My School Got Me the Vietnam Work Permit

I was required to get a "certified true copy" of my degrees. This requires some legal work.

The Department of Foreign Affairs needs to sign off on the degrees. As an aside, my American friend could not get the US Agency to sign off because "they don't do that".

He has no problem working...

After about a year, my college handed me my card. I don't work in Vietnam anymore because I hate Ho Chi Minh City.

The place is too dirty and busy for me. Also, I had a difficult time living in a country whose people seemed to be sour all the time


Reply from

I appreciate the humor. You made me laugh out loud for a few minutes. Many people will need to live in Ho Chi Minh City for a few years before they can really understand, though.

An image came into my head when you used the word 'sour' to describe the common expression on many of the Vietnamese faces. It's an apt description and most do look as though they are sucking on the most sour grape in the Patch.

I don't understand it because smiles are so common in Cambodia, Thailand and Laos. These are countries that surround Vietnam and yet the people in them are so fundementally different to Vietnam and its people that it seems almost odd.

I see so many people rushing to get work in Ho Chi Minh City. I never tell them that I can't stand Vietnam for more than 4 months before I have to get out. I am much happier in Bangkok, Cambodia or almost every other country I have ever been.

But you sound way out of date.

The US Government 'Streamlined' the work permit application process for Vietnam quite a few years ago.

Gone are all the silly words that just meant 'Pay More Now' and watching the guy at the Embassy charge you $5USD every time he dropped his arm and stamped another 'Official Paper' as 'Authentic'.

The US Government will now authenticate your Educational Certificates in Vietnam and they no longer require you to fly back to the United States to 'Take Possession' of your police background check.

In the first few years, you were required to appear in person at your neighbourhood Precinct to collect your Police background check. I remember RMIT employees flying home by the dozens to get their Police background checks and to begin a very arduous process of colllecting the documents they needed to apply for a work permit in Vietnam.

RMIT paid for all the flight costs and all our fees but it was a mad struggle to get receipts for everything and trying to slip in a bottle of Scotch into my expense sheet.

The question that most people were asking themselves was; "Is this all really worth it just to live in a country that I don't even like?"

The only 2 reasons teachers go to Vietnam is because the salaries are still the highest in the Region and because Vietnam sounds so exotic to people who have not yet been there.

Then again, if you are a teacher coming to the end of a 1 year contract teaching English in a small town near Harbin, China; you'll find your first 8 months in Vietnam like Paradise.


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