Monthly Archives: May 2012

In Europe your Nationality DOES matter

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The first offer in job search section on xpatjobs.com in Holland presents you with a position of Temporary Accounting Administrative Assistant in The Hague. When clicking on “apply” button, the first thing you see is the notice in red which states the following:

To apply for this job you need to be currently in the Netherlands and have a valid work permit/sofi number. 

PLEASE DO NOT APPLY unless you are within the Netherlands at the moment and have the required permit/sofi number.

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I am not a human rights activist, but lately had to disregard the best part of the job offers because of not having a EU work permit. As a matter of fact, I am not alone in this quest for available vacancies. We are indeed quite many in Europe, educated young people from all over the World struggling to find employment and being discriminated on the basis of our nationality. Personally, I have been extending my student residence permits every 6 months since 2006 when I first came to study for a Bachelor’s degree in Finland. The application process is very costly, bureaucratic and at times humiliating. Nevertheless, we willingly go through it, just because our morals don’t let us live there, where we come from. We are moving from one european country to another, studying hard and working part-time or as freelancers, and hoping one day to get a permanent job.

We love Europe for its’ values of honesty, freedom, solidarity and justice. In fact, we simply want to be given a chance to demonstrate our gratitude to this society and to make a contribution. There are easier ways of course, like marrying a EU citizen etc. Yet, my goal here is not to contemplate on available shortcuts, but to present a glimpse of our reality.

It’s rather cool to talk about diversity management at the workplace and overall egalitarianism, but a few have raised the issue of partial treatment for non-EU students in Europe.

And we are humble to talk about our adversities, we are the ones, who have made it through honestly and will persevere eagerly regardless of barriers and prejudices. Actually, back at home things are much worse, success is corrupted and values are twisted. Still, it’s easy to buy virtually everything, even a residence permit. But that’s why we have left, not to engage in Machiavellian battle which we are destined to lose.

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