Getting the Visa

For non-U.S. citizens seeking visa information to work in America, click here.

Americans in Europe:

As an American citizen, you are allowed to travel and work (depending on the job) for 3 months no problem in the European countries that are a part of the Schengen Agreement.

However, if you plan to stay abroad for longer than the 90 day allowance period, a work visa is vital! The last thing you want is to return to America only to be told you cannot return to Europe for X amount of time because you were technically there illegally.

So how do you get this work visa? Every country has different rules and regulations, but for the most part you will have to obtain the visa in your hometown prior to relocating in Europe. I was lucky enough to obtain both my UK and French visa abroad because of the slight bend in the rules. Read about my visa experience here.

What you need:

  • A job/sponsor: These two essentials go hand in hand because once you have a job, you have a sponsor who will assist you in getting approved to work for his or her company. However, because applying for a visa requires a lot of paperwork, sponsors/jobs are hard to nail down. TEFL, Government approved English teacher programs, Au Pair, and Volunteer positions are usually the most accommodating.
  • Money: Visas will costs anywhere from $50-500 depending on the position and country.
  • Patience: Applying for a visa requires a lot of time, paperwork, in-person appointments, and waiting for your sponsors and the governments approval. Once you’ve submitted all of your paperwork, the processing of the visa will take anywhere from 1-15 work days (sometimes longer, but this is the average).
  • A Passport: Without a passport there is no where to stick the visa! FYI— Along with submitting paperwork, you will also give your passport to the agency in order to obtain the visa. Make sure you time your trip wisely because you can’t travel anywhere without the passport!



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