RE: Trying to flee the country

Subject: RE: Trying to flee the country
From: Jack Elder <Jack -dot- Elder -at- gtl -dot- com>
To: "'TECHWR-L'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 15:51:53 +0100

> Subject: Trying to flee the country
> From: Bonita White <bwhite -at- mr -dot- marconimed -dot- com>
> Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2000 08:40:32 -0400
> X-Message-Number: 3
> This is not a technical question and I hope I do not take up waste too
> many people's time this morning; but does anyone have any
> good leads on
> Tech Writing positions outside the US? I am trying to flee
> (big smile)
> anywhere in the world and I just thought someone might have a lead.

Speaking as an expat myself (New Zealander, working in the UK), I've got
only one thing to say: work permits.

Someone touched on this in a previous email, but: work permits. They're
not easy to get. And they're kind of necessary. So: how do you go about
getting one?

The easiest way is to be a citizen of the country in question (in which case
you don't actually need the permit, but you get the point), or to be married
to one. This isn't usually an option for short-term work. ;)

Next, a number of countries have 'working holiday' schemes. These allow you
to enter and work in the country, but with caveats. For the UK, citizens of
most first world nations can enter and work. Provided, of course that
they're (a) under 28 years of age, (b) not intending on staying more than
two years, (c) not planning on working more than one of those years in
total, and (d) not going to be performing any job that 'advances their
career'. As you can tell, these sorts of schemes tend to be pitched at
recent university graduates who want to see the world: this may or may not
be practical for yourself.

Thirdly, there's the work permit proper. These are for a set period of
time, usually a year, but are usually renewable. However, they tend to
require your employer to sponsor you. From the employer's perspective, this
can be a pain: they usually have to prove to immigration that they can't
find a qualified candidate locally (which may include advertising and
interviewing for the position locally) before the permit will be granted.
This also leaves you at the mercy of your employer: if they withdraw
sponsorship, your permit status can become quite ticklish.

Finally, a number of countries have other schemes. As someone mentioned, if
you're a citizen of an EU country, you can work anywhere in the EU. I'm not
sure how this applies to people with the right of residence (rather than
citizenship) in a particular EU country; anyone know? It's worth checking
this sort of thing out - I'm currently working in the UK on the basis that
my grandfather was born in Aberdeen, so I'm entitled to a four-year open
work permit with no questions asked. ;)

ObTechAuthorJobTips: If you're looking at the UK, it's definitely worth
your while to check out - I was scanning it before I
left New Zealand and eventually got a job that I first submitted a CV for
before I arrived in the UK. Within the UK, there's a lot of jobs going in
the south - London and Cambridge spring to mind as areas with lots of IT and
a commensurate amount of tech author jobs. Otherwise, I hear Dublin and
Glasgow both have a lot on at the moment; I'm sure someone else in the UK
will provide more good places to try. ;) The market in the UK seems to be a
good mix of contract/permanent jobs, and a reasonably experienced TA can
make a damn nice living (although take note that the south of England is
comparatively expensive - and London is appallingly so). There's also a bit
of a dearth of experienced personnel, so if you do get a permit, it's not
too hard to find jobs. For example, we're still hiring... ;)



Jack Elder

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