Having a job offer in a foreign country can be exciting and daunting. If you have a family, and/or children, the concerns about relocation, changing your way of life, creating new routines, and finding a new home can be overwhelming. But, if you have received and accepted an overseas job offer, your immediate concern should be getting the proper documents to enable you to work legally in the country where your future lies.
Having worked with multiple countries work visas, and having helped to relocate thousands of individuals over six continents, here are some of our tips to help you through the process.
Documents to prepare for your lawyers for the work authorization (if applicable).
Prepare your resume, passport copy, degrees, employment agreement, and any certificates pertaining to your area of work. Provide any certified translations you have of the documents into the language where you will be working. These items are most crucial for the work authorization portion of your work visa. The representative helping you with your paperwork should already know your position and job description. However, in the event that they do not, you should also have that prepared. These should all be available in hard copy as well as in electronic versions.
Documents to prepare for your family for your visa application. Family visas are usually processed only after you have received a work authorization/permit. To prepare for your family visa applications you should collect passport photos (at least two hard copies) for each family member as well as copies of each of their passports. You should also have your marriage license and the birth certificate of each child copied, and translated (and certified), to submit. Any additional IDs of the family members should also be provided. These might include driver licenses or state IDs. Some countries will require you to show that you have housing accommodation and medical insurance for the duration of your stay, so be prepared to show these items as well. Finally, many country’s visa applications have gone online, so you should have your documents scanned and saved, ready to email or upload into a site as directed by your employer’s representative.
You might also have to complete online forms on your own to proceed with your application. In addition, some countries will require that you make the visa payment yourself, if your employer has not provided funds for that purpose. Companies normally reimburse for these types of expenses, but you should verify with your employer the procedures for reimbursement or payment of these fees before you begin the application process.
Things to do to prepare for the interview (if applicable). In some instances, you will need to appear for an interview or to present yourself at a local office to finalize your work permit/residence/visa application. You should create a folder with the documents of each members of the family organized into easy to access compartments. For the work-visa holder, your compartment should include all the documents you have submitted for the work authorization process, as well as the visa application process that normally culminates in the interview. Have a corporate credit card handy for miscellaneous visa processing costs, as well as a local mailing address, in case your passport is requested to be kept and sent back to you once the visa has been approved and inserted into your passport.
If done properly, the visa portion of your life-changing move can only take a few days of organization, focus, and appointments, leaving you and your family to the more important task of living meaningfully.