3 Types of Visa to Work Abroad

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To get a job position abroad, you needย 3 things:

  1. A skillset
  2. A job offer from a company
  3. Aย work visa from the government

3 Types of Visa to Work Abroad

Now, let's take a look into the 3 types of work visas you can get from the government in your destination country:

  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.

1. Employer-Restricted Work Visa

If an employer sponsors work visas, it means:

  • They are open to hiring someone from another country.
  • They will apply for a work visa for you from the government (or help you do it).

Keep in mind that:

  • There is a high chance that an employer-sponsored work visa will be an employer-restricted work visa, meaning that if you resign or are let go, you may have to leave the country unless you can get another visa somewhere else.
  • You need to have something exceptional in terms of skills, languages, or work experience that will make an employer go through the hassle of sponsoring a work visa for you.

If an employer does not sponsor a work visa, it means:

  • They will not hire someone from another country for the position.
  • They do not want to deal with the bureaucracy of applying for a work visa from the government.

It does not matter if you can travel to the country at your own expense, because what matters here is that you do not have a work authorization from the government as a non-citizen of that country.

3 tips to get an employer-sponsored work visa:

  • In job search websites, you can search for "visa sponsorship + [job title]".
  • If an employer explicitly specifies that they do not offer visa sponsorship, move on.
  • If you find it hard to get a visa sponsorship, it's time to improve your skills. In many cases, you have to be an exceptional applicant or have an in-demand skillset to get a visa sponsorship.

2. Open Work Visas

If you have an open work visa, you would technically be in a better position compared to other work visa holders because:

  • Your residency in the country is not tied to your employer.
  • If you resign or are let go, your ability to remain in the country is not affected.
  • You have better bargaining power over your current employer, and against other potential employers as well. This is because you can switch employers without needing to worry about the risk of having to leave the country.

Granted, open work visas are not too easy to come by, and not all countries offer it. In countries that do, open work visas are commonly issued in the form of:

3. Occupation-Restricted Work Visa

Occupation-Restricted work visas are also quite uncommon, but they exist.

They offer some flexibility in the sense that you can switch employers without having to risk leaving the country, but also rigid in that you cannot change your occupation without changing your work visa.

For example, Canada ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ offers this type of visa for Home Child Care Providers or Home Support Workers.

There are also variations of this visa where its holders are not technically restricted to working in a certain occupation, but if they do, it will help them remain in the country for the long term.

  • Germany ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช, for instance, issues 18-month work visas for eligible non-EU graduates during which time, holders should find an employment related to their field of study in order to be eligible for permanent residency later on.
  • Holders of the visa can technically work in other non-related occupations, but this will impact their ability to reside for the longer term after their 18-month work visas expire.

    This article is part of The Universal Visa Guide.

    To read about the 9 life advantages you can use to move abroad, check out the Table of Content.

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