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Getting an IT Job in Europe as an American

Cliff posted more than 9 years ago | from the americans-getting-employed-overseas dept.

Businesses 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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Modify your resume.... (2, Funny)

gus goose (306978) | more than 9 years ago | (#11009285)

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 .... ;-)


Re:Modify your resume.... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11010095)


Are you full of BS, or is this for real? I actually am Canadian, living in the US illegally. (Very Long Story). I've been thinking about doing something like this myself.

Does being Canadian make it easier to get employed in Europe?

Re:Modify your resume.... (1)

rduke15 (721841) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010988)

Does being Canadian make it easier to get employed in Europe?

From an administrative viewpoint, I don't know.

But from a relational viewpoint, it may well ease the first step.

At least, people won't think there is one chance out of 2 that you're a Bush supporter. He's not liked much around here. In fact, he managed to destroy a centuries-long European love for Americans.

Canadians have a much better "image" here. They are supposed to be more politicall correct :-).

Re:Modify your resume.... (1)

gus goose (306978) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011067)

Hmmmm.. I said it in jest, but there is a sentiment like it in EU. I am a South African lived in UK for 3 years, and now live in Canada.

On the whole, Americans have a negative reputation. Canadians are mostly welcomed. A Canadians biggest fear is that people will assume they are americans, and thus they prominantly display a Canadian flag somewhere.... especially back-packers.

I doubt an American will get a job in france if there is a canadian applying as well, with similar skills. My perception is that is common accross the EU.

So, I am not totally BS'ing, but there is jest in there. As I say though, you may bet your foot in the door by lying, but you will get booted out promptly when they discover the lie.


Re:Modify your resume.... (1)

mntgomery (620581) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010645)

"And just say, 'Shaggy and Scoobie'. International credit card, I think you'll find." --Eddie Izzard

take advantage of EU (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11009299)

This may be BS but I know a few people who claim that it's easier to work for a year in UK where it's easier to get your foot in the door then move to another EU state with your work permit as the permits are transportable.

EU residents, please feel free to call shenanigans here and tell me the real deal.

Re:take advantage of EU (2, Interesting)

magefile (776388) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010324)

I don't know how hard it is to get a permit in the EU, but (at least as of the late '80s) it is quite difficult to get a foot in the door in the UK. I have a friend who worked as an ESL (English as a 2nd Language) teacher in London, but he worked illegally. Regardless of the high number of illegal workers (white collar workers especially) in England, since they aren't registered with the Home Office in any official way, they have no particular advantages being recognized in the EU proper.

Re:take advantage of EU (2, Informative)

El Cabri (13930) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010325)

Work permits for non-EU citizens are not transportable within the EU AFAIK. It is true though that some EU countries have rather flexible laws for granting citizenships through ancestry, even after a generation has been skipped. An American could use that if eligible, and then leverage EU citizenship to get a work permit anywhere in the EU.

I know of an American who got a Canadian passport somehow, just so that she could benefit from Australia's 1 year Work-Vacation program, which does not include the US.

Re:take advantage of EU (2, Informative)

Khalid (31037) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011431)

Work permits are are transportable in the EU if you have a permanent residency card which is the same thing as the US green card.

is your wife an italian citizen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11009329)

You say she grew up in Rome, which suggests that she is Italian. If she is an EU national, as the spouse of an EU national, you are entitled to a work visa.

I did this, but not in Europe. (5, Informative)

Naikrovek (667) | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

Re:I did this, but not in Europe. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11009642)

So what happened with your lady friend?

Re:I did this, but not in Europe. (1)

Naikrovek (667) | more than 9 years ago | (#11009702)

We broke up about 8 months after I moved there, I won't get into why.

I don't believe in bad-talking ex-girlfriends, if a current or future girlfriend knows you trash-talk exes, she's less likely to date you. I've never dated anyone that really deserves to recieve any negative words I have to say anyway.

This particular ex-girlfriend was actually very pretty and very nice, I was just a little messed up with regards to my priorities. She wasn't the right girl for me anyway.

Re:I did this, but not in Europe. (2, Informative)

WSSA (27914) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010037)

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!

Re:I did this, but not in Europe. (1)

feorlen (214880) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010232)

That depends mostly on the laws of the other country. The US requires a naturalized citizen to renounce the former country but it's not always the other way if you start as a US citizen.

