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Offer from a school in Madrid -- Genuine?
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kitzilla



Joined: 08 Oct 2011
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:55 am    Post subject: Offer from a school in Madrid -- Genuine? Reply with quote

Hi, I've just received an offer after a Skype interview. I'm not Spanish, and not an EU-citizen. I'm living in Southeast Asia.

A bit about myself: I just graduated with CELTA and have a BA(Hons) in English Literature as well. For the past seven years I've been tutoring students from various nationalities in O and A Level English, English Literature and General Paper. I'm also acquainted with IB Literature and have done an internship for seven months with two high schools in Finland.

The school offers:
Extensive Training of two weeks in our teaching methodology
Competitive Salary (2,500EUR/Monthly)
Contract ending Bonus (severance pay of 3,000EUR/Yearly)
Visa Assistance (We will give you direction and provide the documents that will enable the process easy and faster)
100% Free health Insurance
Airport pick-up and round trip ticket paid by the school.
private accommodation will be provided by the school.
Great working environment
Great teaching tools
12 month contract and extendable.


After reading the posts about how Spanish schools don't usually offer a contract to anyone not already living in Spain, etc, I'm starting to wonder if this is too good to be true? The pay is not the most awesome (to be a scam), but it seems to be better than most stated in the forums. I don't think it is a scam but some advice on this would be helpful.

Also, what can I do to check that this is a genuine offer? I applied for the position only after seeing an advert on eslemployment but that probably doesn't guarantee authenticity. Also, it is very easy to forge anything online. I might be coming off as a paranoid person, but there are just so many scams nowadays and this is my first proper ESL job overseas.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 11061
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not an EU citizen? Sounds like that alone will be problematic...
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kitzilla



Joined: 08 Oct 2011
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sashadroogie, could you please elaborate?

The company is fully aware that I'm not an EU-citizen and have expressly stated in their advert that international applicants are accepted. In their offer that I've copied above, they also mentioned visa assistance.
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Moore



Joined: 25 Aug 2004
Posts: 730
Location: Madrid

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to be the one to say this, but that sounds fake. The wage is too high, the 12 month contract is incredibly rare, employing non-EU workers in advance is also rare, free accommodation for that salary is odd too.

To state the blindingly obvious, do not send these people any money for "Visa administration charges" etc.

You never know though, maybe it is the dream job - just don't send any cash, and if you do come, make sure you have a backup plan and a couple of thousand "walking-around" cash just in case.




_________________________________________________________________________
...Jobs and language exchanges in Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, Paris, Milan, Rome, Lisbon, Porto and Buenos Aires... www.lingobongo.com

...send your c.v. around ALL the schools in Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, Paris, Milan, Rome, Lisbon, Porto and Buenos Aires... www.lingobongo.com/cvsender/
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kitzilla



Joined: 08 Oct 2011
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Moore, thanks for your caution. So far they haven't asked for any money and I continue to be wary about that as well. If they don't ask for any charges, would it then be ok?
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Moore



Joined: 25 Aug 2004
Posts: 730
Location: Madrid

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd be very surprised if they didn't ask for some cash at some point, but if they don't, then why not.

Like I say, arrive with 2 or 3 thousand euros buffer cash, and make sure you don't arrive just before summer when there's no work.

If it doesn't work out in that job, there are plenty of other jobs here in Madrid.

That said, it is massively suspicious: please tread carefully with these people.






_________________________________________________________________________
...Jobs and language exchanges in Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, Paris, Milan, Rome, Lisbon, Porto and Buenos Aires... www.lingobongo.com

...send your c.v. around ALL the schools in Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, Paris, Milan, Rome, Lisbon, Porto and Buenos Aires... www.lingobongo.com/cvsender/
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kitzilla



Joined: 08 Oct 2011
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Moore. I'll post more here when I have more information.
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 11061
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They may offer 'visa assistance', but except in very rare circumstances, it isn't legal to employ a non-EU person. If you haven't already, check out the Schengen visa zone. Do a search on this forum even.

Be careful you don't end up working illegally.

Sounds like a scam to me. Sorry.
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kitzilla



Joined: 08 Oct 2011
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Sashadroogie. I'm waiting for the contract. I'll post more information when I have it.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11525
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to add one more voice of caution: as Moore and Sasha have said - it's far too good to be true.

They will certainly ask you to send money at some point- please do let us know what comes of this!!

Here's another way to check for scam: is the visa assistance programme offered realistic in terms of the laws of the region? In Western Europe, privately owned schools simply cannot successfullly request exceptional visas from the national government in almost any case. Is this a regular university or state-owned school - or real accredited international school? The 'method' comment indicates that it's a privately owned language school.

I worked on an exceptional visa in the Netherlands and know a teacher who was on such status in Spain (both non-EU ciitzens).

In order to get a visa for a non-EU teacher, the school has to claim to the national government that 'you' have a needed skill which they cannot find in any EU member citizen candidate for the job.

At the private language school level, this is simply not the case - any native speaker with a CELTA can do the job. That's why private schools can't get the exceptional visas for non-EU citizen teachers in almost any situation, though I've heard of it happening once in the case of a school in a very remote area which had advertised for six months and had no EU takers.

Anyway, do keep us posted!!
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jonniboy



Joined: 18 Jun 2006
Posts: 751
Location: Panama City, Panama

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay let's run through this... in Spain it's very rare to get a contract of longer than 9 months paying more than 1500 euro a month. You certainly won't get flights paid for, a generous severance bonus or free health insurance. There are literally hundreds of native speakers from the EU living in Spain and teaching in the big cities so there's no shortage of bodies to fill the vacancies. That means there's a 99.98% chance it's a scam, a 0.01% chance that they're utterly mad and not people you'd want to work for and a 0.01% chance that they're genuine and will therefore go bankrupt in 6 months anyway since they're paying WAY WAY over the going rate.

Blatant scam. The only real question here is will they ask you for a "commitment fee", an advance fee to cover your share of the visa or a deposit on the accommodation. Whatever they do you can be sure that any money you send them (they'll most likely want it through Western Union paid to a person with a distinctly un-Spanish name) will disappear faster than you can say "advance fee fraud".
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kitzilla



Joined: 08 Oct 2011
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey guys,

I just got the contract and it all sounds fine. Only thing is that I've to go to this website spain-visas.com to contact a lawyer for the visa. Is this where the scam lies? Because the company still hasn't asked me for money and the contract they sent was signed by 'the director'. Also, I found a woman (from Linkedin) who used to work for them and she gave a very good review of that place.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11525
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's also not unheard-of for scammers to hijack the name of a legitimate school.
I'd be interested if the teacher you tracked down was a non-EU citizen or not, and if she was non-EU, what year/s she was there. The legalities were far looser prior to Jan 2009. It would also be very interesting what the pay range was for her and other teachers - keep in mind that the offer you've gotten is FAR above the norm for the region for your qualifications and for any private langauge school.

spain-visas.com seems to be a company that advertises legal services for people to get visas. Apparently it will only cost about $50 USD to make an enquiry into your situation.

If you follow up on that, I'll be interested what the attourneys tell you for your fifty bucks...
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Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 11061
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh dear. My gut tells me that this 'visa assistance' is going to be costly. Hope I am wrong...
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Perilla



Joined: 09 Jul 2010
Posts: 792
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That website looks very dodgy.

All enquiries seem to cost 32 euros. And note the errors:

Price: 32 ($47.19 DOLARS USA aprox)

The homepage headline seems to say it all:

"You can trust us, we really care"
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