New on Passport: So you want to live and work in Europe ….

(Editor’s note: We created Passport, a place where we – and you – can post anything from your search for an apartment to your startup’s pitch to investors. Think Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs … where to find not just housing and careers, but fulfillment, friends, and fun across Europe.)

We just put up a post prompting Americans to maybe think about coming to Europe to enjoy the expat lifestyle. For most of us who aren’t billionaires, that includes finding a J-O-B.

We got a very thoughtful note from our friend Joan Harvey, who’s a tech writer in the United States:

What about a series on career paths that get you to Europe? Is it a myth that only those with portable careers (like writers) can make the move? Can you job hunt across continents specific to a region or country? Are there risks to just “showing up” and looking for a job? What and who might not be so happy about expats… the IRS maybe? Can you return to the US job market after a long absence or are you looking at an all or nothing proposition?


Well, we will take up Joan’s challenge, with a post coming. But there are some points we can address here quickly.

We know the Netherlands best because we’re based in Eindhoven. But of course, there are 26 more nations in the EU, and they all have different rules.

Here’s what they all have in common:

• Multinational corporations. Getting a gig with a big company is the fastest and easiest way to get to Europe for highly skilled internationals. HR departments do all the heavy lifting when it comes to sponsorship, residency permits and work permits. Of course, this path has its limits. Companies have to verify to immigration officials there is no one locally who can fill the job. If there is, then they can’t hire an expat. So trying to get a job with a skill that’s in over-supply in the Netherlands is going to be tough. BUT, if you’re a physicist, AI engineer, top-level developer or some other esoteric job or have experience in international business, you should be able to find a job really quickly.

• You can always start your own business if you have a little capital. Also, freelancers such as journalists often get a free pass. In the Netherlands, the KvK – their IRS and chamber of commerce rolled into one – offers a freelance tax status for self-employed entrepreneurs.

Of course, before you can do anything, you have to apply for a long-term residence visa before your 90-day tourist visa under the Dutch-American Friendship Treaty lapses. (There’s some fudge time in case your tourist visa runs out during the application process.)

Here’s a handy guide to the whole process.

• Just showing up and hoping for a job is pretty risky. But you can get jobs teaching English if you have the proper certification. Read digital nomad Beth Hoke’s latest post about the freedom teaching English online gives her to travel.

• Some countries are, as Joan says, unwelcoming to expats coming to work. Countries with high unemployment such as Italy and Greece are going to make it difficult for you to work. In Italy, even if you’re offered a job, you can’t take it until you leave the E.U., go back to the U.S., reapply and are accepted.

Booming Europe

Right now, Europe is in a boom cycle that seems to be pretty persistent. So for non-European Union residents, there are increasing opportunities, especially in the startup and tech sector.

• Lisbon is getting a lot of attention. We used to think it was because of the climate, but now government officials are seizing the initiative. has a post about the new Beato Creative Hub, which includes a 20-building complex of factories into a “mega-campus” for startups. Sound familiar?

From that post:

The Beato Creative Hub is set to rival Paris’ Station F and will feature 35,000 square meters in its first phase, before being increased to 100,000 square meters in its second phase.

Mercedes-Benz opened a Digital Delivery Hub in Lisbon earlier this year, and they’re looking for talent. MB executives even built a recruitment website where you can apply for a position.

• A few American tech legends are starting to drift into Europe including Tony Fadell, the legendary Apple team leader for the iPod who’s now working from Paris.

The Financial Times has a great post that leads with the example of an American high tech/medtech startup, ni2o, which is moving its headquarters from Washington, D.C. to Paris, where it plans to hire 15 people.


For fun and profit

If you grew up in the U.S. in the old days, you remember those retro ads that promised, “Have fun, and make money in your spare time!”

If you hurry, you can actually do that in 2018 working at a ski resort. As we were putting together our latest post on below-the-radar ski resorts for expats, we noticed nearly every resort’s website included a “now hiring” blurb near the top of the landing page. The huge resorts in France, Switzerland and even Bulgaria are having trouble filling positions.

Here’s the job website for Val Thorens in Les 3 Vallées.

There are myriad jobs going unfilled across Europe from chefs to airport transfer drivers to baby minders for adults out on the slopes. For the most part, the salary is not great. But some resorts throw in food and shelter, ski passes and even transportation to and from the jobs to sweeten the pot.

Here are the websites with the best jobs:

• SkiJobs

• Best Ski Jobs

• Season Workers

Or check out the postings on the websites of the individual ski resorts.

There are also a number of job fairs coming up this spring:

• Landing Festival Berlin – 14 & 15 March
Landing Festival is two days of intensive learning and networking featuring talks, panels, expert sessions, workshops, a job fair, entertainment activities and a boat party. Passes start at 40 euros, and you can get yours here.

• Berlin Tech Fair – 26 April in 10 & 11 February, Houten, Netherlands,(Utrecht metro area)

This is an interesting one, actually an immigration fair with info about working, doing business, studying and living abroad. Also, this is an EU event on the European Job Mobility Portal.


• 165 exhibitors
• 100 presentations by specialists and experienced experts such as ‘Working without boundaries in the border area of Germany and Belgium’ presented by Dutch EURES advisers.
• Extra attention for the themes ‘Contact Center Jobs Europe’ and ‘Summer Jobs’
• Many exhibitors with actual vacancies.

You can get two free tickets here if you hurry. But the day-of prices will be 17.50 euros. Still a bargain!

(Editor’s note: We’ve noticed moderators of expat Facebook pages across Europe increasingly shut out commercial posts. We welcome them … if you’re searching for international talent, we reach tens of thousands of people across Europe each week. If you have a position to fill or you’re searching for just the right job, register on Passport here.)

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