And the reports are that it's extremely difficult to get the State Department to accept that you wish to renounce your US citizenship anyway.

Re:I did this, but not in Europe. (3, Insightful)

itwerx (165526) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010893)

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

Re:I did this, but not in Europe. (3, Insightful)

MemRaven (39601) | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

Re:I did this, but not in Europe. (2, Insightful)

metachilly (3267) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011349)

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 the couriers at La Posta.

Re:I did this, but not in Europe. (1)

CrosseyedPainless (27978) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011720)

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.

Re:I did this, but not in Europe. (1)

El Cabri (13930) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010485)

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.

Welcome to... (1)

curious.corn (167387) | more than 9 years ago | (#11009393)

... 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 (no shit, I've heard this delirium more than once...) Perhaps you're better off trying in Spain; it isn't much different from Italy as far as lifestyle goes, but they seem much more integrated and civilized than us and, for bonus, their economy is much livelier than ours!

Re:Welcome to... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11010160)

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...

Re:Welcome to... (1)

curious.corn (167387) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010579)

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 "collective confession" talk shows. We're sick, honest... I mean, look at Berlusconi and the circus around him...

Re:Welcome to... (1)

rduke15 (721841) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011147)

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 the right places, the food quickly gets boring. And that's a pity, because they have great products, like fantastic tomatoes, and an olive oil that can often be better than the italian (and _much_ cheaper too).

Well, that was for the gastronomic point of view... :-)

Re:Welcome to... (1)

curious.corn (167387) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011546)

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 they rip you off!

Re:Welcome to... (2, Interesting)

DavidNWelton (142216) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011913)

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 he had no degree yet, nothing doing, it was not possible.

Your best bet is to come spend some time and see if you can find a job, because no one is going to hire you from afar. Then you will have to go back to the US and wait months for your permit.

In reality, where does this leave you? You need to just live here illegally and be done with it. Italy has so many laws on the books that no one really pays attention to them anymore. Heck, the prime minister is on trial for bribing judges and people still vote for him.

The big, big *however* is that you wouldn't get so bitter if it were not such a wonderful place. In some ways it's so much nicer than in the US. I went out for a drink with my friends this evening. No being carded (how stupid is that - you have to be 21 to drink a glass of alcohol, even though you can go to iraq and drive a tank at 18?!), not having any problems being in the piazza with a glass of alcohol. And there is a stunning variety - we went up to Bolzano for their 'Linux Day' last weekend, up in the middle of the stunningly beautiful dolomites. Then you have Rome, Florence, Venice (I live a half hour from Venice), and so many beautiful small towns that are what I really prefer to the large tourist centers.

Anyway... I don't know. Spain is doing better than Italy right now. Its politicians are more credible, and seem serious about fixing problems rather than just bickering. The food isn't as good as in Italy, but it's still a beautiful country as well, and who knows, maybe they treat foreigners less like dirt - "" is right that even renting an appartment will be difficult. Many people don't want to rent to a 'suspicious' foreigner, or really even people from another region of Italy.

On the other hand, I wouldn't complain if I didn't love it, I would just leave. But my life is here, including my fiancee`...

Been There, Done That (4, Insightful)

Ed Almos (584864) | more than 9 years ago | (#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

Re:Been There, Done That (3, Insightful)

Naikrovek (667) | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

Re:Been There, Done That (1, Flamebait)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010029)

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 not to run off at the mouth with a political rant about the biased U.S. media (FWIW, I agree with you that they're liberally biased).

Re:Been There, Done That (1)

uyguremre (664199) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010215)

If you are a US citizen yes you set US government policy. You have right to vote, you have right to orginise or attend public demonstration, you have right to encourage any other citisen to vote for your choice etc. Exercising or ignoring these rights leads to the same result: YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR GOVERNMENTS POLICY!

Re:Been There, Done That (1)

Kevin Stevens (227724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010573)

If you are going to nail me as responsible for all of my government's policies, then you are essentially saying that every citizen votes in exactly the same way. Last I remember 49% of America voted against Bush and thus his policies. An exercised right to vote does not mean that policies that I favor or support get enacted.

