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Getting an IT Job in Europe as an American 187

IvanHo asks: "I'm looking for success stories, hints, tips and tricks from any Slashdot readers with U.S. citizenship that have managed to find gainful employment in Europe. For various reasons, my wife and I would like to spend a couple years working in Europe -- preferably Southern Europe. For the last couple months, I have been applying for IT positions there with no luck. Although, my wife grew up in Rome and her family is there now, she is a U.S. citizen, so that well trodden route to a work permit is unavailable. Any advice? I'm trying to avoid incorporating and transferring myself if possible."
"My resume is fairly strong and I've had a couple companies express interest until they realized that I would require sponsorship to work in the EU. Given the number of H1 folks I work with day in and day out, I'm starting to wonder if it isn't harder to get a visa to work in Europe than it is here. I've noticed that even American companies are posting prior right to work in a country as a prerequisite for employment. Language is a possible problem, but I do know a couple European languages beyond English -- Portuguese and French."
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Getting an IT Job in Europe as an American

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  • by gus goose ( 306978 ) on Monday December 06, 2004 @02:43PM (#11009285) Journal
    Tell your prospective employer's that you're a Canadian. You will probably get more interviews at elast, even if you fail subsequent background checks .... ;-)

  • by Naikrovek ( 667 ) <jjohnson.psg@com> on Monday December 06, 2004 @02:53PM (#11009365)
    I did it in Australia. With that rather large caveat in mind, I'm going to tell you my story anyway, in case you can pull a little inspiration out of it.

    All my life I'd wanted to move to Australia, but hadn't been too proactive about it. I met a girl online back in 1999 who was from Australia, and in addition to her being extremely freaking cool, she lived in Australia. So I decided that if things kept going well with her that I'd move there. The did, so I did. Before I moved though, I got in touch with some immigration folks there, folks that run businesses for the express purpose of migrating in folks that wanted to live in Australia. His main modus operandi was marriage, but I wasn't ready for that just yet.

    I poured myself over newsgroups about immigration into Australia, reading every post, answering questions where I could, etc. I learned a hell of a lot in a very short amount of time. I decided that my best bet was to just go there and try to find work after I got there. I was lucky enough to be hired by Yahoo! a couple weeks later. They sponsored me on what was to be a class-457 Business visa, that allowed me to work for one employer and live in Australia. My visa was for 2 years, but could easily be extended, and only cost me AUD$150 (my employer paid for most of it).

    After I lived in Australia for a while (this part you'll be interested in) I found out about places that act as temp-agencies for out-of-countrymen. They would sponsor you, and they would pay you, but you would be hired out to various places for 6 months to a year at a time. You were in constant employment, but your gigs were short. I think this could be an option for you, especially if you can speak Italian.

    Hit the newsgroups, read read read read read read all you can about immigration law, find some immigration lawyers and suck every word out of them that you can before they want money, and just live and breathe the Italian immigration process. Soon folks will approach you with options that I've not experienced and that neither of us have imagined. There is a way, I guarantee it.

    Your wife, unless Italy disallows it, could become a dual-citizen. She could become a citizen of Italy and the US, with all the privileges of each and zero downside. Since you're married to her you could get two passports as well, and live in each country as long as you wished, with or without a job. This is probably the most robust option, but would probably take the longest time to set up. If you're patient, and dual-citizenship is an option, I would go this way.

    I know this post is all over the spectrum, I'm not a good writer. But I hope something in here has given you an idea. The only thing between you and Italian employment is time. You'll get there if you really want to.
    • She could become a citizen of Italy and the US, with all the privileges of each and zero downside.

      My understanding is that the US will not tolerate you becoming a dual-citizen, you have to rescind your US citizenship when you become a citizen of another country. The only way to become a dual-citizen where one nationality is US is to either be born there or to have one parent a citizen of the US. But I'd be happy to be put right on this!

      • by itwerx ( 165526 ) <> on Monday December 06, 2004 @05:30PM (#11010893) Homepage
        My understanding is that the US will not tolerate you becoming a dual-citizen

        Two points:

        1 - when that was the case it was easy enough to get around by simply not renouncing it (they couldn't legally force you to)

        2 - as of 4 or 5 years ago they realised how stupid it was to have an un-enforceable law and got rid of it completely

      • by MemRaven ( 39601 ) <> on Monday December 06, 2004 @06:05PM (#11011324)
        As someone else pointed out, there were so many people that were just ignoring the law, and according to my lawyer brother it's virtually impossible (read: takes an act of congress) to take your citizenship away from you against your will if you're born in the US, so they changed the law.

