International Visa Advisory Services, All You Need to Know

Applying for a visa is an essential relocation step. It is also one of the most complicated because every country has their own set of rules and requirements, and these vary even more depending on the visa type. Our visa services do the research for you, and ensure you are fully prepared.

Visa Advisory Services

Applying for a visa is a difficult, but necessary part of the relocation process. You cannot legally live or work in a country without one (exceptions apply to European citizens moving from one EU country to another). Depending on the country you are coming from and the one you are moving to, it may be possible to stay for a period of three months on a tourist visa, and some may even be permitted to engage in temporary or freelance work. A long-term stay in a country, however, requires a residence visa.


Read on to see what you need to know about applying for a visa and how InterNations GO!’s global visa services can help you.

What do Visa Services Include?

Our international visa services include advisory services that help you determine the type of visa you need, and the documents required to obtain it. As experienced expats, we know the difficulties and hardships that come with applying for a visa. We have been through every phase; from applying for a visa to preparing for visa interviews and awaiting a decision. We have also experienced the hardships of delays due to incorrect paperwork, and even denied applications.


We are now using this wealth of knowledge to help other expats move abroad successfully.


Our visa assistance service includes advice on:


  • the type of visa you (and your family) need based on the country you are moving to and your specific situation;
  • the documents you (and your family) need in order to submit a complete application form;
  • where to apply for your visa(s) and the timeline required to gather your materials, apply for, and receive your visa(s);
  • any specific information regarding your travel/moving plans, such as when you plan to move to a country and how soon you need to start the visa process to achieve that date;
  • how to complete online or physical applications and where to submit them.

Moving Abroad?
We Will Help You Through Every Step.


What to Expect When Applying for a Visa

Every country has their own set of rules and requirements. These will differ even further depending on the type of visa you need. At minimum, to apply for a visa you will need your original passport, copies of your passport ID page, plus all the stamped pages, and an application fee. Other documents that may be required are:


  • police background check from your home country;
  • police background check from any country where you have resided in the past five years;
  • educational diplomas and certificates;
  • proof of health insurance;
  • bank statements.


Before applying for your visa, it is essential to have every document ready. Keep in mind that this may include notarized copies as well as certified translations. In fact, it is recommended to prepare extra copies or gather more documents than you need. Forgetting a single document can derail the whole process and result in your visa being delayed or even rejected.


What are Temporary and Permanent Resident Visas?

As their names suggest, temporary and permanent resident visas are visas that allow foreigners to live in a country for a specified amount of time. Unlike tourist visas, which allow expats to stay anywhere between a week to six months depending on their nationality, temporary and permanent residence visas grant foreigners similar rights as citizens. Rights vary dependent on temporary versus permanent residency. For example, in the UAE, temporary residents do not have access to free public healthcare, while in Ireland they do.


The greatest difference between temporary and permanent residency visas are the length of time allotted to an expat to live and work in a foreign country. Most temporary residency visas last just one or two years and are renewable. Permanent residency visas are also renewable, but they are valid for longer periods, usually five to ten years.  In most circumstances, expats can only apply for permanent residency after a certain length of tenure in a country.


How do I get a Temporary or Permanent Residency Visa?

The requirements to obtain a temporary visa depend on the country that you are moving to and what you plan to do there. Such requirements include proof of your intent to work in a country, proof of a family member with residency in the destination country, or your intent to marry a citizen or resident of the country.


Depending on the country, some expats may be able to apply for permanent residency straightaway if they are related to or marrying a national of that country. It is important to note that permanent residencies eventually lead to citizenship, but some countries have incredibly strict criteria. For example, Bhutan and Liechtenstein require 20—30 years of residency before a foreigner can apply for citizenship. In Switzerland, members of your Canton have the ultimate say over whether you can become a national, and countries like Thailand and Kuwait require fluency in their national language.

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Visa Types

The visa type you will apply for depends on your individual circumstances and the country you are moving to. Resident visa types may include, but are not limited to:


  • work;
  • highly skilled worker;
  • spouse;
  • fiancé;
  • dependent/family;
  • entertainment/artist;
  • exceptional talent;
  • student;
  • family reunification.


Below is a brief overview of these visa types. For more information regarding visas for a specific country, explore our extensive country guides. If you still have questions, schedule a one-hour consultation with our InterNations GO! relocation experts.


Work Visa

As the name suggests, work visas are granted to allow foreigners to take up employment in a country. These are largely only distributed once an expat has been hired by a foreign company and can present a valid work contract. The regulations regarding work visas will vary from country to country. Some regulations include needing to apply for a new work visa if you change jobs in the foreign country (even if the job is in the same industry as your previous one). It is also possible to lose your work visa, and thus your right to remain in a country, if you lose your job for any reason (such as being laid off, fired, or quit).


Highly Skilled Worker Visa

Highly skilled worker visas are different from regular work visas in that they are typically granted to people who are filling a skills shortage in a country. For example, some countries face shortages of computer programmers, finance workers, and those in the construction industry. Expats with skills and experience in these areas can qualify for a highly skilled worker visa. This visa typically lasts for a longer period and is granted sooner than a regular work visa.