A little off the track, but- couldn't it also be said that citizens in dictatorships have the ability to revolt? And their lack of revolting is essentially an acceptance of the dictatorship and its policies?

Re:Been There, Done That (1)

uyguremre (664199) | more than 9 years ago | (#11012110)

couldn't it also be said that citizens in dictatorships have the ability to revolt? And their lack of revolting is essentially an acceptance of the dictatorship and its policies?
yes thats exactly what i mean, here is a quote(attributed to Einstein) : The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it

Re:Been There, Done That (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11014243)

sounds like he's talking about the nitwits who would have rather let Saddam off the hook.

Re:Been There, Done That (1)

gcaseye6677 (694805) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010676)

Tell you what, bud, from now on I as a US citizen will set better policies, kay? What do you want me to change, debt relief, foreign aid, military? Want me to pull us out of Iraq? Just say it and I'll do it.

Re:Been There, Done That (1)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010756)

Tell that to the Germans.

You walked right into that one, didn't you?


Re:Been There, Done That (1)

drix (4602) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010727)

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 than they were, and made no effort to hide it.

In general, if you are living abroad you are very much selected-for in terms of being more enlightened and worldwise (read: liberal) than Joe Redstate. Estimates on how many Americans even hold a passport are all over the place [] , but suffice it to say it's a teeny fraction of the overall population. Those who do, in my experience, tend to be--politically--very skewed away from mainstream America and are a lot more in line with European/Asian/Latin American/everywhere else values.

Re:Been There, Done That (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11011813)

I guess I'm you're exception to the rule. I have a passport, traveled to EU-land, and I'm right of mainstream America.

Re:Been There, Done That (1, Troll)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11012936)

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.

Re:Been There, Done That (1)

drix (4602) | more than 9 years ago | (#11013576)

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?

Re:Been There, Done That (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11014221)

So if there aren't lots of white people in Europe anymore, WTF is the point of visiting it? If it's already slid into becoming a 3rd world cesspool, it should be neutron-bombed out of it's misery and for the respect of those countless generations that fought to keep Muslims out. I guess they never thought their descendants would roll over and willingly get fucked in the ass by Arabs and Africans.

Re:Been There, Done That (1)

stanwirth (621074) | more than 9 years ago | (#11012252)


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 American" that makes us "prone" do "doing things like that."

In other words, people abroad can be just as bigoted, pig-headed and fundamentally stupid as Americans are thought to be. In fact, I think they're just projecting their own stupidity and bigotry on americans -- unfairly.

Re:Been There, Done That (2, Funny)

Uncle Jimmy (253443) | more than 9 years ago | (#11013872)

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.

Re:Been There, Done That (0, Flamebait)

stevejsmith (614145) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010148)

You're full of shit.

For one, non-Western Europeans LOVE Americans. Hungarians in particular. And not only do they love Americans, but they love having someone on which to practice their English (and most are quite good).

For two, I don't know in what cracked out fantasy you're living, but I'm thinkin' that living conditions in the US > living conditions in Eastern Europe.

Re:Been There, Done That (2, Interesting)

golgotha007 (62687) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010824)

I think it really depends on the type of person in question.

I moved to Saint Petersburg, Russia from Santa Barbara, CA two years ago.
I get all kinds of different reactions from the locals here. I've had people throw beer bottles at me on the street. I've had people hear me speaking english and just want to meet me. I would say the reactions are more favorable than non so it's not too bad.

Keep in mind you'll miss some stuff when going overseas, food in particular. God, I miss Ranch dressing, peanut butter, good barbecue sauce, good sushi. However, some thing make up for it, like unlimited cheap pirated software (sold on every street corner), 25 cent bottles of beer, 70 cent packs of Marlboros and beautiful THIN women.

Here's a little bit more of my story if you're interested.
I started a business with a few Russian guys. Basically, we setup a fiber internet connection in a large apartment building. From there, we run our own fiber to the neighboring apartment buildings and run twisted pair to everyone's apartment who wants service.
I set up a custom linux firewall that also does billing and traffic accounting. Currently, we have 200+ customers and we're just getting started. The only thing holding us back is funding; for now we're just sinking all of our profits back into the company.

Broadband is either incredibly hard to find here in the city suburbs or extremely expensive.
We're the only game in town and there is no end in sight for our growth.

