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Are all ME countries as rigorous as KSA for visas?

 
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Sweaty Ted



Joined: 17 Mar 2012
Posts: 54
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:58 pm    Post subject: Are all ME countries as rigorous as KSA for visas? Reply with quote

Is Saudi the hardest country to get a visa for? It seems like an endless paper chase. Are all the countries in the region like this?

KSA visa:
1. Urine, stool, blood tests, chest x-rays, exhaustive physical and the results must be handwritten in triplicate form. Also, the form has to be signed by someone else who can verify that your doctor really is a doctor.

2. Letter from the police proving you have no criminal record.

3. Your diplomas and transcripts notarized. Also, a letter from your university registrar confirming you went there; in addition, you have to have your degree verified by an on-line site.

4. Five passport photos.

Many other things too numerous to list here.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12474
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Sweaty Ted,

You know how, in the movie theaters, you get a Preview of Coming Attractions before the main film?

You are now part of the Preview. The main film is much longer and much more convoluted.

Regards,
John
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4029
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Are all ME countries as rigorous as KSA for visas? Reply with quote

Sweaty Ted wrote:
Is Saudi the hardest country to get a visa for? It seems like an endless paper chase. Are all the countries in the region like this?

My Saudi friends say the same thing about the visa process required by the U.S. government in order to enter the states.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12474
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear nomad soul,

But only because they've never had to apply for a Saudi visa Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy.

Regards,
John
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lcanupp1964



Joined: 12 Dec 2009
Posts: 320
Location: Jeddah, KSA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:47 am    Post subject: Turn your head and cough Reply with quote

My doctor looked up one of the many lab tests that are listed on the medical form that you print out from the KSA (American) Embassy website. He never heard of the test and had to look it up in one of his text books from medical school. He closed the book and asked me if I ever worked as a farmer in swamp areas located in parts of West Africa. I told him that I did not. We did the test anyway.

Now, turn your head and cough.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16026
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reality is that most people skip many of the tests on the list... bilharzia/schistosomiasis being the one in question here. (if you ever go swimming in the rural canals of Egypt, you will get it... most farmers there do) I have a sneaking suspicion that no one ever even glances at these medical reports. All that it needs is a pretty stamp and some doctor's signature with lots of paper bits that look like medical reports. The TB and HIV seems to be the key... make sure that you don't have either. Other than that I'd just do a basic physical.

VS
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12246
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of my experiencers was getting a Saudi visa in Turkey. I was presented by the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul with a list of 12 requirements, in the Turkish language, a tongue with which I have limited ability.

I managed to decipher the first 11 with some common sense and a Turkish dictionary. Number 12 baffled me so I had to find a Turkophone to explain it.

Translation

"Item 12. The preceding 11 documents must under no circumstanmces be fixed together with a staple or staples !"
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16026
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Are all ME countries as rigorous as KSA for visas? Reply with quote

Sweaty Ted wrote:
Is Saudi the hardest country to get a visa for? It seems like an endless paper chase. Are all the countries in the region like this?

I note that no one answered these questions...

First question... yes

Second question... no

VS
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12474
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear VS,

Acrually, Mr. Sweaty Ted has become so flabbergasted by the visa process that he asked pretty much the same questions on the Saudi forum, as well, where I answered:

"Dear Sweaty Ted,

1. Is the visa process the best indication of what you're getting into by taking a job in Saudi Arabia in terms of endless hurdles, nitpicking, document after document, verification after verification, minutiae, etc.?

1. Oh my - yes, indeed!!!!


2.Have you ever worked in another country that had such a complicated work visa process?

2. Nope - but to be honest, I never tried North Korea.

Regards,
John
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4029
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Are all ME countries as rigorous as KSA for visas? Reply with quote

Sweaty Ted wrote:
Is Saudi the hardest country to get a visa for? It seems like an endless paper chase. Are all the countries in the region like this?

KSA visa:
1. Urine, stool, blood tests, chest x-rays, exhaustive physical and the results must be handwritten in triplicate form. Also, the form has to be signed by someone else who can verify that your doctor really is a doctor.

2. Letter from the police proving you have no criminal record.

3. Your diplomas and transcripts notarized. Also, a letter from your university registrar confirming you went there; in addition, you have to have your degree verified by an on-line site.

4. Five passport photos.

Many other things too numerous to list here.

