expat network

Understanding Immigration

When travelling abroad to live, work, invest or for any other reason it is important to understand the immigration processes. If you are staying for more than a few months or if you are travelling regularly to the same country ensure that you have taken appropriate professional advice and complied with all relevant laws. 

Different countries have different requirements for receiving a visa. These will often include evidence that you plan to return home at the end of the validity of the visa, proving good health and the ability to support yourself while in the country.

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country to which you will be moving on exactly what the requirements are or take advice from one of the many immigration firms.  The Expat Network Destination Pages include an outline of the requirements for each country, here.


Work Permits

Make sure that you and any employer are clear on the work permit requirements when taking up a new role. Be clear on who is responsible for submitting all necessary information and forms and ensure that it is being handled by a firm with experience of doing so. Keep in regular contact as the good firms will be able to get your application through quickly, but keep a check to avoid delays because information has not been submitted on time.

You should also be sure you understand all of the conditions of any visa that you require, as it is easy for someone to miss one term that may rule you out or cause problems for your accompanying partner or family, because they are not fully aware of our circumstances.

Whatever promises are made, work permit processing is unpredictable and you should avoid committing to a specific travel date until you know that you have all of the required authority to travel.


Accompanying Partner

It is essential that you understand the immigration policies in the planned host country from the perspective of any accompanying family and ensure that it allows them to do what they plan to do. Some visas automatically allow the accompanying spouse to enter, but in some cases they can study but not work. In some countries like Singapore they do not recognise unmarried partners. These partners are therefore not automatically eligible for dependent immigration passes.

If the accompanying partner is happy with the status that is available there may be no problem, but if there is an expectation that they can work or study it may fundamentally change the experience for them and sometimes the financial attractiveness or even viability of the whole relocation.