Our website []

To those of you thinking about moving overseas to work, I suggest you grab a round trip airfare and a backpack and fully investigate before making any commitments (plus, you'll have a great time).

Re:Been There, Done That (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11011886)

Hell, you just have to move from Santa Barbara to Bakersfield to get beer bottles thrown at ya.

Re:Been There, Done That (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011103)

Well Americans love working European companies in Europe. The concept of like 60 holidays a year is insane. U.S companies typically have about 8 holidays a year, less than anywhere else on the planet.

Re:Been There, Done That (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011756)

no, sorry.
some like us-americans, many of us are at most neutral.

face it, the image of us-americans is quite bad.
and living conditions in eastern europe can be great, if you can afford it.

Re:Been There, Done That (4, Funny)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 9 years ago | (#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 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11014169)

Better living conditions? You must have been either living in a ghetto or a Mississippi trailer park. One of my sisters spent over a year living in western Europe and the conditions weren't better than home although she did mention that most of the physicians at the hospital where she worked commented that Americans work too hard and too much.

I won't give up daily showers. After two days w/o a shower, I itch and can't stand myself.

Nope that is the problem (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 9 years ago | (#11014213)

"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 control towers in English even a French pilot talking to a French air traffic controller speaks English. All programmers program in English. Even Pascal which was written by Wirth is basicly in English. You see a huge number of American movies and TV imported to every country in the world. For better of for worse the world pretty much does revolve around the US.

try like hell to get hired by a US company (4, Interesting)

avi33 (116048) | more than 9 years ago | (#11009505)

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.

Re:try like hell to get hired by a US company (2, Informative)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010198)

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 decide that you want to do, and get a plane ticket. Not saying it can't happen, but Asia is far more accepting of, ahem, "pedestrian" types such as myself.

Re:try like hell to get hired by a US company (1)

curious.corn (167387) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010654)

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 stages, maybe renewable... you're better off filing for something in a multinational and ask for an abroad mission...

Nonsense. (1)

jotaeleemeese (303437) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010912)

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 absolutely ludicrous. They have one lingua franca which is obviously Mandarin Chinese. But they have many other tongues. Not dialects, but languages on their own right, completely uninteligible in respect to Mandarin.

So frankly your perceived Asian monolingualism is more likely down to the fact that you have been working in one of the few monolingual countries in the world and that you only go to Hong Kong for bussines :-P

As for Japan being a large country, well, I don't know what you are smoking, Japan may be densily populated, but in terms of territory is not disimliar to Germany (slightly bigger) or France (smaller).

I have got the feeling that you are talking more from the point of view of your prejudices thatn from a dispasionate comparison.

Back in Europe, you can work all around the place if you speak English. If you speak German or French you literally have conquered half the continent.

Re:Nonsense. (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11012918)

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.

Re:try like hell to get hired by a US company (2, Informative)

El Cabri (13930) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010549)

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 US while living abroad for example), as well as retirement planning vary.

Military (1)

Mork29 (682855) | more than 9 years ago | (#11009511)

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 GREAT retirement package are other perks. Oh, and your employer will never go under (or so I hope). You can e-mail me and I'd be willing to set you up with more details and job searches. If you have any windows, HP-UX or SCO experience, you're in demand.

SCO in the Military (1)

crimethinker (721591) | more than 9 years ago | (#11009588)

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:SCO in the Military (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11014277)

Sadly, old-SCO did have a little-known secure version of its Open Desktop ("Open Deathtrap" as we dubbed it) 3.0 product known as CompartMentalized Workstation 3.0 ("CMW+ 3.0"). It was *designed* for then-Orange book B1 level security by Secureware, Inc. and required an extensive rework of the OS. I don't think it ever received actual B1 certification. IIRC, the Army was one of the big users (not surprising). You could only copy 'n paste one direction (not from a Secret window to an unclassified window), you had to raise the privledge of inodes for backups, etc. Not very fun.

Google will be about the only place you'll find references to it these days; I last used it in 1993/1994 or so.

- A former SCO kernel engineer who has much to say when the time is right.

Re:Military (3, Informative)

ChiefArcher (1753) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010007)

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.


