In today’s labor market, knowing how to hire seasonal workers is an essential asset for EU employers across various industries.

Whether you run a tourist resort, manage a retail store during the holiday season, or need extra hands for a specific project, hiring non-EU workers from abroad can be a useful option.

This applies in cases where you can’t fill a vacancy with local workers.

In this guide, we share some key information to be aware of before hiring seasonal workers for up to 90 days in the EU.


Hire Seasonal Workers in the EU for Up to 90 Days: What You Need to Know


While most EU workers prefer to hire foreign nationals long-term, there are situations when hiring seasonal workers for up to 90 days can be a viable option.

Seasonal work is often linked to the agriculture industry. However, it can also be available in other sectors such as fishing, forestry, or hospitality.

Most seasonal jobs are available for certain periods throughout the year, such as the harvest season.

Schengen Area countries have the option to hire most non-EU nationals for up to 90 days under a Schengen visa.

The list of third countries whose citizens must hold a Schengen visa to enter Europe can be found here.

As an employer, this is crucial information to keep in mind.

So why is that?

Firstly, all Schengen countries have their own National visa (type D) that workers can apply for. However, the National visa can only be issued for stays longer than 90 days.

As a result, you cannot hire seasonal workers for up to 90 days under a National visa.

This is a common pitfall for employers who are not familiar with EU immigration rules.

Secondly, some Schengen countries, such as Denmark and Sweden, typically combine their National visa with a work permit.

This simplifies the application process by eliminating the need for separate visa and work permit applications.

However, in case of seasonal work for up to 90 days, securing a Schengen visa is mandatory. Your workers cannot get a combined visa and work permit for seasonal employment.

Workers entering Europe for seasonal work under a Schengen visa can work up to 90 days over a 180-day period.

Normally, employers also need to conduct a labor market test and get a work permit prior to workers applying for their visas.

Therefore, it is crucial to thoroughly review immigration and employment regulations in your country.


When Should These Workers Apply for a Schengen Visa?


As per the Schengen Visa Code, applicants should present the Schengen Visa application to the Embassy at least 15 days before the planned trip.

However, your workers should submit their applications at least 10 weeks before you hope they start work.

For example, if you want your workers to start work in March, they should submit their applications at the turn of the year.

Additionally, recruitment should start as early as October or November.

This will allow enough time for the worker to collect the necessary documents and for the Embassy to process the application.

For information on the Schengen visa required documents, processing time, and fees, click here.

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