Making a Visa Application

The First Step

The Easy Part

Making a visa application is the first step in visiting a foreign country after obtaining your passport. Once you have a passport the easy part is over. Every document needed to support a visa application is intended to establish your identity as a person worthy of being allowed to visit the new place. A simple tourist visa is usually obtained without problems. Indeed tourists sometimes are not even aware that they have a visa. This is because of the "visa waiver" programs put in place by some governments for citizens of approved countries. The visa comes with the transport ticket purchased. Some countries will issue tourist or short term visas to travelers on arrival at the point of entry. For any kind of visa which will permit a visit for purposes other than a short tourist trip the job of collecting documents must now begin.

Purpose of the Application

Most countries have stringent regulations about allowing foreigners in to work, conduct research, perform at public events, enjoy political asylum or to become permanent residents. As a retiree with the latter purpose in mind completing an application is not an irrevocable act. Even if your visa is granted you are not obliged to take advantage of it. You may have had to pay a non-refundable fee to be entitled to submit the application. In considering retirement abroad the "GOLDEN RULE" of any retirement plan must be that nothing irrevocable should be done without having first visited the new country at least once and preferably more often. There will undoubtably be an application form to complete. This form will specify what documents need to be supplied to support it, from where these documents must originate, in which language they must be and how they must be officially and legally notarized. Remember that you are attempting to prove your identity and worth as a potential new resident to a government that does not know you and does not need to know you. It is you who needs the approval. The new country may have regulations and laws for the benefit and comfort of retirees but it does not need you, specifically, as a new resident.

Hard Work Begins

The Document Collection

Collecting Documents is Exhausting

This is a list of documents that may be required to support an application for permanent residence.

  1. Completed Application Form
  2. Birth Certificate
  3. Marriage Certificate(s)
  4. Death Certificate(s)
  5. Divorce Papers
  6. Passport (Copy of Data Pages)
  7. List of addresses
  8. List of employers
  9. Medical Examination
  10. List of Previous Countries of Residence
  11. Police Clearance Certificate(s)
  12. Statement of Assets
  13. Statement of Income
  14. Personal References
  15. Bank References
  16. Academic Qualifications
  17. Proof of Skills (e.g. Apprentice Articles of Indenture (discharged), Driving License etc)

This list may not be exhaustive. Also the above documents will have to be produced for all intending dependent residents, such as children or parents, including, of course, your spouse, if applicable, who are to move to the new country with you. Not all countries require all of these documents and none to the same degree of detail or depth.

Some Notes May Help with a Visa Application

  1. Birth, Marriage, Death Certificates and Divorce Papers must be originals or copies issued by the authority which issued the original document. For assistance in getting British Birth/Marriage/etc  Certificates this link will help. 
  2. The Data Page of passports must be a notarized copy in the way specified by the government of the new country.
  3. The list of employers should include references where possible.
  4. The medical examination must be conducted at the surgery approved by the government.
  5. Police Clearance Certificates may need to be obtained from all countries in which you have been resident for more than six months. These certificates have a "life" of six months. Go to the Assistance Link Here or below for help provided by the Canadian Government on this topic for most countries.
  6. The Statement of assets should be provided by an accountant.
  7. The Statement of income must be provided by the authority responsible for paying the income.

The source of other documents is clear from their descriptions. It is likely that all documents will have to be translated into the national language of the new country and they may require apostillization where this is possible. The Apostille Treaty specifies how documents issued in one country can be certified for legal purposes in other countries which are signatories to the convention. There will be fees to obtain most documents and all translations, notarizations and apostillizations will probably also attract charges.

Of course the probably non-refundable application fee must be included with the application



But it could take years!

Specific Country Visas


Other topics




You can buy books by Les on specific countries for Kindle or for other readers at the retailers mentioned below.

You can also buy a Kindle device from Amazon for reading the e-books that you purchase.

Just click below where appropriate.

Retirement Abroad - Your Complete Resource

A Short English Grammar

Your World

Selected titles also available at SmashWords for the Nook and other e-readers and Apple Customers

Click the Above Image to "Buy British".

Click the Above Image to  "Buy Canadian".

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