Buy EU passport in Bulgaria

Always wanted to live and work without restrictions in the European Union?

Now you can! Bulgaria has a foreign investors plan that will give investors who bring €511.292 (BGN 1,000,000) into the country a Bulgarian passport (but no job). As Bulgaria has signed up to the EU and the Schengen agreement you will eventually be able to live and work anywhere in the European Union.

This has been in place since 2009 and only recently attracted the attention of the UK based Telegraph newspaper, who blew it up into a big media frenzy. There is currently a bit of Bulgaria/Romania scaremongering going on in the UK media and this fits the bill for journalists who want to create sensationalist, finger pointing articles.

Had the Telegraph done their homework Continue reading

Slovakia tightens up work permit legislation

Slovakia’s overhaul of foreign work and residence permits imposes stricter rules and new processing time frames.

What does the change mean? Employers will face several stricter requirements, including an in-person meeting with the Slovak Labor Office for local labor contracts, longer notification of vacant jobs, and apostilled educational documents.

Jobs in the Netherlands

Any citizens from the EU/EEA countries can live and work in the Netherlands, or Holland as many people call it. People from outside this area will need a work permit, which the employer will have to apply for. Employers will have to prove that no one in the EU could fill the vacancy before a work permit can be issued.

There are many ways to search for vacancies in the Netherlands, the Internet is one of the most widely used ways, but a lot of people initially use ‘Uitzendbureau’s” (or temp agencies) when they arrive in the country.

Thanks to the nature of temporary work, uitzendbureaus often have jobs that do not appear on the internet, and often offer jobs that are suitable for people who have just arrived in the country. Don’t expect to be appointed managing director of a large company through them, but they will be able to get your local career going. Many Dutch companies use temporary staff to have a form of extended trial period. Dutch law stipulates that the trial period can only be a short period of time. Hence temp staff.

How do you go about applying for a job in the Netherlands?

You have to be brief and to the point on your CV (resume) and in your application letter. It is important that you indicate why you are applying. Do not waste a company’s time by applying for a job where you don’t meet their requirements. You might think you are suitable, but if you don’t tick the boxes, you won’t even get a chance to talk to the employer. You simply get ignored. In this current economic climate, there are many applicants to choose from, so make sure you show why you are the best candidate. Equally important, you should make sure that your certificates and titles are valid in the Netherlands. If necessary have your diploma’s translated by a verified translator.

So, who can apply for a job in the Netherlands?

EU/EEA Nationalities

In principle, the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA) allow residents of these areas to live and work in any member state. Current members are Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Poland, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Romania. However, Bulgarian and Romanian citizens still require a work permit « Tewerkstellingsvergunning (TWV) »  in the Netherlands.

Social Security Number (BSN)

In order to be able to work in the Netherlands, you have to have a social security number (in Dutch, a BSN or Sofi number). This number means that you have registered with the tax authorities and the social security system. If you plan to stay longer than three months, you must register in the municipality where you live, which will issue you a social security number. If you plan to stay for a shorter period, however, or if you continue to live in another country while you are working in the Netherlands, you must apply to the tax authorities for a Sofi (social and fiscal) number.

If you are employed, your employer will withhold social contributions and wage tax from your salary, which will then be transferred to the government agencies concerned. For more information and the addresses of tax authority offices, see or ring 0800 – 0543 (inside the Netherlands) or +31 555 38 53 85 (outside the Netherlands).

Residence Permit

Residents of the EU/EEA member states do not require resident permits. After you have been here for three months, you should register with the IND (Immigration and Naturalisation Service). For more information, see the IND website at IND

EU residency/workpermit rules

Are you allowed to work in another EU country if you have a permanent residence permit in another EU country?

Let’s look at this example:
You are a non-EU national, meaning your passport has been issued in a country outside the European Union and you have a permanent residency status in Italy. You now want to work in Germany.

In order to be able to work in Germany you need a residency permit issued by the German embassy. The fact that you have a permanent residency permit for Italy is irrelevant for German purposes. You can also not apply for one whilst you might be in Germany. You have to apply for it in Italy or another country outside Germany.

(If you are a citizen of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway you have the same freedom of movement as EU nationals. If you are a citizen of Australia, Canada, Israel, Korea (Republic), Japan, New Zealand or the United States of America, you can apply for your residence and work permit after arriving in Germany.
But: if you already have a job offer, you should make sure that your employer will have a work permit ready for when you are to start work. If you want to start work immediately after your arrival in Germany, you should apply from abroad.)

