Getting a Visa for a Third Country While Abroad Can Be Hard. Here’s What to Do When You Can’t Access Your Embassy

Business travel is booming, particularly in Europe, with a projected growth trajectory of $449.9 billion by 2027. This is great news, but it can introduce specific issues regarding work visas and documentation. Here’s one that comes up a lot. 


If you’re a citizen of one country, living in another, and suddenly need a visa for a third country –- perhaps due to a work assignment — you may run into some difficulties. This scenario is common across Europe, especially for those in the Schengen Zone, where frequent cross-border living and working is common. It doesn’t tend to pose a problem until that citizen needs to travel somewhere outside the EU zone for work, whether moving to Asia for a tech job or Saudi Arabia for an oil and gas job. Work visas can be a long and complicated process, and visiting the embassy is often essential. 


Getting a visa from an embassy or consulate outside your home country can be complicated, especially if you’re not a resident of the country you’re currently living in. In many cases, returning to home solely to navigate a visa application can be impractical or cost-prohibitive, particularly for work-related travel. 


This article explores the complexities of this situation and offers some practical advice on how to successfully navigate the process.



Applying for a work visa while living in a second country – how does it work?

Obtaining a visa is often straightforward for citizens living in their home country or who are citizens of a second country. They can visit their intended destination’s embassy or consulate in person in the country they currently live in, submit the required documentation, and receive their work or travel visa. 


But the process can be significantly more complex if the person isn’t a citizen of the country they’re living in, as they have to visit the embassy in the country they’re from instead. Finding the time to get an appointment in their home country and return to their home country can be impractical and expensive. This can be complicated further if they aren’t able to get time off work as government offices such as embassies are typically shut for appointments on weekends.


In addition, procuring all of the necessary documents for visas, such as original diplomas, FBI or police checks, and others can also be more difficult for someone living in another country. The entire process can become very time-consuming.


This is where specialized document services can offer crucial support. These companies excel at managing complex visa processes, acting as intermediaries between individuals and embassies or consulates. They can also offer white-glove services tailored to the needs of companies and anyone who needs to navigate business travel permits.



Case study: A UK national living in Ireland who needs a South Korean work visa

Here’s a case we handled recently that illustrates how complex the process can be – a UK citizen living in Ireland received an exciting job offer from a South Korean technology firm. 


Due to time constraints, directly visiting the South Korean consulate in London wasn’t feasible, and the South Korean consulate in Ireland couldn’t process the client’s application as he wasn’t an Irish citizen. Working in Ireland as a UK citizen isn’t unusual, so this is a common situation for people to be in. Worried about missing the job opportunity, he investigated alternative solutions. 


After consultation with Lex Documents, the required documentation was outlined, and a representative based in the UK office handled the rest in three stages:


  1. In-person submission: A representative from the UK office visited the South Korean consulate in London and submitted the visa application with all supporting documents.

  2. Communication liaison: We actively communicated with the consulate throughout the process, handling any inquiries and ensuring the application progressed smoothly.

  3. Secure delivery: Upon visa approval, Lex Documents arranged for the secure return of the passport, complete with the South Korean visa, directly to his address in Ireland.


Working with an experienced document partner, he successfully secured his visa in time to accept the job offer in South Korea. This also limited the stress, travel time, and uncertainty of handling the application from a distance.



Lex Documents can help you navigate foreign embassies and get your work visas

Navigating visa processes for a third country while abroad can be a daunting task. Lex Documents can handle document procurement, legalization, translation, and liaise with embassies and consulates. This means wherever you are and wherever you need to go, the entire work visa process will be taken care of with one point of contact.


We have offices and staff across Europe, North America, and Latin America with expertise in international administration and local and international document management for immigration and global mobility needs. 


Contact us to learn how our globally connected service can help you with your visa and documentation needs, ensuring a smooth and successful application process.

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