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Work permit surprise
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Prof.Gringo



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 2009
Location: Paradise, Paradise, Paradise!

PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mushroom Druid wrote:
isabel wrote:
It is true that things are getting tighter. Where I work they are having a much harder time hiring internationally and getting work permits for new hires.


The entire work permit situation is dysfunctional and to be blunt, stupid.

It's been going on since 2006.

Quote:

I have no criticisms of those who work without permits- we all do what we have to do- but it is better to be legal if possible.


I have ALWAYS had money saved up to leave VN if necessary.
We'll see what happens. Always be prepare to return home or go to another country on short notice.

It's the nature of EFL in Vietnam.


Great Advice, always keep $100,000,000 VND in your account and be prepared to drain it if need be.
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Mushroom Druid



Joined: 19 Oct 2009
Posts: 87

PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prof.Gringo wrote:
Mushroom Druid wrote:
isabel wrote:
It is true that things are getting tighter. Where I work they are having a much harder time hiring internationally and getting work permits for new hires.


The entire work permit situation is dysfunctional and to be blunt, stupid.

It's been going on since 2006.

Quote:

I have no criticisms of those who work without permits- we all do what we have to do- but it is better to be legal if possible.


I have ALWAYS had money saved up to leave VN if necessary.
We'll see what happens. Always be prepare to return home or go to another country on short notice.

It's the nature of EFL in Vietnam.


Great Advice, always keep $100,000,000 VND in your account and be prepared to drain it if need be.


100 Million VND is about $5,000.

That's what I think it might cost me to go back to the US. Going to China or another Asian country would obviously cost a lot less.

Yes, it's rainy day/exit cash.

Things happen.

Yes, I HAVE actually not had the money to leave in the past and it's a dreadful feeling of being stuck, especially when you cannot leave and/or relocate because you lack funds.
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Prof.Gringo



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 2009
Location: Paradise, Paradise, Paradise!

PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sigmoid wrote:
If the authorities made the procedure for getting a work permit clear, transparent, easy and affordable, everyone would have one.

Very simple...


Funny...Ironic even Cambodia has the leg up on VN over that issue.

If VN charged $200 USD and made it pretty simple, (like it is in Mexico) most folks would have a WP.

In 7 years in Mexico I never had a problem getting my FM-3 temp residency visa (looks like a passport but the new ones are ID cards).

And with the FM-3 I was able to get:

A Mexican Tax Payer ID # RFC

CURP-National Identity Number

IMSS Card/Book-National Health Insurance

A valid Mexican Driver's License good for life

Mexican Bank Account (Banamex, IXE, Bancomer, HSBC, Banco Wal-Mart) with ATM card

I had store credit cards

Enroll in private pension retirement plans

X-Mas Bonus of 2 weeks salary paid the week before X-Mas

I can speak, read and write Spanish so I could actually understand everything going on around me.

Have full legal benefits & rights under Mexican Labor Law

Able to get full discounts as a Mexican Teacher such as free museum admissions, reduced rates, even got the Police on my side.

Viva Mexico!
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Prof.Gringo



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 2009
Location: Paradise, Paradise, Paradise!

PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mushroom Druid wrote:
Prof.Gringo wrote:
Mushroom Druid wrote:
isabel wrote:
It is true that things are getting tighter. Where I work they are having a much harder time hiring internationally and getting work permits for new hires.


The entire work permit situation is dysfunctional and to be blunt, stupid.

It's been going on since 2006.

Quote:

I have no criticisms of those who work without permits- we all do what we have to do- but it is better to be legal if possible.


I have ALWAYS had money saved up to leave VN if necessary.
We'll see what happens. Always be prepare to return home or go to another country on short notice.

It's the nature of EFL in Vietnam.


Great Advice, always keep $100,000,000 VND in your account and be prepared to drain it if need be.


100 Million VND is about $5,000.

That's what I think it might cost me to go back to the US. Going to China or another Asian country would obviously cost a lot less.

Yes, it's rainy day/exit cash.

Things happen.

Yes, I HAVE actually not had the money to leave in the past and it's a dreadful feeling of being stuck, especially when you cannot leave and/or relocate because you lack funds.


As long as I can get back to the USA, I can get a job making $200 USD per day, 7 days week with free room/board. PM me for more info.

Otherwise, most of Asia is a $300-500USD one-way plave ticket from HCMC. Or a much cheaper bus ride to Cambo, Laos, Thailand, even China...
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TRH



Joined: 27 Oct 2011
Posts: 188
Location: HCMC

PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 2:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Work permit surprise Reply with quote

robfir wrote:
They're telling me that there will be something new in Vietnam come January and that we really really need to get my application rolling. They haven't been the slightest bit specific about what this new thing is though.

Has anyone else been hearing anything unusual?


bobpen wrote:
the guy said something like on January 1st everything was going to get more strict. ........... He said it was "all over" the newspapers (tieng viet, not english) and was a tad surprised I didn't know.


