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Immigration / Permanent Residency Visa

Australia    • Canada    • Denmark    • Hong Kong    • Singapore    • UK    • USA

An Immigrant Visa is required of anyone who wishes to enter a foreign country to reside there permanently, whether or not that person plans to seek employment in the country. Getting an immigrant visa usually means that you will be able to live and work in the country for as long as you want.

A permanent resident is someone who has been given permanent resident status by the Immigration authorities, but is not a citizen of the said country. Permanent residents are citizens of other countries. A person temporarily in a country, like a student or foreign worker, is not a permanent resident.

  1. What is the difference between an immigrant and non immigrant visa?
  2. Benefits of Immigration / Permanent Residency
  3. Types of Visas

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What is the difference between an immigrant and non immigrant visa?

An immigrant visa is the visa issued to persons wishing to live permanently in a foreign country.

A non-immigrant visa is the visa issued to persons with a permanent residence outside of a country but who wishes to be in a country on a temporary basis (i.e. Tourism, medical treatment, business, temporary work, or study)

Benefits of Immigration/ Permanent Residency

Being a permanent resident has a number of advantages, some salient benefits are listed below:

  • Ability to leave/ enter the country at your will without having any risk of being denied a re-entry.
  • Right to apply for government sponsored financial aid for education
  • Permission to work in any company located in the country except for companies that only hire citizens.
  • Permission to start your own business/ create your own corporation
  • Retirement benefits
  • Immunity against any future changes in immigration laws
  • Eligible for government grants
  • Easier to get mortgage for home and other requirements
  • Easier rules for health and insurance policies
  • Tax benefits in many entries to permanent residents over work permit holders
  • Legally own movable or immovable property
  • In some countries you are entitled to sponsor your close relations for similar Permanent Residency to enable families to live together

With the Indian Government granting benefits to people of Indian Origin living abroad almost at par with Indian Citizens , with some exceptions , it is a double benefit to acquire a Permanent Residency abroad which meets your needs better .Due to demographical and Geo political constraints rules for grant of Permanent Residency are becoming increasingly stringent . If you are an aspirant for this benefit you should decide at the earliest.

Types of Visas

Each country has a multitude of categories of visas and with various names. The most common types and names of visas (by propose) include:

  • Short-stay or visitor visa, for short visits to the host country. Many countries differentiate between different reasons for these visits, such as:
    • Private visa, for private visits by invitation of residents of the country.
    • Tourist visa, for a limited period of leisure travel, no business activities allowed.
    • Visa for medical reasons, for undertaking diagnostics or a course of treatment in the host country's hospitals.
    • Business visa, for engaging in commerce in the country. These visas generally preclude permanent employment, for which a work visa would be required.
    • Working holiday visa, for individuals traveling between nations offering a working holiday program, allowing young people to undertake temporary work while traveling.
    • Athletic or artistic visa, issued to athletes and performing artists (and their supporting staff) performing at competitions, concerts, shows and other events.
    • Cultural exchange visa, usually issued to athletes and performing artists participating in a cultural exchange program.
    • Refugee visa, issued to persons fleeing the dangers of persecution, a war or a natural disaster.

  • Long-stay visa, valid for longer but still finite stays:
    • Student visa, which allows its holder to study at an institution of higher learning in the issuing country.
    • Temporary worker visa, for approved employment in the host country. These are generally more difficult to obtain but valid for longer periods of time than a business visa. Examples of these are the United States' H-1B and L-1 visas. Depending on a particular country, the status of temporary worker may or may not evolve into the status of permanent resident or to naturalization.
    • Journalist visa, which some countries require of people in that occupation when traveling for their respective news organizations. Countries which insist on this include Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, the United States (I-visa) and Zimbabwe.
    • Residence visa, granted to people obtaining long-term residence in the host country. In some countries, long-term residence is a necessary step to obtain the status of a permanent resident.
    • Asylum visa, issued to people who have suffered or reasonably fear persecution in their own country due to their political activities or opinion, or features, or association with a social group; or were exiled from their own country.

  • Immigrant visa, granted for those intending to immigrate to the issuing country (obtain the status of a permanent resident with a prospect of possible naturalization in the future):
    • Spousal visa or partner visa, granted to the spouse, civil partner or de facto partner of a resident or citizen of a given country to enable the couple to settle in that country.
    • Marriage visa, granted for a limited period before intended marriage or civil partnership based on a proven relationship with a citizen of the destination country. For example, a German woman who wishes to marry an American man would obtain a Fiancee Visa (also known as a K-1 visa) to allow her to enter the United States. A K1 Fiancee Visa is valid for four months from the date of its approval.
    • Pensioner visa (also known as retiree visa or retirement visa), issued by a limited number of countries (Australia, Argentina, Thailand, Panama, etc.), to those who can demonstrate a foreign source of income and who do not intend to work in the issuing country. Age limits apply in some cases.

  • Official visa is granted to officials doing job for their governments or otherwise representing their countries in the host country, such as the personnel of diplomatic missions.
    • Diplomatic visa is normally only available to bearers of diplomatic passports.
    • Courtesy visa issued to representatives of foreign governments or international organizations who do not qualify for diplomatic status but do merit expedited, courteous treatment - an example of this is Australia's Special purpose visa.

  • Transit visa, for passing through the country to a destination outside that country. Validity of transit visas are usually limited by short terms such as several hours to 10 days depending on the size of the country and/or the circumstances of a particular transit itinerary.
    • Airside transit visa, required by some countries for passing through their airports even without going through passport control.
    • Crew member, steward or driver visa, issued to persons employed or trained on aircraft, vessels, trains, trucks, buses and any other means of international transportation, or ships fishing in international waters.

Content Source for type of visas: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki


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