Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

visa confusion
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Vietnam
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Valaki



Joined: 17 Aug 2010
Posts: 85
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:18 pm    Post subject: visa confusion Reply with quote

Guys I was offered a job in Vietnam, but need you advice on visa/wok permit issues.

I have several problems...

1. I have a non-anglophone passport.

2. My degree is an accelerated BA plus MA with no seperate bachelor's component.

Would either of those cause problems?

I spoke to the Vietnamese embassy and they assured me that neither of those is a requirement, and in fact, there are no requirements "like that" at all! Should I believe them? I thought they WERE requirements.

3. On top of all this, the school says I will be coming in on a business visa,while the embassy says I cannot do that for a work permit. Instead I should acquire a "short term" visa.

What's going on?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 793

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 2:06 pm    Post subject: spend some time reading this site Reply with quote

This is a great site to give you a good feel for what happens here. If you read a few hundred posts, you will find that there are rarely firm answers to anything. The rules can be interpreted in various ways. Rules do not always matter. The people in power can give you various stories. Take a look at today's news on banks, how there is a complex web of ownership that is not really legal, but has been ongoing, designed to create benefit for certain groups and individuals. Everything is murky. This is about something that is very important to the nation, and you see that the rules and enforcement are all subject to manipulation and interpretation. Whatever you are told is just one more data point which may or may not be true, or really matter. What matters is what you can make work for you, how badly you want and need to be here, how willing you are to "work" with this kind of "process".

Reading your post, my impression is you are focused on a small point that is not really that important, the larger issues are pretty plain for all see. You did not even mention your employer, how sure are you that it is relatively respectable? You speak of Anglophone countries. You can easily read here about what is happening on that. We have folks who are not native speakers teaching here, some are hired because of their appearance. We have people who are native speakers who are discounted because they have Asian names and faces. No laws on that, just the way it is. If you spend time reading the site, you should find there are much bigger issues than what visa you come in on. Also, if you want honest advice, it is a good idea to be more forthcoming about your real situation. Rather than hinting at your nationality, just state it. That way we do not have to speculate and say "oh, if you are a tall bronzed Italian, you LOOK like a native speaker, so you can likely get a job despite an accent" or "oh, if you are a Filipino you are likely to be discounted because you look Asian and the people from that nation are scrambling all over the world trying to get a decent wage".

Your degree is probably okay, but again, if you were to be more specific it would certainly make it easier to comment there as well. I suggest you be detailed when you want information here, as uncertain as everything already is here, it is best not to add to the uncertainty with minimal information forcing people to try to answer multiple scenarios instead of yours specifically.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Valaki



Joined: 17 Aug 2010
Posts: 85
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Mark for your response.

I am -------. I am a white caucasian/European.

It's a startup school sponsored by a company called ------- and somehow related to --------. I have no idea if they are trusworthy or not.

I have an accelerated BA/MA in English and the CELTA.

What I absolutely want to avoid is going to Vietnam then finding out I am not eligable for a work permit and waste 1500 USD on the ticket. At this point I am not concerned about anything else.


Last edited by Valaki on Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kurtz



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 403
Location: Off the beaten path

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your passport is no problem.

Basically, you need a work permit and then your company will sponsor you for a Business Visa. These are murky waters though. Several legit schools require a BA and a CELTA to be stamped plus a clean criminal check and a health check, proof of residence in Vietnam, that then gets you a WP and then your visa is issued.

Most people come on a tourist visa and jump through the hoops to get said WP which then gets your tourist visa changed to a bus. visa.

If I were you, I'd be emailing or ringing the HR Dept. and finding out what they have to say. If they can't guarantee you assistance, that's one flight I'd be avoiding unless I was prepared to make it a vacation if things were to go pear shaped.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 793

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The more you "look" like a native speaker, the more it helps. Sounds like that part is not a negative. Of course, they see your passport, so you are not going to fool them about that part, but mainly the students and parents want to think you are a native speaker, so appearance matters more than it should.

Looking at the school, it would seem they should be seeking foreign teachers of engineering. Of course, they also should need English teachers, but one would think they would try to get true native speakers for that. Any time a school hires someone who is not a true native speaker, it is a lot more likely that they are trying to get a low ball price and are willing to sacrifice on quality to get it. Not that every non native speaker is a lower quality teacher, but regardless, that is mostly THEIR mindset. Here, they are very focused on how they can cut costs so they can increase their own profit (sometimes this means fattening the wallet of some individual too, not just the organization). That kind of scenario often goes hand in hand with not actually coming thru on a work permit, along with various other changes in the original plan.

