IT prospects in English-speaking European countries
February 4, 2005 6:49 PM   Subscribe

Similar to this question, how are the IT job prospects in english speaking European countries for unfortunate souls that have not been blessed with dual-citizenship? [+]

I asked this in the previous question, but I'm not sure if it was the either the right spot, or that, given the age of the question, I'll even get a response.

Anyway, I am really, really unhappy in my current job but the pay is decent and I am unable to get around the comfort aspect in order to explore different possibilities and/or opportunities. I have always wanted to travel/visit Europe and my reasoning is that if I can land a different job there I will be more inclined to ditch my current job and finally get off my lazy ass and experience life outside of North America.

So, any help and advice would be appreciated. Based on some recommendations from friends, I have been told that some of the best areas to look might be Edinburgh and Glasgow, but neither recommendation had anything to do with IT job prospects, they just sound like fun places to live.
posted by purephase to Work & Money (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It is very hard to get a good job in Europe without papers. I'm married to a European, but even getting a job outside of the country I was legally able to work in proved difficult.

Salaries tend to be lower in Europe (but with much better benefits). Unemployment tends to be higher. So you have to be more flexible, just try to get your foot in the door at a company you don't mind working for.

Over all, finding a legit job in Europe without the paperwork already is a real challenge but not impossible. Set your mind to it and it can be done.

The US needs to start demanding quid pro quo immigration treaties.
posted by McGuillicuddy at 7:08 PM on February 4, 2005

I should have added that I'm Canadian, not American. I am not sure if that makes any difference given the circumstances, but I thought I'd mention it.
posted by purephase at 7:33 PM on February 4, 2005

"english speaking European countries" - that would be restricted to the UK and Ireland, I suppose? I've looked into this a little bit. It's a tough thing to do. Often it's a bit of a Catch-22: European companies won't consider you unless you have a work visa, but most EU Members require that you have a company willing to sponsor you in order to get a work visa. If you have a very sought-after skill set, such as, say, advanced .NET programming in conjunction with experience writing applications for very specific MIS software a company is using, they may be willing to sponsor you. The UK rules boil down to not being able to find any available and suitable UK citizens who can do the work.
There are a few ways to make it easier. Some firms may be more willing to hire you on contract. The shorter the contract, the less restrictive the requirements for a visa are (though there are still restrictions.) You won't qualify for unemployment benefits, by the way, which are restricted to citizens and EU visiting workers meeting certain residency requirements.
Another good tactic is to try and get hired by a big US (or Canadian) company that has European operations. You can go that route and bypass most restrictions. And once you are actually living and working there, it makes it a lot easier if you decide to stay longer or pursue a job with a European firm.
You may have a slightly easier time being Canadian rather than from the US. I know that Canadian and Australian students have an easier time getting UK study/work visas, for instance - I guess perhaps it has something to do with still being kind of under the umbrella of the Crown.
posted by sixdifferentways at 10:22 PM on February 4, 2005

I've looked into this; you should google up some information on the UK's 'Highly Skilled Migrant Worker' visa. If you have a degree and/or senior-level (senior sysadmin, senior whatever) type IT experience, you would probably qualify.

The nice thing (as I understand it) about this visa is that once you've got it, you're not restricted by sponsors or anything like that; you can apply for any job in the UK you want and be considered on the same level with UK citizens.
posted by AaronRaphael at 11:32 PM on February 4, 2005

Canadians also have an easier time getting work in the Netherlands. And minimum wage there is somewhere around 1300-1400 Euro a month (~2100 Canadian).

Check out Expatica for more information, bulletin boards, etc.
posted by Jairus at 12:02 AM on February 5, 2005

The Highly Skilled Migrant Programme is one of the best work visas anywhere. It allows you to live and work freely and is an easy path to permanent residence. They recently (last year) dropped the number of points you needed, especially if you're under 28.

Check if you get enough points
to see if you qualify, but there is a much longer time lag now (26 weeks!) than when a friend of mine applied. And they do require lots and lots of original documentation.

I also recommend going through a visa firm. The good ones are on no-visa-no-fee, so if they think you won't get it, they won't take the case. Cost was around GBP1000
posted by quiet at 2:14 AM on February 5, 2005

« Older How do I set up a Linux server to receive and...   |   Which manufacturers make well-built home theater... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.