        So now you're in the clear as long as you don't make an implicit act of citizenship. My attorney in the US (I'm a US citizen living in London and plan on getting citizenship here eventually) as well as that of my boyfriend (who's dual US-UK national) says that as long as you pay your US income taxes (or file the "I don't owe you anything" form every year), and always enter the US using a US passport (they're really strict on that, it's hit my boyfriend before) you're in the clear, but it can be tricky there.

        • "and always enter the US using a US passport"

          You'd want to do this anyway. Otherwise, you have to answer all the daft questions ("Were you a member of the Nazi party between 39-45"--"Are you entering the US to perform terrorist acts"). And spend at least three times as long waiting for the one immigration booth that they have set up for Foreign Nationals.

          Oh yeah, and be photo'd and fingerprinted.

          Entry into the US is getting more and more painful by the year. How long, till a tub of vaseline is an essenti
      • My mother was born in Italy and I'm in the process of getting an Italian passport. The law has been changed. You can have dual citizenship with most EU countries -- this has been changed within the last 20 years.

        Be aware that very few countries in the world do not have such a permissive attitude towards civil and miliary service as the US does -- most places have some sort of mandatory service, so make sure that you don't qualify. Otherwise you may find that your move to Europe lands you working with th
      • Actually, it's difficult to rescind your US citizenship, and if the US State Department gets the idea you're doing it to avoid taxes, you may get blacklisted from entering the US. Check out the State Department site [] for more details.
    • I his wife is eligible for an Italian citizenship, he would not need to get one as well, he could just get a residency permit through sponsorship of his wife. He actually can do that not only in Italy but in any EU country, plus Iceland, Norway and Lichtenchtein, to be precise. His wife is directly eligible for a residency permit as an EU citizen, and he is as the spouse of a new resident.
  • ... the odds of a racist society. In Italy we use extra-comunitarian (non EU citizen) as a parafrase for the ass-poor immigrant to whom nobody will ever rent an apartment for a reasonable fee, give a legal job, pay the pension fund contributions, etc... Strangely enough this mistreatment also applies to an USian, Australian, Canadian... whatever. Weird, having a highly productive citizen of an avanced western country treated with the same disdain for a stinkin' north african movin' in to spread criminality
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Plus Spain is a monarchy. What's the point of living in Europe if you don't even get to have a king?

      Italians try to live vicariously through the pope, but it just isn't the same...
      • no, italians are particularly immoral: always ready to howl for poor service and lack of justice while given the chance they're the first to blatantly break the rules at their leisure and convenience. Try that in Germany! As far as kings are concerned... italians have little interest at kingship being obsessed by the idea of getting their lousy face on TV; we've come to the trashy apex of an '80 lifestyle: all the money spent, ignorant like a bag of coal, living a life as described in the ads and in "collec
    • better off trying in Spain; it isn't much different from Italy as far as lifestyle goes

      I beg to disagree. And would cite one of the major aspects of quality of life: FOOD. Italy is fantastic: unless you only go to the lousy trattorias around the Rome train station, you can pretty much go anywhere and the food will be at least decent, and most probably very good. Hey, it's the only country I know where you can even eat in highway restaurant! Spain is quite different. And even if you take care to only go to
      • I don't know about spanish food but being italian I can certainly confirm that our food can be very tasteful and incredibly varied for such a relatively small country (it must have to do with it being quite a bunch of squabbling separate states until little more than 100 yrs ago); I find it strange though that spanish cuisine is that bad/boring... boh. But please don't ever eat at the Autogrill, it's rather hideous and in any case, beware the Tourist Traps; cities, Rome especially, is full of 'em and do th
    • Re:Welcome to... (Score:3, Interesting)

      I am from the US and live in Italy, and can confirm. I have some stories about it here: []

      You, as an American, Canadian, Australian, Japanese or whatever... are the equivalent of migrant worker here to pick tomatoes, even if you have a degree, even if you have no intention of being a burden on the social system. Of course, the US is really lame too. A friend's brother was supposed to go work for nVidia, who wanted to hire him and pay him a lot of money, but since h
  • by Ed Almos ( 584864 ) on Monday December 06, 2004 @03:06PM (#11009463)
    I've been living and working in Europe for about nine years now, and it's probably one of the best moves I've ever made.

    You WILL need a work permit and sponsorship from an employer, but this is a lot easier than an H1B.

    You WILL need to make this a 100% commitment and start living like a European rather than an American abroad. Above all realize that the world does not revolve around the United States and not everyone speaks English.

    In return you'll get a more relaxed lifestyle, better living conditions and a better public transport system.

    Ed Almos
    Budapest, Hungary
    • by Naikrovek ( 667 ) <jjohnson.psg@com> on Monday December 06, 2004 @03:21PM (#11009602)
      When I moved to Australia - a very Americanized nation really, not like europe at all, i learned the hard way about how americans were viewed abroad, and quickly after that I learned that the american way really isn't the only way or even the best way. i'm MUCH better off for it.