Seriously, the time you spent venting on these forums could have been used to 1) complete the form to your state law enforcement agency requesting your criminal background check; and 2) retrieve and print out your academic info/certificate from DegreeVerify. Both steps took me less than 5 and 10 minutes respectively.

One 5-minute phone call and a follow-up email to my university registrar's office took care of the verification letter I needed from them. I also used the university's online system to request a transcript be mailed to me (2 minutes). No need to have your degree notarized; you just need two photocopies of the original (1 minute).

All my med lab tests (you just need to do the urine, blood, and HIV/STD tests--no stool) were done the same day at a nearby lab (30 minutes). My HIV/STD tests were done for free at the city public health clinic. I spent about 45 minutes completing my physical exam and chest X-ray and another 15 minutes while the Saudi med forms were being filled out by the P.A. and then signed off by the doctor (in blue ink). I then made the required 3 color copies of the med forms and test results on my home printer (2 minutes). I called ahead to the state health department explaining that I needed written verification of the doc's license and subsequently, picked up the certificates at their reception desk the next day (45-minute drive roundtrip). Kinkos provided me with several sheets of my passport photo (20 images of my photo on each sheet); 10 minutes at Kinkos on my way back from the state health department.

Tedious, yes. But definitely nothing complicated about it. Perhaps I'm used to filling out various government forms, online job applications, requests for info, grad school applications, etc. When I'm faced with a long-winded process, I just take a deep breath and get through it. I suggest making a list of what you need to do and then checking everything off as it gets completed or resolved. It will give you the feeling that you're getting it done. And eventually, it is! Very Happy
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Sweaty Ted



Joined: 17 Mar 2012
Posts: 54
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have contacted my local law enforcement agency here in Arizona and they told me that can give me a letter of no objection regarding the past eight years I have lived here in Arizona. They cannot do that for NYC, Chicago, Las Vegas, Paris, Sydney and Seoul. Nor will the embassy answer whether or not they want my local city police record or national/international.

I've already contacted my university about this letter. Now, I do agree that my time would have been better spent elsewhere doing something more profitable, but there is one thing that does bother me: the university and the dean have not responded to a single one of my emails over the past three weeks. I don't care what country you're from, that is a bad sign right there!
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Gulezar



Joined: 19 Jun 2007
Posts: 238

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sweaty Ted wrote:
I have contacted my local law enforcement agency here in Arizona and they told me that can give me a letter of no objection regarding the past eight years I have lived here in Arizona. They cannot do that for NYC, Chicago, Las Vegas, Paris, Sydney and Seoul. Nor will the embassy answer whether or not they want my local city police record or national/international.


I had lived overseas for a number of years. I went back home and applied for my Saudi visa. I got a police report from the city police department where I was living saying that I had no police record. That worked, as it was my point of departure from my home country. It took me some time to get all the papers lined up and in order for the visa and a number of times to bounce it back and forth to the Saudi embassy. I wondered how important it was for those Saudis to know that I had no police record for the two months I had lived back home, but it's their system and it keeps many folks employed shuffling through those papers, I'm sure.

Is it difficult to get a US visa? Yes, as anyone who has worked in a language school knows. Once you have signed off on a student visa, the school must verify that the person is actually studying and not working under the tables.

Of course, there are other historic reasons that make it difficult for Saudis to get a US visa.
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Gulezar



Joined: 19 Jun 2007
Posts: 238

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:30 am    Post subject: Re: Are all ME countries as rigorous as KSA for visas? Reply with quote

Sweaty Ted wrote:

3. Your diplomas and transcripts notarized. Also, a letter from your university registrar confirming you went there; in addition, you have to have your degree verified by an on-line site.


That was another perplexing item. How do I get a degree notarized when the signature on the diploma is from ages ago and the person is dead? I got around it somehow, but I have forgotten what I did. The university thought it was an odd request. Whatever it was, it seemed that it worked and was utterly useless ... the secretary in the registrar office got her signature notarized or some such nonsense. I think that the transcript was easily done as the registrar signed it across the seal and then had that signature notarized.

The online site is a newer item. Let's hope that the Saudis realize that there are secure, online ways of confirming that a person is a graduate and not a criminal. As the folks in the UAE would say to Saudis, "Get with it; now there are bathrooms on the moon!"
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millie18



Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 179

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ST - Ramadan started last week and in the run up to Ramadan, many people were taking holidays to relax before the Holy Month. So I'm not surprised you weren't getting replies to any email messages.
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