If you are married to a German or EU national you should be able to obtain a residency permit as your partner ‘supports’ your application. Your partner should also move to Germany for work. But you still need to file your application at an embassy outside Germany

If you and your partner are both non-EU nationals, the normal requirements apply, i.e. you need to apply for a residency permit. The fact you have a residency permit in another EU country has no effect.

If you have a Schengen visa you can travel freely throughout the EU, but only work in the country for which you hold a residency (work) permit.

Which non-EU nationals can apply for a residency permit then?

There are three different categories of residency permits:

1. General employment

A residency permit in the general employment category is based on the economic needs of the Federal Republic of Germany. The two basic requirements are:

  • A vocational qualification
  • A concrete offer of a contract of employment

2. Specialist professional

The Federal Republic of Germany is interested in attracting specialist professionals to work and live in Germany. This applies particularly to:

  • Graduates with special professional knowledge and experience
  • University teachers with outstanding career profiles
  • Experienced managers with an offer of a job carrying a salary of not less than 86.400 Euros per year

On top of that applicants should fulfill the following criteria:

  • Ability to integrate into German society (i.e. be able to speak German)
  • Sufficent funds to maintain themselves without claiming benefits
  • A concrete offer of a contract of employment

3. Self-employed

To work on a self-employed basis your proposed business must:

  • Fulfill the needs of the Federal Republic of Germany or fulfill specific regional or local needs
  • Have a beneficial economic impact
  • Be fully covered by your own capital or bank loan for which there is a written confirmation

Requirements 1 and 2 will generally be fulfilled if your investment is worth 1 million Euros or more and creates 10 new jobs. To ensure the sustainability of your business project, the following criteria will also be taken into consideration:

  • Viability of your business plan
  • Your relevant business experience
  • Amount to be invested in Germany
  • Impact of your business project on employment and skills
  • Contribution of your project to innovation and research

Please note that these rules are also broadly applicable to most other EU countries.

For more information contact the German embassy in your country. (Or the embassy of the EU country you want to work in)

IT developers needed in Iceland

Ever wanted to work in an amazing place?

Iceland might be your place to go. The country has a laid back, friendly culture and nature is simply stunning with hot water lakes, volcanos, glaciers and more unusual natural features.

The country’s IT industry is in dire need of more IT developers as the industry is growing, but the number of locals studying the subject is not. The salaries on offer are being pushed up as a result.

How easy is it to get a work permit in Iceland?

If you are a Scandinavian citizen, it’s easy.

If you move to Iceland from any of the Scandinavian countries and hold either an Icelandic, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian or Swedish passport, you must have a change of residence attest (Internordisk flytteattest). You won’t need this if you are staying in Scandinavia for less than 6 months (3 months for Denmark), but you must register if you want to seek employment. You can register this at:

The National Register, Borgartúni 24, 150 Reykjavík

Scandinavians do not need a residence or work permit in other Scandinavian countries. You get your Icelandic ID-number through The National Register when you arrive in Iceland. You get the same kind of tax-card as Icelandic citizens. You’ll receive it in the mail on the new address you mention in your trans-Scandinavian attest.

EU & EEA residents

If you are an EU or EEA resident, you can stay and work in Iceland for up to three months, six if you are looking for employment without the need for a permit. If you stay longer, you must have a residence permit. You can apply for a permit after you arrive in Iceland. You don’t need to apply if you are an EU/EEA resident returning to your home country every week or so.

Citizens of Estonia, Lettland, Lithaen, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic or Hungary who are looking for a job in Iceland can get a job without a permit, but the employer must register you with the Directorate of Labour. EU/EEA-residents must submit their address to the National Register.

The employer must apply for an ID-number on behalf of EEA-residents, please note that the delay to get one may be up to 4 weeks.

If you do not have a residence permit, you must apply for a tax-card. When a residence permit is granted, the National Register is notified and you are registered just like Icelandic residents.


If you are not a EU/EEA resident, you can not work in Iceland without a residence and a work permit. You must apply for the job and get your work permit before you arrive in Iceland. If you are in Iceland and want to apply for a job, you must leave the country while the authorization is pending.

There are, however, two exceptions:

– if you are married to an Icelandic citizen or to a foreigner permitted to work in Iceland, and have reached the age of 24.

– if one of your parents is an Icelandic citizen or a foreigner permitted to stay in Iceland, and have reached the age of 18.

Work permit Spain

As with most information regarding bureaucracy in Spain, this information can only be used as a guide for obtaining a work permit.

