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Help! Work permit requirements for Vietnam

 
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AnniMiller



Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:57 pm    Post subject: Help! Work permit requirements for Vietnam Reply with quote

I'm quite new to teaching (have the CELTA and some summer school and voluntary experience) and am currently searching for my first "proper" TEFL job. I'm REALLY keen to go to Vietnam, but am a bit concerned about obtaining a work permit....

Basically, my understanding is that the name on your passport MUST match the names on your degree and CELTA exactly...and mine doesn't! My passport says my full name, whilst my degree and CELTA show a slightly shorter version of my name (the name which everyone calls me and I forget isn't actually the name on my birth certificate!!)

The university I studied at have been very rigid on the matter and insist that they cannot possibly change the name on my degree certificate, as I didn't study under my full name there. Also, the centre at which I studied for my CELTA is no longer there! (and Cambridge told me it's the centre I studied at that needs to change my certificate).

I can't find any information about this and don't know who to speak to. Is there a way around the work permit requirements? Or do I have no choice but to get documents changed? In which case I may have to officially change my name and get my passport re-issued!!!?

Also, what does the criminal background check involve? Is it basically just a CRB or something different? I can't find this information ANYWHERE.

I would REALLY appreciate some help/advice!

Thanks. Smile
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Jbhughes



Joined: 01 Jul 2010
Posts: 254

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello AnniMiller and welcome to Dave's ESL!

Your plight is an interesting one and I seriously doubt that there is any real legal documentation guiding how officials should deal with your situation. In light of that, it's really difficult to predict how they will react, even with reference to previous experience of others in similar situations.

It's already difficult enough for Vietnamese to deal with our strangely ordered names as it is. The person with the big red stamp may not notice, they may accuse you of being someone else.

I can't really see a possible way of you finding out before you come, to be honest. I can't even see a way of you finding out when you arrive either, the only way of knowing is when your application actually gets submitted. And, if it doesn't work, you could just try again next week when the person is on holiday, or in another city.

Is there something you could perhaps get from some government office that states that the person on your degree, celta and passport and are all one and the same person? You could then get that document stamped at home by something like equivalent of the ministry of foreign affairs, then get it stamped by the Vietnamese embassy in your country, then get it stamped by your embassy here, then get it stamped by the Vietnamese ministry of foreign affairs here. Then submit it all and get told that you're still the wrong person. This is the type of utter bullshit you can encounter here. It could take you a couple of months of to-ing an fro-ing just to find out what they want in the first place. I have a friend who spent a year and half getting a work permit with all sorts of ridiculous rigmarole going on.

Or you could just come here and not bother with getting a work permit and see what happens.

How did your documents get the wrong name on them? I could understand that happening here. The name on one of my documents here is wrong.
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TRH



Joined: 27 Oct 2011
Posts: 200
Location: HCMC

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:46 am    Post subject: I wish I had advice but: Reply with quote

I am sorry to hear of your situation and can't really add to JBHughes frank comment. I was fortunate that when I got my TEFL training from Oxford seminars, which I think may actually be a US corporation, the trainer was very adamant that we be sure that the name we used for our course was the same as the name on our passport. This seemed to be not just her advice but an integral part of the school's registration process on day one. I would be among the first to admit that the CELTA course seems superior to others in many respects, but they did not serve you well by not pointing out this detail.
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skarper



Joined: 12 Oct 2006
Posts: 326

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very odd that the CELTA/degree certificates not be in the correct name. I guess it's something like having Liz instead of Elizabeth?

Anyway. I will echo what they have said above and say - if you have a job lined up you like the look of then just come anyway - never mention the problem and if it turns out mattering you have lost nothing.

Work permits are the best option but by no means the only option for an extended stay in Vietnam. You may not like it, hate the job or they may never get around to applying for the WP anyway.

I think - if you did have a serious well connected employer who was motivated to get your WP done, they could make this problem disappear.

