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re: HK work visa process?
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Spelunker



Joined: 03 Nov 2013
Posts: 392

PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 9:43 am    Post subject: re: HK work visa process? Reply with quote

Hi all,

Anyone had any success with HK immigration and getting a work visa?

I say this because despite doing extensive research, posting all the paperwork in (and then some!) last year, and following up as much as I could, they closed the file on my case. My then boss persuaded them to keep it open and I thought, OK, it's just a waiting game, but then one of the morons in the immigration said I needed a letter/transcript for my TEFL cert from my Uni in the UK. As I am not sure if the lecturers I did that short couse with are even there anymore, I am not sure how to go about getting a letter/transcript for a bloody TEFL cert, esp. as I included transcripts with my degree, birth certificate, dental records, passing turds records, and toenail length.....well you get the picture.

Sooooo.....what is the skinny? Does the immigration dept in HK not like TEFFUL certificates, and only prefer CELTA certs (I guy I talked to on face of the book suggested this might be the case!), or was the immigration officer who dealt with my case a dullard with a gripe against foreigners, who did not want to see me get a work visa, and so was nit picking and procrastinating at every stage of the process. I'm pretty tempted to go along with the latter, along with a good deal of incompetence/laziness, so just wondering, is a TEFL ok, and how has everyone elses experiences been with getting a work visa for teaching in HONG KONG. I ask this because another guy at the same centre only had a degree in and of itself....and he got his work visa....eventually. Or perhaps my boss and the immigration officer were both being evasive with regards to the truth....either way, it's a crock of steaming turd.....and don't even get me started on visas in the mainland, which used to be EASIER.

I stand by what one vlogger on youtube has said.....this will create the problems they are trying to AVOID, by making it more difficult for FT's....they just will not go there.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11249
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:02 am    Post subject: Re: re: HK work visa process? Reply with quote

Spelunker wrote:
Then one of the morons in the immigration said I needed a letter/transcript for my TEFL cert from my Uni in the UK. As I am not sure if the lecturers I did that short couse with are even there anymore, I am not sure how to go about getting a letter/transcript for a bloody TEFL cert.

Why not just contact the registrar at that university and request a notarized letter or official transcript of your TEFL course? Confused
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Spelunker



Joined: 03 Nov 2013
Posts: 392

PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:21 am    Post subject: re: will look into that Reply with quote

For circumstances I do not want to delve in to, too much, I am not in the UK right now and have no family or friends there. But thank you.
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Jmbf



Joined: 29 Jun 2014
Posts: 660

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've found that the HK Immd is fairly efficient as long as they are dealing with standard applications. By that I mean applicants from well recognised countries with degrees from well recognised universities etc etc. Anything deviating from that 'standard' introduces delay.

If you are an EU citizen with a degree from a main university and a recognised TEFL cert then you shouldn't have a problem. As you mentioned, sometimes a TEFL cert isn't even required. There are knowledgable agents / schools / centres who know how to submit visa applications in a way that improves chances of acceptance.

If you are having difficulties it probably points to something unusual either in your credentials or in your application itself.
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Spelunker



Joined: 03 Nov 2013
Posts: 392

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 6:28 am    Post subject: re: it was last october Reply with quote

I posted in all the documents, and then some, as mentioned last october. Degree in English Literature from a not bad, but not great UK university. TEFL Cert. from same University.

The only thing I can think of is that the officer handling my case was a lazy arse who nitpicked over my TEFL and because I had attached degree AND transcripts, decided to take issue with the fact the TEFL had NO transcripts. But that still does not explain why he was ready to close my file, and why the hell he tried to contact my employer by FAX. Even my employer said who contacts people by FAX nowadays, as he had put his mobile number/email on the application as my sponsor. Unless he failed to submit something important (but all the stuff seemed to be together, a thick envelope that he gave me to post in along with my stuff), then I am at a loss. He has also managed to sponsor a guy with only a degree as I mentioned before. So...I'm at a loss to believe the Eire guy who says it is easy to get a HK Work Visa.....I bet less have them than more! And then yesterday I got a swedish guy telling me it is because I have no CELTA....devils bloody cheek, as a non native speaker, he should not get too smug......because we all know what is happening to non natives in China right now. When the cup is full....it's full!! And I am not afraid to speak out and condemn what is a crock of shyte in my mind!! End of!!

Cheers again,
sp
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Jmbf



Joined: 29 Jun 2014
Posts: 660

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sorry to hear that! If they won't accept your existing TEFL it seems to me that the best case scenario would be to do a quick and easy online TEFL and use that in your application instead. I know teachers who have gotten working visa's with just a bachelor's degree and an online TEFL.
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Spelunker



Joined: 03 Nov 2013
Posts: 392

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 10:04 am    Post subject: re: visas are crap Reply with quote

Thanks for your reply firstly.

To be told by a much more highly qualified "friend" who am I thinking of unfriending on facebook and considering a "frenemy", you know what they say about keeping your enemies close! The only reason I can think of regarding him being arrogant and a know it all, is that he is swedish, and so as a non native speaker feels "threatened" by me, which is crap as he is far more qualified than I am. But I digress....make no friends in the TEFL realm in eastern asia, you are on your own, and I have learnt that the hard way. Also be the poorest guy in the bar/7/11/school canteen when the subject of money comes up....or simply don't go to those places, be a hermit and be the little guy. I like solitude anyway, and can have quite a dour expression on my face, so that makes people avoid talking to me. As posters like larssoncrew have proved to me,.....in east asia you are on your own, things have changed, trust noone.....and loan nobody nothing, nor help them get any teaching work.