Always double check!

Work permits for European Union nationals

If you are an EU national you do not need a work permit to work in Spain, you can enter Spain as a tourist and register with the Spanish national employment office (Instituto Nacional de Empleo – INEM) to look for a job, you then have 90 days to find employment, you can obtain an extension after that date or leave Spain and re-enter for a further 90 days.

Once you get a job, your employment contract will be necessary in order to apply for your residence card.

Work permits for  non-EU  nationals

General information

People from outside the European Union who wish to work in Spain must obtain a work permit after also obtaining a visa, before they move to work in Spain. They need to apply for the visa at the Spanish Consulate in their home country.

An application for a work permit needs to be sent to the Foreigners’ Office (Oficinas de Extranjeros) or at the provincial office of the Ministry of Labor (Delegación Provincial del Ministerio de Trabajo), if the foreign applicant is in Spanish territory. If the foreign applicant is not in Spain, an application for the work permit needs to be sent to the Consular office of the foreign applicant’s home country.

The Provincial labor offices (Direcciones Provinciales de Trabajo, Seguridad Social y Asuntos Sociales) will decide whether the work permit will be issued or not.

Documents you must present at the time of work permit application

The documents you will be required to present upon application for work permit are the following:

• If you are an employee:
o Copy of your valid passport.
o Certificate of criminal records issued by the authorities of the foreigner’s home country, except when it was presented upon application for the visa.
o Official medical certificate.
o Three passport-size photographs.
o Fiscal registration number (NIE or CIF) and the Social Security registration number of the employer.
o Offer of employment where there appear the labor conditions.
o Full description of the job and the company activity.
o Proof of the employer’s solvency could also be required

• If you are self-employed:
o Copy of your valid passport.
o Certificate of criminal records issued by the authorities of the foreigner’s home country, except when it was presented upon application for the visa.
o Official medical certificate.
o Three passport-size photographs.
o Full description of the job and the company activity.
o Proof of the foreigner’s professional qualification or that he meet the requirements needed to perform the professional activity in Spain, such as the appropriate licences to perform the activity or the registration to the Spanish Social Security system, your NIE.
o Any other documentation the Spanish Administration requires from time to time.

Types of work permits

• Where the foreigner is an employee:
o Type A work permit: for seasonal or time limited work. This may entail a specific contract or a specific geographic area. The maximum duration is 9 months, including renewal.
o Type b initial work permit: It enables the foreigner to work in a specific profession, activity and geographic area for a maximum period of 1 year.
o Type B renewed work permit: This is issued to those b initial holders once it has expired. It entitles him to carry on various professions or activities within a maximum period of 2 years.
o Type C work permit, this is issued to the B renewed work permit holders once it has expired. This entitles the foreign worker to perform any professional activity throughout the Spanish Territory.

• Where the foreigner is self-employed
o Type D initial work permit: To carry on a specific activity for a maximum of 1 year. Spanish authorities could limit this to a specific geographic area.
o Type D renewed work permit: This is issued to those d initial holders once it has expired. It entitles him to perform various professional activities for a maximum period of 2 years. Spanish labor authorities could limit this to a specific geographic area and/or a specific activity.
o Type E work permit: This is issued to those holding the D renewed work permit once it has expired. This entitles the foreign worker to perform any professional activity throughout the Spanish Territory for a maximum period of 3 years.

• Where the foreigner is an employee or is self-employed
o Type F work permit: To perform professional activities in the Spanish borders, provided their daily return to the foreign borders where they normally reside. This is issued for a maximum period of 5 years, after that it may be renewed.
o Permanent work permit: It enables the foreign worker to perform any professional activity where he has the qualification required. The type C or E work permits’ holders may obtain this work permit once theirs had expired. It is mandatory to renew this work permit every 5 years.
o Extraordinary work permit: this is issued to the non-EU foreign citizens who had helped to the Spanish economic and cultural progress. It enables the foreign worker to perform any professional activity throughout the Spanish territory where he has the qualification required. This must be renewed every 5 years.

You might have to hire a skilled lawyer to handle your application, as they know the ins and outs of the paperwork.

The Residence Permit

Community Cards
European Union citizens can freely enter, exit, travel and remain in Spain, and are not obliged to get the residence card (the European Community registration card), in order to live or stay for longer than 3 months in Spain. The residence card is no longer a formal requirement for EU citizens to establish their residence in Spain, although they can apply to get one if they wish to obtain it (in this case, the government employee must inform the EU citizen about the non obligation to get the card).

