Is Getting a Work Visa in a Neighboring Country Easier?

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There are countries around the world that do not share a freedom of movement arrangement, but since they are close neighboring allies, they make it easier for citizens to move, live, and work in another allied country.

Here are two examples.

Is Getting a Work Visa in a Neighboring Country Easier?

NAFTA: United States 🇺🇸, Mexico 🇲🇽, Canada 🇨🇦

NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), also known as the USMCA, is a trade agreement between United States, Mexico, and Canada.

The Professional Visa (TN Visa) is a provision in NAFTA / USMCA that allows Mexican 🇲🇽 and Canadian 🇨🇦 citizens a much easier access to work authorizations in the United States 🇺🇸 for qualifying professions.

The TN Visa is a temporary visa, but:

  • It is easier to get compared to other U.S. work permits, and
  • It allows unlimited renewals.

Because of this, it is easier for Canadian and Mexican employees to secure a position with U.S. employers compared to citizens of other countries (as long as it is a qualifying occupation for a TN visa).

Malaysia 🇲🇾 and Singapore 🇸🇬

Malaysian citizens generally have an easier time finding a job and getting a work permit approved in Singapore.

Although there are no specific work visa streams for Malaysians in Singapore, it is a well-accepted fact that Malaysians have an easier time getting a work permit approved in Singapore compared to citizens of other countries, since Malaysia is Singapore's closest neighbor and they both share significant similarities in terms of culture and demographics.

Other Countries

As always, the examples provided in this chapter are not exhaustive. If you want to move abroad and you have citizenship in countries other than the ones mentioned here, it could benefit you to look up whether there are any special visas you can get from an allied neighboring country, and use your advantage of citizenship to get it.

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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