The EU Seasonal Workers Directive is complementary to the EU Blue Card, in the sense that both permits are issued to foreign nationals entering the EU with the purpose of employment, and they can both be obtained through a single permit procedure.

However, the nature of the two permits is different because the EU Blue Card is issued to highly qualified workers, whereas seasonal workers do not need university qualifications. Non-EU seasonal workers mostly work in the sectors of agriculture, horticulture, and tourism.

How to apply for an EU permit for Seasonal Worker?

When you want to apply for a seasonal work permit in the EU, it is up to the individual member State to decide whether you have to make the application yourself, or whether your employer has to apply on your behalf.

  • Apply yourself. If you are going to apply for a seasonal work permit in the EU yourself, you have to apply at the Embassy or Consulate of the country in which you want to work. So, if you want to work in Germany, you have to apply at the Embassy or Consulate of Germany in your country or the country nearest to you.
    • Find seasonal work in an EU State
    • Contact the Embassy/Consulate to make an appointment
    • Collect the required documents
    • Submit the documents and application
    • Pay the application fee (depending on the country)
    • Wait for the application to be processed. If approved, you can travel to the EU state to work.
  • Your employer applies. If your employer has to apply for the seasonal work permit, they have to apply at the relevant Immigration/Foreigner’s Center in the EU state. They must do so while you are still abroad.

The exact application procedure changes depending on the EU State where you want to work.

Remember: When it comes to seasonal workers and EU Blue Cards (highly-skilled workers, researchers), you do not need to apply for a work permit and residence permit separately. You can get them both via the same procedure, known as the Single Permit.

What are the application requirements for Seasonal Workers in the EU?

When applying for a seasonal work permit in the EU, you have to submit several documents to support your application:

  • Completed application form.
  • Your passport. Which must be valid beyond the time you intend to depart the EU
  • Photocopies of the relevant pages of your passport (personal information page and previous visas).
  • Two passport-size pictures, in line with ICAO standards.
  • Your work contract or job offer. The document has to state the duration of the work contract/offer and your salary.
  • Proof you have obtained EU health insurance.
  • Proof you can financially sustain yourself during your stay.
  • Letter from your employer. The employer hiring you has to write a letter, declaring they are responsible to reimburse any costs if you overstay and to prove that the position could not have been filled by an EU national.
  • Proof you are not a threat to the public policy, security or health of the hosting State. As such, you have to provide the following:
    • Police clearance certificate
    • Health certificate
  • Proof you have paid the application fee (depending on the country)
  • Any other documents that the State’s relevant immigration authorities require.

What is the duration of the seasonal work permit in the EU?

The duration of the seasonal work permit in the EU changes depending on the type of work you will do. You may only need to work for two months or up to nine months. However, a seasonal work permit is not issued for longer than nine months within a period of 12 months.

Can you extend a seasonal work permit?

You can apply for an extension or renewal of your seasonal work permit while you are in the EU only if you do not surpass the nine months out of a year that you are allowed to

Can foreign seasonal workers apply for family reunification?

No, seasonal workers are not allowed to apply for family reunification, despite the fact they will often work in the EU for months at a time.

Can foreign seasonal workers in the EU change employers?

Seasonal workers hired in an EU state can change employers once for the duration that their permit has been issued. That’s because the conditions offered to seasonal workers can be tough at times, and therefore a foreign worker should have the possibility of changing employment is he or she is not satisfied with the conditions provided.

Can foreign seasonal workers travel to other EU states?

No, if you have a seasonal work single permit, you are not allowed to travel, to work, or to move to other states in the EU. You can only work within the state that has issued your permit.

However, the seasonal worker permit is a multiple-entry permit, so you can travel back and forth between your home country and the EU state in which you are working.

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