Work Abroad

Work Visas

The first question the working traveler should consider is whether it’s legal to work in the destination country.

Then you should forget about it and go anyway. The rules exist to control the masses – economies are fluid, flexible creatures that provide plenty of niches for the traveler in search of a job.

Work Visas

Some countries operate a policy of granting one year work visas to travelers under the age of 26. The idea is to promote cultural exchange and all that jazz.

Australia and Japan are examples of this program and you have to apply from your home country. They also expect to see bank statements with a few thousand in the account to prove that you won’t be living on the streets when you arrive. The obvious way around this is just to borrow some cash from an understanding parent or friend for a couple of weeks til the bank issues the statement – you could leave them your passport as deposit…

Otherwise to get a work visa you’ll usually have to demonstrate that you offer some service or skill that a national of that country doesn’t have. Typically, a company in the destination country will give you a letter of invitation and with that you’ll head to the embassy and hope they approve.

Language schools will often arrange all of this for the traveler without having to go through the endless bureaucracy.

Black Work

Most countries have a thriving black economy. The US, for example, couldn’t possibly function without millions of illegal Mexicans and Latinos working the crops. The hysteria about immigration is mostly political hypocrisy.

Jobs which don’t require papers are often those in the hospitality industry or those involving hard labour. Freelance workers can also get away with working illegally and it’s only the professionals that need worry.

The obvious worry for the black worker is that one day at work the immigration police will make a surprise raid and cart you off in handcuffs. A month in immigration jail and then an ignominious ejection from the country on an expensive flight – that they make you pay for.

Whilst this can actually happen in a number of countries, it’s pretty uncommon. As long as you don’t talk too much about your illegal status and don’t hang around too many other illegals, you’d be very unlucky to get busted.