My journey in getting a work visa in Czech Republic was not an easy process. It took a lot of patience and faith that someday, somehow I will be able to live in Prague. And after 9 months of waiting and working on my documents, I was able to finally sort things out and start working in Czech Republic with long-term residence visa.
To get a long-term residence in most of the european countries, you might be on the following situations:
- You were hired by a company of the host country (either company transfer or new hire)
- You have a family (first level) living in Europe. This is the most common route especially if your wife or husband holds a european passport.
- You have been accepted in any university in europe for study purpose.
- You are applying for other types of residence visa (in Czech Republic there is a visa called ‘Freelance’ visa, in Spain there is a visa called ‘Self-employed’ residence visa and in Germany there is 6-months job search visa). You can explore some other options for each country as some countries may have special visa apart from items 1, 2 and 3 above.
There are other visa path options in other countries in europe like migration visa for individuals with skills that are in shortage. But those individuals need to satisfy the point system – which is quite high (e.g. you need to have ‘x’ number of experience in your field, you are in a technical or management capacity with certain salary range, your have graduated master or PhD in your field, among others).
If your case as I mentioned above does not belong to item (2) or item (3) then you need to work your way to be in a field where your skills are ‘hard-to-find’ in your target country and in the EU in general. In this case, when a foreign company is interested to hire you – they need to prove to the government that they cannot find suitable candidates to work for a specific field. Once the application of the company is approved then it is the only time that you will start to process your visa. This may apply to other countries as well in EU – in my case, the timeline is one month to get job approval from the government.
Except for UK and Ireland, the rest of the european countries require your documents to be translated to their language. Depending on which country you are from – the embassy may have different policies or requirements as to what documents you need to submit. For example, your documents need to be authenticated by your country’s government authorities (legalisation).
In Czech Republic, the standard timeline to get visa approved is 60 days or 90 days. But in getting all things sorted out – it may take at the minimum of 6 months. I’m taking about the item (1) above where you were hired by a company.
As a long term resident in any EU country, you are able to travel to EU member states without a need of tourist visa (if you came from a country which requires a schengen visa to get to EU states). Note that UK is not part of Schengen so if your passport is not eligible for free entry in UK, you need to apply for a tourist visa separately.