Immigration did you ask for a bit of jargon?

Immigration – did you ask for a bit of jargon?
Each job has its specific vocabulary, and immigration is no exception to the rule – especially since, from one country to another, the same word will not mean the same thing! Oui Immigration offers here a summary of the most common terms, and encourages you to contact us in case of doubt 😉

It is a document that allows its holder to enter the territory of a given country, for a specific activity and duration: tourism, business, work, family reunion,.

One often hears that “a visa is needed” to work in a particular country (this is usually where the immigration specialist’s face changes). In reality, for a long-term professional mobility, it is a work authorization that will be required, which will be converted into a visa, which will be converted into a work permit or even a residence permit.  The visa is only one step in a procedure that can take several months!

Visa waiver

One benefits from a visa waiver when one is a citizen of a country that has signed a bilateral agreement with another country, on the non-need for their citizens to obtain a visa before arriving in the said countries.

Clearly: there is a visa waiver agreement between France and Brazil => a French person can travel to Brazil and a Brazilian citizen can come to France without doing anything else than showing his valid passport upon arrival in the country: no visa application will have to be filed with the Consulate before the flight.

On the other hand, a German citizen wishing to travel to China will need to obtain a visa from the Chinese Consulate before departure: there is no visa waiver agreement between Germany and China.

Work authorization

It is an authorization issued by the government of a country after analyzing a file containing various documents, usually attesting to the skills of the person, the need to hire this talent and the legality of the sponsoring company. This work authorization usually precedes the issuance of the visa.

Work permit

It is a document authorizing its holder to work for a specific company, position and duration. Depending on the country, it also serves as a residence permit. It is generally renewable through local authorities.

Residence permit

It is a document authorizing its holder to reside in a country for a specific period of time and reason. Be careful, it does not systematically authorize to work!

Some countries issue documents that serve as work authorization/work visas/work permits all in one, others add other steps…. In addition, the term “work permit” in Australia can sometimes be understood as “work authorization” in England, or as “Employment Visa” in India.

Have we lost you here? Normal! We enter there in the labyrinths of immigration, but do not worry, we are your best guide😊

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