Employment Agency is your best bet (4, Interesting)

lashi (822466) | more than 9 years ago | (#11009634)

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!

Corruption is your friend (0, Flamebait)

b-baggins (610215) | more than 9 years ago | (#11009659)

European nations are notoriously corrupt. Find an official to bribe.

Did It in NL (2, Insightful)

citmanual (2002) | more than 9 years ago | (#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.

Look at local customs (1)

AltaMannen (568693) | more than 9 years ago | (#11009821)

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-worker-to-job-ratio in the EU than the US. Many companies will not consider employing people that are not fully fluent in the native language, northern Europe tends to have high requirements on your accent as well.

Europe is not a country (2, Insightful)

rjw57 (532004) | more than 9 years ago | (#11009829)

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.

Re:Europe is not a country (2, Interesting)

Wudbaer (48473) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010001)

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). What can happen is that people want to discuss with you US foreign policies, but normally this also happens in a non-aggressive manner as long as both sides are not completely drunk.

Another advantage in Germany is that at least in the bigger cities and in larger companies people speak reasonably well English, at least in contrast to most South European countries and France.

Re:Europe is not a country (1)

stevejsmith (614145) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010190)

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.

Re:Europe is not a country (3, Interesting)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010889)

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.

Moot point. (1)

jotaeleemeese (303437) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011062)

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 and language that make them very similar to each other.

Your rampant anti-US sentiment is a myth. As long as some people keep equating George Bush with the US (as you seem to be sadly doing) there will be the posibility to claim rampant anti-US sentiment exists.

I have not seen US people beaten, hassled, harrased or discriminated in Europe, in the contrary, they are always welcomed because the people of Europe are not parochial, have very good memories and are in general grateful. Some US politicians lack all these, so it is unsurprising that those politicians and the people that pander their message feel presecuted by the free and informed European people and intelectuals.

Re:Europe is not a country (2, Insightful)

guile*fr (515485) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011317)

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.

Re:Europe is not a country (1)

anticypher (48312) | more than 9 years ago | (#11013440)

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 on over here. Sure there were some anti-war demonstrations last year, but that was about it. There is some anti-bushism going on, but we like americans, even the ones from red states (we'll speak slowly for you if you're from a red state :-) But if you are mindlessly repeating what Fox news spews at you, then you clearly have a very warped sense of reality.

If the OP truly has lots of experience in a niche high-tech market, he'll be able to find a job over here with no problem. Companies here are always looking for experienced workers, because they are overwhelmed by newbies with only 1-2 years of java or VB. The breadth of knowledge most american tech workers have (because they lose their job every 6 months and have to start anew) is attractive to some European employers.

A troll, or perhaps just an ignorant american. Hard to discerne from this distance.

the AC

Unless the OP is from Chicago or Minnesota, you don't want to be pointing him at eastern european countries right about now

Re:Europe is not a country (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11014271)

What's wrong with Chicago or Minnesota? BTW, red-staters can talk fast too, especially if they have lived around Mexicans for any length of time.

How about her parents? (1)

La Camiseta (59684) | more than 9 years ago | (#11009957)

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 number forms was bad here in the US!)

Re:How about her parents? (1)

NullProg (70833) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010649)

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.


That may no longer be the case. (1)

jotaeleemeese (303437) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011116)

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.

Re:That may no longer be the case. (2, Insightful)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011816)

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.

South of France... (1)

dmayle (200765) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010004)

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 fears of how tough the French government would be, but it turned out to be so much easier than anyone expected.

I almost think that all the fears of Visa sponsorship or more fear than reality, so you might want to convince your prospective employers to just give it a try, as the cost to apply is often very little (100 - 150 Euros usually).

Some things to remember when coming over: Start learning your new language now. It's hard enough starting over in a new environment, the language barrier makes it even tougher. Expect to deal with some anti-American hostility, (but realize it's a broad projection, and not targeted at you specifically). Prepare yourself for new experiences, and try to embrace, rather than reject, things that are unfamiliar.

And finally, above all else, remember this. You'll be in a foreign country, speaking a new language, and you'll finally get to be that exotic foreign type who comes to the company and speaks with a sexy accent... ;)

Re:South of France... (1)

bondjamesbond (99019) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010371)

Sadly, it came to mind that being an "exotic" in another country might bring about a higher amount of "play" compared to what the cold, expensive American girls will give. Is that true?

