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FAQs for Living and Working Overseas:

Written by a former Peace Corps Volunteer living overseas since 1989

The Expat Guy: FAQs for Working and Living Overseas

Do I arrange my employment and or resident visas before I go overseas?

These issues vary for every country and it is a good time to head over to the discussion boards and ask.

The Usual Process
- if there is one . . .

Is to get a special visa (for working in that country) before you leave.  You'll need to get it at the embassy or a consulate of the country to which you are moving.  Usually, all this can easily be done through the mail. 

Know though that embassy people, like government employees everywhere - are not always as helpful as they could be. So be very positive and pleasant with them, dress professionally if you need to go in person.  Basically, you need to "kiss their (whatever)" - you KNOW what I mean.  These people are critical to you - please them. Sing, dance, be very patient - don't lose your cool.  And this is just the beginning - so get used to it!

They are, btw, sometimes VERY helpful and very pleasant.  The lady who runs the Thai embassy in Korea - is the very best of the best!

Overseas, Finally!

Once in the country in which you will be working, you'll typically need to go somewhere (maybe immigration, maybe the Ministry of Labor - maybe both) to get your work permit sorted out.  Usually, your residence visa is only for a short time when you first enter the country.  It will then be extended to the period of time for your work permit.

The Famous Visa and Work Permit Merry-Go-Round

This can be fun, as with all things having to do with government, when your work permit can only be issued for the period of time of your visa - but your visa will only be issued for the period of time of your work permit - but does the chicken come before the egg? 

Don't worry about it, some how it all gets done.  Lean on your employer, it won't usually be the first time they have gone through it.  This part always stresses the author out a bit, but I have learned to just have faith that it will all get done somehow . . . and it always does.



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