      I highly recommend to anyone who reads this that they live out of the US for at least a few years. you will be enlightened beyond belief. you will be called a steenking liberal for the rest of your life, but you'll realize that 'liberal' is actually a very good thing. once i was removed from the biased US media it became extremely obvious what the correct US political choice was.
      • Jeez, get off the cross already. I've been overseas for two years, and it's incredibly rare for me to have a negative reaction because I'm an American. The negative reactions fall into two categories of people: uneducated working men who think that I set U.S. government policy and want to chastise me about it, and university professors who think that I set U.S. government policy and want to chastise me about it.

        Besides, this conversation is about Europe...Australia isn't Europe, but hey that's no reason n

        • Most people in Europe seem to espouse the "hate the sin, not the sinner" ideology when it comes to Americans. I never had a negative reaction because I was an American when I was in Spain, and this was all throughout 2003 when such sentiments were at an all-time high. Even on the day we invaded Iraq, when I was at Les Falles in Valencia with of a group of 40 or 50 (very obviously) Americans, and nobody said a word. Granted this could have a lot to do with the fact that I was even more pissed at my country t
          • Attributing positive attributes like "enlightened" to being liberal is the worst kind of liberal elitism.

            The fellow Americans I've met (and it ain't been too many) tend to be businessmen instead of backpackers, and of course they're far more rational and worldly in their viewpoints, than idealistic and leftist.

            • Attributing attributes? You been out of the States too long. And I said "living" abroad, not "traveling." In my experience, people who up and leave the US generally do so because they're fed up with it. As in, not bible-clutching homophobes whose idea of nirvana involves lots of white people, a swimming pool filled with Skoal, and the entire product line of the Ford Motor Company (sans the metrosexual stuff [].) It must take a lot to spurn the Greatest Nation in the History of Civilization, no?
              • In my experience, people who leave the US generally do it for adventure and more money than they'd make at home. But like I said, they're rational, unlike your foaming, ranting thoughts that tell far more about yourself than you let on.
      • True.

        When I find myself, in NZ, being blamed for everything the US is, does, or ever was or ever did do...I simply own up to it:


        Of course its absurd, but you actually hear kiwis arguing that there's something intrinsic about "being Ameri

      • Please, everyone stop telling Americans to come here.

        It's bad enough that we get all their products, just don't make us put up with their people as well.
    • by duffbeer703 ( 177751 ) * on Monday December 06, 2004 @06:28PM (#11011547)
      Everyone knows how to speak english, just keep progressively raising your voice! Eventually, even the most barbarian of eurotrash will understand!
      • Re:Been There, Done That (Score:3, Informative)
        by duffbeer703 (177751) * Alter Relationship on Tuesday December 07, @08:58 (#11011547)

        Informative? You've gotta be kidding! :-)
    • "Above all realize that the world does not revolve around the United States and not everyone speaks English."
      But for most of the world it truly does. That is why so many people dislike the US. Think about it. All them currency trading and values are based on dollars. Most of the worlds commodities are priced in Dollars. No one in the US gives a plug nickel who gets elected as the president of France but every newspaper in Europe seems to have an opinion about the US president. All there pilots talk to the c
      • According to The Economist this could change soon: and to the US's detriment.

        In short, because the dollar is used as the reserve currency by a lot of countries the US is effectively in the position to be able to write cheques that are accepted for payment but are never cashed. However US policy (borrow, borrow, borrow and devlue the dollar so you owe less) means that this is likely to change soon. After all: would you accept a cheque today that know will be worth 30% less tomorrow? In fact its already hap

      • Tell you what !!

        The hole world is aware of that, and aware of what America has brought to the world. Even in Islamic and Arabic countries (I leave in Morocco), people here still have a lot of admiration, for it's technological power, it's economy, the American immigration lotery is eagrily sought after every year. The only grief is towards the American policy abroad. People have the impression that American politicians have near to zero sensitivity towards other people's feeling and way of viewing the word
    • by theantix ( 466036 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @02:50AM (#11015442) Journal
      Are you suggesting that transit infrastructure in North America is lacking? I mean, Seattle has a two stop monorail that serves a city of more than three million people. Are you daring to suggest that is somehow inadequate?

      • Are you suggesting that transit infrastructure in North America is lacking? I mean, Seattle has a two stop monorail that serves a city of more than three million people. Are you daring to suggest that is somehow inadequate?

        "Adequate" or "inadequate" depends heavily on where in North America. Ever use the NYC subway? It has slightly more than two stops.

