In addition to the fact that European Union countries attract a large number of foreigners who even plan to live in the bloc’s countries following high living standards, the education system as well as low tax prices, EU countries also need a large number of workforces in order to deal with labour shortages.
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Besides, the European Commission in January this year unfolded plans to introduce a new mechanism in order to encourage migration from third countries to the EU and thus mitigate labour shortages registered in many industries, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
In addition, the Commissioner for Home Affairs and Employment and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, announced a Labour Migration Platform that will help EU countries deal with the labour shortage challenges.
The figures provided by the European Statistics Office, Eurostat, showed that the unemployment rate in EU countries in January this year was 6.1 per cent, and 6.7 per cent in the Euro area.
In order to deal with the current problems, some European countries have introduced different work permits and other visas, among them the Job Seeker Visa.
What Is a Job Seeker Visa?
Through the Job Seeker Visa, foreigners are eligible to enter a specific country with the main purpose to search for a job.
They are allowed to carry out work activities for a limited period of time until their visa expires. Once benefiting from this visa, foreigners are able to remain legally in countries that offer such opportunities.
Which EU Countries Offer Job Seeker Visas?
At present, the following six European Union countries offer Job Seeker Visas, permitting internationals to come and find jobs, thus living temporarily in countries that offer such opportunities: Austria, Denmark, Germany, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden.
Austria’s Job Seeker Visa permits foreigners to reach this country for work purposes, allowing them to work in this country for six months, under the Red-White-Red Card scheme.
Authorities in Austria have revealed that this year the following occupations are deemed shortage professions: graduates in power engineering, engineers for agricultural machinery, specialist power engineers, as well as technicians with a higher level of training in power engineering technology among others.
Still, only “Very Highly Qualified Workers” are eligible to benefit from this visa. Soon after gaining employment, foreigners can convert this kind of visa to a Red-White-Red Card.
In addition, applicants must earn 70 points out of 100 in the eligibility criteria for very highly qualified persons.
Denmark has among the shortest working week in the world, with an average expat working 37 hours per week, giving employees five weeks of vacation, thus permitting them to spend more time with their families.
In order to benefit from the Job Seeker visa, applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Create a case order ID
- Complete the payment fees
- Submit the documents that are required
- Submit the visa application form
- Await the result of the application
- Biometrics must be taken
- Await the response to the request
According to a report from the Wage Center, the employment rate in Denmark is over 68 per cent, while the unemployment rate is about two to four per cent. The same notes that foreigners from third countries chose the following areas for their seasonal work: farms, as well as employment in hotels, bars and restaurants among others, despite the fact that the demand for such vacancies is limited, so qualified specialists have more chances.
At the same time, the most significant shortage has been noted in the following occupations in Denmark this year:
- Marine engineer
- Industrial Designer
Through the Job Seeker Visa, foreigners are eligible to stay in Germany for six months and find employment and then apply for a work permit and stay in the country long-term.
However, German authorities have clarified that nationals from the following countries don’t need a Job Seeker Visa:
- European Union, European Economic Area and Switzerland
- Australia, New Zealand, Israel, South Korea, Japan, Canada, as well as the United States
Citizens from the countries mentioned above are required to obtain a residence permit before they can work in Germany.
In order to benefit from this kind of visa, applicants must meet the following conditions:
- Be a third-country national who needs a visa in order to enter Germany
- Have at least five years of experience in a specific profession
- Have enough financial resources in order to support the stay in Germany
- Valid proof of completed academic or vocational training
- Have qualifications that are recognised in Germany or equivalent to a diploma received in this country
Previously, the figures provided by the Institute for Employment Research showed that Germany is dealing with about 1.98 million job vacancies, while the country’s government is looking to ease the labour migration rules as part of efforts to manage the current situation.
>> Germany Job Seeker Visa Requirements And Application Process
Portugal permits foreigners to enter and remain in this country for a period of 120 days and it is renewable for 60 days. The job seeker visa permits only one entry into this country, as confirmed by the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“The issuance of this visa supposes the attribution of a date of scheduling in the competent services, within the period of validity of 120 days of the visa, and it allows the applicant, after the formalization of the employment contract throughout that period, the right to apply for a residence permit. To do so, you must fulfil the general conditions for granting a temporary residence permit, under the terms of article 77 of the Law,” the statement of the Ministry reads.
Once the maximum validity limit of a job seeker visa has expired without an employment relationship having been established nor the requesting the granting of a residence permit process has begun, the visa holder is obliged to leave the country.
The Ministry has clarified that in this case, applicants can only re-apply for a new visa application under this purpose, one year after the expiry of the previous visa’s validity.
Portugal is also dealing with significant labour shortages, while the country’s government last year announced that it would grant automatic residence permits, valid for one year, to nationals of the countries that are part of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP).
The government noted that this decision would benefit nearly 150,000 immigrants from Portuguese-speaking countries.
Spain’s Job Seeking Visa or Employment Seeking Residency Permit in Spain also attracts a large number of foreign workers.
Authorities in Spain applied new changes to the Entrepreneurial Support Act of September 27, 2013, on September 4, 2018, in order to include instructions of the European Directive 2016/801 EU.
This kind of visa permits students to hold a Spanish residency authorisation for a period of 12 months to search for a job or set up their own business, after completing their studies in Spain.
In order to benefit from this visa applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Obtain a previous Student Visa
- Finish a level six study of the European Framework
- Complete official studies
- Graduate before filing an application for this residence permit
- The application can be submitted for a period between 60 days before the expiration date or up to 90 days after
The immigration office has a maximum of 20 days in order to issue a response. If applicants don’t receive a response by then, the permit is automatically granted and the applicant proceeds with the fingerprinting process for the TIE.
Following significant problems with labour shortages, authorities in Spain adopted the immigration law in order to include migrant workers in the labour market.
Sweden’s Job Seeker Visa is valid for a period of three months, however, it can be extended to nine months. It has been confirmed that those who are qualified for jobs are issued the Sweden Job Seeker visa.
Visa applicants must meet the following conditions:
- Hold a Bachelor’s, Master’s or another advanced degree
- Be eligible to support yourself during your stay in this country
- Be willing to look for jobs or begin your own business
- Have comprehensive health insurance
- Hold a valid passport
- You must be living outside of Sweden
Authorities in Sweden are attempting to bring to the country a larger number of qualified foreigners in order to deal with labour shortages therefore the country decided to tighten the conditions for labour immigration and focus on qualified labour immigration instead.