Visa/work permit confusion - please help

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Visa/work permit confusion - please help

Unread postby frankblack » 06 Oct 2009, 15:05

Hi everyone

I realise this is a pretty inexhaustive topic but I am very confused by the visa situation. From what I have read getting a work permit/visa before you go is very difficult unless you have a job offer from a reputable company (who may also help you out with it) and even then the red tape appears to be very long indeed. But this is still the official line. But most people who work in SE Asia (from what I can tell) arrive on a tourist visa and simply work on that which makes sense to me. Yet in Thailand and China I hear they are cracking down on this - in thailand by reducing the visa allowance from one month to 15 days when issued at a land border.

Can someone please help me out here and let me know what the common practice is. Is it possible to arrange work permits in-country? Doing a visa run every 2 weeks sounds like a huge amount of hassle and expense - how do current teachers get round this? And what is the situation re: visas for people (I believe the majority) who do not have awork permit before they arrive in their country of choice?

Many thanks
Danny
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Re: Visa/work permit confusion - please help

Unread postby Doogs » 10 Oct 2009, 21:39

In China certainly you are right, the convention is to get the job first, then sort out your Z visa before you go over. There's no more red tape involved than would be for a tourist visa to be honest. You need to send copies of your passport, degree certificate and a medical exam, which the employer submits to the local authorities who issue a foreign expert certificate which you take to your local consulate and get your one year working visa. You cannot get a working visa without a job offer from a company in China and a foreign expert certificate anyway.

You used to be able to come over on a tourist visa and have it converted to a Z visa in Hong Kong, but that practice stopped in 2008. To be honest doing it the right way and not working on a tourist visa, which is possible but illegal, will keep you safe. Securing a job before you arrive will allow you to do your research about the company before you commit to working for them. If you do come over on a tourist visa make sure your close to Hong Kong, because that's the only place you can go to renew your tourist visa, and in China it's every thirty day's. I don't know about Thailand.
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Re: Visa/work permit confusion - please help

Unread postby systematic » 13 Oct 2009, 03:50

Thailand is one SE Asian country where it is becoming very difficult to obtain employment without fulfilling a lot of conditions. Do check out other threads on this board that treat the subject with some detail. In a nutshell, you are required by law to have a degree to teach in schools in Thailand. One of the very reasons for the new 14-day entry permit at land crossings is to discourage people from getting illegal teaching jobs. Illegal jobs pay poorly, and doing 'border runs' every 14 days will lose valuable working hours and use up a lot of your salary.
There are plenty of jobs available for candidates who have the required qualifications, and some a re not too badly paid. A firm job offer and a pre work permit application will get you a Non-Imm visa B from a Thai consulate before you leave your own country. It is far more complex, but still possible (with a short journey to Singapore, Malasia, Laos, or Cambodia), to get the visa B after arriving, but you will still need the qualifications, and the supporting employment documents from from your prospective employer.
I offer any information or advice 'as is' and hope that it has been of help. I am not an admin of this board, and my postings do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the board management.
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Re: Visa/work permit confusion - please help

Unread postby frankblack » 14 Oct 2009, 00:48

Many thanks for your replies.
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Re: Visa/work permit confusion - please help

Unread postby Peter Easton » 26 Oct 2009, 09:49

Securing a job before you arrive will allow you to do your research about the company before you commit to working for them.


Still more risky than actually coming to China and talking to people. There is only so much you can find on the internet.

It is easy to come to China on a tourist visa and get that switched over to a residence permit. Just make sure your work contract is post-dated to coincide with receiving it.
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Re: Visa/work permit confusion - please help

Unread postby systematic » 19 Dec 2009, 02:08

Peter Easton wrote:
Securing a job before you arrive will allow you to do your research about the company before you commit to working for them.


Still more risky than actually coming to China and talking to people. There is only so much you can find on the internet.

It is easy to come to China on a tourist visa and get that switched over to a residence permit. Just make sure your work contract is post-dated to coincide with receiving it.


I appear to have omitted to mention in my earlier post, that indeed, In Thailand it is also sible to get a tourist VISA converted to a vias B, provided the prospective employer has supplied all the relevant papers from the district labour office, and a draft contract.

However, Thailand operates a system where nationals of a select list of countries can visit here without a visa. On entry by air, they get a stamp (NOT a visa) that permits the, to stay for up to 30 days. if arriving overland, they get a stamp (NOT a visa) that allows a 15 day stay. These stamps are neither able to be extended, nor can they be converted to a Non-Imm Visa B, which MUST be obtained at a Thai consulate outside the country.
I offer any information or advice 'as is' and hope that it has been of help. I am not an admin of this board, and my postings do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the board management.
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