Offered a great job but TEFL work permit problem

Hey everyone, Nice to meet you all!

I'm a first time poster but frequent lurker of these forums. I'll cut right to the chase - I need advise from people in Vietnam about fulfilling the work permit requirements. Here is my background and situation:

I'm 24 years old and a holder of a 3 year BA Degree. I've 2 years teaching experience in Asia, but no TEFL/CELTA teaching certificate. It's always been my aim to undertake a quality, accredited course that includes the often sought after 6 hours of observed teaching practice. However, money is a little tight recently due to unexpected circumstances; therefore,  I've put that plan on hold and am looking to do some work as an esl teacher for a while and make some more cash.

I've been offered a job with a reputable Language School in Vietnam and must make a decision soon. There is just one problem - The Work Permit! The Vietnamese law requires I have a Degree + Police Background Check + A teaching cert or 5 years experience in the field  (ridiculous...). I don't have the TEFL, so am I correct in assuming that I cannot be granted a work permit?  Therefore, can't work legally in Vietnam?

I'm not interested in working illegally or under the table, so I'd like to hear other expats advice on my situation. Should I just come back to Vietnam later after I get the TEFL? The position would begin in September. Does anyone know if it's realistic to complete a quick, cheap TEFL course online? Does the Vietnamese government accept such certs for TEFL? Or must it be 120 hours with 6 hours observed practice?

This situation is such a headache. It's sure difficult to work legally in Vietnam it seems . As opposed to somewhere like Taiwan.

Anyway, I'd be real grateful if anyone had any advice or suggestions for me :)


Why do you feel that  a "Degree + Police Background Check + A teaching cert or 5 years experience in the field" is a "ridiculous standard?  In fact it is rather minimal.  Will Great Britain allow you to teach in government schools without at least a Bachelor's degree?   Would any western country allow one convicted of serious crimes to teach children?   The EFL certificate is a minimal standard.  In fact, last I knew, the online certificate is acceptable in VN although I personally think it should not be.  I have a BEd from the US and believe me, the things I learned in obtaining that degree could never be learned online.  Go ahead and take an online course but don't denigrate the requirements.  If anything, they should be tightened up.

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