In order to work in Ethiopia full time, I need a work permit. Work permits are granted to business people or volunteers after they enter Ethiopia and give the holder the right to work, either in salaried or voluntary positions, in Ethiopia. Once a work permit is granted to an individual they are then also given a Residence ID which gives them the right to reside in Ethiopia.
The documentation required to apply for a work permit is extensive! It took me a couple of months to get it all organised. The list of documents required included:
- copy of my birth certificate
- copy of my passport
- three letters of reference from past employers
- a letter from my doctor declaring that I am in good health
- 16 passport photos
- transcripts of my results for my uni qualifications
- the original certificate of my highest qualification, notarised, then sent to the Ethiopian consulate in Melbourne for authentication
All this documentation was sent to the Sydney office of SIM, who then couriered it to SIM Ethiopia who will gather and safely store it all. SIM will double check all incoming documentation to ensure there are no mistakes on documentation, check that nothing is missing, and to make preliminary application for work permits before I arrive in the country.
The most complicated and stressful thing to organise was not in fact the 16 passport photos, but the notarised degree certificate. I had to take the ORIGINAL of my highest qualification, in my case my Master of Education (TESOL) to a notary public to have it notarised. Notary publics pretty much don’t exist in rural South Australia, and I live 150km from Adelaide, so had to take an afternoon off work to get to my appointment. Getting an original certificate notarised is fairly rare, so naturally I thought I needed to get a copy notarised… No, no, no! It needed to be the original! An expensive mistake at $150 a pop!
Once the original was notarised, I had to express post it to the Ethiopian consul in Melbourne. Did you know that the A3-sized express post envelopes are not in fact A3 size? They are actually 1.5cm short of being A3-sized… My degree certificate is A3-sized. Thank goodness for packing tape! At any rate it is done, was posted to the consulate where they authenticated it, has made it to the Sydney SIM office, and is now being couriered to Ethiopia. I am a bit anxious about it being sent all the way to Ethiopia. I only completed my MEd (TESOL) in 2009 so the pain, stress and long days of study are very much fresh in my mind! That certificate represents a fulfilling but fraught time of my life, so entrusting it to the Australian and international postal system is a bit overwhelming… Never mind, it has to be done!
So that is a big part of the preparation for my semester at Bingham done. The next thing on my list is finalising flights and attending Mission Interlink’s Missionary Kid Personnel Pre-field Orientation (MKPFO) training next weekend at the WEC headquarters in Sydney. More blogging coming soon!