The Professor and Her Passport

Accepting a job overseas involves….

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PAPERWORK!

As with any new job, there comes paperwork, but then you accept a job overseas, the paperwork can be measured by the pound (or kilo). First, after accepting my new position in Abu Dhabi in March, I was informed not to resign my current position until my security background check was approved. That involved naming parents, professional references, passport number, and ALL countries visited. After about three weeks, I was approved. Then came the process for gaining entry into the country. That has involved (to date) having my marriage license and University of Kansas transcript attested. This process required notarization and attachment by state agencies, the US State Department, and the UAE Embassy in the US. The result of this process is a stack of very official documents containing official seals and stamps.

downloadI have been told these documents are necessary to gain my residency visa. In the meantime, I have been granted a work visa.

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All very official. The paperwork does not end there….I have also had to copy three months of bank statements in order to open an account in the UAE and have made over 20 passport photos which I have been told will be needed for all the IDs and official forms that must be completed once I arrive in two weeks. Once I arrive, I will undergo a health screening and more paperwork before receiving my residence visa. Did I mention that I cannot open a bank account, sign a contract for an apartment or for cell phone service until I have my residence visa and a letter from my employer stating my salary?

Now some of you may say given all the bureaucracy (and who knows what lies ahead) why didn’t I look for a position in the US? Well…I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work in an extremely diverse environment and work with faculty from around the world.

The adventure is just beginning and I will keep you posted as this adventure unfolds.

Disclaimer: Individual experiences may vary.

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