Tips and inspiration for those on short-term, temporary work/resident visas

Yes, there are short-term six and twelve month visas available for those that are looking to experience the world without the uber short term country hopping.  Australians applying for the under-30 visa in Ireland can work for up to 6 months over a 12 month span under the Irish Authorization.  If you are from the Czech Republic then you can only be a resident in Canada for 12 months under International Experience Canada.  These types of short-term visas are available as part of a youth bilateral agreement set up between two countries.

If you are the type eligible under the types of visas that I mentioned (and not just restricted to Ireland or Canada, we are talking about the youth bilateral agreements that have been set up) and you are interested in maximizing your time under these short-term visas, then read on!

Think and plan for the long-term

Even if you are on a short-term visa, you may have the opportunity to jump on board to other categories that will allow you to experience life in that country.  For example, if you can only be in Canada for one year under IEC, make sure to maximize that time spent by ensuring that it is full-time and under the National Occupation Code.  That way, it will help increase your chance of obtaining permanent residency by entering under the Canadian Experience Class stream where the requirements include one year’s experience.

Even if you are pretty sure that you are only there in a matter of months, it helps to sit down and spend a bit of time researching what the potential long-term options.  At least you won’t regret not being prepared if you do decide that you want to live in the country for a longer period.  It’s much better to have this option than to be without.

Find out what the options are for remote work – and then go on site

If your specialization is in areas like digital and online marketing, SEO, online copy writing, customer and technical support, web and front-end development, administration, copy writing, design, and product management then there are options to conduct remote work.

Since you are on a short-term visa, there may be the added difficulty of gaining a foot in the door for large companies and establishments.  In this case, you can look into start-ups, the creative industries, small businesses and sole-traders based in the target country to get your foot in the door.  That could be winning over contract or permanent work for them remotely followed by the option to be on site, interning but with the intention of obtaining a job offer before arriving on site, or providing some sort of arrangement that will allow you to be involved with their business before arriving on site.

The approach would be similar to a freelancer winning over new clients or someone new to the industry.  First, they may get you to do a short sample and if what you provide also helps with their business then there is the opportunity for more than followed up by being there on site.  This also goes for the business since they can do some of product trial where the product is what you can bring to the table for them.

Get involved with start-ups and creative projects

I see a plethora of start-up companies seeking out interns or volunteers.  The key item for you is figuring out a way to close the deal – going from being a remote intern or volunteer to going on site and being paid.

There is a chance of this being more of a gamble though. You will need to be upfront and you need to have a very clear exit strategy.  I had an Italian friend that went through the unfortunate situation of getting promises of an internship only to have the opportunity disappear when he arrived in London.  This benefits both parties as well since they need to be clear on what the forecast is in terms of hiring and recruitment.

Try to begin your introductions before you land 

Previously, I’ve written a couple of articles with tips on how you can prepare before landing – on preparing a CV for relocation and on applying for professional volunteerships.  You can also go through Eventbrite and Meetup calendars to see what events are occurring so that straight away, you can land on your feet and that you are networking straight away.

The main challenge is the time constraint of a 6 month or 12 month visa.  Relationships take time.  You do the introductions, arrange a face-to-face meeting, and so on.  Some have taken the liberty to travel as a visitor first but may be challenging if you don’t have the budget to make cross Atlantic flights…

There are online communities like LinkedIn and Slack where you can build up that rapport online.

Research what state and federal public resources are available to you

This is somewhat similar to my first point regarding finding out what the long-term opportunities are available to you.  There may be public resources that you have access to once you officially become a valid temporary resident.

Another item is that since much of these youth visas are due to bilateral agreements set up between two countries, find out what other bilateral agreements are also available in areas like the health care system.

Find ways to bring your work with you, wherever

While the temporary visas provides you with the opportunity to gain global experience with a local company (and to also experience the local work culture), it also provides you with the opportunity to live there for a longer term if your only other option are short stay types of visas.

Now you may not want to have to go through the motions of applying for a new job each year.  It’s stressful.  The other options include diversifying your income streams so that it’s not dependent on the one country, seeking out remote companies, freelancing and growing your own business, or seeking out opportunities with companies that contain multiple headquarters.

Being on your own in Sweden and communicating with a company based in Australia is not the same as experiencing life working and living in that country for a local company.  Maybe it works for some, and not for others.  I feel that it is always seriously worth a try deep-diving into that country’s culture as much as you can.

And last but not least.. be on the lookout for potential curveballs and mishaps

Taking six months or twelve months out of your home country can be a big move.  The time spent is so short that you may be overlooked for opportunities since there will be people who simply assume that you are only there as a stopover before moving on.  Not only that, but it usually takes months for someone to settle into a new role – and by the time you are settled it looks like you may be on your way.

Moving countries can be very exciting but it can put a bit of a shock on your system.  Even moreso if a curveball occurs.  When I first moved to the UK, I was a victim of fraud and came at the worst time ever – right before the Olympics when the rental market was about to be squeezed by the major event.  A friend had to seek out medical help, followed by a fight with his insurance company regarding their policies.  And you read articles on expats finding themselves on quicksand due to the Turkish coup, or people with long-term uncertainty due to the Brexit.  However, and I really don’t want to scare anyone away from doing this, preparation is always, always your friend in these case.