Temporary residence cards are issued for periods between 3 months and 1 year, the permanent residence card is issued for 5 years, which is automatically renewable.
You must apply for your residence card in person at the foreigners’ office (Oficina de Extranjeros) or the national police station (Comisaría de Policía Nacional) with Foreigners’ department from the city where you are going to live.

You will be required to present the following documentation:
• Your passport valid for at least six months.
• Three photographs of the correct size.
• Medical certificate, when required.
• Proof of family relationship, when applying for reuniting family members.
• Proof of your financial support while you are in Spain, your pension, or copy of your work contract if you are going to be employed in Spain, or documented proof that you meet the necessary requirements to work on your own account, when you are going to be self-employed in Spain.

You should carry your residence card with you at all times as it constitutes a mandatory identity card for foreign residents in Spain.

The Residence permit for non-EU foreigners

Non-EU foreigners need a residence permit to live in Spanish territory. To enter the Spanish territory the foreigner would be required to show his valid passport and the corresponding visa. In order to remain in Spain after a period of time exceeding 90 days, it is necessary to obtain either an extension or a residence permit.

There are different types of residence permits:
• Temporary residence permit: This allows you to remain in Spain for a period of time between 90 days and 5 years, your residence permit may be renewed after that limit.
• Permanent residency permit: This is available to all foreigners who have held a normal residence permit for a continuous period of 5 years. It should be renewed every 5 years.
• Residency permit for special circumstances such as for non-EU foreigners “”moved considered””; for non EU-foreigners whose asylum application had been rejected and whom the Spanish Ministry of Interior has authorised them to remain in Spain…
• Residency permit for reuniting families: This permit entitles the non-EU foreigner residing in Spain to apply for Spanish residence of his closest family. The applicant shall have been legally residing in Spain for at least 1 year and must have authorization for another year residing in Spain.

The residency permit application needs to be made in person to the Foreigners’ Office (Oficina de Extranjeros) or at the National Police Station with a foreigners’ department nearest to the city or town where you are going to live, you will be required to present some documentation depending on the type of residence permit applied.

You must present the following documentation:
• Valid passport.
• Residence visa in force.
• Proof of previous legal residence of the foreigner in Spain e.g. a long-term rental contract or receipts for rent;
• Certificate of criminal record issued by the authorities of the foreigner’s home country.
• Some passport-size photographs.
• Medical certificate (certificado medico), in the cases that the applicant had not presented it when obtained his visa residence.
• Proof of financial income to support you during the period of residence in Spain, such as pensions, work salaries…
• Proof that your health assistance is guaranteed during your residence in Spain.
• Marriage or divorce certificate or other papers relating to your marital status, plus a Spanish translation will be required when applying for reuniting your family.

Renewals of residency permits are available, provided that neither the personal or the economic situation of the non-EU foreigner have changed. The renewal needs to be made at least a month before the residence permit has expired, otherwise the foreigner could be fined.

Residence permits are issued by the Spanish Ministry of the Interior (Ministerio del Interior). You should carry your residence card with you at all times as it constitutes a mandatory identity card for foreign residents in Spain, it shows your fiscal registration number (NIE).


Foreigners from the EU do not need a visa to enter Spain, but just a passport or an official ID.

Non-EU foreigners, on the other hand, do need a visa to enter Spain, except if there is an agreement between Spain and the foreign country, by means of which the requirement of a visa is eliminated for citizens or residents of such countries when they will be staying in Spain for up to 3 months within a 6 month period, or for a transit stay of maximum 5 days.

You may apply for a visa to the Spanish Consulate located in your home country before you leave, visas are handled by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs through its consulates abroad.

There are different types of visas, which are issued depending on your purpose for entering Spain: studying, working, holiday, investment …. You should apply for your visa according to your needs, you cannot enter Spain on a tourist visa and then apply to stay as something else without returning to your home country and obtaining the appropriate visa first.

You should be required to produce some specific documentation, depending on the type of visa you need. The visa process will take some weeks and varies from case to case.

Genrally spoken, there are four types of visas:

• Transit visa:
Consists of two types:
o One for individuals or groups of foreigners passing through Spanish ports or airports without entering Spanish territory.
o One that allows foreigners to pass through Spanish territory with a maximum of 5 days.

