Working legally in a new country, especially in the Schengen Zone, can be a challenging task. Because of the high levels of unemployment in Europe, the EU has developed strict demands for the non-Europeans. People willing to apply for a job there, search for the best and easy options, but usually meet the strict rules of the region.
Lately, the new system ETIAS has been an issue of discussion. Many think it will replace the work permit. Let us clear this misconception. ETIAS is NOT a work permit and it has nothing to do with it.


Since it got considerably simple to travel to Europe, the levels of migration, terrorist attacks and crime risks have increased. Therefore, security concerns pushed the EU Commission to create a new system called ETIAS.
ETIAS – stands for the European Travel and Information Authorization System. Its mission is to strengthen the security of the external borders in the Schengen Zone and to improve the security within. In other words, it is expected that ETIAS will play an important role in making the region safer – for the EU citizens and its visitors.
This automated IT system is currently under development and after its launching in 2021, it will be a mandatory requirement to enter the EU for visa-exempt visitors, including American citizens and the citizens from over the 60 countries (more countries might be added until the launch of the system).
The procedure of applying will be effective and fast. By completing an online form, person will have to answer security questions and fill the passport details. The provided information will be cross – checked against several databases and once it will be approved, it will grant a person stay up to 90 days in any 180-day period in the Schengen Zone.

ETIAS does not replace the work permit.
The ETIAS online application is not a substitute for a Schengen Visa.

With ETIAS, you can travel to any EU member country for business, travel, transit and medical purposes, but you wouldn’t be able to work or study with it.

You can check if you will have to apply for an ETIAS authorization using the tool on the

Check also our FAQs providing answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding ETIAS.

After obtaining ETIAS authorization, it will have a validity of three years from date of issue.


Citizens of the United States of America traveling to any country member of the Schengen Zone for the tourism and business need no visas, for 90 days in any 180 period. After leaving the Schengen Zone, you will have to wait another 90 days before you can travel again without visa.
If you plan to stay in the Schengen area longer than 90 days, contact the embassy of your destination country to find the details about applying a visa.

General Documents for Entry:

  • US Passport
  • Purpose of travel
  • Proof of funds


Not having a work permit means that without it – firstly, you will not have any legal protection, secondly, if the government authorities will caught you, you may be deported and so it would be very difficult to enter the European countries in the future.
It is a complex process when it comes to working abroad both short and long-term.
For a long-term job, you will have to have an employer to sponsor your work visa. He will apply for a work permit on your behalf.
It is a complicated procedure, as an employer has to prove to the Labor Department that there are no European citizens with your professional skills. After determination whether you are the right candidate, your application for a work permit will be speedily approved.
Generally, work permits are issued for a specific job with one specific employer. In case you lose or change that job, you will have to start the work permit process once again. Mind that the EU member country with its own unique regulations determines if you can receive a work visa or a work permit.

Citizens of the European Union, as well as citizens of the United States of America, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the Republic of Korea can apply for their residence permit for work purposed after entering the Schengen area without a visa.
England and Northern Ireland are outside the Schengen Zone, meaning they have different regulations for foreigners.

As each country has its own regulations and procedures for those who seek job,
it is recommended to research the details of the job application and work permit details
ahead of time.

Because of the fundamental principle of the Free Movement of Workers in the Schengen Zone, the labor market is very diverse and competitive, giving a chance for foreigners to find their desirable job in the list of occupations.

Remember that you need to check as much information as possible with the embassy of the country you wish to move to. From 1 January 2021, you will need to apply for an ETIAS travel authorization. Before it, you can travel to the Schengen Zone without obtaining visa.

Check also: The application procedure for ETIAS