June 21, 2010

Can They Get You a Working Visa?

In some so-called developing countries, the enthusiastic employers who want to hire you can exhibit gross ignorance in how they are supposed to go about issuing you a working visa or a work permit.

A case in point is Thailand. It is a constant complaint of many expatriates there that they would be hired only to find out that their employer had no earthly idea as to what is involved in the immigration formalities that you need to go through, and that he/she is now beset by as many headaches as you are. Some are not even sure that you are qualified to get such visas and permits. How would they know? They are not foreigners and they have never gone through the process themselves.

Some supervisors who knew something about the immigration procedures may have gone on to bigger and better things, and you are now facing a personnel officer who cannot even speak English and who has been hired through personal connections, but is completely incompetent. You then end up at the mercy of his/her incompetence. That means they send you to the Immigration and the Immigration sends you back asking for this and that paper and then you keep going back and forth and the assistant that the boss sent with you adoes not now anything about how to obtain the paper.

How about, in the worst case scenario, you find out that you are not even qualified for a work permit? That is after you have moved to the country and spent several months there. And if you are working in the meantime without the work permit, you run the risk of breaking the law and being fined.

Eventually, in most cases, such immigration nightmares end with you getting all the visas and permits you needed; however, if the bosses are in the dark as far as the procedures are concerned, it is a very unpleasant situation to be in.

So, whenever you get hired to work by a local employer or even a foreigner, please find out if he/she can properly process your papers and if he/she has done so before. If this is a small company and they have never done it, think twice about accepting employment with them. It may not be worth the headache.


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