If you are planning on moving overseas for work purposes or because you’re considering setting up a business in a new country, you have many considerations. Last week we talked about taking your business internationally. Today, we’ll focus on factors to consider when you or your staff goes overseas to support that new venture. One thing you need to do is to get an appropriate visa that allows you to work in that particular country. If you’re in the EU, that’s taken care of by the multinational agreement, but for others, getting a work permit might not be so easy. Read on to discover more about visas as you work on setting up a business in a new country.
Reasons to use an immigration solicitor (lawyer)
If you need to apply for a work visa (very different from a travel visa and not so easy) in another country, you have two choices. You can either make the application yourself, or you can use the services of immigration solicitors (attorneys, in the US, and other regions). Making an application on your own isn’t for the faint of heart, as most countries have complex immigration laws and procedures, while some countries (not always the ones you most expect) impose stiff quotas or other restrictions on visa applications.
When it comes to something as important as applying for a visa, you can’t afford to take risks. You’re setting up a business in the country, and someone (you or members of your staff) need to be there to help manage the business, even if you’ve chosen export as your mode of entry. Sure, you might not have to be there 100% of the time, but even casual visits for work purposes are restricted. For instance, I was once doing interviews with businesses in Mexico (I have a US passport). I wasn’t taking a job from a national, nor was I interfering with commerce. Plus, I was only there for a few hours at a time over a couple of weeks. Yet, I ran into major hurdles in scheduling interviews and, in some cases, was thwarted in my efforts to conduct a scheduled interview because I didn’t have a work visa.
Thus, you want to give yourself the greatest chance that your application is a success, and the only way to do this is to use the services of a lawyer. An immigration solicitor will ensure your application is filled out correctly and that you have included all necessary supporting documents.
Unfortunately, visa refusals are on the rise in many countries, and one of the main reasons why visas are refused is because of mistakes made by the applicant. This is why it is so important to use the services of one of the available immigration solicitors who have experience in what works and what doesn’t, as well as carefully following changes in how applications are processed or changes in acceptable documentation.
Often applicants apply for the wrong visa, which is not surprising when you consider how many different types of business visas out there. Moreover, if your visa is refused, the lawyer you have handling your case will provide you with advice on whether you can appeal, and, if so, they will be able to take care of your appeal, as well.
Mistakes made when choosing an immigration lawyer
When it comes to immigration matters, whether you’re applying for a visa or appealing a refusal, don’t ignore the importance of hiring a top-quality immigration lawyer. Keeping that in mind, in this section, we reveal some of the common mistakes made when hiring immigration lawyers, so you can avoid making a mistake rather than trying to recover later.
One of the biggest mistakes individuals make when hiring immigration lawyers is failing to do the necessary research. People rush into the decision, which is understandable if you don’t have time on your side. Besides, setting up a business involves so many decisions and attention to a wide range of details, that immigration might not be top of mind.
However, you must ensure the company you use for immigration issues has a stellar reputation and that they have specific experience with cases like yours to handle your case efficiently. Here are some questions you should ask before hiring an immigration attorney:
- Have they helped a number of businessmen and women to get established overseas?
- Will they be able to help you with other matters, such as local taxes and company formation decisions? This blog on S corp and C corp provides insights into just one of the considerations you have when setting up a business in another country. And, the list of business decisions you face is a big list, which potentially gets bigger depending on the country you’re considering as a home for your international venture. It certainly helps to choose a professional that can assist with the full process, not just immigration issues.
Another frequent error made is simply choosing a visa and immigration firm based on price and price alone. Instead, you must ensure the law firm offers quality service first, and then the price might determine your choice from among quality options. After all, while the service of a particular company may be cheap, the cost of choosing a poor-quality service is even more damaging than the price difference. Remember, your business depends on your choice, so choose wisely.
Aside from this, failing to establish effective lines of communication with your attorney or not being totally open about your background from the outset is another blunder commonly made by novices setting up a business in another country for the first time. You must ensure your lawyer is easy to talk to and that they are willing to give you regular updates on the progress of your case. Not only this but choosing a firm offering face-to-face options, assuming the pandemic ends and such meetings are possible, helps speed the process and reduces communication problems.
To conclude, there’s no denying you have a lot to consider when setting up a business overseas or moving to another country for career purposes. One of these things requiring careful contemplation is your visa. Use the information provided in this blog post to understand why it is critical to have expert assistance to guide you through the process. Doing your visa application yourself is a huge risk, especially without any sort of experience in these matters. It is not worth the risk when there is so much riding on your visa.
Need marketing help to plan your business strategy?
We welcome the opportunity to show you how we can make your marketing SIZZLE with our data-driven, results-oriented marketing strategies. Sign up for our FREE newsletter, get the 1st chapter of our book on digital marketing analytics – FREE, or contact us for more information on hiring us.
Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.