Getting a work visa can be a painful and convoluted experience, as most countries prioritize their own citizens and place limits on the roles available to foreigners.
Generally speaking, there are two avenues you need to go down to increase your chances of getting a job overseas. The first is if you have training in the field of any STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects.
The second avenue, more widely available, is to teach English overseas. You do not necessarily need to be a native English speaker. If you have a TEFL certification, you will most likely get a better salary and will be able to teach in most countries around the globe.
Getting a job overseas has become more difficult.
Taking a job away from a native citizen lowers your chances of being employed. If you can create work for native citizens, however, there are many countries that’ll welcome you with open arms. The best way to obtain a work visa is by starting your own business. These often come with the added benefit of significant tax breaks.
There are two types of work permit. The first will allow you to work at a specified company doing a job already proven cannot be done by a native citizen. If you can find a company to sponsor you, this is the way to go. The second is an open work permit that will allow you to do any job within the country. Generally speaking, you will need to marry a citizen or have already completed a lengthy residency to obtain this visa.
If you are between the ages of 18 and 35, you can apply for a working holiday visa which can be completed online via the immigration service. There is no need to engage the services of a lawyer or visa agency… saving you a lot of money. There are nearly 60 countries that will offer you this visa. This usually allows up to 12 months working, with only a few restrictions attached—some countries will require proof of funds and medical insurance before you arrive.
Most seek the services of a specialist to help them with their visa application. Online companies such as Visa First can assist you in various countries. The alternative is to employ a lawyer from the country you are intending to move to. The process can be confusing and sometimes counterintuitive, so it is often worth paying for expert advice. Of course, if you can find a company who will complete the forms for you, that is the best option of all.
Getting A Work Visa In Australia
For a long time, the easiest place to get a work visa was Australia. Those days are not entirely over, but it has become more difficult. People under the age of 30 from most European countries can apply for a visa via the Working Holiday Maker Program, allowing them to work in Australia during their holiday.
Everyone else needs to apply for a Temporary Work Skilled 457 visa. Employers can sponsor an employee for a maximum of four years. This visa allows you to bring immediate family members and to come and go from Australia as frequently as you like. As a general rule, a clean criminal record is necessary. However, depending on the circumstances, you may be exempt. You need to be a fluent English speaker and have all the necessary qualifications for the post you are taking.
Getting A Work Visa In New Zealand
New Zealand has a range of jobs on its Long Term Skill Shortage List. If you find a job on the Shortage List paying more than NZ$45,000 per year, you can find sponsored work.
For a faster application process, apply for an Immediate Skill Shortage job. There are fewer options, but your application will be fast-tracked and you could find yourself working in under six months. To work in New Zealand, you will need an IRD (Inland Revenue) number that allows you to pay tax.
Those who like the great outdoors can take advantage of New Zealand’s spectacular scenery. Jobs are available working as a ski or snowboard instructor and as a wilderness tour guide. Just as rewarding are a range of farming jobs which come up yearly in New Zealand.
Getting A Work Visa In Cambodia
Cambodia is best known as a retirement destination with employment and business opportunities available. It’s one of the easiest places in the world to get a work visa.
There are two types of work permits available—temporary and permanent. Unless you have friends in the Cambodian government, or extremely deep pockets, you will be getting a temporary work permit. It costs about US$100 and you’ll need to provide your general information, plus a copy of your employment letter to the Ministry of Interior.
There are some charity and UN jobs available in Cambodia, but lots of expats find work through the expat community. Teaching English is another popular calling here with jobs available in the public and private sector. Foreigners can set up a business, although the process is slightly harder than in neighboring countries.
Gettin A Work Visa In Ireland
Ireland has a General Employment Permit, which grants non-EU citizens up to two years of legal employment. She also has the Critical Skills Employment Permit, in which you need to fall into the category of the professions specified.
