Home > Employment > Visa – your inflexible friend

Visa – your inflexible friend

I thought that on Friday I would finally get my visa status sorted out. The situation currently is that I’ve been staying in the country and working for my new employer with my old visa, the one sponsored by my previous employer.

I should have got this sorted long before now, but my employer told me that I need to get a new visa – which necessitated getting a new criminal background check, getting it notarised and apostilled, getting a health check and leaving the country to actually get the visa. Apart from the last part, I’ve done all of that – at my own expense.

Then it turned out that I needn’t have done any of that and all I needed to do was to transfer my visa sponsor to my new place. I went to Immigration the week before last and they told me I needed a letter of release from my previous employer. I haven’t actually worked there for a while so my colleagues were on the phone to them a lot trying to get them to get this letter of release together, along with a fictional date so we wouldn’t get into any trouble.

They finally did this and I took it to Immigration on Friday only to be told that it wasn’t a letter of release, it was a letter of end of employment. In other words, it said that I’d finished working there, but it didn’t give me permission to work elsewhere. Furthermore, Immigration had no record of Ginius Academy, the place that took over my original workplace, English Castle Academy – so, even if I had a correct letter of release from Ginus, it would mean anything because Immigration has me down as working for E-Castle, which no longer even exists.

It seems that the people at Ginius, having taken over E-Castle, didn’t bother to make it official with Immigration. The woman I spoke to told me to get Ginius to fill in some form or other, and ideally get someone from Ginius to come to Immigration with me the next time. As a parting shot she wanted to see the date on my contract – 1st February – and said I might have to pay a penalty for starting work before getting my visa sponsorship transfered.

I was pretty angry and a little depressed by the morning’s revelations. When I got back to work after a deliberately too-long lunch break my colleague Andrew made more phone calls and told me the best thing we could do now is to apply for a new visa and when I leave the country, hand in my Alien Card and tell Immigration at the airport that my job is finished and my visa should be cancelled. (This would be instead of the sensible thing, which would be to have Ginius pull their finger out and submit the relevant documentation. I have a feeling that their own documentation – contracts between Ginius and E-Castle – either don’t exist anymore or never existed.)

Hopefully, it shouldn’t be too much longer before this is all sorted out and I don’t have to worry about being fined or deported anymore. And, with a following wind, I might get a couple of days off work and a free trip to Japan.

Categories: Employment
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