How to find a job in the EU as a non-European

Non-European? Want a job in the EU?

It generally is impossible as a non-European to apply for a job in a European Union country. The EU demands that employers find someone in Europe first before they can apply to get a work permit to employ someone from outside the EU.

As unemployment levels are high in Europe, the chance that an employer will not find someone in Europe is small, therefore keeping the door shut for non-Europeans.

However, the various countries do have real shortages and publish lists of occupations for which they will allow employers to recruit outside the EU. If your job is on the list the chance that you will be able to secure a job in Europe increases.

It will require a bit of work on your side though, as you need to find the lists first and then check if your job is on the list. If this is the case, you will still not be able to apply for a work permit. This has to be done by the employer.

The recruitment process

The employer will generally conduct interviews with candidates to see if they fit their requirements. These might initially be via Skype, but will almost always be in person. The employer will generally pay for any costs of the whole process. If they need to fly you over, they will pay for the flight. In Europe the candidate does not pay anything in order to go through the recruitment process.

Be aware that if they ask you to pay for anything (fees, duties, admin costs, etc) it will most likely be a scam. Don’t fall for it!

In order to find these lists do a search for “shortage occupation list” or “skilled workers list” and the European country’s name you want to work in. This will throw up a list of sites where you will find information. Often the department of work of a country will publish this list.

Again, be careful, as there are many conmen trying to get you to pay for access to a list. Often these ‘paid for’ lists are bogus and of no value.

Examples of these lists on official websites are:

European Union

European Union (Again)


United Kingdom

Some EU countries use a points based system in order to work out if you’re able to apply for jobs in that country.



Non-EU European Countries



There are also companies that try to make money out of this. They will charge you for information that is freely available online and will help you put together a CV, but they’ll charge you. It’s up to you to decide if you think their services are worth it.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

177,419 Spam Comments Blocked so far by Spam Free Wordpress

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.