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Retirement Abroad

Settling In

Finding a Visa

The most vital part of going to another country whether as a tourist, a worker, a short time contract employee or as a permanent resident is to find an appropriate visa. The major immigrant-welcoming countries specify just what kind of migrant that they encourage or permit and upon what terms. There is no secret about this and the information is freely available from government web sites. It may take some ferreting out. Official web sites are not always couched in simple, easily understood English and they try to cover all legal possibilities so far as interpretation is concerned.

It is just this kind of complex verbosity that opens the door to organisations only too willing to search and explain things for you - at a price. There is something wrong when governments that are put in power by ordinary people make it almost impossible for those people to understand the rules, regulations and laws that are made on their behalf. Providing an opportunity for citizens, residents and intending residents to be charged large sums to enjoy the freedoms of their own society is grossly unfair.

This site hopes to correct this imbalance between the needs of ordinary people and the unnecessarily obscure laws that govern them at no cost to users.

To save frequent repetition reference will often be made in a discussion relevant to one country to that mentioned about another country when the points are the same or similar. The appropriate link will be inserted to permit movement to where the necessary information can be found. Select the country that interests you from the list on the left to go to the information provided for that place.

The most important thing in seeking permission to go to another country on whatever basis is to apply in good time. To complete procedures, particularly, for the acquisition of permanent resident status, can take many months and sometimes years. Even after the desired status is achieved or awarded by a government it can still take many more years for a visa to become available. As an example of this is the fact that a brother or sister sponsored by a brother or sister who is a legal resident or citizen of the U.S.A. may have to wait, at present, for up to eight years for a visa to become available. Only a fixed number of such visas is granted each year and the current backlog of approved applicants causes this waiting period. This is not the case in all countries. Even in the U.S.A. not all visas are issued on the basis of an annual quota. Visas for parents sponsored by a child who is an American legal resident or citizen are unlimited in number. As soon as the sponsorship petition is granted a visa will be issued. Further issues can then arise because the time to take up the visa may be too short to finalise affairs in the current country of residence. This matter will be dealt with in more detail in the American page when that country is presented on this site

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