As I noted previously my wife read the same thing and said it was pretty specific that visa prices will come up as of 1 Jan 13. She did not say if the article said anything about work permits.

Apparently more than a few people did anticipate a change in fees. On Friday, the line at the visa office at CMT8 and Nguyen Du was out the door and down to the corner. Normally you go in, take a number, and wait about 10 minutes. We were headed there but opted to wait until some time next month. My wife says they were all too late anyway as the new fees will be charged in 2013 when the visas get picked up.

It remains to be seen if there is really a change in enforcement.

Other countries like Thailand and the Philippines have figured out that the best way to get money out of long term expatriates, especially the retired or those of independent means is to encourage them to stay longer. They do not to discourage them with shorter visas and higher fees but to give them longer visas and lower fees. The value to the country is in the money they drop every day for goods and services. Of course that would take an understanding of economics.
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Prof.Gringo



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 2009
Location: Paradise, Paradise, Paradise!

PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 3:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Work permit surprise Reply with quote

TRH wrote:
robfir wrote:
They're telling me that there will be something new in Vietnam come January and that we really really need to get my application rolling. They haven't been the slightest bit specific about what this new thing is though.

Has anyone else been hearing anything unusual?


bobpen wrote:
the guy said something like on January 1st everything was going to get more strict. ........... He said it was "all over" the newspapers (tieng viet, not english) and was a tad surprised I didn't know.


As I noted previously my wife read the same thing and said it was pretty specific that visa prices will come up as of 1 Jan 13. She did not say if the article said anything about work permits.

Apparently more than a few people did anticipate a change in fees. On Friday, the line at the visa office at CMT8 and Nguyen Du was out the door and down to the corner. Normally you go in, take a number, and wait about 10 minutes. We were headed there but opted to wait until some time next month. My wife says they were all too late anyway as the new fees will be charged in 2013 when the visas get picked up.

It remains to be seen if there is really a change in enforcement.

Other countries like Thailand and the Philippines have figured out that the best way to get money out of long term expatriates, especially the retired or those of independent means is to encourage them to stay longer. They do not to discourage them with shorter visas and higher fees but to give them longer visas and lower fees. The value to the country is in the money they drop every day for goods and services. Of course that would take an understanding of economics.


That's why Mexico gives a 180 Day tourist card upon arrival to all American tourists. You can walk across the border and get a new 180 day card, no questions asked, just another $25 bucks or whatever it is now...

For $200 Mexico let's you get the FM-3 residency visa very easily and this means you can stay year-round and pay Mexican TAX which is even bettter for Mexico as you can now pay the higher fee to stay legally and enjoy extra bennies while paying some nice new taxes.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 767

PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:22 am    Post subject: bumping this one up Reply with quote

Rather than start a new thread, am tacking on to this old one. Seems we have not had a major discussion on work permits in a while, though it often gets touched on in various posts.

I would like to know if you guys are seeing any big changes in the situation. Where I work, we are being told that new work permits will require proof of 5 years of experience. My guess is that this would knock out 70% of our teacher population here in HCMC.

Anybody hearing this? It supposedly is in the requirements, I think it is a newer requirement, have no idea if and where it is being enforced. Here is the most detailed news I have seen on this, but it is not really about teachers.



http://www.thanhniennews.com/special-report/businesses-grumble-as-vietnams-new-foreign-labor-rules-begin-to-bite-376.html

Quote:

Monday, December 16, 2013

Like a 2011 decree on foreign labor, a new one that took effect on November 1 continues to make it incumbent on employers to prove that they require foreign workers for jobs that Vietnamese simply cannot fill.

But the new decree also reduces the validity of work permits for a broad category of foreign workers from three to two years, a provision that could aggravate the shortage of skilled workers already felt acutely by both foreign and local companies, company executives and analysts point out.


They say the most glaring problem is that the decree requires a foreign work permit applicant to have both a four-year university degree in an exactly relevant subject, and five years' experience in the field.


Are you guys seeing more WP's issued, less, or the same?

Is this 5 year experience thing actually being followed? Any discussion of this issue in your schools?

I recall another provision of the newer regulation is that people found working without a WP can be kicked out of the country in 2 weeks. Anyone see that actually happen?

Everything I see tells me that we are all just muddling through on this, same as usual. Is anything different for anyone?
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ExpatLuke



Joined: 11 Feb 2012
Posts: 399

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've recently been applying for a new job, and work permits seem to be a much bigger deal than they were before. Almost every school has asked me if I was working legally at my previous job, and I got the feeling if I had answered "no" they would have shown me the door. Thankfully, I've had a work permit at every job I've had so far in Vietnam.

