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Work visa / background check questions

Hi all, I'm new to the forum.   I'm from the US and am in the process of securing a job to work in Vietnam.  I was hoping that someone can help me with a few questions that I had about getting over there.  I would ask the company that is hiring me, but don't want to impact the negotiations that are going on right now.  The job that I'm seeking is in the legal/financial services industry.   

1.  Visa / work permit -- will I be getting a Vietnamese employment visa first while I'm in the states and then a work permit after I'm on the ground in Vietnam?  I currently have a 5-year tourist visa (90 day max each visit).

2.  Criminal background check - i understand that I need to get a background check to get the work permit.  Was doing my research and saw inconsistencies with the responses on what Vietnam requires -- FBI, state level (e.g., California), or local level (San Francisco).  I think i have an arrest on my record that happened more than 15 years ago, so am worried that it might show up.  It likely will only show up if they do a FBI background check since I think the FBI's record includes everything, even if the arrest/conviction was eventually thrown out of court, which was the case with mine.  Has anybody ever gone through this and would be able help me understand the process better?  Thoughts on whether it'll impact my ability to get a work permit?  The offense was minor. 

Any input would greatly be appreciated!!

A working visa comes after a work permit, as work permit is a part of the dossier to apply for a working visa. Technically a foreigner must have both work permit and working visa before entering Vietnam for work. But practically, many foreigners enter Vietnam with tourist visa first, got a job, applied for a work permit, then have to exit Vietnam to obtain for a working visa in overseas.

And I do not know the practice in America, but in Germany it is state level for their criminal record to be submitted in Vietnam for work permit purpose.

great, thanks for your help!

krs2 :

2.  Criminal background check - i understand that I need to get a background check to get the work permit.  Was doing my research and saw inconsistencies with the responses on what Vietnam requires -- FBI, state level (e.g., California), or local level (San Francisco).  I think i have an arrest on my record that happened more than 15 years ago, so am worried that it might show up.  It likely will only show up if they do a FBI background check since I think the FBI's record includes everything, even if the arrest/conviction was eventually thrown out of court, which was the case with mine.  Has anybody ever gone through this and would be able help me understand the process better?  Thoughts on whether it'll impact my ability to get a work permit?  The offense was minor.

National, State and Local checks all seem to work in Vietnam.  Why not pull a CA check now and see what it says?  It may be clean.  If it isn't, maybe you could pull a check in San Jose if your misdemeanor was in San Francisco or vice versa.   I know it sounds crazy but the actual application for the WP does not list your home address, so it should be relatively easy to manipulate the jurisdiction and still have an acceptable document.

https://oag.ca.gov/fingerprints/security
https://oag.ca.gov/fingerprints/visaimmigration

Despite what the second link says, you can bring a self pulled document to Vietnam.  You simply notarize it at the US consulate and have it translated and certified at the Dept of Labor.  The consulate will give you the address. 

If you are not moving right away, pull a newer records check right before you leave because it needs to be less than 6 months old to be valid for a work permit.

THIGV - thanks for your detailed response.  I'll take your suggested approach.  Just hoping that the company that wants to hire me will let me run the checks myself as opposed to doing it for me.

krs2 :

THIGV - thanks for your detailed response.  I'll take your suggested approach.  Just hoping that the company that wants to hire me will let me run the checks myself as opposed to doing it for me.

They can pull neither an FBI nor a CA check as both require your fingerprints.  The employee provides the check is the norm.   As long as your CA check comes up clean you are fine.

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