  • by avi33 ( 116048 ) on Monday December 06, 2004 @03:12PM (#11009505) Homepage
    There are a number of reasons:

    1. The pay will be higher, the taxes lower. (Though your Italian counterparts will get 6 weeks vacation to your measly 2-3 :)

    2. Less paperwork and other hoops to jump through. Many EU countries can't hire an international unless they have exhausted all local options. I love Italy, but the paperwork, bureaucracy, and laissez faire attitude of governmental agencies will put you in gulag even if you speak perfect Italian. Even then, your prospective employer will probably need to be DESPERATE to hire you to advocate on your behalf.

    3. They may be more willing to overlook your language difficulties (not that you said you had any, but if so, they may view your technical skills as more important criteria than your italian skills.)

    I've noticed a number of firms in the Netherlands, for example, have many internationals working in the office, so for simplicity, they just speak english at work. But then again, the dutch on average speak 3+ languages better than the average American speaks english, but that's another story. It's not so in Italy. MANY people speak Italian only and maybe they can communicate in a similar Romance language (Spanish, French). I've noticed younger people speak more english, as do women (something about them doing a bit better in school than men :) but it all depends on your settings of course.

    I would also check out UK employment sites, they sometime serve as a gateway for English speakers looking for IT work in the EU. Most of the employment agencies will have more staffing in their UK offices, and probably have divisions within them for various EU countries.
    • The polylingual aspect of Europe is a negative, for sure. I've worked overseas for 2 years now in Japan and China, and let me tell you having a large country with one language (don't get me started on dialects) is a big positive.

      I looked in to working in Europe, and gave it up. Asia is a far better business environment. Basically, to work in Europe, you have to be a rich expat type, with executive housing lined up, saunas and squash courts, the whole expat package. It's not something that you can just d

      • probably because we have difficulty finding jobs ourselves? Remember, the executive expat thing you described is usually nationals staffing some foreing branch office for a couple years; even worse, chances are that if you're a highly trained pro, there's little chance you'll find a company (here in IT al least) that needs you rather than some lowly temp slaving in a call centre. Actually you need a sponsor and a job post (12 mo at least) waiting for you... considering that all you can find here is 6 mo sta
      • I worked in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Sinagapore and the Philippines.

        Those are in Asia as well, but are relatively small compared to China, so it is pretty much like being in Europe since each country has its own language ( Malaysia and Singapore have 4 oficial ones). You can hardly get more "polinlingual" than that. I will not mention India since that would be more of the same.

        I don't know how extensively you have traveled through China, but to pretend that it has one homogenous language is absolutel
        • Japan is big population-wise, not area-wise.

          Mandarin is indeed the lingua franca of China. It was a big shock to me, when I took my translator 60 miles from where she lived, and she said she couldn't understand the local language there. An hour's drive! Besides, I handwaved dialect issues away.

          And no, I don't live anywhere near Hong Kong. Only went there once for 3 days a month ago, for a visa run. I live in a medium-sized city in the mainland.

    • I doubt that any European country's tax convention with the US allows Americans to live in their territory and be taxed in the US. This is the default for Americans in general, but this does not apply when the host country has a bilateral tax convention with the US, which is the case of all industrialized country, and these conventions usually mean that you're taxed by the country you live in for your activity income. Details for other incomes such as real-estate (if you rent out the home you have in the
  • The US Military is all over Germany (namely the southern half like Hesse). They also have many bases in Italy. Right now I'm at work migrating from an NT 4 domain to AD (along with the rest of the military in Europe). Although I'm doing this as a soldier, there are MANY civilian positions in the military along with private companies (AT&T is one I work with) that require well trained civilians. Salaries can start at $60,000 with additional pay for housing and other stuff. 100% medical coverage and a GRE
    • If you have any windows, HP-UX or SCO experience, you're in demand.

      PLEASE tell me that the SCO experience is needed only to figure out how to best migrate AWAY from it.


    • Re:Military (Score:4, Informative)

      by ChiefArcher ( 1753 ) on Monday December 06, 2004 @04:00PM (#11010007) Homepage Journal
      the only problem with this is that most jobs require a secret clearance. and most companies are unwilling to sponsor you for one. The best way to play this out is to go to the middle east (say kuwait... kuwait hasn't had a death in 2 years) and get a clearance there (believe me.. they hand them out like political yard signs)... stay there for one year.. do a good job... then go to europe or italy with a secret clearance. In addition, you won't have to pay german taxes if the US says your job cannot be taken by a German because of the clearance status... bonus all around.

  • by lashi ( 822466 ) on Monday December 06, 2004 @03:24PM (#11009634) Homepage
    I lived in UK for two years working on contract. I would say employment agency is your best bet.

    I wanted to move to the UK and did my research on the internet, found some openings. But no one wanted to speak to me from half of the world away.

