As a non-EU national looking to work abroad in Europe, you may need an EU work permit that grants you the right to live and work in the EU. 

Additionally, this type of permit may grant you equal treatment in terms of employment conditions. This ensures a fair and level playing field with EU citizens.

If you’re wondering whether you need a work permit to reside in Europe under an employment contract, read on. 

This article will clear up some common questions about work permits for Europe, including the difference between a work permit and a work visa.  

What Is an EU Work Permit & How Do You Know If You Need One?


An EU work permit is an employment authorization granted to foreign workers by an EU country. It enables them to legally reside and earn an income within that country. 

Some non-EU nationals who wish to work in Europe need to apply for a permit to do so legally. 

The specific requirement for a permit to work depends on a number of factors. These factors include the individual’s nationality, personal situation, duration of employment, and the nature of the job. 

Please note that in some EU countries, a work permit is a prerequisite for applying for a work visa. 

Conversely, in other EU countries, the permit itself functions as the equivalent of a work visa. 

For example, if you wish to work in France, your employer must apply for a work permit on your behalf before you submit an application for a work visa.

But, if you wish to work abroad in Germany, there is no formal work permit you should apply for prior to applying for a work visa. 

Instead, you must obtain a work visa for Germany. Then, you must convert it into a temporary residence permit after entering the country. 

As we mentioned before, the application process and requirements for obtaining a permit to work in the EU may vary. This depends on a number of factors, including your personal situation. 

For instance, if you are the national of a country with no agreement with the EU, you may not need a work permit if you are in a family relationship with an EU citizen (as stated on the official website of the European Union).  

For these reasons, it is crucial to understand the specific requirements of the EU country you are considering for employment. 

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