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EU Member States Offering Seasonal Work for Third-Country Nationals

27.03.23 22:00
All nationals from third countries, who are legally staying in the EU for a temporary period and whose stay is work-related, are eligible for seasonal work permits. Some of the most common work that temporary workers can engage in under such permits include farming, agriculture, fruit picking, catering, hotel, hospitality, summer camps, ski resorts, as well as babysitting.

Here are all EU countries that offer seasonal employment, including work conditions and sectors where seasonal workers are wanted, as selected by SchengenVisaInfo.com.


Seasonal workers must have an Employee visa, which, in addition to covering seasonal work activities, is also issued for highly skilled workers.

In order to obtain seasonal employment in Spain, workers are required to obtain:

A work and residence permit, which the employer must obtain from official departments of labour and once the work permit has been authorised, the residence permit can also be issued by responsible authorities; 

A work and residence visa has to be granted after obtaining a work permit and it allows the holder to enter Spain for work purposes.
Permits have a validity duration of nine months and are usually valid for as long as the work contract is valid. Seasonal workers can have their permit extended, as long as it remains within a nine-month period.

Some of the most common sectors where seasonal workers are needed in Spain include tourism and hospitality, especially during the summertime, agriculture in harvesting crops for olives, grapes and citrus fruits, language teaching, sales in popular tourist destinations as well as the entertainment industry, all related to tourism.

Most often Spain recruits seasonal workers from countries it has bilateral agreements with.


Seasonal workers need a work permit, and if one is issued for a period of fewer than three months, a visa should be obtained. On the other hand, if the work permit is valid for more than three months, a long-stay visa should be obtained. Once seasonal workers have been granted the visa based on their work permit validity, they will have to apply for a temporary residence permit, in order to make their stay in France legal.

Seasonal workers in France can engage in different work activities, mainly focused on tourism, during both summer and winter, as well as agriculture, sales, campsites as well as ski resorts.


Similarly to other EU countries, seasonal workers in Germany have to obtain a work permit as well as a residence permit in order to work in Germany and to legalise their stay in the country during a certain period of time.

The sectors where seasonal employment is the most required in Germany include agriculture, hotels, restaurants, cafes and other tourism-related activities, as well as festivals and events. In addition, Germany has a well-developed winter tourism industry, with its Christmas Markets having many work opportunities for seasonal workers.


Employers of seasonal workers in Italy have to apply for authorisation to work, and once it has been granted, a visa, which is valid to use for six months, will be issued. During this period, the authorisation to work is released which is necessary to obtain the entry visa.

In addition to the visa, seasonal workers have to apply for a residence permit within eight days of arriving in the country. Residence permits can be valid for up to nine months, depending on the duration validity of the work authorisation.

Tourism-related jobs, as well as those in agriculture and entertainment, are most frequently offered to seasonal workers, with these jobs mainly being focused during the summer and fall months.


As the Portuguese government shows, seasonal employment is available in several sectors such as agriculture, livestock, fishing, hunting as well as forestry; hospitality as tourism is highly sought out in the country; food industry, retail commerce as well as construction and transport.

Seasonal workers in Portugal are required to secure a work contract in the country before arriving there, in addition to obtaining a short-stay visa or, more often, a temporary stay visa which is valid for up to nine months in a period of 12 months that shouldn’t be extended.

EU Countries With Fewer Seasonal Work Positions

Although the majority of EU countries offer seasonal jobs, and many of them are in need of seasonal workers, some countries have fewer positions available for these workers, mainly due to the industries those countries are focused on. Luxembourg is one of them since the country isn’t tourism-oriented. On the other hand, Belgium does have a tourism industry but it isn’t as developed as in other countries, indicating that fewer seasonal jobs are available, with this being the same case for Ireland, too.

Austria and Finland can offer seasonal jobs for workers but those are mainly in the winter season, as the country is more popular as a winter destination.

How to Become a Seasonal Worker in the EU?

Rules for seasonal employment can vary between countries but in general, they remain similar. As a rule of thumb, in order to become a seasonal worker, one needs to find seasonal work in an EU country, which can be done by contacting embassies and collecting the required documentation to complete the application.

Documents required to apply for a seasonal job include the Seasonal Worker Permit Application Form, a valid passport with at least two blank pages, in addition to passport pages photocopies and two passport-sized pictures.

Furthermore, the applicant must provide the work contract or job offer, which includes salary, duration of employment as well as the position. In addition, health insurance, financial proof that the applicant can support themselves during the stay in the EU, as well as a letter from the employer declaring they are responsible for compensation and costs if they overstay and that the position could not be filled by an EU citizen.

The application for seasonal employment is finalised by also providing a police certificate that the applicant doesn’t have a criminal record, as well as paying the application fee, which depends on the country.

The respective authorities will notify the applicant whether their application has been accepted or denied within 90 days from the date of application, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

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