As far as the 5 years of experience goes, I've only had 1 school (probably the best school in Danang) mention it, but they said it's only for full-time work. They said the new requirements for people working 40 hours a week is a relevant degree and 5 years of verifiable experience.
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mockingyou



Joined: 20 Jun 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Oxford

PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2014 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not exactly a representative sample but I got my WP last week, took about a month, just like they said it would - I have everything in order (Degree, Background Check, CELTA) but nowhere near 5 years experience. I do work for a big mill though and they may have ways around tightenings that smaller places don't? Anyway, thus far no nasty surprises.
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Tigerstyleone



Joined: 26 Mar 2010
Posts: 181

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 1:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ExpatLuke wrote:
work permits seem to be a much bigger deal than they were before. Almost every school has asked me if I was working legally at my previous job, and I got the feeling if I had answered "no" they would have shown me the door.


Because you're not Egyptian.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 767

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that info. Yeah, I think that deal on the 5 years experience is written into the regulations, but somehow it must not be meaningful for teachers. If they enforced that, I am thinking 70 percent or more would not reach that bar. Even if we did, proving it would be a real pain.

Any changes on the criminal background thing? Used to be that if you were here more than 6 months, the one from your home country did not matter. Is that still the case?

I read that the authorities are confused on what to do, and in the boonies are not generating them, but not many teachers out there in the provinces. I get the feeling that we have different rules depending on what your profile is, English teachers being a very different profile than Chinese construction workers.
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Big_H



Joined: 21 Dec 2013
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been adopting a 'wait and see' approach ever since I find out about this law not long after it was confirmed by Tilleke & Gibbins:
http://www.tilleke.com/resources/new-decree-foreign-workers-vietnam

Tilleke & Gibbins wrote:
To qualify for a work permit in Vietnam, a foreign worker must, among other conditions: (1) be capable of civil acts; (2) undergo a health check (in his/her home country or in Vietnam); and (3) have a clean criminal record...

The Decree defines foreign “experts” as: (1) workers who are recognized by a foreign country as experts, or (2) workers having at least an engineering degree, bachelor’s degree, or the equivalent, and at least five years of working experience in the field in which they were trained.

Does this mean that this is an active law that is effective immediately? Yes. And in these cases of job market downsizing like in any other country, aren't teachers -especially the foreign ones- among the first to be laid off? Yup. Does this mean that to us -teachers without a 5 years experience and a degree in English literature-, we are screwed? You'd like to think so.

You see, for a country that has schools with a considerable percentage of teachers working without proper permits, it wouldn't make sense for that country to take such a radical decision, let alone enforce it. It's simply as if their gov't officials gathered up and decided:"OK, let's get our act straight. From here on, we're enforcing every rule we're gonna make. Here, we'll start with this one... the one that will bring our immediate economic downfall!"

I'm not going to discuss the fictional expat exodus it would cause towards its nearby neighbors like Thailand, China and South Korea. But let's take the few qualified elite instructors that would stay and work legally, and eliminate from them the ones that don't want to work in an entry-level position with the entry-level salary that the schools can afford to offer. Which reminds me, the schools would be thrilled at the prospect of eliminating the overabundance of English teachers that they've been struggling with; especially with the quality and size of their alternative VN ones. But I'm just being narrow-minded here and discussing that impact just on the English teaching sector, and ignoring all the other industries and businesses involved here. So you can take this paragraph's model, and apply it to all the industries included in that law.

Let's take a moment to think what would happen if VN would immediately close the valve of its much needed foreign labor and expertise intake.. and the effect it would have on every single developing industry it has and on its market investors. Not a pretty sight when the minimum qualification requirement for you to accept a foreigner is at a near-management position; meanwhile, you don't have the proper alternative of national labor to fill in the void that you created. The most reasonable scenario for tightening the work permit requirements is to grow the national labor pool for a few industries where the Vietnamese are actually as qualified as a foreigner to operate in; so excluding that one or two industries where this condition applies, most of the other industries won't see any change. And does Vietnam need less foreign English teachers for now? Not from what I've been hearing...

Conclusion: Like many ridiculously demanding laws in my own country, this law will stand, but it just will seldom be enforced until it is rewritten again. And I -god willing- will be proving that by obtaining my own Wp without meeting all its new requirements soon enough.

* [For technical reasons and seriousness' sake, VN has the high GDP growth rate of 5.5% (simple term, it's growing fast), and one of the lowest HDI's at 0.617 (its population isn't exactly living the baller lifestyle); so this law isn't going to be taken seriously save for a few odd schools as exceptions]
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BenE



Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 275

PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It says deep within the new law that there maybe an "exemption" for a work permit requirement for teachers in certain institutions:

d) The workers are teachers of foreign organizations that are sent to Vietnam by such organizations to teach in international schools under the management of foreign diplomatic missions or international organizations in Vietnam;

This might rescue some teachers in the larger mill schools that are jointly run. (ACET, Apollo, RMIT, British Council etc.) Not sure yet though if this will be the case.
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