In Europe, many job opportunities extend beyond national borders. For non-EU nationals, acquiring a work visa is a pivotal step towards realizing their professional goals on European soil. But is it possible to obtain a work visa abroad while already in the EU? For example, can a foreign national enter Europe on a tourist visa and then convert it into a work visa?

This article aims to provide insights for employers seeking to hire foreign talent and outlines the process of work visa applications within the EU.


Work Visa Abroad: Can Non-EU Nationals Get a Work Visa After Entering Europe? 


In the majority of instances, individuals from non-EU countries must secure a work visa before entering any EU Member State. 

Even if a non-EU national enters Europe with a tourist visa, securing employment and applying for a work visa within Europe is not possible. This practice is strictly prohibited. 

Employers hiring non-EU nationals on a tourist visa risk severe consequences, including fines and sanctions. Violators may even face imprisonment for involvement in illegal employment practices. 

To avoid legal repercussions, employers should adhere to proper procedures and encourage prospective employees to obtain the necessary work visa before arriving in the EU.

More information about the rules applicable to non-EU nationals already in the EU can be found here.  


Work Permit Application: Standard Protocol


In many EU countries, employers are typically responsible for obtaining a work permit on behalf of their prospective employees. 

For these countries, this is a crucial prerequisite for the subsequent visa application by the employee while still residing abroad. 

This structured approach ensures compliance with legal requirements before the employee embarks on their professional journey in the EU. Therefore, as we mentioned before, it is not possible for foreign workers to apply for a work visa abroad while already in Europe. 

However, the application process may vary depending on the country. For instance, Portugal features a separate application process for a residence permit after entry. Likewise, Germany requires the conversion of the initial work visa into a temporary residence permit post-entry. 

Staying informed about these rules is key for employers, enabling them to navigate the specific requirements of each EU Member State seamlessly.

That’s why we encourage you to discover our legal hub for indispensable insights on recruiting foreign talent. Uncover nuanced details to navigate the hiring process smoothly and in compliance with specific country requirements. Dive into our resources seamlessly and maximize your hiring process. 

Plus, we extend a special invitation to EU employers to explore the cutting-edge possibilities of VideoWorkers. Break away from conventional hiring practices as VideoWorkers introduces skill demo videos, offering a dynamic presentation of candidates’ capabilities. This guarantees a more nuanced and efficient assessment of prospective hires. Create your free company account and embark on a new era in talent acquisition – where skills take center stage in the hiring process.

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