    I figured what the heck and decided to go there for a visit. I got a visitor's visa and flew there. Spend a month just travelling and getting used to the country. Then I went in search of a job. It took me about 3 months. Eventually I found 2 agencies that specializes in my field of work. Got 2 interviews which resulted in a pretty good offer. I accepted.

    The company sponsored me for a work visa. They had to prove that they couldn't find a UK citizen, nor an EU person to fill the position. That didn't take any time at all since they did have a job posting in the trade paper for a couple weeks.

    The company filed the paperwork and I got a visa and started to work in a week.

    So, as I was saying. The important thing is to get the job and agencies are very useful for that. There are a lot more agencies in UK than here and they seemed to be very specialized. The tough part was finding the right agency actually. I spent a lot of time in internet cafes and going through a lot of newspaper and phonebooks trying to find one in my field.

    I would say work visa isn't nearly as hard to get in UK as it is in US.

    I hope my experience is of use to you in Southern Europe. I should point out that the British sometimes don't consider themselves as Europeans. Still I would think the rules are similar.

    Good luck! and enjoy the slow pace and long vacations you get there!

  • Did It in NL (Score:3, Insightful)

    by citmanual ( 2002 ) on Monday December 06, 2004 @03:36PM (#11009742)
    After college, I picked up with a Dutch software firm and went over. The connection was made by a history prof of mine who knew the HR director. It was a funny situation, but it worked out well.

    It was the best thing I ever did. However, I found that switching jobs was damn near impossible due to language and permit issues. I worked for an international firm that worked in English and, as a result, had decent conversational Dutch, but poor technical Dutch.

    I recommend you look into your wife regaining citizenship in Italy. If for no other reason that the US allows dual citizenships and your kids will probably thank you for it.

    That also means you have a lot easier time of finding work over there.
  • Different countries have different requirements for what to include with your resume, in northern Europe you're likely to be required to include letters from your prior employers and referrals are usually not accepted. Some jobs allow negotiable salary, others are fixed salary so you might want to refrain from including salary expectations (or having them at all in some cases). The reason that companies in the US is more willing to hire skilled professionals is that there is likely still a higher skilled-wo
  • by rjw57 ( 532004 ) * <`richwareham' `a ...'> on Monday December 06, 2004 @03:43PM (#11009829) Homepage Journal
    It's best not to think of Europe as a country. Remember 'southern Europe' is actually a collection of different countries with vastly different cultures, laws and, in most cases, languages. It would be better to say 'I want to work in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Southern France, Hungary, Romania, Greece, etc', all of which could be viewed by some people as 'southern Europe' and all of which have different cultures and laws.

    The reality is that you will be hard-pressed to find employment anywhere in Europe unless you can demonstrate a real reason for them to have you over many other people from their own company (non multi-nationals are unlikely to have appropriate tax expertise for example). Your best bet would be to find some country which has limited local talent but is developping rapidly, some of the East-Europe countries for example, but in all cases look into the particular country in question.

    The rampant anti-Americanism in Europe at the moment might be a problem too.

    • The rampant anti-Americanism in Europe at the moment might be a problem too.

      I don't know about other European countries, but in my experience at least in Germany, even if there currently are lots of reservations towards the US as a nation, these usually don't extent to USians as people.

      If you do not try to force certain US mindsets down people's throats you will usually be treated friendly. Several of my friends work sometimes very closely with Americans and they are usually well liked (the Americans).
    • Haha. You've obviously never lived in Europe.

      With the exception of wealthy European nations, Europeans LOVE Americans. Poor Italians, anyone from the Balkans, anyone from a non-EU European country? They fucking love Americans.
      • by Martin Blank ( 154261 ) on Monday December 06, 2004 @05:30PM (#11010889) Homepage Journal
        Do they love Americans, or the money that Americans bring with them?

        I'm not being sarcastic -- it's a serious question. Many countries love Americans as much for what they're willing to spend as they do for their attitudes. I've known Americans who have gone abroad and bought things for a tenth to half the price they might pay inside the US, and know they paid too much as far as the locals were concerned, but they don't mind because they still got a deal compared to normal prices and the merchant was happy to make some extra money.
        • by Burb ( 620144 )
          This might be true for the developing eastern European nations with relatively weak currencies, but less so in the West. Prices are pretty high in the Northern European countries as anyone who buys clothes in Britain or a beer in Sweden will attest.

          I'm a Brit who visits USA quite often (holidays, every couple of years) and we always buy lots of stuff there..

          And that's so *before* you take into account the US exchange rate issue. Mind you, if you get paid in Euros or Pounds sterling you might do well if

        • Honestly, a lot of them - including a lot of young people - genuinely like Americans. They admire their living conditions, they admire their culture (ignore the fact that Jay-Z, Eminem, and Britney Spears are all they know), and they admire the freedoms that Americans have. I know that sounds like bullshit, but I swear to god it's true.

