Understanding Immigration Laws, Student Visas, Works Visas and More

Going off to study or work in another country is stressful and exciting, to be sure. But when you add in the stress of immigration laws, student visas or work visas, the process gets daunting indeed. Here are some resources for understanding when you need a student visa, work visa, and more.

Immigration Laws

These are sets of laws unique to each country that spell out the requirements for entering and living in a given country. Violate them and you could land in hot water, so it’s important to do your research before moving abroad, whether for work, school or pleasure. These rules are established by the government to determine who can come into the country, for how long, and under what circumstances. Immigration laws also oversee the naturalization process for anyone who wants to become a citizen of that country eventually.

Let’s take a look at China, for instance. It used to be relatively easy to work and live there from another country. However, due to rising populations and concerns for social and political change, China drafted its new Exit and Entry Administration Law in 2013 which has much stricter guidelines for immigration. You can read more about it here in China Daily.

Student Visas

Knowing how to obtain and keep a student visa while studying abroad can keep you from getting deported. Failing to renew your student visa after it has expired can lead to big fines and/or jail time. Bottom line is, if you plan to study and live abroad for more than a month, say, in China, you’ll need to apply for a student visa. You’ll also need a valid passport. Your local embassy or consulate is where you can apply for a visa.

For country-specific information on where you plan to live and study, such as Spain, the UK or Italy, head to the NAFSA: Association of International Educators website. This will spell out the student visa requirements of destination countries so you can more readily understand the laws and apply them to your situation.

Work Visas

If you plan to stay in a particular country for longer than a set time period, you must obtain a visa for a temporary stay or one for permanent residence if you plan to actually move there. There are a few types of visas to look into depending on your needs. For instance, in the United States, you can apply for an H-1B visa if you work in a specialty occupation, H-2A if you are a temporary agricultural worker, P-1 if you are an individual or team athlete, or Q-1 if you are here as part of an International Cultural Exchange Program.

Here is a great US travel Visa resource covering everything from the different types of Visas available, how to fill out the applications, and photo requirements, what do about lost or stolen visas, expiration dates, and other invaluable information to help travelers.

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