Have these tips helped you?  Do you have advice of your own to share?  Feel free to comment below!

Thanks for reading.  If you are looking for advice or have suggestions to offer for potential posts feel free to email me.

Please note that I am not a migration consultant.  If you have specific questions related to you only, please consult the relevant officiated resource, or find a registered migration consultant or seek out legal advice.

Tips on modifying your CV before an international relocation

Note: This post was initially written in 2015, I have since modified a couple of details in 2016.

I have only been in my new city and country for less than a week and I have been busy with phone interviews, calls from recruitment agencies, emails from hiring managers. I started the process about two weeks before arriving.  I decided to write down a list of points that helped me out in this process which you can read below.

Obtain local experience

I wrote all about professional volunteer work here.  This is going to help if you only have international experience in your CV, and you have not been able to build local experience.  I have also written another entry here with a few ideas that you can only do prior to the relocation.

Some may argue to take any work, as long as it is local.  It really is up to your budget, capacity, capability.  Another item is your employability in that market for that region.

Do you have a confirmed work permit?

Mention that you have a *confirmed* visa in your resume at a location that is obvious to the hiring manager and recruiter. This is especially important for those who have international experiences in their resume and it is not apparent that they can in fact work for the target country.  This is especially important if you do not have local experience to start off with. Please note that the confirmed part is also dependent on your physical entrance into the country via customs officers and dependent on your visa conditions.  For example you may have a confirmed authorization to obtain this work visa but you still need to obtain it as is the case with certain working holiday arrangements.

Research what the usual interview and hiring practices are

In terms of response times, anytime between one day and one or two weeks but they will generally tell you. Personally I prefer one week or less. I figured that 2-3 weeks is a good head start, but it ended up being too early, so 1-2 weeks head start is good.

The other thing I have found here is that people tend to do an initial phone interview (10-20 minutes) before they see you face to face.  There might even be in some instances where they would rather see you face to face.

All of these were important items to note since my previous experience had been obtaining work within my own professional-personal networks.

Research what the market rate is

I remember being on the call with a recruiter and mentioning them my target range. The only thing is that while this range suits in my home and previous country, it definitely does not suit in my new country.

The whole issue of what the market rate is in itself requiring further discussion.

What is the communication style?

Having been initially based in London and also working for a certain industry, I’ve developed a formal writing style.  I’ve had to adjust how I write my applications based on the new location and industry that I am targeting and I had to make it informal.

Do not use acronyms and country-specific jargon and state the local equivalent

If you use any terms that may not be familiar in the target country, you may need to state what the local equivalent is or provide further descriptive statements about it.  For example, someone who worked for the NHS in the UK wrote about their experience on a CV aimed at the US market, the recruiters or hiring managers may not necessarily know what the NHS equivalent is in the US.

Is your education recognized or seen as an equivalent?

In certain countries, there is no need to worry about this.  However you may need to work with the target higher education certificate authority to state that your education is up to the target country standards. If you are intending to pursue permanent residency, taking this step will also be useful since this type of documentation is most likely required anyway.

Have a local contact

On Skype, you are able to purchase Skype credit allowing you to make calls to landlines and mobiles.  You can also purchase a Skype number and have a number coming in from a certain country.  Note that not all countries are covered under this program and that you may need to end up waiting until you arrive at the country to obtain a local number.

While a local number may seem so simple, I have found that it does make a big difference for certain people.  So you may get more responses once you are in the country and able to register with a local mobile.

Put a face to a name

This means going out to the networking events and meeting as many people as you can and to see how much you can branch out in terms of potential connections.  This also means, on a digital sense, increasing your digital presence online and to allow people to get to ‘know’ who you are.  Now this may mean crafting the presence.

I also do personal/professional digital branding using website, social media, search engines etc. If this is a topic that you’d like to read more of, please let me know below!

Anticipate what other documentation you may need

Previously, I wrote that you may need get documentation – for example documentation from a higher education certificate authority.  If you anticipate further documentation, ensure to have these ready.

Brand yourself online!

When recruiters and hiring managers conduct a name search on sites like Google, you will want to ensure that you have a name domain with your CV alongside your projects and work history.  For example, lists out my main work history, projects, a bit about me and links to my blog.  If you are interested in finding a web developer to aid in your relocation strategy, feel free to contact me at

Details of this post is of the author’s own opinion only.  For actual immigration issues, please note that that you should consult with your immigration lawyer or paid immigration consultant, check the official documentation first, and that details will change after the publication of this post.  

Q&A from Emerging Digital Marketer (looking to move from Brisbane to London for career development)

Early October this year, I received an email from an emerging digital marketer currently based in Brisbane and researching their options to develop their career overseas, in particular the UK. They will remain anonymous 😉 and here’s a slightly reworded of my email exchange with this individual…

Continue reading Q&A from Emerging Digital Marketer (looking to move from Brisbane to London for career development)