I am an American citizen who will be consulting for a Danish entity from July1st-July 31st for a fixed project with a fixed project value. As part of this work, I will attend a workshop in Brussels from July 1st-July 3rd. After that, I will work on the project while doing personal traveling in the EU (specifically, in Portugal, Spain, and France) in hotels that I will arrange myself. I will not be spending any time in Denmark. I will remain in the EU after the work is completed, from August 1st - September 2nd, so the length of my total stay in the EU should be covered by a Schengen tourist visa (which I understand to be 90 days in a 180 day period).

How will taxes be dealt with, i.e. will I need to pay taxes to Denmark on the lump sum I receive for the consulting services? Do you anticipate any issues with just traveling on a tourist visa? Are there resources you can recommend for me to educate myself?

  • Aside from the issue of conflating business purposes with tourist purposes, the rules under which you may work abroad depend very much on the individual countries, especially the taxation. VAT and income tax have to be considered separately here. It would simplify your life if you don't work while travelling (the workshop is fine, though)
    – amon
    Apr 26, 2019 at 6:04

2 Answers 2


I hate to be a bearer of bad news, but a tourist visa is for one thing tourism. If you plan to work, no matter how big or small, then you need a work visa. An EU immigration lawyer may be able to advise you on any possible alternatives. These rules are based on the principle of reciprocity - i.e. the US imposes similar (or worse) rules on EU nationals who come to the US.

An EU Short Stay visa may be a good fit, but you would need to discuss the ins and outs with your lawyer.

Failing to be straight with an immigration official can result in deportation, imprisonment, banning from the zone, cavity search, fines, and more...

  • 2
    The question implied otherwise but in fact, as an American citizen, the OP does not need a visa and visa-free short stays are not restricted to tourism. But you're making an important point, he might in fact require a work permit of some sort.
    – Relaxed
    Apr 27, 2019 at 15:24

Technically, you would not be traveling on a tourist visa. You do not require a visa and Schengen rules allow short stays for many purposes (not limited to tourism). You might however need a separate work permit (which is not a visa). The only country that might possibly entertain an application for such a permit would be Denmark and then it would only cover Denmark.

I don't think there is any legal way to do what you are planning to do without being an EU citizen.

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