COMPLIANCE CORNER – Travel to Host Country During Work Permit Processing

September 22, 2023

One consideration that is important to take into account when preparing for an international move is whether or not the applicant for a work permit or work visa can travel to the future host country while their application is in process. The answer to this question varies by country.

Although sometimes allowed, generally it is advisable not to travel for business to the host country, especially for meetings at the future hosting entity; the inspectorate could at time of an inspection (mis)interpret the presence of a work authorisation applicant at the company’s premises as them having started their assignment prematurely, and hence illegally. Stay on other visitor status, for example for a look and see trip, is more often accepted by the authorities, but this is also not always allowed.

Sweden is a good example of a country where any stay in the country during work permit processing can lead to an immediate rejection of the application. Checking entry records by the authorities is a standard part of the application processes. In case of unexpected required travel to Sweden, the authorities would therefore need to be informed of the travel, which will result in them putting the application processing on hold for the duration of the applicant’s stay in Sweden.

In France employees were already advised to not travel to the country during work permit application processing, but recently the authorities have become stricter in this regard. The authorities are now requesting a signed statement that the employee is not in France during the application processing.  Furthermore, entry and exit records are now actively checked by the authorities as part of the application processing. Anyone that is travelling to France during processing therefore risks rejection of their application.

There are generally no border controls within the Schengen* area. As a result, travellers may arrive in one Schengen country and then travel freely by private or public transport to another Schengen country. Authorities are aware of this, and therefore countries such as Sweden and France may also question travel by applicants to other Schengen countries during processing of their work authorisation applications. Therefore, when applying for a permit to a Schengen country where such travel restriction during processing is applied, it is advisable to stay out of the Schengen area altogether until work authorisation (and visa, where required) is obtained.

Should you have any questions about the requirements or restrictions for any upcoming international travel, do not hesitate to reach out to Newland Chase at [email protected]  to book a consultation with our immigration experts.

* Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.


This immigration update is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal or scenario-specific advice. Furthermore, it is important to note that immigration announcements are subject to sudden and unexpected changes. Readers are encouraged to reach out to Newland Chase for any case- or company-specific assessments.