DUI on record-Work Permit Vietnam

by brett


I am currently seeking employment for TEFL work and am considering Vietnam to start teaching English. I have a bachelor's and a 100 hour TESOL Certificate. I am American and look the part. I have zero work experience, but I feel confident that I will do well.

I have a Police Record from my local state, which is clear. but I also know that I have a DUI on record from 15+ years ago. They'll find it if a criminal background check is done.

So should I just show up and look for work? Or should I secure work from the USA? Should I worry about the DUI?

I see many jobs on the internet websites, so I imagine work is plentiful right now. September 2011.
What do you think?



Reply from Travel-Budget-Asia.com

Hi, Brett

First is your employ-ability and Credentials. As long as you are not 87 years of age there will be only one task you will have to focus on. That will be deciding what job you are going to accept. What kind of school? University? Children? Private? Corporate?

With your qualifications your 2 worst enemies will be getting yourself motivated to work and the all-night beer drinking crowd that is fun, especially if you like changing jobs regularly.

Internet Posted Vietnam English Teaching Job Offers are a Mistake

If you take a job from one of those Internet sites I will find you and I will laugh at you. Then you'll burst into tears and cry like a little girl wondering how you are going to get yourself out of that one year contract in Hell.

The English Schools (Especially in Vietnam) that post available jobs on internet sites are "Fishing". They are fishing for people who are desperate or over-enthusiastic person.

They usually sign a 1 year contract for 2 main reasons.

  1. They have not read or fully understand the Contract

  2. They are so frightened to go it alone that they exchange control of their lives for a pre-arranged life (Airport pickup, rented house, sorted employment) to alleviate that anxiety

Before long you people begin to realize that everyone is making Double the salary that they are and paying a quarter of the price for that 'Pre-Arranged apartment'.

You will be working the full 40 hour week required of you during the worst times when no one else wants to teach.

But, I have seen enthusiasm make a smart man very quick to act on unfamiliar ground. It is some people's nature to just trust. Please. All people please take this to heart.

Go it alone and do everything yourself. That may sound difficult but it is so easy that I find it funny when people worry about the transition to living in Vietnam. You will also laugh in the future if you trust me and stay away from internet posted jobs teaching English in Vietnam.

You will be able to negotiate a salary 5X what they offer on the net. The very best schools don't even advertise.

Brett, You are in a class of teacher that can take control of your circumstances if you have the stones to wait it out. Your qualifications could not be much better.

So, Yes. My advice is to land there and get work on your own. Ask around for what is currently a decent wage. I would not work for less than $17USD an hour on a minimum 25 hours of guaranteed teaching hours a week.

That is the most important part. People take jobs because they see a huge salary but the key is to get the school to guarantee a certain number of hours a week.

Once they do that you are no longer under their contract. They are under your contract now. Make sure they pay you that salary per week despite any Stat holidays as well.

Your 'Driving under the Influence' Conviction.

Means nothing. I got my work permit 5 years ago.

You may have to take a visit over to the FBI's Website for all the newest details on requesting background checks fir US Nationals. The rules are changing by the hour and getting more strict.

I had to send a written request including proof of Identification directly to the police station closest to my last known address. That was 5 years ago. Today almost every police district has its own website from which you'll be able to download the full application form and guide for filling it out your request for a background check.

I don't know what district you were arrested in but you will be able to request a duplicate copy for only a few dollars more.

That way you will receive 2 envelopes.

The Vietnam government accepts only sealed letters but if you request a second copy, you can look it over to make sure there is nothing in there you don't want to share.

Relax completely. They are looking for felons. A D.U.I. actually falls under the motor vehicle act and would not be on a criminal background check, anyways.

This is also a bad time to go. In Vietnam the massive TET Festival is due to begin February 3 2011. It is the year of the Cat and there will not be a single student anywhere near a school between the dates of February 3rd and February 16th.

That is usually when kids return to the government schools. You should know that most private schools close for one month and pay their teachers nothing.

It is a great holiday for people who had already secured work early, saved some holiday cash but for people arriving, it won't be until March 20th before students start getting serious again and start signing up for new classes.

P.S. I am not sure the exact dates of the TET Festival because it begins with the first full moon of the solstice and ends 10 days later. The point is that even though TET is just 10 days long, it costs the average English teacher in Vietnam at least a month's pay and perhaps more.

Get there in October. They will start you out at just 15 hours a week. That will increase if you can prove that you can do the job.

No Experience but a 100 Hour TESOL Qualification

Don't ever say that you have no experience. A white lie is fine but there is a component of your TESOL training that was named "in-Class" training. Make sure you remind them of that.

Then tell them that you volunteered helping new immigrants to your city by giving them English lessons.

You are on your own. They will lie to you often. A white lie can't hurt and if you are a terrible teacher, they will know soon enough.

Hope that helped,


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Sep 17, 2011
DUI and Criminal Background Check
by: Anonymous

A DUI does NOT fall under motor vehicles and DOES appear on a background check.

I had a DUI 15 years ago and got a criminal background check done, FBI, and yes, it's there in it's entirety.

However, charges that I had expunged (which took 2 years to complete through the system), were not there.

You can get many different kinds of background checks now from the FBI. For personal reasons, teaching or government jobs, to live and work in a foreign country, etc... Any teaching job has the ability to see things on your record that have been expunged; however, you have to explicitly state that is the kind of background check you are applying for and it's possible that further paperwork would need to be done to see what has been expunged.

The only thing that cannot be expunged are crimes against children. Having that said, get two personal reports mailed to you so one is sealed.

South Korea is now requiring that your report be apostallized, which is just more money and time wasted. Although, in the past many countries let you slide depending on what was on your report, these days jobs are getting harder and harder to come by so they can have their pick of real teachers from the states now instead of recent college graduates.

All you can do is try to get an expungement but that doesn't mean that your record is cleared overnight, nor does it mean that in some po-dunk town in the states, some cop can pull you over for something menial, run a check on you and still find your arrest (that was supposed to expunged) in their system.

However, once expunged, they are required to take it out of the FBI database, local and state police, etc... I hope this information helps others!


Reply from Travel-Budget-Asia.com

This post confused me and made it look worse and gave me reason to worry.

I agree that seeking a pardon or to get expunged is good but expensive and a 2-3 year process. It makes no sense to begin such a long process.

This is a bridge that you should cross when you get to it. By the time you get to it, you will probably have learned everything you need from your co-workers and friends.

Not hearsay from someone who has not done a background check in 15 years. No Offense. I appreciate your informative post.

It is considered discrimination in the US to hire or fire someone based on a petty crime, misdemeanor, Parking ticket or DUI Conviction(Unless they are excessive or you are applying to be a driver).

The government will allow a background check to include only what is needed to suffice a screening process for employment in a foreign country.

And nothing more.

They would not give a background check with any information that could be used to discriminate against you.

There are 3 levels of Criminal background checks. Each reveals more than the previous. The schools are only allowed to see the 'Basic' background check.

They will only show felonies and each murder you have committed!


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