Lately I've seen a couple questions asking about the laws around work visas and about how to apply or qualify. This question is one of them.

Are questions about applying for a work visa on-topic?

For the questions that I've seen, my instinct is no as they are usually too much of a legal question. I'm sure there are questions about work visas that are acceptable, but the ones I have seen have usually been too specific.

Should we migrate the good questions that we close as off-topic?

I think the appropriate site for questions about work visas is Expatriates SE. Their Help Center specifically allows

Questions about work, residence, student, investor and similar mid and long term visas aimed for staying in the country for more time than a tourist or short term business visa would allow.

  • 4
    Short answer to the migration question would be no, given that migrating to beta sites is discouraged. See also this thread.
    – Lilienthal Mod
    Commented Aug 29, 2017 at 13:02
  • 1
    We should probably follow the same guidelines we use for legal questions - would HR professionals be expected to know the answer? I honestly have no idea whether they, in general, would. As a tangential note, I hate scope overlap (and I wouldn't be surprised if these questions are also on topic on Travel). Commented Sep 7, 2017 at 14:11

1 Answer 1


Questions about facts and processes related to getting and keeping a job are on topic. Therefore I think that questions about the process of getting a work visa, whether a specific visa type allows for getting a new job, or performing work for your employer on a certian type of visa should be on-topic.

The danger here is that there is a potential for asking for legal advice which crosses into the off topic section. Stack Exchange has defined legal advice to mean how the law is/would be applied in a specific situation, and has declared a sitewide restriction to providing this type of legal advice in answers. These include (but not limited to):

  • Can I get in trouble for working in {COUNTRY} on {VISA TYPE}?
  • What type of visa do I need to do {JOB} in {COUNTRY}?
  • What will happen if I am caught working in {COUNTRY} on {VISA TYPE}?
  • Can an Employer discriminate against me when making hiring decisions if I have a {VISA TYPE}?

Questions we can answer:

  • What {VISA TYPE} in {COUNTRY} allows for {WORK TYPE}?
  • What information is being requested in {VISA TYPE} request form {FIELD} in {Country}?
  • I have {VISA TYPE} in {COUNTRY} does that visa extend rights to work in {COUNTRY B}?

tl;dr - We can answer questions about the what the law is, but not how it applies to an specific (or generic) case.

  • Nice job spelling out specific examples. I haven't worked outside the USA, so this made it more clear to me.
    – Neo
    Commented Sep 6, 2017 at 15:45
  • 1
    This is a good way to look at it, and is pretty much in line with our definitions of what is considered legal here. I think we all are just going to have to keep in mind that just because the topic might be outside of common workplace knowledge, doesn't mean it can't be answered by someone here.
    – David K
    Commented Sep 6, 2017 at 16:24
  • 2
    Yes there is a contingent that believe "I dont know the answer" = "Off Topic" Commented Sep 6, 2017 at 16:48
  • What's the difference between "What type of visa do I need to do {JOB} in {COUNTRY}" and "What {VISA TYPE} in {COUNTRY} allows for {WORK TYPE}"? Commented Sep 7, 2017 at 14:05
  • @Dukeling - because the first is asking for legal advice(as defined by SE), the second is asking facts about the law. Commented Sep 7, 2017 at 15:25
  • @IDrinkandIKnowThings If visa X allows for you to have a certain job, wouldn't visa X then be one of the visas needed to do the job? It just seems like different phrasings of the same question. Commented Sep 7, 2017 at 17:21
  • 1
    @Dukeling - Yes but one asks for facts of the law. The other asks for opinion on how the law applies. We can not answer questions on how the law applies per SE Policy. But we can answer facts about the law, especially if it is backed up with reference documents Personally I think the policy is unnecessary but it is not my policy to change. Commented Sep 7, 2017 at 17:30

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .