I am hoping someone out there in the ether can provide me with some information. My partner and I are currently contemplating a long-term move to Vientiane. An Aussie citizen, she was recently offered a two-year position and I am currently scouring the Internet for jobs so that I may join her. As some of you may have already gathered, my search has not been especially promising. I have a B.A. in journalism and an M.A. in history, both from Temple University in Philadelphia. I am also contemplating enrolling in a three-day TESOL certificate workshop conducted by the University of Pennsylvania so as to make my candidacy for a teaching position more attractive. So, does anyone have any suggestions regarding a job search conducted from the United States?
Barring a successful job search from the U.S., does anyone currently in-country or with work experience in Laos know the ins-and-outs of the country's visa policies? For instance, were I to travel to Vientiane on a tourist visa with the hope of finding a job while on the ground, is it possible - though perhaps not easy - to switch said tourist visa to a work visa? I've been informed that jobs abound in Vientiane, but one probably needs to be there to take advantage of the opportunities.
Any advice/suggestions would be much appreciated.
Not sure I can help you with finding work in Laos from the US without knowing your profession, but maybe try checking out www.directoryofngos.org
With regard to teaching positions, the International School here will not take you without a professional teaching background, but places such as Vientiane College (www.vientianecollege.com) will.
In terms of work visas, these are relatively easy to get if you are working in the private sector, but more challenging if working for NGOs. Arriving on a tourist visa is fine. Once you find employment your employer will get you a letter from the immigration services - with which you have to re-enter Laos at the Friendship Bridge collecting a special visa on re-entry (a B2 Visa) which will then allow your company to arrange for you the proper work permit and ID Card.
Tourist visas are available on arrival. They are valid for 30 days, can be extended a maximum of twice within the country (each time for 30 days) after which you will need to leave the country (border crossing is 20 minutes from Vientiane) before re-entering on a new tourist visa.
Wouldn't describe work as abundant in Vientiane (esp good paying work) but if you are flexible in what you want to do you shouldn't have too much trouble.
Thanks for the info; I should have gone this route initially rather than spend two weeks unsuccessfully searching for this information online. The visa info was especially helpful. Thanks again.