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6 EU Countries That Provide Work Visas

Aside from the fact that European Union countries attract a significant number of foreigners who intend to reside in the bloc's countries because of the high living standards, education system, and low tax costs, EU countries also require a huge number of workforces to deal with labour shortages.

Furthermore, the European Commission announced intentions in January of this year to implement a new mechanism to stimulate migration from third countries to the EU and therefore alleviate labour shortages in numerous areas.

Furthermore, the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Employment, and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, announced a Labour Migration Platform to assist EU countries in dealing with labour shortages.

According to Eurostat data, the jobless rate in EU countries was 6.1 percent in January of this year, and 6.7 percent in the Eurozone.

To address current issues, certain European countries have implemented various work permits and other visas, such the Job Seeker Visa.

What Exactly Is a Work Seeker Visa?

Foreigners are eligible to enter a specific nation with the Job Seeker Visa in order to look for work.

They are permitted to engage in work activities for a limited time before their visa expires. Foreigners who obtain this visa are able to stay legally in nations that provide such opportunities.

Which EU countries provide visas for job seekers?

At the moment, the following six European Union countries provide Job Seeker Visas, allowing internationals to come and look for work and live temporarily in countries that provide such opportunities: Austria, Denmark, Germany, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden.


Under the Red-White-Red Card scheme, Austria's Work Seeker Visa allows foreigners to enter the country for the purpose of working for six months.

According to Austrian authorities, the following jobs are in short supply this year: graduates in power engineering, engineers for agricultural machinery, specialised power engineers, and technicians with a higher degree of training in power engineering technology, among others.

However, only "Very Highly Qualified Employees" are qualified for this visa. Foreigners can convert this type of visa to a Red-White-Red Card as soon as they find work.

Furthermore, applicants must score 70 points out of 100 in the eligibility requirements for very highly qualified individuals.


Denmark boasts one of the world's shortest work weeks, with an average expat working 37 hours per week and five weeks of holiday, allowing employees to spend more time with their families.

Applicants must meet the following requirements in order to qualify for the Employment Seeker visa:

  • Create a case order ID

  • Complete the payment fees

  • Submit the documents that are required

  • Submit the visa application form

  • Await the result of the application

  • Biometrics must be taken

  • Await the response to the request

According to the Wage Center, the employment rate in Denmark is above 68%, while the unemployment rate is between 2% and 4%. According to the same source, immigrants from third countries chose the following areas for seasonal work: farms, as well as employment in hotels, bars, and restaurants, among others, despite the fact that demand for such openings is limited, so competent specialists have more opportunities.

At the same time, the following occupations in Denmark have had major shortages this year:

  • Lawyer

  • Architect

  • Marine engineer

  • Journalist

  • Industrial Designer

Foreigners are eligible for the Job Seeker Visa, which allows them to stay in Germany for six months to look for work before applying for a work permit and staying in the nation permanently.

Nonetheless, German officials have said that nationals of the following countries are not required to get a Work Seeker Visa:

  • European Union, European Economic Area and Switzerland

  • Australia, New Zealand, Israel, South Korea, Japan, Canada, as well as the United States

To qualify for this type of visa, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a third-country national who needs a visa in order to enter Germany

  • Have at least five years of experience in a specific profession

  • Have enough financial resources in order to support the stay in Germany

  • Valid proof of completed academic or vocational training

  • Have qualifications that are recognised in Germany or equivalent to a diploma received in this country

Recently, the Institute for Employment Research said that Germany has over 1.98 million job vacancies, and the country's government is trying to relax labour migration regulations as part of its efforts to manage the present situation.


Foreigners are permitted to come and stay in Portugal for a duration of 120 days, which is renewable for another 60 days. According to the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the job seeker visa allows only one entry into the country.

"The issuing of this visa implies the assignment of a date of scheduling in the competent services within the visa's validity term of 120 days, and it grants the applicant the right to apply for a residence permit following the formalisation of the employment contract throughout that period." To do so, you must meet the general conditions for granting a temporary residency permit under Article 77 of the Law," according to the Ministry's statement.

When the maximum validity period of a job seeker visa expires without an employment contract being created or the process of requesting the granting of a residence permit having begun, the visa holder is required to depart the country.

The Ministry has emphasised that in this scenario, applicants can only re-apply for a new visa under this purpose one year after the validity of the prior visa expires.

Portugal is also experiencing acute labour shortages, and the country's government stated last year that it will offer automatic one-year residency permits to nationals of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP).

The administration stated that this decision would benefit approximately 150,000 Portuguese-speaking immigrants.


A substantial number of foreign employees are drawn to Spain's Work Seeking Visa or Employment Seeking Residence Permit.

On September 4, 2018, Spanish authorities amended the Entrepreneurial Support Act of September 27, 2013, to reflect instructions from European Directive 2016/801 EU.

After completing their education in Spain, students can apply for a Spanish resident card for a duration of 12 months to look for work or start their own business.

Applicants must meet the following requirements in order to qualify for this visa:

  • Obtain a previous Student Visa

  • Finish a level six study of the European Framework

  • Complete official studies

  • Graduate before filing an application for this residence permit

  • The application can be submitted for a period between 60 days before the expiration date or up to 90 days after

The immigration office has a maximum of 20 days to respond. If applicants do not receive a response by that time, the permit is automatically issued and the applicant begins the TIE fingerprinting process.

After substantial labour shortages, Spanish authorities enacted the immigration law in order to integrate migrant workers into the labour market.


Sweden's Work Seeker Visa is valid for three months but can be extended to nine months. The Swedish Job Seeker visa has been confirmed for people who are qualified for work.

Applicants for visas must meet the following requirements:

  • Hold a Bachelor’s, Master’s or another advanced degree

  • Be eligible to support yourself during your stay in this country

  • Be willing to look for jobs or begin your own business

  • Have comprehensive health insurance

  • Hold a valid passport

  • You must be living outside of Sweden

Authorities in Sweden are aiming to bring in a bigger number of qualified foreigners in order to deal with labour shortages, therefore the government opted to tighten labour immigration standards and instead focus on qualified labour immigration.



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