Your ultimate guide to getting an EU work visa in 2024

Toluwani Omotesho


Working in Europe can be a transformative experience because it enhances your job profile and opens you up to life-changing opportunities.And because we understand that sometimes, it’s easy to get confused by the regulations and requirements around getting a work visa, this post will serve as a one-stop shop that provides a comprehensive guide for everything you need to know about obtaining a work visa in Europe.

But first, what are some of the benefits of working in Europe?

  1. New perspectives: because Europe is a melting pot of people from different cultural backgrounds, you can gain invaluable insights into people’s mentalities and ethics. This helps you expand your worldview and approach to situations.
  2. Work-life balance: Many European countries prioritize having a work-life balance, so there’s generous vacation time of at least four weeks of paid annual leave, family-friendly policies, like the 14 weeks minimum maternity leave, and shorter working hours.
  3. Financial benefits: while salaries vary based on country and industry, many European countries offer competitive wages and have robust job markets, making it easier to find employment.
  4. Better quality of life: living and working in Europe enriches you personally and professionally. You have easy and affordable access to better healthcare systems, and many companies provide career growth and development training opportunities.

So, how do you get an EU Work Visa?

Firstly, you should know that a Schengen or EU “work visa” does not exist.

To legally work in Europe, you’ll need a National D-type work visa, also called the national long-stay visa, issued by the country you plan to work in. This would allow you to live and work in a Schengen country and travel freely within the Schengen area for more than 90 days, but during this period, you aren’t allowed to work in a different country.

(The Schengen area consists of all EU countries except Romania, Cyprus, Bulgaria, and Ireland)

What are the requirements to get a Schengen National D visa?

The process varies from country to country, but the standard requirements for an employment visa are:

  • Application form: two printed and signed copies of the online application that indicate the type of work permit you’re applying for
  • Valid passport: your passport must not be older than ten years and must have a validity period of at least three months beyond your intended period of stay
  • Two identical photos: two colored passport photographs not older than six months.
  • Employment contract: a signed contract between you and your future employer who lives in the Schengen area.
  • Proof of accommodation: you’ll need to provide a document, for instance, a lease agreement or hotel reservation, which shows where you’ll be residing during your stay
  • Travel health insurance: your travel health insurance must be valid in all Schengen countries and must be able to cover medical emergencies up to €30,000
  • Proof of language proficiency: language tests are to show that you demonstrate proficiency in the language of the country you’ll be working in.
  • Round-trip flight reservation: you’ll be required to show a reservation that indicates the dates and flight numbers of your entry and exit from the Schengen area.
  • Academic qualifications: You may need proof of your qualifications and experience for the job you need a work permit for. This can be transcripts, certificates, or diplomas.

It’s advisable to start your application at least two months before your trip, as the embassies might take at least 6-12 weeks to process.

Also read: Jobs You Can Get as an International Student in the UK

What are the steps involved in the application process?

  • Select the European country you’re interested in working in and check the type of employment visas available
  • Confirm if you qualify for an employment visa in your chosen country
  • Complete the online application form
  • Gather the required documents
  • Schedule a visa interview
  • Attend the visa interview with the correct documents
  • Wait for the visa application to be processed

How much does it cost?

The cost of a work visa varies depending on the country you’re applying to. For instance, Germany costs around $80, whereas Sweden charges as high as $790. However, one advantage of having a work permit is that it allows you to bring dependents, i.e., family members, as long as you have the finances and accommodation to support them.

Also read: Affordable European Universities for International Students in 2024

What are the best European countries to work in?


Sweden is a top choice for many professionals due to its thriving and innovative startup ecosystem, its strong economy, which offers a low unemployment rate, and the opportunities it provides to live a high quality of life. As with many European countries, Sweden prioritizes work-life balance and employee well-being with flexible working hours and generous leave policies.


Germany is well-known for its work ethic, which is evident in the growth of its economy. German companies offer many opportunities, especially as there is a demand for skilled workers in the country.


The Netherlands should be on your list if you’re considering moving to Europe for work. It has a strong and stable economy, which translates to job opportunities across various sectors. Its family-friendly policies and environment make it a good choice for families with young children.


Switzerland is a dream destination for many workers as you are guaranteed high-earning prospects and an exceptional quality of life. This country is high on the list of countries with the highest salaries globally. Although the labor law states that the maximum working hours are 40-45 weekly, you can be sure you’ll get compensated for any overtime work.

Wrapping up

We hope this post has clarified how to apply for a work permit to any EU country of your choice. Before you start your application, it’s essential that you have a Grey account to make the process of paying for your visa fees hassle-free. Also, with our EUR virtual account, you can send and receive money to countries within the EEA region, making it easy for you to adapt to any European country you find yourself in.

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