Spouse Visa

Spouse visas are sometimes classified under general family visas. Expats can only apply for this visa if their partner has been granted a residency visa (such as a work or student visa) or the partner is a national of the country. A spouse visa is typically only valid for the same length of time as the partner’s visa. Depending on the country, it may not be possible to take up employment while on a spouse visa, nor may it be possible to immediately follow your spouse to the new country.


Fiancé/Fiancée Visa

Few countries offer fiancé/fiancée visas. Like spouse visas, they are tied to one partner having a work visa, permanent residency, or citizenship in a country. Fiancé/fiancée visas are not renewable, and are only valid for a limited amount of time, usually from 90-days to six months. Couples must legally wed within this period.


Dependent/Family Visa

Dependent/family visas are granted to children, spouses, and parents of temporary or permanent resident visa holders. The length of stay of these visas is linked to the same length of stay as the primary visa holder.


Entertainment/Artist Visa

An entertainment/artist visa is a temporary visa that allows for specified work in a country during a short amount of time. This visa is for performers and other artists coming to a country to produce a theater show, conference, festival, or other work that is meant to entertain a crowd. These visas typically last half a year at most.


Exceptional Talent Visa

An exceptional talent visa is granted to someone who is a leader in a certain field. In some countries, this is also called a Global Talent visa. To qualify, expats must demonstrate great promise in one of the following fields: arts and culture, humanities, science, engineering, or medicine. Whether or not an expat shows “great promise” is determined by a government body and based on such qualifications as the highest university degree the applicant has achieved, their body of work, relevant publications, or their current position.


Student Visa

A student visa is tied to academic study at an educational institution. This can be a secondary/high school, college or university, or, depending on the country and course, a certified language school. These visas are valid for the length of study and are renewable subject to your enrollment in a valid educational program. Time spent in a country on a student visa does not count towards the time needed to apply for permanent residency.


Family Reunification Visa

A family reunification visa can be used in place of a family, spouse, or dependent visa. It is awarded to a foreigner who wishes to join a family member in another country. Most often, that family member must be a citizen or permanent resident of the country where the visa applicant wants to move. However, this is not always the case and is subject to vary dependent on the country. These visas are renewable.

Moving Abroad?
We Will Help You Through Every Step.


What to Expect When You Hire a Visa Services Provider

When you enlist the Visa Solutions service of InterNations GO!, you can expect to receive expert assistance and guidance. We will help you decide on the visa type you need according to the country you are moving to, what you will be doing there, and how long you intend to stay.


After thorough research to determine the visa that is right for you, our visa application assistance guides you through the required documents you must collect and when/where to submit them. We help you track the status of your application as well as the general timeline of when you should receive a visa decision.


We provide advisory services for all visa types. Whether you need assistance with a spouse visa, work visa, an entertainment/artist visa, or need to understand the requirements to apply for permanent residency, our InterNations GO! relocation experts will be with you through every step of the process.


How Much does It Cost?

Our Visa Solutions service fees range from $200 to $500 based on each individual’s need and the time required to provide specific guidance on the visa application process. Depending on your nationality and the country you are immigrating to, you may only require a one-time consultation fee to guarantee you are applying for the visa that is appropriate for your situation. For most expats, visa services will require more than this to ensure they receive their correct visa in a timely manner.


InterNations GO! does not collect visa application fees, those are fees collected by the appropriate embassies. Visa Solutions is an advisory service, through which we help expats take the right steps to apply for the most appropriate visa.


How does It Work?

When you contact InterNations GO! we will start by asking which country you are moving from, what country you are moving to and why. We then assess the type of visa you require and the steps you must to take in order to obtain it. We will go over a timeline so that you are aware of the entire process from collecting your documents to submitting your application and awaiting approval.


Our visa services are advisory services. We guide you through the entire application process, but we cannot complete or submit any documents for you. Instead, we advise you through every step, to ensure every task is properly completed, and that you are fully prepared to apply for your visa.


Other International Relocation Steps After Securing Your Visa

Obtaining a visa is an important part of an international relocation, but it is only the beginning. Once you have your visa and you are ready to move, you will need to complete other essential steps such as moving your belongings overseas, finding a home abroad, and finally, settling into your new country.


As a complete global relocation service provider, InterNations GO! offers all these services and more. Whether you are a retiree looking to spend your golden years abroad, a seasoned expat family moving for yet another corporate relocation, or a single person itching to start a new life abroad, we have the services to help you have a smooth and easy relocation.

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Additional Services You May Be Interested In

InterNations GO! has a range of services that can be tailored to suit your individual needs. Whether you are moving abroad alone or as a family, we assess your situation and provide expert guidance to help you make your international relocation as smooth as possible.


We Help You GO!

We offer guidance on how to relocate whether you are a solo expat, moving with a family, or a retiree.


We Ease You In

Once you have moved abroad, our settling-in services help you register with local authorities. We then make you feel like a local with tailored language and cultural training.


We Bring You Together

From school searches to pet relocation, we help you and your loved ones stay strong together.