With apologies to John Cleese... (1)

reclusivemonkey (703154) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010094)

...don't mention the war (on terror).

Re:With apologies to John Cleese... (1)

Eccles (932) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011383)

I did once, but I think I got away with it.

If you can get sponsorship - easy (1)

BSDevil (301159) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010142)

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) worker is a pretty good deal. You get NHS coverage, a decent tax system, and (if you're Commonwealth) the ability to vote in UK and EU elections. You're also only tied to your job for four years. After that, you become a permenant resident (technically, your passport stamp changes from "Leave to Enter to Complete Previous Leave 3(3)(c)" to a "Permenant Leave to Enter"), meaning that you only have to have a job somewhere, as opposed to where you worked to get the visa in the first place. After two years of that, you're eligible for citizenship, which is only really a paperwork battle - the theory being if you've managed six years straight of being gainfully employed in the country, you've probably got enough contacts to keep you employed, and hence, you're good bet to them.

Wrong country sorry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11010182)

I hear they mostly only accept workers and immigrants from middle eastern countries.

Anti-Americanism is bullshit (0)

stevejsmith (614145) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010228)

I've been reading this form and I'm seeing something over and over that just drives me crazy. It makes it so painfully obvious that most Slashdotters know next to nothing about Europe.

The truth of the matter is that with the exception of really wealthy European nations (Scandinavian, German, France, Switzerland, Benelux), most Europeans LOVE Americans. Non-EU countries especially. The poorer the country, the higher view of Americans they have. I mean, it's amazing how much Romanians love America. Disturbing, but amazing.

Re:Anti-Americanism is bullshit (2, Informative)

jupitercore (126048) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010593)

I can confirm that this point of view is the polar opposite of the Hungarian Consulate in Vienna. I had to go around her and go straight to the top to get my Work Visa issued which was already confirmed to be accepted back in Budapest (I just needed to go through the proper channel to have it issued) because:

"I'm sick and tired of all these god damned Americans trying to do whatever they can to get themselves into my country!"

6+ hours later, talking to the Vice Ambassador and Ambassador via phone, we got an apology and the paperwork.

Also, it's not all pretty roses in general. Many people give you weird looks if you just look American and will have fevered attitude because of it, without saying a word. Granted, there are times that your statemnet might be correct, but please - don't count it as bullshit when it does actually happen.

Re:Anti-Americanism is bullshit (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010852)

I live 1 hour and 30 minutes from Budapest, the grandparent is full of shit

And the countries you mention... (1)

jotaeleemeese (303437) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011178)

... do not hate them.

They are justifiable skeptical of the bull in the glass shop.

In any case they treat everybody with a certain desdain, which is not in purpose: they treat each other liket that aw well!

How to find work in the EU? (1)

nosferatu-man (13652) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010315)

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.)

Re:How to find work in the EU? (1)

isj (453011) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011805)

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.

dual citizenship (1)

VirtualUK (121855) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010378)

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 would be to get yourself in the country with her. Just because you're married doesn't give you automatic rights to work in the EU if your spouse is born there. Granted it is easier than just trying to get a visa over there if you haveno connections, as your wife can be your sponsor for your visa application, but visa applications do take quite a while. I know that at the moment for the UK visa applications are taking about 12-15 months to complete (unless you're David Blunkett ;) ).

Re:dual citizenship (1)

Larry Lightbulb (781175) | more than 9 years ago | (#11012013)

Actually America does require you to renounce any other citizenship as part of getting American citizenship. But the other countries (mostly) don't recognise you've done so unless you complete their paperwork as well.

It's not an easy task. (4, Informative)

jupitercore (126048) | more than 9 years ago | (#11010483)

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.

Canadians should look into Working-Holiday Visa (1)

lashi (822466) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011368)

Someone asked about whether being Canadian helps to get work in EU. If you are Canadian and under age of 28, you should look into something called a Working-holiday or Holiday-maker Visa for going to UK.

You don't need a job offer to apply for it, nor do you need anyone to sponsor. You just have to prove you have some money to sustain you while you are there.

The idea is for you to go to UK for an extended visit of up to 2 years. You can work during that 2 years but not more than 50% of the time.

