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Temporary and Resident Visa

By: Tracy Whitelaw - Updated: 24 Oct 2010 | comments*Discuss
Permanent Resident Visa Temporary

For many individuals moving abroad there’s the issue of whether to apply for a temporary visa or a permanent visa. For some, the lure of a permanent visa can be too strong and they will follow the route of permanent residency. For others, breaking their ties with the UK is too terrifying at first and therefore it’s often decided to go for a temporary visa to ‘test the water’. Some people have no choice in which visa class they’re allowed to apply for and will be forced to choose due to their particular set of circumstances. If this is the case, it’s always helpful to know some of the main differences between the visas.

Temporary Visa Class

If you’ve obtained a temporary visa in the emigration process, you’re likely to have done so through a business related visa or an investor visa. These are amongst the most common and some of them will have a time limitation on them. If you’re moving to a country that requires your personal skill set, then you’re likely to be given a temporary visa, with the ability to make this permanent at a later date. The time limits on these vary dependent on country, but can be as short as 2 years. During this time, as a temporary resident, you’ll normally have many of the same benefits as a permanent resident, but you will be required to renew your visa before it expires.

As a previous resident of the UK, you will be entitled to emergency medical care in your new home if the new country has a reciprocal health care agreement. Generally you won’t be entitled to social welfare and won’t be able to vote in your new country. You will be taxed on any income earned there however and if you’re still being taxed in the UK, its worthwhile contacting a tax officer to ask for advice.

Permanent Visa Class

To obtain a permanent visa for most countries, the common way of doing so is through sponsorship. This sponsorship can be from an employer or from family who already reside abroad. Permanent skill visas are usually points assessed and if you have the correct number of points, you have a good case for a visa. If you’re applying through the family sponsored scheme, there are normally certain criteria that need to be met. If you are lucky enough to get permanent residency immediately, it means that you’ll be able to access almost all of the services that citizens can. You won’t be able to vote until you’re a citizen, but arriving as a permanent resident means that from day one, you’ll be starting a period of time in the country that will count towards your citizenship. If you do decide to apply for citizenship, you will then gain the right to vote in your new country. Also, when on a permanent resident visa, you aren’t required to continually reapply for your visa.

Choosing the Correct Visa Class

In order to know which visa you’re eligible to apply for, it’s best to speak to the embassy of your new home or speak to a migration agent. The main differences between the visas are that if you have a permanent visa you have access to more services in your new country. People may also view you differently, as when you go to apply for legal or official things, you’ll usually be asked about your residency status. It can affect your ability to access medical care and if this is important to you, you may want to find out if you can obtain a permanent resident visa. Otherwise, if temporary residency is the only choice you have, make the most of it and enjoy living in your new home until the time when you can apply for a permanent visa. For most classes of visa this is possible, although there are a few in the USA that are simply continually renewed without any real permanency.

Overall, both visas are worth applying for if it’s your intention to move abroad and in some cases, you actually apply for both and then the official body will decide which visa class suits you. Don’t be afraid to obtain a permanent visa if you can. It doesn’t mean you can’t return back to the UK should you want to and could lead to dual-citizenship which has its benefits.

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