Understand the dynamics of immigration paperwork - passports, visas, residency and citizenship as an expat or hire an expat-vetted immigration lawyer.


Applying for a visa can be rather complex and difficult,  but it is a required step in the relocation process. As the visa requirements vary country by country, it's necessary to understand the procedure for a smooth transition to life abroad.

Types of Immigration Visas

When determining which visas are available, start off with an assessment to understand the types of visas available at the country of interest. Once you understand the types of visas available, you’ll be able to prepare accordingly with the immigration system.

Here are some of the most common types of visas:

  • Artist Visa - this visa is generally given for artists in the entertainment field with a typical duration of 6 months
  • Student Visa - This visa is for students who wish to study abroad and have been accepted into an international study abroad program with a visa duration proportional to the length of the course duration
  • Work Visa - This visa is offered to people with a valid work contract and employment authorization, which is required for a work visa, but every country visa requirements are different
  • Dependent Visa - This visa is usually given to the spouse, children and parents of a visa holder or resident, where the length of the visa depends on the primary visa holder
  • Fiance Visa - This visa is offered in only a few countries and offered for a limited period of time, and is for a couple to legally marry in a foreign country
  • Tourist visa -  This visa is given to people exploring a new country for a limited period of time
  • Business Visa - This visa is for business-related purposes with the invitation or letter from the host company

However, there are many more visa types and must be reviewed for the country of preference as new visa options have become available over the past several years (ex. French Tech Visa). In the end, the best solution is to plan ahead and speak with an immigration agency to discuss the immigration and visa options available for you and your family to move abroad with ease.

Immigration Documentation to Get a Visa

Preparation is key when preparing the documentation to secure a visa to move abroad. In many cases, it’s important to have extra physical copies, translated by professionals (when necessary) and have secured electronic copies as well just in case.

As you begin the preparation for your visa application, be sure to understand the paperwork required as noted at the immigration and visa application centers, as they are different from office to office. Another great option is to set up time to visit the visa application center to ask any questions or review your paperwork beforehand so that you have everything in place before your official appointment (consider it a practice round) that can be very helpful and reduce the pressure.

Here are a few documents typically requested for a visa:

  • Original Passport
  • Bank Statements
  • Proof of Medical Condition
  • Educational Documents (if applicable)
  • Police Verification Certificate
  • All the translated documents (if applicable)

Once you have your documents organized in one place for easy filing, you’ll feel much more prepared to present your visa application. But if you need additional assistance, don’t hesitate to work with an immigration lawyer or professional relocation specialist on Avvinue to guide you through the process so that you can focus more on the other demanding aspects of relocation.

Get a Residence Permit and Citizenship

It’s an exciting moment for an expat considering a residency permit or filing for citizenship in a foreign country. Each country has different rules and requirements for qualifying for a residence permit or citizenship, so it’s important to understand those options available.

Once you meet the requirement, you can file your application for a permanent residency to begin the process of your immigration to a foreign country. Here are the common types of residency permits:

  • Temporary Residence Permit -  This permit offers a limited stay according to the mission statement, intent and purpose of the work. Note: Tourist Visa doesn't come under temporary residence permits  
  • Permanent Residence Citizenship - This citizenship option has different requirements and sometimes the eligibility depends on duration of stay; but also, a permanent residency can eventually convert to a citizenship, but the process may require that you live in the country for several years

While the documentation, eligibility and process for a visa, residency permit or citizenship varies country by country, it’s important to read and understand the specific conditions applicable for your move abroad. We recommend you speak with one of our on-demand relocation specialists on our expat moving platform to answer any questions you have and prepare your paperwork for your visa application.

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