I am still here in Saigon. I am dealing with “document approval” issues with the Kazakhstan government. I had expected to arrive into Kazakhstan last week but with my educational background, it was hard to convince the Kazakhstan authorities that I do have an educational background that meets the requirements for work visas in that country. Finally yesterday I got the approval. Now I am just waiting for my letter of invitation which is needed for me to apply for my work visa.
Normally it can take about to two weeks to get your letter of invitation. I hope mine can be speed up since the school year started last week. I am using a service in the US called Travisa to process my work visa in the US. Vietnam will not get a Kazakhstan Embassy until 2014 so I cannot process a work visa here. I could use one of the Embassies in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpar or Singapore but the cost of waiting a week for my visa is not worth it, especially since it will not be covered by my employer. They will cover the cost of the visa but not to get it. From what I heard from another American teacher teaching with the Nazarbayev Intellectual School, it will cost me around $200 USD plus the FedEx fees which will total around $300 USD for me. This just happens to be the price of an airline ticket and taxi to/from Bangkok from Saigon.
The whole work visa process itself is supposed to take 8 days from when you sent your documents and return. I will add two days for FedEx to/from the US to Vietnam.
As of now, I am just eagerly waiting for my contract (to sign) and letter of invitation. I hope to be in Almaty in about 3 weeks, if things work out right.