If you search on the Ireland visa website, you will be able to find all the sectors they are hiring for under these two categories. Once you have a job offer in writing, either you or your employer can apply for your visa. There are a few minimum requirements, such as a job offer of at least 30,000 euros per year.
Getting A Work Visa In Singapore
Two common work visas are the Singapore EP Pass (Singapore Employment Pass) and the Singapore E Pass (Singapore Entrepreneur Pass). The former is most suited to skilled professionals, while the latter is aimed at entrepreneurs. Both allow you to work in Singapore for a minimum of 12 months. The pass is valid for up to two years and can be renewed.
Singapore is a thriving business center, but you will need to have at least S$50,000 to set up a company.
There are opportunities for mildly skilled workers known as the S Pass. Workers, such as technicians, can work here with an S Pass providing they have the relevant qualifications and a minimum salary of S$2,200 per month. Workers in Singapore can bring their spouses and other dependents.
Getting A Work Visa In China
The easiest way to get an employment visa for China is by teaching English… the rapidly growing middle class is behind this boom. They see English as indispensable for their children’s future, creating a big demand for lessons. You will need a certificate degree, a police background check, and a TEFL certificate. There is a US$50 administrative fee.
You can apply for the teaching visa, known as a “Z” Visa, through a China Embassy or Consulate. This requires sponsorship from your future employers. Do not risk working in China without the appropriate visa as you can be hit with a large fine, deportation, or even jail time.
You can also apply for the China Talent Visa (R). This is for people who China considers to be highly talented. Renowned professors, scholars, and people capable of taking top jobs in Chinese corporations qualify.
Getting A Work Visa In Mexico
To get a visa in Mexico, you have to pass an interview at your home consulate and the company who wishes to employ you will need to take a sponsorship letter to immigration. If the company you are working for has experience hiring foreign workers, this process should be fairly easy… if not, you might want to hire a lawyer. This will help to ensure everything goes through without problems.
You can bring your family with you (although there’s no guarantee of a work permit for your spouse) and they must register with immigration within 30 days.
Mexico is a favorable choice… there is a demand for native English speakers now that this country is working closer together with the United States.
Getting A Work Visa In Panama
Over the last 10 years, Panama has managed to attract corporations from across the world. Many of the world’s biggest multinationals now have major offices in Panama. This has led to a huge demand for foreign workers.
If you are from one of the friendly nations, then you are eligible for a fast-tracked work permit and visa. Up until 2017, you could get the work permit without even having a job lined up. Now, you need to have a written job offer from a Panamanian company.
You can work in Panama without a work permit on one condition—that your income comes from outside Panama, making it an attractive destination for online business owners. They take advantage of the abundance of fast internet available as well as the tropical climate.
There are a range of working visas to apply for in the isthmus. If you are Italian, the Italian National Work Permit will allow you to work here for as long as you like. Marrying a Panamanian also allows you to apply for a work visa.
The Highly Skilled Worker Permit grants workers with a bachelor or postgraduate degree the right to work in Panama. Applying for the (sponsored) Friendly Nations Visa, is definitely the easier option. The immigration department requests detailed information about your education history. They will also want documentation from your university.
Getting A Work Visa In The UAE
The UAE is a long-established trading port. Investment over recent years has returned the country to a thriving center of world business. While customs dictate that doing business and working here will take some getting used to, the skills you learn will be useful in the future.
Here, the work visa process is one of the fastest in the world. Providing you have everything in order, the full process can be completed in as little as 40 days.
Most jobs for foreigners are with “Free Zone” companies. Companies based inside a free trade zone are lightly taxed—to promote increased trade and boost the economy.
Once you have a job offer from the company, the Ministry of Labor will review and decide if the job could be carried out by a UAE citizen. Assuming your application is successful, you will get a two-month visa, allowing you to start work while the work visa is finalized.
Later on, you will need to go through medical and biometric screening and sign up for medical insurance, which is mandatory in the UAE. Upon completion, you get an Emirates ID card. You can use this for everyday ID purposes, meaning you no longer need to have your passport with you at all times.