I'm applying to open vacancies in other countries and have been through several hiring processes by now where at some point I'm asked whether I have a work permission in that country. If I don't I simply tell them that I would need a visa sponsorship, but at that point all communication usually stops. Some reply back with a rejection, most don't reply at all.

now my country has agreements with some of these countries where I can get a work permit as a contractor or sub-contractor. This involves considerably more effort on my part (establishing a business plan, having proof of sufficient savings, ...) but it's something I'm willing to do if the company doesn't want to sponsor a visa.

So if I'm asked about my right to work in another country in future, is it appropriate to answer with something like: “I don’t have but If we can get through the terms and have an agreement on the vacancy, I can work as a contractor or sub-contractor. Other than this, I will need a visa sponsorship.”

  • "Surely this is a harder way to do so." I assume you mean "easier"?
    – Lilienthal
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 8:58
  • Are you absolutely sure you can legally work (on-site?) as a contractor without the hiring company (or "client") having to jump through legal hoops? And without risk that you're intentionally misclassifying yourself as a contractor to dodge migration laws? And I assume that's what you're really asking here, i.e. how to reply "I would need a visa sponsorship to be hired as a classic employee but am able to work as a contractor without any action on your part."?
    – Lilienthal
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 8:58
  • Actually no,it is harder because you have to deal with a lot of paper work, you need a solid business plan,and they would like you to have at least 1 year saved money to survive. On the other hand, if the company will be a sponsor for you, you deal with nothing. every paperwork will be done by them. so this is much easy.Yes, actually this is not a legal hoop, there are people who does this so no problem about that. The question is, i don't want to confuse the recruiters about an international agreement issues. But if don't and if they will not be a sponsor i simply miss a possible opportunity. Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 10:37
  • But to be clear you're open to either option to work for these companies? And while the contractor option is much more complex for you, it means that the hiring company wouldn't have to waste time and effort on a visa sponsorship?
    – Lilienthal
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 11:34
  • That is correct. The reason i get confused it this point. ıf i just say i have no permit, opportunities will probably drift. Mentioning about EU-work permits as a constructor might confuse them, that i don't know. As a note, as a constructor, ı have to deal and prepare new papers for every year. Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 12:09

2 Answers 2


Yes, this would be appropriate. I'd suggest wording it as some varaition of the following:

I'm not currently allowed to work as an employee in [country] and the company would need to sponsor my [visa / work permit] if they wanted to hire me directly. While I would prefer that arrangement if possible, it would also be possible for them to engage me as a contractor instead, in which case I wouldn't need a work permit as I can legally work in [country] as a contractor based on [agreement / law].

The big question, and one I can't answer, is whether your analysis of the relevant laws is correct as there are usually restrictions on the type of work that contractors can do, not all work arrangements might qualify for contractor status, some professions are excluded when it comes to relaxed visa / work permit requirements, and so on. You'd have to be completely sure that what you're proposing is fully above board. But if it is it would be fine to suggest this as an alternative.

  • The flags you raised are spot on Lilienthal. So i i have already asked this "possible legal" issue to a consultancy company that deals with such work permits across EU. So i will edit this when i get the proper answer. Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 12:48
  • So sadly, you are right. As i learn from a work permit visa specialist, i can't be an employee, i need to invest and open a business, and than i can have the rights to work, but as a boss, my own business. All these now seems pointless. Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 13:30
  • @fraudfighter As a general note, what you're looking into might be (more) appropriate on Expatriates.
    – Lilienthal
    Commented Jul 25, 2017 at 13:38

...is it fair or appropriate to answer like, “I don’t have but If we can get through the terms and have an agreement on the vacancy, I can work as a contractor or sub-contractor. Other than this, I will need a visa sponsorship.”

I see nothing wring with that. As long as you're certain that you're legally able to work in the country you're applying for as a contractor, then that should be no problem.

It may be better use of your time to look primarily for jobs that offer Visa Sponsorship - StackOverflow has listings for tech jobs that offer this so they do exist.

If you're talking to a recruiter about a job that isn't specifically listed as offering Visa Sponsorship - it's going to be better for you to make this clear at the beginning of the conversation to avoid wasting your time.

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