Customised assistance provided to international Ph.D. students, academics, and researchers that fits best their specific needs, especially regarding information that may not be readily available on the institution's website or checklist. Immigration issues are the most crucial area of support. This service requires well-trained support staff in this area, with understanding of legal issues, practical procedures and possibly also collaborations and contacts for exact expert information provision. The goal is to provide the highest level and quality of service. Various levels/intensities of service provision might be opted for based on specific needs and available resources.
Improved quality of service Improved procedure/efficiency Improved access to information Increased enrollment and retention
|Categories||Visa, Residence & Work Permit|
|Mobility stages||Pre-arrival phase Upon arrival|
|Delivery schedule||Not defined|
|Importance||Essential to have|
|Scale of organizational change|
|Target groups||PhD student/Early career researcher R2 - R4 researchers Lecturers (incl. Language Teachers)|
|Types of contracts of researchers||Full degree student Permanent employee Visiting scholar Employee in training (interns, research fellows, postdocs) Fixed term employee Exchange student|
|Career stages of researchers||Less than 6 months 6-12-months of experience 1-3-years of experience 3-10 years of experience 10-15 years of experience More than 15 years of experience|
|Lengths of stays of researchers||0-3 months 3-6 months 6-12 months More than 12 months|
The customised service could be provided in different ways of intensity/detailedness:
When setting up this service consider the following aspects:
Challenges (factors to consider):
Challenge 1 - Minimum service provsion
It is necessary to have in mind relevant legislation on personal data protection and ensure the security of the developed systems/databases
It is possible to provide the customized assistance without a comprehensive practice set-up system as described above, however, it makes such service:
As a minimum condition for a customised assistance to be provided is to:
Challenge 2 - Translation of documents
Customised assistance regarding visa and residence permit often involves securing official translations of documents that are to be submitted to the state authorities for mandatory administrative processes. Here, IRO staff members or welcome service staff members can act as reliable intermediaries between incomers and translators since the official translation typically requires the original of the (apostilled/super legalized) document (s). The scope of this practice depends on the national legislation and requirements as well as the practice of state authorities regarding the official translation of documents into the national language required also for the visa/residence permit application or qualification/diploma recognition. This is especially needed in case when the respective embassy does not provide such services and host country authorities acknowledge only documents translated by the sworn translators registered in the list of translators maintained by the national authority (typically, the ministry of justice) having their seat in the host country. This makes the whole procedure lengthy (with a risk of validity expiry of a document) and enormously costly (fees for international express delivery services).
To help secure an appropriate and timely translation, it is necessary to:
IRO office should:
If this is a serious issue in your country, join your forces with other HEIs, EURAXESS network, Rectors' Conference, or other relevant stakeholders to lobby the respective authorities to adopt more favorable conditions.
Challenge 3 - Prefilling of forms
As part of the personalized assistance, help with the pre-filling of required forms could be offered. This practice might involve significant institutional efforts and investment in staff time, also involving networking and consultations with other organizations and stakeholders. Where possible, a sample (s) of prefilled form (s) with explanations could well serve as a guideline.
|Cost of practice setup|
|Time required for practice setup|
|Personnel effort required for practice setup|
|Actors involved in practice setup||
|Partners involved in practice setup||
|Indicators for evaluating progress/quality of practice setup||
@IRO/welcome centre - can take the lead in setting up the procedures for customised assirtance on visa & residence permit related topics with the mandate from Rector´s office/Vice-Rector for International Affairs
@HR Department, Study department, Research office, Legal department - can be consulted and be members of the task force
@Immigration office - representatives of this office can be invited as speakers in seminars/trainings for the support staff members to deepen their expertise and build up trust and partnership. They can also be approached when consulting details of prepared resource materials on the visa & residence permit topic or any complicated case.
@IOM migration information office - this office provides legal counselling among others on visa&residence permit& employment of foreigners. This service is free of charge. They have also access to the international database of the specimen of residence cards which might be very useful for initial orientation and identification of the current status of a third country PhD student/academic/researcher coming from another EU Member state within Intra-EU mobility, for example.
The IOM information centre also created several infosheets for easier navigation through different types of residence permits and related procedures and deadlines.
@EURAXESS centres - provide information and assistance among others on relocation-related topics. The centres are comprised of teams of well-informed and experienced staff. They are a valuable resource of information also for HEIs's support staff and they develop various information materials or other tools to help navigate through the visa&residence permit topic. They can also be approached with consultations on complicated/challenging cases. They might also organise trainings on the visa&residence permit topic or they can be invited as speakers to HEI's events.
As a part of the customised service support staff members may:
Ensure provision of the information and assistance ON TIME. Keep in mind personal data protection issues.
|Cost of practice delivery|
|Time required for practice delivery|
|Personnel effort required for practice delivery|
|Actors involved in practice delivery||
|Partners involved in practice delivery||
|Indicators for evaluating progress/quality of practice delivery||
@Immigration office, Embassy, IOM migration information centre, EURAXESS centre, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Eures office - can be approached to consult any complicated case for expert opinion or to point out to systematic challenges.
Based on negotiations and longterm collaboration with the Immigration Office in Prague the EURAXESS CZ centre arranges group appointments at Immigration offices by EURAXESS CZ for internationals from Prague higher education institutions. The EURAXESS CZ centre managed to secure even dedicated time slots for the international PhD students, researchers and academics at the local Immigration office to procced their temporary residence applications.