How to Research For Visa Requirements?

People are moving and relocating overseas for many reasons.

Some would like to live in a warm and sunny country; others are moving for career reasons, and some would like to study in a foreign country.

Whatever reasons you have for relocating overseas, you would always need to check – If a visa is required, what kind of visa, how long does it take to get the visa, will your spouse be able to accompany you, etc’.

There is no doubt that the research for visa requirements can be daunting and overwhelming. This is especially true if you are moving on your own, and if there is no international company or a government to assist you with processing the visa application.

However, if you follow some guidelines you would realize that it is not a mission impossible. The guidelines apply to everyone, no matter from where you are or to which country you are moving.

  • Make a list of the countries you would like to move to – While some of you would know exactly where you would like to live, it is a good practice to check 2-3 additional countries. You might be surprised by the information that you find, and some of you might even decide to change their destination country.
  • What are you looking to do in the destination country? Work? Live? Study? Narrow your options.
  • Now it is time to do some searching on the internet. Almost every country has a government website in English with tons of information about citizenship, immigration and visa matters. This is the best place to get accurate and updated information.
  • Go to the official government site of your destination country choose the visa or immigration section and then look for work, study or immigrate, according to your preferences. Make sure to read thoroughly and pay special attention to the remarks.
  • In most cases you will find out that for a study permit you first must be accepted at a recognized school, university or college in your destination country, and that for a work permit you would need to receive a job offer from a local employer. Write down the information and any questions you might still have that were not answered.
  • Search the FAQ section. Some of your questions will get an answer at that part of the website. However, you might learn that it is only general information that applies to citizens from most countries but not to those from your own country. So,
  • Go to the website of the Embassy of your destination country. Meaning, if you are originally from India and would like to move to Canada, you would need to look for the website of the Canadian High Commission in India. In most cases you would find there specific information about visa and immigration requirements that applies to your nationality.
  • Are you still left with questions or doubts? No worries! There are many websites dedicated to the expatriate community. On some websites you can find active forums, where expats from all over the world ask questions and share information. Most forums are very supportive and helpful.

Following the above guidelines will make your research more effective and less time consuming. 

Are you interested in additional information about expats living? Would you like more tips and advice about visa requirements, and overseas employment? You can find this and much more at

Sharon is an expat who have been living in Canada and Venezuela, where She has been working for the embassy at the consular department, assisting people with their visa, passport and consular issues. Sharon is the founder and the webmaster of website