In most foreign countries, obtaining a work visa is like embarking upon a long quest fraught with peril and pitfalls. Unless of course you work for a huge multinational who has a very highly paid Human Resources staff. I do not work for a huge multinational at the moment and I also have another big setback in the case of the work visa. Most of the world sees a US passport like one sees a winning lottery ticket. But I have had this ticket my whole life and have taken for granted this literal Pass (port) which grants me entry to most places in the world.
However, at the moment the US has been making it very difficult for foreign workers to obtain the proper documents to work. Guess who pays the price for this! American ex-pat workers do! The more the US makes it, the more difficult foreign governments make it for us. So I would like to tell you a tale of my journey in obtaining the proper documents from entry visa (easy) to work visa (mission impossible)
Entry Visa for Vietnam:
1. Go to the consulate, pay money and pick up a tourist visa. Easy as pie.
2. Business Visa – Get an invitation from a Vietnamese company that wishes to do business with you. Go to the consulate, pay money and pick up business visa. Easy as pie with ice cream.
I. Necessary documents.
1. Original Diploma from University. Transcripts are not valid, must be original diploma.
2. Obtain home country government documents (explanation below)
II. How to obtain home country government documents
1. Show that no other Vietnamese national can do the work you are doing. The company should take care of this so just find the right company.
2. Obtain a criminal background check from your local sherrif’s office.
3. Have this document notorized.
4. Have this document confirmed and stamped by the clerk of courts. (1) This document is stamped and proved as valid by the higher authority.
4. Repeat the previous step (1) by the State Department of your state.
5. Repeat step (1) by the Department of the State of the U.S.A. (yes this means Colin Powell or now Condi Rice) and pay money. Not so easy to do.
6. Repeat step (1) by the Vietnamese Embassy in Washington and pay money.
These steps take many months and you it takes contacts to finally get it done.
III. Show proof of Vietnamese Residence.
1. Obtain document from H.R.
2. Take to City hall.
This is the step I’m currently on. I had to go with my landlord to City Hall but again ran into trouble. It seems that my landlord’s residents in actually in her home provence and not where she is living now (In HCMC). Therefore, she has to transfer her register (proof of residence) to HCMC and then I can get my papers to confirm I am actually living in her extra house.
So far it has taken me 6 months to come this far and I’m still not done!!!!