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Work visas

Visas and work permits should be a high priority. A country’s visa, work permit and immigration policies can have a huge influence on your career plans. Imagine landing that dream job abroad, only to find yourself turned away at the border!

Visas do vary from person to person and country to country as each caters for the specific needs of individual travellers. If an international career is in your sights, you will require a visa that allows you to take up employment, also known as a work permit. This may be issued as a stamp in your passport, or a separate piece of paper.

Where do I need one for?

They vary from country to country. To work in any of the European member state countries, UK citizens are not required to produce any visa/work permit documentation.

Other countries have a more rigorous process. America has, arguably, the most stringent of visa application procedures. You’ll have to prove to US immigration that you have a job arranged and your employer will have to start your application on your behalf.

Similarly qualifying for a visa to work in Australia can be difficult, with restrictions on the type of work you can undertake. If you intend on working there permanently, you need to apply through the competitive General Skilled Migration (GSM) scheme which gives priority to people who have skills, qualifications and experience.

How do I get one?

Organisation and planning is imperative. Don’t leave it until the last minute, the application process for working visas is time consuming.

You could potentially be waiting up to 12 months for approval. It is also important that you apply from your home country as immigration offices are unlikely to issue visas from in-country applications.

The most efficient way to sort out your visa is through your future employer. This is basically a case of handing in the relevant forms to your future company along with all your other information.

Independent applications are issued directly through a country’s embassy or border agency. The best way to find out about forms and requirements is to look online.

Be warned, this can be a very tedious process with lots of paperwork and documentation required. You will need a passport that is valid for a further six months after you leave.

Some countries even require you to prove that you have a certain amount of money in savings as evidence for your ability to support yourself in times of emergency.

Elsewhere you may need to provide evidence of your qualifications – countries want people who are going to contribute to their society.

Extra Advice :

• A work permit is not the same as permanent residency.

• Most countries require you to have lived in a country for a number of years before you’re granted citizenship.

• A work permit does not necessarily secure that dream career. There are opportunities out there but competition is tough!

• Make sure to have something lined up and don’t go abroad without plans.

• The process can be a bit bureaucratic but plan in advance and follow the application procedures set out on a specific country’s immigration website and you’ll be fine.