The process is simple and cheap. see

that's not the governement site BTW, so ask your UK embassy about it.

For anyone who wants to go to Canada. There is a similar VISA for citizens of these coutries:

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Republic of Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden and United Kingdom. See tm

in general, these two sites are good

Ok, enough Karma whoring for me.

Ttry the Netherlands (1)

Khalid (31037) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011377)

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

Re:Ttry the Netherlands (1)

anticypher (48312) | more than 9 years ago | (#11012547)

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 their money shipping it back and forth across the atlantic. They only pay US taxes, and have no social benefits or health care over here. Others have either married a French citizen or got sponsored through some other channels and are in the healthcare sytem.

The language barrier is the same in Portugal. If you try to get a job/visa there, you must be able to navigate the entire beauracracy in fluent Portugese. They are having a small telecoms boom right now, but the employers will require near perfect fluency in the local language because all their meetings and memos are in Portugese.

Beware, as an american you have to pay income tax based on your citizenship, not on the location of where you earned your money. If you get into a high paying job which doesn't require a visa, you will probably have to pay your 40% american taxes, as well as your 30%-60% local taxes and withholdings. That can leave very little left over at the end of the year. The only good thing about president bush, he raised the limit before americans have to pay taxes, but you'll have to google that number yourself.

the AC

Italy (1)

rluberti (631456) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011864)

if you think about Italy, you need to speak italian ..... also consider that salaries are much lower than USA and cost of living much higher...BUT money.. it's a much better place to live for sure!!!

Oublie ça. (1)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 9 years ago | (#11011971)

Les amerloks sont trop cons, alors pas de danger que les européens les engagent même pour ramasser les ordures...

I'm in Spain Now (3, Interesting)

Inexile2002 (540368) | more than 9 years ago | (#11012696)

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.

Be prepared for Bush bashing (2, Insightful)

Inexile2002 (540368) | more than 9 years ago | (#11012793)

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.

In person, and a couple of round trips (1)

anticypher (48312) | more than 9 years ago | (#11012907)

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 meeting them in person, you show you are already established in the area, so they will not have relocation costs. You need to network, and the best way to do that is to make friends in bars, churches, and other social scenes, then ask around for contacts. Everyone has a cousin or ex-girlfriend who is a web designer or knows word processing (which in reality is a network engineer or a coder). Meet them, buy them beers, let them know you are looking for job leads.

Plan on spending a few months "as a backpacker", because its illegal to come over and just start looking for work on a tourist visa (same as going to the US and then getting a job). So make sure you have two trips planned, and money put aside to survive the first few months of being a non-working tourist. In the spare time when you aren't networking, take language classes to get up to fluency.

As soon as you get out of the airport, you can settle down in a rented apartment and start your networking. But if you accept a job with a company, let them know you have to return to the US for a couple of weeks, and get the job contract in writing before you leave.

When you return to the US with a job offer from a company, it will make getting the visa application so much easier. Allow a few weeks of bureaucracy through the embassy/consulate, and when you next enter the country you'll have a valid visa for working. It also allows you to bring back a ton more luggage for you and your wife.

I'd also suggest, if you have a quite specialised skill, of doing the independant contactor route. Fixed term contract, specific project plan, specific termination date. In much of europe, it is much harder to hire and fire permanent workers. Orders of magnitude more difficult in places like France and Germany. But contractors are loved by high-tech places with specific projects. They know you won't stick around on their payroll at the end, forcing them to find another similar job for you. Use your time in each job networking for your next job, it takes a lot longer over here than in the US to pick up a new contract.

As a fall back plan, create a one person company in the US (or better yet, Quebec for francophone countries) and bill through that. You'll be outside the social net of the local country, and miss out on many of the benefits, but its a way to avoid all kinds of visa questions if you can't get a residency permit.

the AC

Any hints for doing the same thing in Germany (1)

invisintl (705369) | more than 9 years ago | (#11013248)

I'm interested in doing basically the same thing as this guy, but in Germany. I will get my MS in Electrical Engineering very soon. I speak German, but it's admittedly a little rusty.

My problem seems two-fold: I want an entry-level job, and I've had trouble finding opportunities on par with the US.

Can anyone who has been through this offer some suggestions?
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