Looking for work in new countries

Contributed by PSS International Removals, 09 April, 2015

So you're thinking of emigrating and know where you'd like to live, but there's just one problem. How will you find a job there and where do you begin looking for work?

Well, depending on where you'd like to move to, it goes without saying that your options for job-hunting may be limited by the languages you speak, whether you can obtain a work visa and the salary the company is willing to pay you. These obstacles should not deter you from trying to find a job abroad but rather give you a sense of the skills and resources needed to evolve into a competitive candidate whilst helping you focus on the opportunities that best suit you.

Think about your reasons for seeking paid employment in another country. Are you hoping to learn a new skill, build upon your existing CV with foreign experience or fund the exploration of a new culture and lifestyle? Knowing more about why you want to work abroad will help you determine what types of work will be best suited to you.

Here are some useful resources to get you started:

The key is to make sure you fully commit to the idea of emigrating and don't worry about missing home. Most people who emigrate but return home later usually develop a desire to want to do it again at some stage. Even if you fail to find your ideal job role, you will enjoy the ride and strengthen your character and life experience in the long run.

Do your research, both on and offline. When you decide on a country to move to, tell your friends. Chances are they will know someone who knows someone there, so you will build up a list of contacts to meet. Take that person out for a drink and ask for the names of people who are still living near your new home who might be accessible when you arrive, then email to connect with them.

Maybe you might be interested in moving to a country like South Africa? If so, start learning Afrikaans. This will allow you to build a marketable skill to give you an added advantage when applying for jobs. Language skills become even more important if you are interested in a business-related field, as you may need to conduct meetings in a foreign language.

Depending on your financial resources, where you are in your career path and where you want to go, it might make sense to move first and then start searching once settled. It is more of a risk, but many employers are often more likely to recruit you if you are available in the country and willing to work than if you are still based in the UK.

What about the potential for transference abroad through your current company? If you've been working for an international company such as Deloitte, Edelman or UBS for example, all have exchange programs that send employees to their international offices. However, the opportunity to move abroad usually takes a few years to work up to, so patience may be required.

While the job-hunting process largely remains the same, each country often has its own unique set of qualifying criteria. Taking a look at the US for example, there is currently a shortage of skills in areas such healthcare, engineering, construction, information technology and teaching, amongst other sectors. In most cases, the points system for visa applications is heavily dependent on a job offer and there are two categories of US visas: immigrant and non-immigrant.

Non-immigrant's with a university degree usually find the US job application process easier if they they have skills that are in short supply, such as being a minister or religious worker, someone with a scientific or medical background, an extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts (including the television and movie industry), education, business or athletics or they might have superior specialist skills with at least 12 years experience. US recruitment agents will not usually take you seriously if you are not already in the country, so applying for jobs prior to leaving is often futile. In most cases, you will need a job offer before being able to obtain a visa and your employer will usually be your sponsor at a cost to them of $5,000 and upwards. They may also have to prove that there is no other American able to do the job if the position is to be permanent.

Sometimes, a multinational employer with offices in the US may be willing to transfer you, but even then the employer has to prepare a good case and your dependent spouse may work by applying for a dual-intent visa. Again, you may only be considered if you have specialist skills that are essential to the operation of the company or if you run the UK arm that somebody can manage for you whilst you are in the US.

Getting a green card is not always easy, even if you are lawfully admitted via one of the routes mentioned above.

Employment-based green cards often require employer sponsorship, labour market testing to prove no US citizen can do the job, and in many cases the wait may run into several years. In other words, a sponsoring employer or job offer is not always enough and the pathway to a green card should always be researched thoroughly.

Furthermore, there is also a total quota of 140,000 for employment-based green cards per year.

With all of this in mind, PSS International Removals have a network of recruitment partner specialists carefully selected to make finding that dream job in the US even easier. Drop us a line to find out more or read the relevant section on our website!

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