I am considering just tutoring in HK and then making my way to Taiwan, consequences be damned. If they are going to ask for toenail length, hair colour, ancestry, and ridiculous demands, then it's time to play the crappy system against them. I would wager the visa process is a lot easier in Taiwan, but cannot be certain.
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Jmbf



Joined: 29 Jun 2014
Posts: 660

PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2016 7:42 am    Post subject: Re: re: visas are crap Reply with quote

Spelunker wrote:

I am considering just tutoring in HK and then making my way to Taiwan, consequences be damned. If they are going to ask for toenail length, hair colour, ancestry, and ridiculous demands, then it's time to play the crappy system against them. I would wager the visa process is a lot easier in Taiwan, but cannot be certain.


If you are in HK and want some tutoring work then you can send me a PM. I might be able to refer some work to you.
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Spelunker



Joined: 03 Nov 2013
Posts: 392

PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:58 am    Post subject: re: thanks Reply with quote

Done some tutoring before, and so thanks for that. Will send a PM.
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Kowloon



Joined: 11 Jan 2016
Posts: 133

PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They have tightened regulations for issuing Visas after a recent audit.

http://www.hongkongvisacentre.com/battening-down-the-hatches-why-the-hong-kong-immigration-department-are-about-to-get-really-tough-on-visa-applicants/

This particular change is likely what caused/is causing you grief!

Quote:
CHANGE 3

(C) Tighten control over the verification of the authenticity of supporting documents submitted by Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduate (“IANG”) applicants.

Whilst the Audit Commission specifically pointed this out in the context of IANG applications, there is no good reason not to implement this widely across GEP and other case types too

Practical Consequence for Applicants?


Expect that documents supporting prior employment and education qualifications will become more rigorously assessed, with secondary means of authentication being required prior to being deemed acceptable proof (longer documentation preparation times and additional expense of official translations and authentications).


FWIW I am also waiting on my work visa being issued. The hold up is down to my school losing the letter immigration sent requesting more documents...didn't find this out until I went in person! Rolling Eyes
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Spelunker



Joined: 03 Nov 2013
Posts: 392

PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:54 am    Post subject: re: good days are gone.... Reply with quote

And to think in the 90s people from commonwealth countries could rock up and get work in a bar, or get benefits and so on. I am by no means one of the 97 crowd, I wasn't even there then, but it does seem the good days of HK are well and truly over, especially for FT's. Better to move somewhere less developed, and not under the umbrella of Beijing, where you have the upper hand imho.
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Jmbf



Joined: 29 Jun 2014
Posts: 660

PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kowloon wrote:

FWIW I am also waiting on my work visa being issued. The hold up is down to my school losing the letter immigration sent requesting more documents...didn't find this out until I went in person! Rolling Eyes


Sorry to hear that! What's the expected start date in your new school?
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Spelunker



Joined: 03 Nov 2013
Posts: 392

PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:50 pm    Post subject: re: hotline number? Reply with quote

I was TOLD by a long term FT who was a HK resident, and another aussie guy who had his work visa, that there was an anonymous hotline one could call to make visa enquiries, or check visa application status. If you are smartly dressed and white, don't be afraid to make a scene, I have cursed loudly in english and had library workers scuttling about in fear in one instance. Lots of people with a badge there think they have power....can't get away with cursing in the UK, but in Asia, well, being nice does not mean you will be repaid in kind. I remember an indian guy possibly a businessman/trader playing hell at rude racist treatment towards him by a chinese visa clerk, or at least that was what I think it was, and the guy who was the assistant in the PRC visa office in Wanchai had to do his best to appease and placate him....if you are white, can't hurt to perhaps firmly but poiltely ask to speak to someone in charge!
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Kowloon



Joined: 11 Jan 2016
Posts: 133

PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for the delay both! My visa was eventually issued a few days before the school start date so it all worked out. Annoying as it has likely cost be a few days pay but I will save that battle for later (as my salary comes directly from the EDB and there is no way my already woefully underfunded school could cover it even though it was their mistake).

In the end my Principal called and asked them to expedite it and they did (but only by a few days really). An annoying catch-22 is that for those of us without QTS we need a visa to apply for permitted teacher status, but immigration always ask to see the permitted teacher status first! However I am doing my PGDE now so hopefully that won't be an issue in the future.

I take your point Spelunker RE HK not being worth it but to be honest for a married man whose wife also works I can't imagine a better salary package anywhere for TEFL. With the extra increases this year it's obscene.
Shocked
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Spelunker



Joined: 03 Nov 2013
Posts: 392

PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 8:51 am    Post subject: re: hmmmm Reply with quote

Quote:
I take your point Spelunker RE HK not being worth it but to be honest for a married man whose wife also works I can't imagine a better salary package anywhere for TEFL. With the extra increases this year it's obscene.


I can agree, however I am not a family man, and in that way Saudi Arabia is good for me. Never had a wife, don't think I would like to have kids, and even a girlfriend is hassle. Again, good luck, and to each their own!
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