When you say you have no idea if they are trustworthy, I think you spoke a great truth about most dealings we have here. We do not have much choice, we have to hope for the best, but even with organizations that appear to be professional, we find that we are often disappointed. Good thing is, you usually do get paid, but these "promises" on work permits are often just theoretical posturing, it means they would like to get you one, they may get you one, or they may not get you one. Read more on this site, you will find that the big majority of teachers actually do not have a real work permit, they are in the "we would like to get you one" camp. I do think you are eligible, but the law of averages is that most folks who take a job do not get one, if they get with a better school they may eventually get one. If you fall into the normal averages, you will not get one in your first job, and you will likely be disappointed in your first job. I think anyone coming over here for just one employer needs to realize the averages, which is mostly jobs do not work out, at least one's first job, and we really should come over here because we enjoy living here. If we can get a good income out of it, so much the better. Never come over only if things must work out according to your plan. You have to adapt to the realities of what happens, which often does not track what the employer originally told you.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Valaki



Joined: 17 Aug 2010
Posts: 85
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh. OK, so what you are saying is it's "normal" to work without a work visa. Like in Saudi?

That's different then. I wouldn't mind it if most teachers work like that. What I wanted to avoid is being thrown into below average conditions. The pay is I think above average and if most teachers have no WP then so be it.

Thanks for your answers. I edited out the name of the company if you don't mind.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 793

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 8:13 pm    Post subject: VISA VS WORK PERMIT Reply with quote

You should read the archives here. Yeah, a visa is not that difficult at this time. For some reason they do not give business visas easily when first coming over (may depend on the country you apply from) but then when doing the visa run, you may rather easily get a business visa, esp from Cambodia. However, the work permit is another story. Most estimates are well over half of all foreign teachers are not on a WP, upwards of 80% or more. Not suggesting we should be casual about this, but instead it is just another reflection of the way rules are enforced, and the general landscape of life/work here. I do think most expats coming over are expecting more out of these places than they are going to get. The work permit issue is just one aspect.

Below average conditions is kind of a broad statement. I think that applies to most everything here. Most things are below average here, including costs. If you are saying below what the other teachers are facing, that is another question. The few so called tier 1 schools generally get the work permit for you. Most of the rest say they will but don't, or just pooh pooh the idea generally.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
biliana



Joined: 19 Aug 2012
Posts: 53
Location: Vietnam

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When you get a work permit you wont need a visa, you should get a Temporary Residence Card it's easier and cheaper to obtain.

Good luck!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Valaki



Joined: 17 Aug 2010
Posts: 85
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone for your answers.

So the employer was right about the business visa? It is the proper visa to enter on and not the "short term" one the embassy suggested?

That's good. They also said they want to get me a WP.

Also what do you think about this site:

http://www.getvisavietnam.com/

Should I just get the BV from them?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 793

PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:50 pm    Post subject: visas and wp's Reply with quote

I cannot see where it ever makes sense to get a shorter term visa if you can get a longer one. Also, same for business versus tourist, as a worker, you certainly want a business visa. The trick is getting it. Some locations are better than others. For example, the VN Embassy in the states tends to give shorter term visas despite your longer term request, probably because they know they will get more income from you that way. For some reason, the VN Embassy in Cambodia can give 12 month business visas. I know some guys only get 6 month visas regardless, to shave a bit of expense, but I think that is very short sighted considering the expense and hassle of a trip, unless you are certain you are only staying 6 months.

When the employer says "they want to get me a WP", that is not the same as "we will promise you in writing that we will get you a WP". Of course, nothing these folks say can ever be a promise anyway, but the more they fudge it, the less likely it becomes. It is amusing to hear these schools talk about their plans for WPs and then ask them, "how many WPs have you gotten for your staff of foreign teachers?" Of course, they can lie, but for some reason they often don't on this, maybe they think that means we are on to them or something, so they try to avoid a direct answer. Lots of schools are advertising how they will get a WP and then in reality it never happens.

Really, folks coming over for the first time need to realize these theoretical questions on pay, hours, positions, quality of the organization, how much you can save, WPs, whatever, seems to me they are missing the central issue which is the uncertainty of it all. Any first job is likely to last just a couple of months, unless you are a glutton for punishment. Until you see the struggle that most people go thru when they first start this "career" you focus on questions that you realize later are not the major issues at all. I continue to suggest anyone coming over for the first time not have the absolute need for an income here to survive. If you have money, you can go thru the learning curve and eventually find something that you like. If you really need the job to work out for you, it can be a pretty dreadful situation. I see folks that have been at this for years still borrowing money from whoever they can just to make it til the next payday. Not a good situation to be in. Often it is the employer they hit, early partial pay. What a message that sends to the employer.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Valaki



Joined: 17 Aug 2010
Posts: 85
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK so now you've taken away all my enthusiasm lol.

Yes, I am coming for just the money. It sounds really good, I could never get the same in Europe.

I think I might still try my luck with this job. I won't say you didn't warn me.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
VietCanada



Joined: 30 Nov 2010
Posts: 326

PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 3:58 pm    Post subject: Re: visa confusion Reply with quote

Valaki wrote:
Guys I was offered a job in Vietnam, but need you advice on visa/wok permit issues.

I have several problems...

1. I have a non-anglophone passport.

2. My degree is an accelerated BA plus MA with no seperate bachelor's component.

Would either of those cause problems?

