Getting a Work Permit for Foreign Workers

Work Permit for Foreign Workers: Can Minors Obtain It?

Embarking on a journey to work abroad is an exciting prospect for many young individuals seeking diverse experiences and professional growth. However, the ability of minors to secure a work permit for foreign workers depends on regulations and restrictions that vary from nation to nation. 

In this article, we explore the rules governing temporary employment for young non-EU foreigners in several EU countries. 

 

Minor Workers in EU: An Overview 

 

As a general rule, minors under the age of 15 cannot engage in work activities in the EU. However, exceptions exist for specific activities such as cultural or artistic pursuits, contingent upon prior authorization. 

Additionally, those aged 14 to 15 may engage in training activities or undertake light work under certain conditions.

For employers, it is mandatory to have certain safety measures in place. Certain categories of work are restricted for young workers, such as exposure to hazardous substances, and involvement in high-risk processes.

All young workers are entitled to a minimum 30-minute break for work exceeding 4.5 hours. Additionally, during compulsory full-time schooling, a prescribed work-free period is mandated during school holidays.

These regulations collectively aim to ensure the safety, well-being, and conducive working conditions for young individuals in the professional sphere.

 

Work Permit for Foreign Workers: Country-Specific Restrictions for Minors

 

Below you will discover the basic rules for foreign youth employment across EU countries. Understanding these regulations is a pivotal point for navigating work opportunities effectively.

 

Denmark

 

Danish regulations restrict individuals under 18 from certain hazardous work, with stringent rules on working hours during school days. These rules aim to balance education and employment. Children under 13 can only be involved in cultural and artistic activities. 

 

Belgium

 

Belgium permits individuals to start working from the age of 16. However, non-EU citizens must hold a work permit for foreign workers. 

 

Estonia

 

Estonia generally allows work from the age of 15, with specific conditions for employment contracts with minors.

 

Bulgaria

 

In Bulgaria, individuals under 16 cannot be employed. For persons who have not reached 18 years of age, employers must meet specific requirements to ensure a safe work environment. The Labor Code highlights the rules for issuing work permits to minors. It also highlights special provisions for artistic activities for those under 15.

 

United Kingdom

 

While EU nationals face no restrictions, non-EU nationals need a work permit for foreign workers. Young people can commence work from the age of 13, albeit with certain limitations. 

 

Germany

 

Germany’s laws safeguard children under 13, restricting opportunities for minors based on their age.

 

Ireland

 

In Ireland, non-EU citizens require a work permit for foreign workers. For minors between 14 and 15 years old, only light work is permitted. 

 

Lithuania

 

Lithuania’s Labor Code allows children aged 14 to 16 to engage in light work under certain conditions, ensuring it doesn’t compromise safety, health, or education.

 

France

 

In France, non-EU individuals aged 16-18 are allowed to engage in work activities provided that they obtain a work permit for foreign workers in advance. Under specific circumstances, foreigners below the age of 16 who may be granted a temporary work permit, especially for purposes such as apprenticeships.

 

Finland 

 

In Finland, individuals aged 14 and above can participate in temporary work for up to six months, usually scheduled during school holidays.

 

Slovakia

 

Minors who are at least 15 can start working, but not before finishing compulsory school. If they are still in school, they can only engage in cultural, sports, or promotional activities. The employer can ask for permission from the Labor Inspectorate, with specified hours and conditions. 

 

Netherlands

 

The Netherlands requires a work permit for foreign workers to work legally. Young people aged 13 and above can only engage in light work.

 

Italy

 

In Italy, the minimum employment age is 15, rising to 16 in specific cases. Foreign teenagers can also gain experience by engaging in volunteer work. 

 

Croatia

 

Croatia requires foreigners to obtain a stay and work permit. The country prohibits employment for those under 15. Additionally, the Croatian Government places restrictions on minors attending full-time elementary schooling.

 

Latvia

 

Latvia prohibits permanent work for children under 15 years old. This rule also applies to minors between 15 and 18 years old who are attending school. 

 

Czech Republic

 

Non-EU nationals can work with a work permit and visa. Minors can start working at 15, and in special cases, at 14.

 

Sweden

 

Starting from 13, children can do certain light work for up to 12 hours per week. Non-EU citizens require a work permit for foreign workers. 

 

Luxembourg

 

In Luxembourg, minors who are at least 15 years old and attend school can work for a maximum of two months during school vacations.

 

Austria

 

In Austria, minors aged 15 and above can work during vacations. Non-EU nationals need a work permit for foreign workers. 

 

Poland

 

Poland strictly prohibits the long-term employment of children under 16. The Polish Labor Code, specifically Division 9, determines the permissible forms of employment for minors. The Labor Code also details working hours, examinations, and rest periods. 

 

Portugal

 

Minors need to be at least 16 years old to engage in work activities in Portugal. 

 

Spain

 

In Spain, individuals under 16 cannot legally work, and those between 16 and 18 need parental or legal guardian permission.

 

Hungary

 

Hungary allows seasonal work for individuals aged 16 and above. However, non-EU citizens must hold a seasonal work permit. 

 

Cyprus

 

In Cyprus, foreigners can engage in work activities starting at the age of 18.

 

Slovenia

 

Slovenia requires non-EU citizens under the age of 18 to hold a work permit for foreign workers. Employment contracts can be signed only by those 15 and above.

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