t be filled with local resources.
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Old May 27th, 2022, 09:21 AM
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Your best bet is working for a multi-national corporation and making yourself valuable enough to them to eventually be offered a position in one of their European offices.
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Old May 27th, 2022, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by janisj View Post
Your best bet is working for a multi-national corporation and making yourself valuable enough to them to eventually be offered a position in one of their European offices.
Or you have the right to an EU passport somehow.

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Old May 27th, 2022, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by hetismij2 View Post
Or you have the right to an EU passport somehow.

Sure -- but most people who do know they do . . . .
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Old May 27th, 2022, 10:22 AM
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>>>I've never heard of a "looking for work visa", where did you get that info? The only type of work visas I've heard of were for people who already had job contracts.<<<

I'd never heard of one either, but apparently these is one, in some places.


"Those looking for work can move to Germany with a Job Seeker Visa, which gives them up to six months to search for relevant employment."

https://www.expatrio.com/living-germ...ob-seeker-visa

Not easy to get, with differing criteria depending on your nationality.
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Old May 27th, 2022, 12:43 PM
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Do you speak any European language other than English? If not you may struggle to find work.
You are not allowed to work whilst in the EU without a permit, and that includes people teleworking and in full employment in the US. So you would be breaking the law remaining with your current employer while looking for another job.
What would you do about healthcare?
If you move to the EU you will need to take a driving test if you intend to drive - and that test is considerably harder than any US test. You may have problems opening a bank account as European banks no longer want the hassle of dealing with US tax laws for individuals, and most small companies would also be very reluctant to get involved in that.
Moving to Europe is not as easy as some US TV shows would have you believe, anymore than moving to the US would be for a European.
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Old May 27th, 2022, 04:16 PM
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We did live in Europe (Belgium and Germany) for some years - in both my case and my husband's case, we first had offers of employment and in my husband's case the employer did a lot of the hard work for my husband in applying for a visa. That was with an American multinational company which my husband had had extensive dealings with in Australia. In both our cases, we are I guess what you would call skilled workers. You used to have to prove that you had skills that were not otherwise available in Europe, I don't know if that's still the case. We also have friends who are also skilled and moved progressively into Europe, going from Sydney to Jakarta to Singapore to London, then Brussels, Prague, where they spent 15 years, and now Luxembourg, where they have bought a house, upskilling all the time and gradually becoming more senior in employment. We are still in close contact with them as they return to Australia often. I think you can do it but you might have to be prepared to work your way in, and you should have something special in terms of skills to offer. You may find it easier in some of the Central / Eastern European countries, where English is in demand. My brother-in-law's sister moved to Hungary on a whim, learned Hungarian and worked in a kindergarten teaching English for some years. She stayed until she had a child herself and then wanted to come home to Australia.

It is a tremendous adventure but can also be very hard. You are dealing with a new culture, a new language, and no matter how well you think you speak the language, you can still come a-cropper. We ended up leaving because of family reasons in Australia but got through a lot of tough stuff and came out the other end. We are expecting to come back to Europe on a part-time basis when we retire, but that is quite another story. Important to do it with the support of the consulate of the country you choose, don't just go and overstay or be a Schwarzarbeiter (lit. a black worker, someone who works illegally). The job seeker visa sounds like a good deal, you should definitely explore that. Whether or not you can be working while on that visa is a question for the consulate, and I suspect they will say no.

Lavandula


Last edited by lavandula; May 27th, 2022 at 04:22 PM.
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Old May 27th, 2022, 11:52 PM
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Germany is one of the few countries that lets you look for work. Tourists really aren't supposed to look for work. But Germany lets you and then lets you apply from within Germany. Other countries you'd have to fly home to apply.

If you're working with an US company while living in Europe you'd pay local taxes. Your company might risk having a physical presence in Europe with those complications. They should pay the local employment taxes. All this means the company might not be willing to let you. They might make you a contractor but not an employee.

In much of Europe youth unemployment is at horrific levels. The official numbers don't include all the people that have dropped out of the workforce or are underemployed. If you use the American U6 measure the unemployment levels exceed 80% in many countries. That's what you're competing with.
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