But chances are you will find no such employer in Vietnam. Don't sweat it.
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AnniMiller



Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow it's great to get such quick responses, thanks guys! I'm not surprised no one is quite sure of a solution though. To clarify, the name on my CELTA and degree is Anni Miller and the name on my passport is Annis Josephine Miller. Anni is hardly a nickname; it's what I consider myself to be called! And I never think about my middle name. I am a bit annoyed with myself though, as I could've avoided this situation if I'd been more diligent when I signed up for my CELTA and my degree course! I genuinely forget my "official" name at times!

I just got offered a job with Language Link in Hanoi. They seem like an OK place to start out and I really want to go to Hanoi, but does anyone have any insight into the company? I don't want to take the plunge and regret it. Any advice on whether I should talk to them about my work permit problem?

Also, can someone give me the lowdown on the criminal background check? I don't know if this is a stupid question, but is it just a CRB, or something different altogether?
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BenE



Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Posts: 277

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are a British national you can get the other name added on the 'observation page' of your passport. This would certainly help as proof and would probably be enough as the passport is essentially the only thing that is recognized as an official document without the verification process.

Yes I have had problems in Vietnam where they refused to issue my driving license as the names differed in the order they were written (Surname, first name middle name and first name middle name last name) But fortunately I know a lawyer who is quite good who convinced the low level bureaucrat is wasn't worth bothering me about.

As for getting a Criminal record's check it's fairly easy in the UK so just goto your local police station to find out any details and fill out the form etc.

Language Link Hanoi is a fairly good place from what I hear and seem to have a nice enough team. Many of the teachers there seem to remain here for a long time and have a close and friendly community so it's certainly a nice place to start.

Good luck with everything and maybe see you later in Hanoi
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Nkengaola



Joined: 28 Nov 2011
Posts: 92
Location: Wanzhou, Chongqing

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are in the US you may be able to go to court to get an affidavit of some sort that lists your various names as all belonging to the same person - someone I knew had to do that when she got married and didn't change her last name. She had (if I remember correctly) four or five different names that people used for her (various combinations of first name, middle name, her last name, and his last name). The affidavit saved her a ton of problems - in the US. I have NO idea if it will make a bit of difference in Vietnam.
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mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 792

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I just got offered a job with Language Link in Hanoi. They seem like an OK place to start out and I really want to go to Hanoi, but does anyone have any insight into the company? I don't want to take the plunge and regret it. Any advice on whether I should talk to them about my work permit problem?


Seems there was some scary stuff on the site about this organization, maybe I am thinking of somewhere else, but I would certainly do a thorough search on it. I think going to any job here, you can have some disappointments, even in the supposedly better schools. I suspect it is pretty difficult to have a good experience with a school that has had a lot of problems, but not that hard to have a bad experience with a better one either. It is truly pot luck over here. One should have some real reason for wanting to be in VN, and it is my opinion that for most serious teachers, their goals should take them elsewhere. There are certain lifestyle reasons that make VN a great choice for some of us. But if seeking maximum income or an interesting cultural experience, VN is probably not best. We have a disastrously low return rate on tourists.

If you are certain VN is the place for you, the best profile is to have income streams that support you and consider your income here as an extra, understanding you will likely go thru several employers before you find a good one.

On your legal deal, you should realize over half these guys never get to the point where they get a WP, and it might be wise to assume you may not get one on your first several employers either. But with reference to your question about asking the employer, I find that if you are dead serious and go into great detail about your situation, one of two things happen - either they see you are serious and know that you don't fit into their mickey mouse operation (a good thing), or they realize you are one of a very small number (serious teachers), and this serious approach convinces them that you are the kind of person they are seeking (the less frequent occurrence). There is not this huge demand for high level teachers, most of this stuff can be done by anyone with good work habits, good pronunciation, loads of patience and a good attitude, and is often done by folks who do not even have those minimal attributes and skills. The high level work is almost like a different industry, different type of employer and different profile of teacher.
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AnniMiller



Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys, helpful stuff. I haven't quite decided on a solution but am not too worried to be honest, I'm sure there's a way around these things. I've mostly read good stuff about this particular Lang Link school but am still doing my research and will quiz them via Skype before I make any decisions. Smile
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