, of course the taxi cab drivers love Americans, too, for the latter reason. ;-)
    • Spain, Portugal, France and Greece (I can't be bothered to check Hungary) are all part of the EU, and as such they share many laws about immigration.

      Example: if one person has EU citizenship (which may be the case with the poster's wife) then that pesron can live anywhere in the EEA (European Economic Area) and bring his/her partner to the country. The partner has full rights to live and work in the country.

      Italy, Spain, Portugal and France may be different, but there are threads of culture, religion an
    • The rampant anti-Americanism in Europe at the moment might be a problem too.
      yeah, like every day NBC is reporting burning Mac Donalds & mass destruction of Britney Spears CDs.
    • Sure Europe is a country. Oh fuck, I've been living too close to Brussels for too long. Well, ok, its not a country.....yet.

      Your post is one big troll. You clearly don't have any idea about the tax laws, even the smallest shops know about intra-community tax numbers and what local withholdings are. There are 375 million europeans, and the system works pretty much the same for all of us, whether in Finland or Portugal. It is much simpler than the US tax code.

      There isn't any rampant anti-Americanism going o
      • Try buying a house the same way in France as you would in the UK. Although some laws may be harmonised in their intent within the EU, the beurocracy and implementation details vary significantly.

        For another example of the perils of viewing Europe as a country, what language would your CV to 'Southern Europe' be in?
  • Often times, European countries determine nationality based upon descent, not where one was born, so even if she was born here in the US, she might be entitled to an Italian passport if her parents are Italian, or maybe even grandparents.

    If that's the case, then you're automatically entitled to a work permit in any EU country. Just watch out for all of the other crap that you'll need to move to most European cities, like a printout of your police record and all sorts of other paperwork (and you thought the
    • It's funny you mention that.

      When I was working in Germany last year, it didn't matter that I was eight generations removed from Germany. To them, I was still a German and would always be a German.

      • German nationality has always been regulated by bloodlines, which is what you are explaining. The dark side of that is that people of lets say Turkish descent, that have lived in Germany for generations, could not obtain German nationality!

        This does not apply in other countries, specially southern ones that follow the Napoleonic legal system, in which nationality is decide mainly by the place where you are born with some precise exceptions.
        • bullshit.
          after 8 years of living in germany you can apply for a sitizenship.

          got mine that way.

          also people born here can obtain german sitizenship.
        • German nationality is by bloodlines with the exception that if your family left Germany before a law change in 1910 or some time around then and were out of the country over ten years, then you lost your German citizenship. I've tried to get it, believe me, I've tried, my family came over in the 1870/80s and the consulate has told me that it wouldn't work.
  • I did this over a year and a half ago, and now I'm firmly installed in Antibes, which is on the south coast of France, with Nice 20 minutes to the East, and Cannes 10-15 to the West.

    My story isn't the most helpful, as I kind of forced my way in. I got a contract position working from the U.S., and made myself so useful that they wanted to bring me over because they felt that THEY were the ones losing by having me far away. They were very reluctant to go through with the official employment because of fea

  • Three years ago, my family moved to the UK for pretty much just this reason. We'd always wanted to live there, and my father had just padded his resume enough to make it worthwhile. So he - to make a long story short - called some friends in Germany, had them incorporate a small company, form a join-venture agreement with a large-ish German corporation, have them establish an office in London (with three people in it), and that was the basis to get him a sponsorship.

    In the UK, being an immigrant (business)
  • I am the lucky holder of an EU (Irish) passport, and I am thinking very seriously about moving to Europe. What resources can anyone recommend to find work in the EU from the States? I check out Monster, but my feeling there is that it's much like US Monster (ie, worthlessly overrun with recruiting spam.)
    • Check out the local job sites (if you speak the language). Otherwise try going via some of the international companies, preferably the medium and small ones. Look at their company page. Do they have an office at the country you are interested in? If so, it will not hurt to contact their (international) HR department and ask if they know if there are any open positions in country X.
    • Going there is usually a good start (seriously).

      Or, instead of going trough a (US-based) multinational, make the opposite, go to a local (US) branch of a (EU-based) multinational.

  • America does not require you to hand over your passport/revoke citizenship of your place of origin when you become a US citizen. I think most if not all of the EU member countries follow this rule (I'm from England originally and have lived with my US wife in California for quite a few years now and have looked into the whole dual citizenship thing). So I'm betting that your wife would still be able to get a renewed passport from her former country if she contacted the consulate in the US. The trick then
  • by jupitercore ( 126048 ) <email.jaredschmidt@net> on Monday December 06, 2004 @04:47PM (#11010483) Homepage
    I am a U.S. Citizen working in Budapest, Hungary for IBM (SQL monkey). If you're serious about this, have as much lined up and in place prior to coming - it's going to take time. Granted each country is different (though I'm not sure how the EU calculates into things as Hungary just joined in May), but regardless of where you go, it's going to take time. Hell, the US takes a good long time too. Also, IIRC be aware that any income over $80,000/year income will be taxed both by the country you are in and the IRS when you return to the states (I think I remember reading this somewhere on the Embassy's website, though it might've been the IRS site).