I spoke to the Vietnamese embassy and they assured me that neither of those is a requirement, and in fact, there are no requirements "like that" at all! Should I believe them? I thought they WERE requirements.

3. On top of all this, the school says I will be coming in on a business visa,while the embassy says I cannot do that for a work permit. Instead I should acquire a "short term" visa.

What's going on?


A work permit requires a BA at least. AFAIK an MA would work.
A teaching certification. A TEFL, TESOL, CELTA or DELTA are sufficient.
A criminal record check from your home country. You can get it here from the local police after 6 months.
A medical check up that must be done at a government sanctioned location.
Everything must be translated to Vietnamese or apostilled by your government. Canada didn't sign this treaty so embassy stamps are valid.

Proof that the company hiring you tried to fined an employee in Vietnam to do your job.

If you don't meet the requirements then you'll have to leave the country every three months, visit a Vietnamese embassy and re-apply for a visa to enter Vietnam.

The only confusion is most of us don't know anyone who has been denied a Visa or deported for working illegally. Most jobs seem to require a WP. Certainly any employer that is reliable does.

If you are concerned about teaching legally you should find that every country has a department or ministry that sets out the process online. If not then phone their embassy or visit and ask them.

Here's a link http://www.vietnamvisa-online.com/NewsDetail-On-Vietnam-Visa.aspx?newid=68

A lot of posters seem to have a 'come on down' mentality. That's great if you are tourist looking to pick up a few bucks but not so much if you are serious about the job.

With a masters you should be investigating higher end schools. The pay and benefits jump is quite significant. International schools or even some pseudo international schools will take everything much more seriously than a cheap language mill. Language mills are a dime a dozen and some of them will promise you anything you want to hear.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 793

PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If you don't meet the requirements then you'll have to leave the country every three months, visit a Vietnamese embassy and re-apply for a visa to enter Vietnam.


Lots of folks are getting longer term visas so they do not have to leave every 3 months. Lots of folks are getting extensions so they do not have to leave when their visas do expire. Of course, a work permit would bypass all the visa nonsense, which seems to mostly be an income generation scheme.

Quote:
The only confusion is most of us don't know anyone who has been denied a Visa or deported for working illegally.


If that was THE ONLY confusion, it would be very nice. In my experience, working here is MOSTLY confusion.

Quote:
Most jobs seem to require a WP. Certainly any employer that is reliable does.


It is estimated that AT LEAST 75% of foreign teachers do not have a WP. Most estimates are actually higher. It would be quite a chore to define what a reliable employer really is here. I guess one could state that any school who does get you a WP is somewhat more reliable than those who do not.

Quote:
If you are concerned about teaching legally you should find that every country has a department or ministry that sets out the process online.


Most westerners want to play by the rules and be legal. This is not a country where the rules are clear or consistently enforced and the elite can pretty much interpret the rules to their advantage. Of course, this leads the expat community to just schlep along, which is why you have so many working without a WP. It is very common for the schools to state they will get you a WP and then it never occurs.

Quote:
A lot of posters seem to have a 'come on down' mentality. That's great if you are tourist looking to pick up a few bucks but not so much if you are serious about the job.


The backpacker mentality will promote that. This is a difficult place to work for serious professionals, with all the built in systemic problems. I continue to advise that the great thing about this place is the low cost structure. However, I think that unless you have enough resources to live here without working, this is a pretty dicey place for you to just show up and expect everything to work out. If you have enough resources to make it with or without employment, you are likely to have a good experience. But you can come here poor and leave here in worse shape than you came over. Very easy to spend more than you earn here if you want to have a decent life. Always best to have passive incomes to back you up before you make the big leap.

OP, if your prospective employer is offering you substantially more than the starting average, you probably have found something good. If they are just using you as an English teacher (they really need engineering teachers there you know) at an average rate of pay, then I would expect it to not be a special experience, just one you will use as your first job here, and you would be smart to be prepared to have to hop around several times til you find a better fit.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Valaki



Joined: 17 Aug 2010
Posts: 85
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="mark_in_saigon"]
Quote:

OP, if your prospective employer is offering you substantially more than the starting average, you probably have found something good.


Yeah, it's USD 2000 per month, plus USD 300 accomodation allowance which they said should be enough.

Isn't that more than the starting average?

I'm thinking I can save way more on that, than anywhere in Europe, working in any job. 2000 after accomodation costs is just phenomenal.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mark_in_saigon



Joined: 20 Sep 2009
Posts: 793

PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sounds fine, except you did not state how many hours it is. Plus, the ACTUAL HOURS you work could be more than what they say should be required. But, if the hours are not too much, the effective rate is certainly better than average, especially for a first job here. If the accommodation is at the work site and it is just one location, you bypass a very big part of the problem here, scrambling from location to location in the rain and traffic and pollution.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Vietnam All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
Page 1 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Road2Spain - TEFL and Spanish with one year student visa
EBC