• Temporary stay visa:
Consists of two types:
o Short-duration visa: issued for foreigners who wish to stay in Spain for up to 3 months within a 6-month time period. There are different categories, such as:
• Group visas for short stays (no longer than 30 days).
• Visas to study in Spain.
o Multiple-stay visas: issued for multiple stays adding up to 90 days within six months during one year

• Residence visa
It should not be confused with the Residence permit, which is also necessary in most of the cases. This is initially granted for 1 year, and it may be renewed for an additional 2-years period, once it has expired, you may apply for permanent residency visa, which must be renewed every five years.

There are specific categories:
o For reuniting a family: It could be given to the spouse provided that his matrimony is valid; to the descendants of the principal, provided that they are not married and are under 18 years of age.
o For working in Spain for at least one year without having criminal records when the foreigner needs a work permit or when the foreigner is a professional who does not need a work permit such as university professors, when professionals are hired by a Spanish university, or scientists, when they are hired by Spanish Government.
o For asylum, this is issued for foreigners with refugee status.

• Courtesy visa:
Visas for Diplomatic personnel or similar

Working in France

As with most information regarding the bureaucracy in France, this information can only be used as a guide for obtaining a work permit.

Always double check!

In general , EU citizens, nationals of the countries which signed the European Economic Area agreement and Swiss nationals may work freely in France.

If you are a foreign national, you can not be employed in France without first having obtained a residence permit.

For foreign nationals with a permanent professional activity, the work permit and the residence permit appear in one single document: resident card or temporary residence permit.

The decisions for work permits and to issue residence permits are taken by the Chief of Police.

Work permit
In reality, the Director of the Labour, Employment and Vocational Training office of the département who issues the work permits upon delegation from the Chief of police. Public authorities’ decisions are chiefly based on the employment situation in the requested profession and the geographical area in question.
They can also take into account the pay conditions proposed and how you will be housed.

Residence permit
Different residence permits, authorising foreign nationals to work in France, are issued by the Chief of police:

– The temporary residence permit (carte de séjour temporaire)
Valid for a maximum of one year, it states, according to the circumstances,
“salarié” (employee),
“travailleur temporaire” (temporary worker) for employment contracts for a period of less than one year,
“travailleur saisonnier” (seasonal worker) or “travailleur en mission” (worker on assignment).

For freelance professions, the permit states the profession in which you wish to work.

– The resident card (carte de résident)
Valid for ten years, it authorises the holder to work. It can be issued to those who have already resided in France with a residence permit for more than five years without interruption, under certain conditions provided for by the law or as of right in certain situations: French spouse, parent of a French child, etc.

The Act dated 24 July 2006 created a residence permit stating: “compétence et talent” (expertise and talent).

To prepare your application correctly, contact a specialised association or duty office which will help you to collect all the essential documents and will make the formalities easier for you.

Documents required to stay (and work) in France

Entry and residence of EU, EEA & Swiss Nationals
EU, EEA & Swiss citizens intending to live in France should have a valid passport (only nationals from Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands can seek employment upon production of their national Identity Card). However, please note that British citizens native of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are not regarded as EU citizens.

According to EU law, EU nationals have up to 3 months to apply for a “”Carte de séjour de ressortissant de l’Union Européenne”” (EU resident permit) at the “”Préfecture”” or “”Commissariat de Police”” (Police Station) of your place of residence. The “”Carte de séjour”” will be granted upon production of:

– A valid passport, a birth certificate or a marriage certificate, and proof of accommodation. Proof that you pay contributions to the French Social Security scheme, 3 passport photographs. A contract of employment or the necessary authorisations from the Chamber of Commerce in case of self-employment. Or if you are retired a proof that you receive a state pension (from France or your home country) If you are student you need proof that you have registered with a French University.

– Or if you are married to a French National, a copy of your marriage certificate

If you are staying for a limited duration, a resident permit will be issued for this period of time, after which your situation will be re-examined.

If you are planning to stay on a permanent basis, a resident permit will be issued for 5 years. After these 5 years, your permit can be renewed for 10 more years if you are still employed on permanent basis.

Please note that the right of residence – granted with the resident permit – can be extended to the permit holder’s spouse; dependant descendants under 21, dependants ascendants and spouse’s ascendants.

Entry and Residence of non EU Nationals
Non EU Nationals are not allowed to take up employment in France, even temporary, paid or unpaid, unless they have obtained an “”Autorisation de Travail”” (work permit) before arriving in France. The prospective employer should apply for this permit to the:

Office des Migrations Internationales
14, rue Brague 75015 Paris
Tel: 0033 1 53 69 53 70