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The Hardest Countries to get a Visa

Where are the hardest countries to work in the world?

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With the rise of remote working, many global workers are looking to expand their horizons overseas. However, working abroad is not always a simple feat, and complex immigration and visa restrictions remain despite the emergence of remote, international workforces.

Last week we covered the easiest countries in the world to get a work visa, but which countries are the hardest in the world to move to? With over 25 years of experience in immigration services and global employment, here are our top five of the hardest countries to get a work visa around the world:



A prosperous country in East Asia, Japan is known for its strict immigration and citizenship processes. The number of foreign workers is low compared to natives in the country despite its desirable living standards.

Immigrating under a work visa is the easiest way to work in Japan. But those that seek citizenship can gain naturalisation after living in Japan for more than five years continuously. These rules can vary depending on an individual’s nationality and their current residency in Japan.



Just 14 countries have visa-free access to Chad. For the rest of the world, the visa process can be complicated as it involves an ‘invitation letter’. Applicants will need a sponsor or a hotel in N’Djamena to write the letter on their behalf. Those wishing to visit Chad will have to book a hotel room for their visit if they have no sponsor. Hotel rooms in Chad often come with a non-refundable fee and if visa applications are rejected, costs can incur despite not using the room.

Those visiting Chad will also need to register with the police within 72 hours of arriving in the country. This can be a difficult timeframe for travellers. Locating a consular office can also be a difficult aspect of the process, for example, for UK travellers, the closest consular office is in Paris.



It is notoriously difficult to get a visa for Russia approved. Travellers must list every single trip they have taken in the last ten years, including specifics such as where they went, how long they stayed, and the dates of travel. For frequent travellers, this can quickly become a difficult task.

For those that want to reside in Russia, every region has a tiny immigration quota. You also cannot work in Russia without a residency permit – foreign nationals can apply for Russian permanent residency after living in Russia for one year and for naturalisation as a Russian citizen after five years of permanent residence.


Vatican City

As of 2020, the Vatican City has a population of 801 people according to the latest estimates from the UN’s World Population Prospect. Travel visas are relatively easy to come by, especially for European citizens, but unlike other countries, citizenship is not based on birth. Those that want to immigrate to the country may have a more difficult time as citizenship is granted only to those who reside in the Vatican because of their work or office. Additionally, those living in Vatican City who are officials or workers of the Catholic Church are eligible for citizenship.



Liechtenstein is Europe’s fourth-smallest country, with an area of just over 160 square kilometers and a population of around 39,000. For foreign-born residents of the country, citizenship can be hard to come by. Residents must live in Liechtenstein for at least 30 years; all years before a resident’s 20th birthday count as two years. Even if an individual marries a citizen of the nation, they must still reside in the country for a period of five years. Once a resident becomes eligible for citizenship, the Civil Registry Office of Liechtenstein requires them to renounce their previous national citizenship.


Interested in working in one of these countries? Our experts can simplify the process, more information here: Global Visa And Immigration | Mauve Group – Experts in Expansion