Earlier this year, with COVID on the downturn, educators, schools & recruiters, alike, predicted borders were on the verge of reopening with Visa processing soon to follow. Everything was looking positive! That is, until the unforeseen appearance of the Delta Variant, 10 times more contagious than COVID-19. Time for plan “B?”
Schools, despite what you may have been led to believe, really have little, if any, special insight into how the Delta Variant situation will unfold. At this point, it’s anyone’s guess what the future holds. This may explain why teachers are complaining that schools are not forthcoming with the much needed information required to make important career decisions.
At the time of this writing, 74 countries have closed their borders to all but citizens, residents & people in special circumstances. Taipei, China, Australia, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, India, Indonesia & Malaysia are included on this list. Teachers who left closed-border countries for the summer are finding themselves locked out. Those who chose to stay in-country, instead of risking a border closure, report not seeing family or friends back home for up to 2 years.
The good news: 144 countries do have open borders. There are, however, entry restrictions such as proof of a negative COVID test, &/or proof of being fully vaccinated, &/or quarantine upon arrival.
Eight countries post no restrictions at this time. Mexico & Colombia head this list.
A Plan B Success Story
My wife and I have been waiting for months for TECO (Taipei Economic & Cultural Office) to open back up & process our Visas. We set the July 26 Level Change as our final deadline to make a decision on a plan of action.
Earlier in the year we quit jobs in Colorado & sold our home to return to the international life after a frustrating COVID year. In the meantime, while waiting on our Visas, we’ve been at my parents house & I started exploring other options.
Long story short, I was able to get hired last week at a top public school this late in the season. My wife begins interviewing next week. Talk about lucky! Not a bad Plan B.
I really, really wanted this Taiwan job to work out for so many reasons but I was tired of the uncertainty & these key factors:
1. No plan of actions were ever presented to me except: “You will be teaching remotely until the border opens up.” That meant I’d be teaching on a 12-hour time difference & not be able to get paid until I have a Taiwanese bank account open when I arrive in the country.
2. The fear of living in the US with no health insurance is real.
3. After the Visa processing begins again & we finally make it to Taiwan, we would still be subject to a two-week hotel quarantine & an extra one-week quarantine before entering a school. I understand why we would quarantine but I don’t understand why I would have to be separated from my wife & child for two weeks in separate rooms with no contact. Hard thing to explain to a two-year old! We live together & would fly together, I really don’t get it…
4. I have two cousins in Taiwan that have lived on the island for seven years. They estimate that quarantine restrictions will be in store until at least January. A mandatory quarantine at $100 a night for two weeks upon returning to Taiwan essentially traps you there for all intent & purposes. My fear is that this remains in place even longer with the Delta Variant & my family & I get trapped once we enter Taiwan.
Are YOU one of the hundreds of International Educators awaiting a Visa or border opening? Do you have a plan “B?” If you have not done so already, at what point will you put your plan “B” into action? Are you willing to teach remotely from home for an unspecified period of time when what you really want is to go overseas?
Please scroll down to participate in this ISR Discussion