An Apostille Before I Go to Vietnam?

by jeffrey
(martha's vineyard ma)

I am returning to Vietnam end of May 2012 to teach for several years and I have everything in order, including an updated criminal history report.

The problem is that the Embassy in DC is now telling me I need to have the secretary of States office in Boston attach some kind of seal (is it the Apostille for Vietnam)?

They say mine are now outdated!! $$$$ After I get that seal I need to overnight the package to DC for their approval (again) What an expensive, time consuming nightmare! All this before finding a decent job and then dealing with the work permit!!

Please tell me what is supposed to be attached to my criminal history report before I send it to the S. States office Thanks jeff.


Reply from

You are getting bad advice, my friend. The people at your Embassy have no idea how it really works. None of them have probably ever been to Vietnam, never mind to teach English there. They are just following the book and hoping to get as much business out of you as they can.

All an Apostille will do is certify that your documents are the real deal. Certifying that your documents are genuine is part of the application process for a Work Permit in Vietnam. A task most schools will do for you, while you are working, and without the headaches.

I am writing this from my room in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Next week my friend is heading over to Ho Chi Minh City to start work at AUSP. They are sorting his documents for him so that he will have a work permit within a few months after he
arrives. All he sent them was a copy of his passport, Resume, Diploma and CELTA Qualification.

Go to Vietnam with all your documents. That will include your College Diploma, any TEFL Certificates and your Passport. Arrive on a 1 month (30 Day) tourist visa and visit the schools you are interested in working for. You will have a job within a week as long as you look sort of European, Speak English as a Native tongue, and are not a drunken pervert or an unshaven Vagabond.

Once you have proven yourself at that school, they will come to you and say "I think we should get you a work permit". Then you give them your original documents and continue to work for the 5-6 months it takes to get your work permit. They will probably just hand it to you while at your desk or in the teacher's room.

You are wasting a lot of time and money by doing any of this in the U.S. You can do any and all of this while in Vietnam for pennies on the dollar and work while you are waiting for it to be done.

I can see the stress this is causing you. I have watched 9 U.S. Citizens get their work Permit here in Vietnam. All arrived in Vietnam without a clue how things worked. They are still in Vietnam earning $22USD an hour. I think they did ok without any help from an Embassy in their home country.

Just get on a plane. As long as you are a decent man and a decent teacher then you will succeed in Vietnam and laugh about the ill-informed people that pretend to know everything.


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