Why It's Not Easy Getting a Job Abroad

Last Updated:  • Published  •

When moving abroad temporarily for a job, there are usualy 3 work visa types that you can get:

  1. Employer-Restricted work visa, meaning you can only work for the employer who sponsored you for the visa.
  2. Open work visa, meaning you can work for any employer in the country without any company sponsorship.
  3. Occupation-Restricted work visa, meaning you can work for any employer but in specific occupations only.
More about this here.

Why It's Not Easy Getting a Job Abroad

Being on an open work visa gives you more freedom, where if you are unhappy in a job, you can leave for another without risking having to leave the country.

Whereas if you are on a Employer-Restricted work visa:

  • Your residency in the country is pretty much tied to your employer.
  • You have one less advantage in getting a better salary or position—you can’t just get a “better” job without risking having to leave the country. You still can, but you have to be extra tactful.

Now, if you are on a student or a visitor visa, and you need to get an employer-sponsored work visa to remain in the country...

It is an uphill battle.

I'm not going to sugarcoat it, because it is hard.

Your self-esteem will take a beating.

You will be treated like a second-class "citizen", because you're not a citizen at all. And it's true.

You don't have the same rights to be employed as other citizens and permanent residents.

So you have to prove that you are exceptional or have in-demand skills.

To get a job abroad, you need to convince a prospective employer twice.

You need to convince them that:

  1. You are qualified for the job itself, and
  2. You are worth sponsoring a visa for.

There are 3 factors that makes a company willing to sponsor someone's work visa:

  1. You have exceptional or in-demand skills they have a hard time getting from within their own country.
  2. How much the recruiter or interviewer understands visa matters. Sometimes you will come across recruiters who don't quite understand it, and they don't even want to try to.
  3. Whether the company has the resources (HR and legal team) who can help with visa matters.

Over and Out

If you are trying to get a job abroad, it's likely you will experience some rejection here and there just because of your visa status, even if you are otherwise qualified. Manage your expectation, and prepare yourself accordingly.

    More on the Cons of Moving Abroad

    The following 6 chapters take on a slight naysayer approach, to counter the notorious social media narrative that moving to another country is always a "cool" thing to do. Moving abroad can be one of the best decisions you can make for yourself... But if you're not careful, it will derail your life.

    Back to blog

    Hey, Ryan here 🇨🇦


    Over the past 10 years, I've lived & worked in 5 cities across 3 countries (Previously in 🇸🇬🇮🇩).

    More about me here.

    27 years old

    12 visas & residence permits granted

    18 countries & territories visited

    12 houses & apartments lived in