Tips for International Employment


Getting a hold of the proper documents to work overseas may seem like an overwhelming, frightening idea. In actuality, it's pretty easy. Here is our guide to preparing for your overseas employment opportunity.

  1. Know Your Local Consulate
    If you're looking to work overseas, the consular should be your new best friend. A consular is by definition "An official appointed by a government to reside in a foreign country and represent his or her government's commercial interests and assist its citizens there (" More importantly, a consular is your ticket to obtaining all the entry/residency requirements you'll need to work in that country. This is where you apply for your visa or permit. Most countries position several consulate offices in each foreign country, so you shouldn't have any trouble finding one. For instance, if you're travelling to France from Australia, you'll look up the French Embassy in Australia who can in turn point you to your local consulate office. They can be referred to as a consulate, consular, or consulate general. No matter the title, it all means the same thing to you: easily processing your international employment status.

  2. Meet the Embassy
    A country's main presence in a foreign country is often an embassy. This is an important source of information for anyone who would like to travel or work overseas. They can also assist you in finding the nearest consulate office. An Embassy is also sometimes called a "High Commission."

  3. Working Overseas vs. Playing Overseas
    To travel overseas as a tourist and to travel overseas as an employee are two very different situations. Be aware that the entry procedures and requirements are usually not the same. For instance, in many cases, tourists do not need a visa, permitted their stay does not last longer than a certain time. When entering the country as an employee, not only does the visit often last longer, requiring a different visa, but the government might have a say in the activities you can engage in while in the country.

  4. Be in Touch With Your Employer
    Your employer overseas will most likely be responsible for obtaining your work permit. And without a work permit, you will not be able to process your visa application. Your employer will also have to produce a contract of employment that determines your length of stay in the country and other documents concerning their business validity and your employment.

  5. Allow Yourself Extra Time
    This process can be very time consuming, so allow yourself plenty of time to complete the visa/work permit process. Processing time can take anywhere from 2 days in some countries to 6 months in others. Your employer will have to arrange for certain documents (and their approval) as well before you can even begin applying for your visa. If you rush through the procedures you could miss an important step and have to start from cratch.

  6. Documents to Have Available
    Every country requires different documentation for the visa/work permit application. Some items/documents to have on hand include:

    1. a valid passport

    2. 2 or more passport size photos

    3. documentation from your employer

    4. a statewide criminal history record check

    5. a medical certificate

  7. Some European Work Related Vocabulary

    The Schengen Visa: allows you to move freely within the Schengen Area, comprised of 15 European countries.

    EEA: European Economic Area: comprised of the 15 members of the EU plus Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein. The EEA agreement includes a provision for the "free movement of persons." This allows nationals to live, work, study, and establish businesses in any other member countries with little to no obstacles. Additional information can be found at :

  8. A Country-by-Country Guide
    Here is some basic, general information on what you'll need to work overseas. However, information varies on a case-by-case, . It depends on what country you're coming from, what country you're going to, your job description, and your length of stay. Information also changes quite often, especially as security issues are becoming increasingly important. Therefore, it is always best to contact your local consulate or embassy, which you'll need to do anyway when applying for your visa.

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