    Clean up your CV, add fluent languages as skills, etc.

    Step 1 is finding a company willing to handle the paperwork and costs involved. Other markets might be better, but it took me over 5 months in Hungary - mainly because I don't speak Hungarian, but also because I'm American.

    Once this is done, there is usually a waiting period where the company must present the position to the government to see if there is someone suitable within the country to fulfill the position. This, at least in Hungary, can take up to 60 days before the final decision to award a work permit can take place, possibly adding to the length of time. My work permit required my Passport, diploma (HS or College), paperwork showing residence, offer letter and some other work provided by PricewaterhouseCoopers (they were handling the entire affair with IBM).

    Step 2 is aquiring a Work Visa or some other kind of visa that will allow you to work in the country. This usually requires that a work permit already be issued.

    Step 3 then involves the rest of the paper work - Social Security Cards, Temporary and Permanent Housing Card, Tax ID Card. I've been legally employed since September 1 and have been given the Tax ID Card and the Temp Housing Card. I need the Permanent Housing Card before I can be issued the SS Card even though I'm already paying Social Security.

    In all, from Interview 2, when they took all my documents, to actual hire date, it took 7 months and I'm still not completely done.

    I will have to go through this again in July/August (it is supposed to be easier the 2nd time around), as the first work permit is issued for 360 days and my Work Visa expires the day prior to my hire date anniversary. My second permit & visa will be issued for 365 days. I've been told that after 2006, I will be able to obtain a work permit that will be valid for 5-7 years, afterwhich I need to obtain something similar to temporary citizenship.

    Experiences in other countries, particularly those that have been EU states for some time will probably have an easier time (maybe, I'm not sure), however I will say that it has been one of the most difficult hirings I've ever imagined having.

    On second thought, my fiancee (the reason I'm here in the first place) is going to have an even more difficult time getting permanent residence in the US after we're married, so maybe it's not too bad afterall.
  • I believe that you need no immigration Visa in the Netherlands if your salary is above 45 000 Euros a year. in Gemany they have the same thing but the barrier is I believe 85 000 Euros, although they are now thinking about lowering it. In France you can be sponsored quite easily now if you get a high tech job (it used to be very hard at one time), but you need to speak french, as 99% of business is done in french and people there are quite monolingual.

    Good luck
    • Yes, many countries have a set aside number of work permits for highly paid professionals. Try getting in on the scheme early in the year, because once they use up the number, you are fucked until the next january.

      Working in France in a high tech job is easy, if you speak fluent French. Not just high school french, you need to be able to understand, and be understood, by the visa officers. I know quite a few americans working in France, some of whom are using a Deleware corporation and losing 8-10% of thei
  • I'm in Spain Now (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Inexile2002 ( 540368 ) * on Monday December 06, 2004 @08:34PM (#11012696) Homepage Journal
    It's not easy. Pretty much no one here will consider you unless you already have your working papers and you're fully legal to work in Spain. Pretty much there are enough qualified British and Irish people showing up looking for better weather, working hours, looking to be with spouses etc. that there's little incentive to bother sponsoring when there are so many other people here.

    Also, forget about trying to get a job here without being here. It's one of those things that is technically possible, but you're talking close to lottery odds. Either you find a way to get here and get here legally, or forget it. Sorry man, I'm here now, and it's not easy. However, I wanted it enough that I am here. If you want it, make it happen. That said, in Spain, go to Barcelona if you want to work. Madrid is an awesome city, but Barcelona seems more serious about everything and the economy seems better. Just an observation since I've only lived in Madrid.

    I won't speak for the rest of Europe, but Spain is tough going. Remember, unemployment here is extensive and there are lots of Europeans competing with you for those jobs. Leverage the English angle, as much as Americans are being told that the entire world loathes them (it doesn't) everyone here wants to speak English and every employer wants fluent English employees. Also, if you don't speak Spanish well, right there, 80% of your employability vanishes.

    Just laying it out for you. Hope this helps.
  • by Inexile2002 ( 540368 ) * on Monday December 06, 2004 @08:43PM (#11012793) Homepage Journal
    Seriously. I forgot. I have a couple of Republican friends here and their number one complaint about Spain is that everyone just assumes that you're going to be ashamed of Bush and you'll want to join along in the Bush bashing. If you're the type who'll defend Bush, or one of those My Country Right or Wrong types, be prepared for long awkward pauses in conversation, outright hostility or people looking at you like you're a cretin. Europeans don't hate Americans. Seriously. But they hate Bush with the white-hot burning intensity of ten thousand suns. Either join in in the effigy burning, or learn to stay away from political conversations.

