Obtaining a Visa for Your International Relocation
As you do research for your international move, you will discover that it not only takes a lot of planning, but also a lot of paperwork. You will have to file paperwork for all of your items so they can clear customs, paperwork to get your financial affairs switched from one currency to the next, and paperwork that allows you to leave one country and enter the next. One document that everyone will need is a visa. Not to be confused with a passport, a visa is a document or mark that sets guidelines for the traveler in the country they are going to. This includes how long they can stay, when they will be leaving, and the purpose for being there. If you are going to be relocating to a new country permanently, as opposed to just vacationing, you will absolutely need a visa before getting there.
Not everyone is familiar with how a visa works however. In fact, a lot of people may not know that not all visas are the same. Just as every country has different rules and regulations regarding what items they allow to be imported in the country, the same can be said for what they require on a visa. Typically, all of them require some sort of identification, but a visa is generally more than that. A visa is supposed to outline exactly what you are doing while you are in the country, and this is where the countries may differ. You might need to be extremely specific, or only have a general idea. Contact the consulate for the country you are moving to, so you can get a good idea of what will be required on your visa.
Also, just like with all other aspects of your move, you will want to plan ahead. It could possibly take a few months before you are granted the exact visa that you need. This does not include the amount of time it will take for you to get a passport, which is something that many places require you to get before even applying for a visa. It also costs a fee to get a visa, which varies depending on where you are going. Usually the price ranges from $50 up to $200, so make sure to include this in your moving budget. It will be extremely frustrating if you failed to plan ahead and are waiting on a visa to come through when every other aspect of your move is ready to go, so make this one of your first steps in the moving process.
Tips on How to File
It is not a completely painful process however. If you are having problems filing the paperwork, or are confused by exactly what you will need, you could always hire someone to take care of the process for you. The company will fill out your paperwork for you, and even file it. Often times going with this method could get you your visa within a couple days, so it may seem like the best route. However, it does normally cost money to hire an agency, approximately $300, so make sure you have the money for it. If you plan on doing everything yourself, you might be pleased to learn that many countries will accept electronic filing. The ones that do not, you will either have to mail, or deliver to the consulate in person. So make sure to ask if electronic filing is an option when you call to find out all of the information they will need.
There is a small chance that you will not need a visa at all. There is a law called the Schengen Agreement. This basically states that countries that are a part of this agreement will allow travelers to visit their country for ninety days at a time without a visa. The countries that belong to this agreement are mostly part of the European Union however, so if you are not living in one of those countries, or are not visiting one, then you will still need a visa. If the Schengen Agreement does apply to you, it will be easier to not get a visa if you are only relocating for a job that is going to take less than ninety days. Hopefully this has given a little bit of clarity on exactly what a visa is, and the steps you will need to take in order to get one. If you have any doubts or questions, the best thing to do is to contact the consulate right away, and they should be able to answer any questions you have.