As I prepare for my journey to Saudi Arabia, I am confronted with the giant mountain of paperwork required to get the residency/employment visa. Understand that Saudi Arabia has been closed of to Westerners and/or non-Muslims for most of forever, and I understand that the government is interested in fostering tourism soon, however, to live and work with privileges of residency, one must still go through the gauntlet.
If you care to, please see for yourself , but bear in mind that several of these steps are deceptive. Academic Verification, for example, is a whole other list which requires (among other things) official sealed transcripts, notarized copies of degrees, and a letter from the registrar verifying your attendance. I’m almost done with this, finally. Waiting on the mail man to bring me the transcripts and the last letter after a mere two weeks of ordering forms and frantic emails to the 3 educational institutions that have graced me with instruction. Once these are obtained, they must be sent to the Cultural Mission, where they will be further verified for another 2-4 weeks, and your approval will be mailed back in your pre-paid fed-ex envelope.
The delay might be a good thing however, because I finally opened up the medical exam form that my doctor has to fill out in triplicate and have certified by the board of health or the college of physicians. At least I’ll have time to get all the lab work done and stamps collected while I’m waiting for my degrees to be verified.
Oh, and lets not forget that Ramadan is in July this year, so right when I’ll be submitting this whole steaming pile of red tape, the embassy will be closed most of the day for a month. Its a snail race to see if I’ll get my visa before the August 22 start date of my employment offer. Ready, set, CRAWL!