Figuring out Your paperwork as an Expat

By jwatkins, 30 January, 2018


If you’re considering moving to another country, it can be difficult to know exactly what kind of paperwork you need to complete. Below is a guide to some of your options.


Relocating for Work


If you’re being offered a job in another country, you’re in luck. Your prospective company should have resources for relocation if they’re interviewing international candidates. Depending on the type of work, there will be outlined processes for temporary work visas and a path for permanent relocation.


If you want to move to a new country and don’t have job offers yet, you’ll want to look into the different work visas and options that exist. If you’ve established yourself in the arts, sciences, education, or select other fields, you may be eligible for an O1 Visa in the United States. Many countries have specific visas for specific industries where they want to attract talented individuals. Australia has work programs for farm jobs, though they are often limited to one year. Think about your desired field and look for opportunities that match.


Relocating For Marriage

If you’re moving to a new country to be with a person you’re marrying, then the process is outlined pretty clearly for you. You’ll have to do interviews and fill out paperwork and meet some deadlines, but everything is pretty straightforward. You’ll likely want to hire an immigration attorney to help make sure everything is being done properly. Because this is a common scenario, most government websites will have the process and timeline outlined for you. It’s still a paperwork-filled, bureaucratic process, but at least it’s cut and dry.


Relocating for Pleasure

If you’re moving because of your love of a country, you’ll have to go through some more hoops than if you were moving for a documented tangible reason like work or marriage. You’ll be subject to more interviews about your intentions and motivations, however, you can get temporary visas so that you can enjoy your new home until your process is completed. Your paperwork will depend on whether you want to become a resident or citizen, and also on whether you’ve had previous visas in the past. If you’re not sure you want to permanently relocate, temporary visas are definitely your first step. Be sure you’re aware of the laws about working while in the country as a non-resident.


As with most legal processes, working with professionals is very helpful in assuring that you do everything above-board and that all your paperwork is filed correctly. DIY-immigration is not recommended. If you’ve had to deal with the paperwork of moving abroad, share helpful tips in the comments below!