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How To Obtain A Work Visa

Being procedural might be the last thing on your mind once you’ve landed that dream job overseas, but before your new adventure can begin, you’ve got to get it right with the paperwork.

That’s right, I’m talking about that cumbersome application for the work visa. You’ll want it to work for you rather than against you; the last thing you want is for the paperwork to get in the way of your new lifestyle.



In this light, we have found and put together a handy, quick, to-the-point guide for how to obtain that all important visa.

Here are the 6 steps:


Step 1: Give yourself plenty of time.

Just because you have a job offer doesn’t mean you are guaranteed a visa. Most countries have a Critical Skills Shortage List which detail the types of jobs most eligible for a work visa. When your employer decides that you fit a gap in the employment market, allow them time to prepare your visa application and ensure you are able to produce all the documents required to prove your case.


Step 2: Regard your references

Securing the right references to support your job offer is all important. These are cornerstone to your case. Your references must cover off all the important salient information required by the immigration office to make a decision on your case. Make sure they cover everything you have achieved with your former employers and that the employers are happy to take a call to confirm the facts.


Step 3: Submit all relevant documents

To obtain any visa you must make a formal application and this means filling in paperwork and attaching copies of the required documents. Beyond proof of employment, there are certain documents you must provide, which vary from country to country. In all cases, make sure you have a valid passport and that it is not close to expiry. Other proof of qualification may include educational certification, biometric data, a valid marriage certificate, bank statements, salary slips, tax returns, investments, health report, police check and more. There is potentially a lot of paperwork for a visa application, so be organized and keep a paper trail in a file.


Step 4: Moving abroad comes at a cost

Some host countries charge nothing for a work visa and some do. Fees vary form country to country. Ask your visa specialist how much the cost of a temporary work visa is for the host country required. Most immigration departments do charge for processing a visa application and have an issuance charge on top. All ex-pats also have to show they have an amount of money which will prevent them from becoming a burden to their host country. This money can be provided from independent wealth or sponsorship. Finally, take out personal insurance to cover any unexpected medical costs that may come your way.


Step 5: Wait for your visa to arrive

Getting a visa takes time. Filling in the necessary paperwork, providing the relevant documents and proof of identity, plus waiting for immigration authorities to process your application – it all adds up. Securing a work permit can take anything from anything from a few months to a few years. Be prepared to wait and note that most immigration departments are notoriously slow. Unless you know someone who can push it through a fast-track route.


Step 6: Keep your visa application up-to-date

While on a temporary work visa your circumstances may change, or the work visa you are on may expire. It is you who must keep on top of your work visa. Do not expect a phone call or letter from an immigration official. Instead keep on top of your case as it is your personal responsibility. Your employer may be able to help if they have an international HR team looking after you. Under no circumstances remain in the host country beyond the expiry date as stated on your visa. You may face arrest, deportation and, in extreme cases, be banned from entering the host country for a number of years. In short, it pays to know and obey the visa laws.


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