Immigration

Immigration

The most common concerns with immigration.

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Why can’t I enter the country and begin my assignment with just my passport and a tourist visa?

Visas have been categorized specifically to help countries monitor the movement of people across their borders. If you are going to a foreign country to work, you will need a proper visa — in the majority of cases, this must be obtained before you leave your home country. Many visas, such as work-related visas, are limited in the number issued each year. Entering a country under false pretenses is not only illegal, but also may jeopardize your chances of obtaining a work permit. Therefore, it is important to be compliant with immigration laws. Please consult your in-house global mobility and immigration advisers or professional immigration counsel recommended by your employer well in advance of your assignment. Lastly, as each country’s immigration application requirements and turnaround time greatly vary, it is important to exercise patience and understand that follow-up may be necessary.

How do I obtain the necessary visas and work permits?

Employers, on a fairly standard basis, handle immigration matters relating to the relocation of you and your family, including the procurement of your working papers. Whether you or your employer handles your immigration/visa matters, you should make every attempt to finalize the arrangements before you relocate. Some employers offer assistance for spouses in obtaining visas and work permits. Please consult your in-house global mobility and immigration advisers or professional immigration counsel recommended by your employer well in advance of your assignment.

I have a domestic partner. Will he or she be able to accompany me on my assignment?

In general, international assignment policies mirror the organization’s domestic policy on benefits to domestic partners whether the partner is of the opposite or same sex. However, even if your company provides assistance, from an immigration perspective, the host country may not allow for nonmarried partners to obtain residency permits. Please consult your in-house global mobility and immigration advisers or professional immigration counsel recommended by your employer well in advance of your assignment.

Is a medical exam required to obtain a visa and work permit?

Possibly. Each country has different requirements for obtaining visas and work permits. Countries may require a general physical examination and/or have specific requests, for example, a chest x-ray. Also, depending on the host country, you may be required to visit a physician specified by the host country consulate (in your home country) and others may allow you to see the physician of your choice. Even if it is not required, a medical exam is a good idea to have before moving to the assignment location. (In addition, you should check if any medications you are taking are available in the host location and/or if you can bring them into the country.)

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