Migrants face scarce work prospects in Europe | Destination Europe | DW | 25.01.2012
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Destination Europe

Migrants face scarce work prospects in Europe

After arriving in Europe, many migrants are surprised not to find work. Employment difficulties affect students, asylum seekers and nearly everyone else who arrive in a European country without a job.

Workers on a field

Migrants face stiff penalties if found working illegally

Whether immigrants arrive legally or illegally, they are often taken aback when they realize that finding a job and earning money won't be as easy as they expected.

Students, for example, in nearly all European countries are not allowed to work more than a certain amount of hours. In most cases this is enough to cover the costs of living.

Asylum seekers are not allowed to work at all during the first 12 months, and those who managed to enter Europe illegally have no chance of getting a working permit.

Policemen at a construction site

The police are on the lookout for foreigners working without a permit

People who try to work illegally tread on thin ice with the authorities: If they get caught, they can face fines, imprisonment and even immediate deportation.

Knowing that non-regular migrants are vulnerable, employers sometimes exploit them by offering only low wages and poor working conditions. Women can be exposed to sexual abuse or even forced into prostitution.

In some cases workers must wait for their wages for weeks or even months - and sometimes they never see a penny for their efforts.

Author: Klaus Dahmann

Editor: Sean Sinico

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