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Working Abroad

Posted on: 16th Jan 2015

Before planning to work abroad, you must ensure that it will be possible before making any commitments. If you don't qualify to live and work in a country by birthright or as a national of a country that's a member of a treaty (such as the European Union), obtaining a work permit may be impossible. Americans and others without the automatic right to work in the EU must have their employment approved by a country's Ministry of Labour and obtain an employment visa before arriving in an EU country. Most Europeans find it equally difficult to obtain a permit to work in the USA or Canada (unless they buy a business).

            Even when you don't require a permit, you shouldn't plan on obtaining employment in a particular country unless you have a firm job offer, special qualifications and/or experience for which there's a strong demand. If you want a good job, you must usually be well qualified and speak the local language fluently. If you plan to arrive without a job (assuming it's permitted), you should have a detailed plan for finding employment and try to make some contacts before you arrive. Being attracted to a country by its weather, cuisine and lifestyle (etc.) is understandable, but doesn't rate highly as an employment qualification!

            It's extremely difficult to find work in most Mediterranean countries, particularly in rural and resort areas, and it's also becoming increasingly difficult in most cities and large towns.

            Further information is available in our Living and Working series of books.

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