    I wish were kidding here. Mod me as Flamebait if you want, but I'm here on the ground and I'm calling it like I see it.
    • What? And miss out on the opportunity to do political/intellectual battle with linguini-spined Europeans?

      Nonsense. Living in another country means I have to respect the views of the people I interact with and have an understanding of the culture in general (and try not to be obnoxious), but it doesn't mean I have to acquiesce.
  • I gave this advice on /. a couple of years ago (an almost identical ask slashdot), and I think it still holds.

    Nobody is going to hire you away from the colonies. What a big risk for a HR drone to make, and the trail of paperwork left behind could be damaging to the company if they need to get rid of you later.

    You need to show up in person. You need to show the prospective employers you speak the local lingo fluently, at least well enough to get by in meetings and talking on the phone to customers. By meet
  • My wife's company would like to transfer her to an office in their Swiss office in Lucerne / Luzern, but she's got baggage -- me.

    So, they're willing to sponsor her, take care of her visa & other paperwork, help set her/us up with an apartment, and bring her over for a couple of year, while she learns how the European side of her company works and she gradually makes her way up the management ladder.

    Meanwhile, I'll have to leave my job and basically start over; there's basically no chance that her co

    • I'm a Belgian which made the move to Switzerland, and working for the local telco (you'll hear about us, no worries ;).

      You'll find plenty of IT job in Zürich, no problems, you can also probably find "local" things in Luzern. (BTW, that's Lucerne only if you speak french). Commuting is OK, there's a wonderful transport system, but working near home leaves you more time with your family. You can also probably find both consulting and full-time salaried jobs without too much problems. Remotely, you can o
  • ...I'd suggest come to Italy as a turist first. Try to stay here for a while, choose a place to stay and try to meet as many people as possible. Having a job here is mostly a social skill - the more people you know, the more you'll get the chance to have a job.
    Resume aren't so important compared to the power of actually meeting people. Having a good resume helps but won't make a difference.
    And stay out of big companies for a while - they tend to be too similar to their counterparts in the US, and sometimes
  • Some Real Info (Score:3, Informative)

    by Danious ( 202113 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2004 @07:08AM (#11016349) Homepage
    OK, getting away from all the Xenophobes around here, I've got some real advice for you: it's bloody difficult. I've been trying every avenue I can find, and keep hitting brick walls, and I'm from NZ so I have a head start on most nationalities (nobody hates us :-). There's this woman, see... Yep, old story, but she's The One. I can't get a Work Permit for her country (Belgium), and I won't be some sponge taking advantage of her, nor will I do it illegally, and it's way too early to be talking of tying the knot, so for now I'm stuck over in Australia trying to reach the ONLY way I've found to get myself in.

    Anyway, being only English speaking (but working on my Dutch :-), I'm targeting the UK. I'm over 30, so working holidays are out. I'm in IT, so fast track visas or standard sponsorships are out. That leaves the UK Skilled Migrants program. Bascially if you have a bachelors degree, 5 years experience in a job requiring that degree, and earned over GBP40,000 in the last 12 months, then you get a Migrants Visa with no sponsorship or guaranteed job required and no restrictions on whom you work for while in the UK. I'm 7 months towards the earning my 40k, only 5 months to go...

    You don't say what your occupation is, I'm guessing you're IT as well, but if you or your wife were a teacher or a nurse or a doctor, then you could write your own ticket to just about any country on the planet. Check out the other Shortage Occupations for the UK to see who can be fast-tracked.

    If you insist on Southern Europe, language is a HUGE problem, if you don't speak the local, don't expect to be welcomed with open arms. Pick a country, learn the lingo, visit their embassy to quiz the staff, and keep your eyes open for any opportunity that comes your way, not just normal work (charity volunteer, study programs, etc).

    As I used to joke with a mate of mine who scored a Greek passport through his parents, an unemployable goat-herder from the Greek islands can move anywhere in EU he likes to beg on the streets, but a highly skilled, motivated, committed, tax-paying, law-abiding want-to-be-a-citizen like me can't even get a foot in the door...

  • There are International Schools all over the world. If you happen to have teaching credentials you could work at one. They will pay you, house you, and handle most of the paperwork.
    They have recruiting fairs in the springtime, in places like Boston and San Francisco.

    You might end up teaching a bunch of 10th graders how to use Microsoft Excell. So its not the most technical of IT positions, but International School communities are a lot of fun and its not a bad life.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas