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Attestation of Documents

 
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lostdegaine



Joined: 16 May 2004
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2004 9:03 am    Post subject: Attestation of Documents Reply with quote

I have a job starting in Muscat in August and I don't really understand the steps in the attestation process. Could someone help me? Do I just take the originals and copies of employment certificates (which I understand to be reference letters from previous employers) and other official documents to a local notary and then send or take them to the Omani Embassy in Washington or are there other steps involved?
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15855
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2004 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Lostdegaine,

No, nothing is ever that simple. I will tell you what I did a few years back and I suggest that you spend the money to talk to the Omani Embassy in DC and ask if they can recommend someone to facilitate this. There have been people who will do it for a fee. I was fortunate to be in the DC area the times that I did it and that simplifies it (not to mention makes it a great deal cheaper. I did it once in the 1980's and once in '99 and it was the same both time.

First make photo copies of your original graduation certificates and letters of employment (which are actually NOT reference letters, but they are something that we don't have in the US - you would want one from every employer as proof that you did work there - in some places where your pay is based directly on years of teaching experience this matters. But normally in Oman it does not). Take a piece of paper and type something to the effect of "I, the undersigned, hereby certify that the attached pages are true and accurate copies of my academic and professional work." Then put a line with your name typed under it. Staple it onto the front of all your papers.

Second, go to a notary public. Remember, do not sign the paper until you are in front of the notary. Be sure that you have a photo ID to prove to that person that this is your name.

Next, your state must certify that this person is a real notary public. This involves sending it to some office in your state capital. They will add a page to the front probably with a fancy ribbon and some wax perhaps, attesting to the fact that your notary public is in fact an official notary public.

Once you have the papers back from them, you send it on to the State Department in Washington DC - where they certify that YES, your state is actually an official American state.

It next goes on to the Omani Embassy who get out their rubber stamp attesting that the State Dept is actually the State Dept and also sticks on a little revenue stampl

Each step of the way costs money. As I recall it was about $100 for me with parking and subway fees and ect. For someone out of town it will be significantly more because you have to pay for someone to do all this for you.

If the Omani Embassy can not help you find a company, you could call the State Dept and ask them. They deal with stuff like this all the time and I actually got the directions on how to do this from them. You could also check with DHL or FEDEX or such. If you are in driving distance of Washington, I suggest that you go there, but check with me for special instructions before you have anything notarized.

You may well wonder what this is all about. They are apparently under the impression that this all proves that you actually graduated from your college and/or university and worked where you said you did. When it actually only proves that you have an ID that says that you are who you say you are and absolutely nothing more. You could have still created all of these documents at Kinkos with a fancy computer program. But, this is the Middle East, so one provides them with what they ask.

Just be sure to take both this packet and your originals with you. Someone will probably look to make sure that your originals match your copies and send the packet on to wherever it goes. Now, doesn't that all sound like fun??

VS
(it could be worse - if you were overseas now, the notary fee alone would set you back between $75-100 at the embassy. And then you have to ship it back and forth to Washington)
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MindTraveller



Joined: 13 Mar 2003
Posts: 89
Location: Oman

PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2004 7:13 am    Post subject: Colleagues in Oman-Attestation of Credentials Reply with quote

Actually, this is a much-needed process in Oman. I had to go through this process way back in 1984 for Saudi Arabia.

1. Local notary
2. County notary (I think too)
3. State notary (state in which you live)
4. US State Dept.

It cost me about $250 back then. (You have to pay postage both ways too, and DHL can get expensive). Got back these red-ribboned papers I've saved, just in case asked again.

Why?

I'll tell you more after I get my money and leave. The colleagues here aren't that professional so this process has been instituted to help the administration weed out some of the many incompetent people they have been hiring.

Later.....
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15855
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2004 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well Mindtraveller,

This is not a new process in Oman. They have been doing this since the early 1980's too - and it will do nothing to guarantee getting professional staff. It proves NOTHING but that Joe Schmoo is actually Joe Schmoo. He could still have created every document himself with his new PC and never graduated from High School. It is a silly piece of bureaucratic nonsense that does nothing but enrich a few segments of that bureaucracy.

But, you do it because they can not be convinced that this doesn't actually prove that you graduated. If they actually wanted to do that, they would use the procedure used by the Higher Colleges of Technology in the UAE - which is the standard US procedure. You have the employee sign a letter approving that their universities send a copy of their transcript(s) to the new employer. This transcript then shows courses taken and degrees actually given.

I know of a few that went through this process with bogus documents and there are probably more. But, even having the proper degrees and documents doesn't guarantee professionals. Anyone who reads this board can quickly see that.

VS
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MindTraveller



Joined: 13 Mar 2003
Posts: 89
Location: Oman

PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2004 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Veiled Sentiments,

I have the hightest regard for you. But I must disagree with what you have said about Oman and attesttation of documents. I was hired and never asked for any formal recognition of my papers. Maybe you haven't been here in a while, or only know about SQUni.

Seriously, I think of one of my colleagues didn't even attend college!

Notice ELS Language School is asking for teachers in Nizwa? And the many private colleges only broadcast bad news for teachers. The newest college, by Burami, next to Al Ain in the Emirates, says it's next to cinemas, 5-star hotels, gyms, an active ex-pat community, etc. It neglects to mention its basic salary fee is 500 OR a month. The Colleges of Education's basic salary is about 800 OR a month. (My 'others' add up to nearly 300 OR more a month). By Al Ain, 500 OR is not going to go very far - especially for savings.

The 900 ELS Nizwa place's offer may include transportation, etc., while the others may not. Those 'others' add up since housing is not 'free' in the contract, but a housing allowance is given. Furniture allowance is not given - but a furniture 'loan'. That also makes a huge difference.

1 OR = US$2.60, so 500 OR = $1,250. People can make more for that working in hogwons in Korea or Taiwan.

In conclusion, IMHO, Oman is becoming the Korea of Arabia - bad salaries, bad working conditions, bad housing, bad administrators, bad colleagues, and the usual Gulf standards....
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15855
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2004 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mindtraveller,

Actually you are not disagreeing with me. I don't think I ever said that all institutions in Oman require attestation. I don't think it was the point of the thread at all. What we had was a person who had been hired at a place that requires it and he wanted to know how to do it. As I said, this was required at SQU from day one back in the mid-80s. I also had to do it again when I taught at one of the private colleges around 2000.

The fact is that this whole process proves nothing whether it is done or not. It certainly doesn't prove that you attended any college or university or know what the heck you're doing in a classroom. Smile (But then I have taught with plenty of unprofessional incompetant teachers who had all the fancy certs and degrees too) All it proves is that you can run a photocopy machine and have a photo ID.

The bad reputation of the new institutions in the hinterlands of Oman has been pretty well documented on this board. You may have noted that I don't recommend them much - too much aggravation for too little money. (and I would never recommend ELS ever to anyone Smile )

I see this happening up and down the Gulf. The governments are allowing all of these private colleges with incompetent, often greedy managements - offering marginal salaries and benefits (as relates to their governmental institutions). Part of it is that they have so darn many children to educate. Oman in particular has a large population to educate and not that much money. So, they offer low pay. Naturally the best and the brightest tend to end up in the better paying jobs up the Gulf.

Historically in the Gulf, people often have to take any job just to get a foot in the door. Then, you get some ME experience to put on the CV, make contacts (TESOLArabia helps out in this one), and use this to move to the better jobs. When people ask me (as they often do) about taking these jobs out in the smaller towns and villages, I tell them pretty much what you said. Expect problems, bad housing, a few characters (maybe more than a few), but an interesting country and generally nice students. And, to use it as a springboard to better things - after a year or two.

BTW, back to the attestation of documents. This is supposedly 'required' by the Ministry of Higher Education. But, with the explosion of these new colleges and the need for teachers NOW, it has likely fallen though the bureaucratic cracks. A shame really --- Perhaps someday they will set up a system that does confirm an actual related education (as HCT in the UAE does). I love Oman, but personally I wouldn't live or teach outside the Muscat area - I like the amenities offered there.

VS
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carnac



Joined: 30 Jul 2004
Posts: 310
Location: in my village in Oman ;-)

PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I realize this is an elderly thread, I am posting because I just read it and can add some personal experience for anyone with a similar question.
My original employer asked for copies of degrees, etc, via email attachment. Once I was here, the company PRO brought the original of my degree to my embassy. The process is that they look up the university in a big book of universities and confirm that it exists and is legitimate. Then they make two photocopies of the degree, one for themselves and one for the Ministry of Education here, with appropriate stamps and signatures on the Ministry copy that, yup, this is legitimate. This is the "attested" copy and is all that was required as far as "attestation" goes. No notaries or expenses involved.
Now, this all sounds straightforward and simple, right?
Nope.
The first guy at the embassy who looked in the book of universities, an Omani employee, sent word back that attestation was denied because my university didn't exist. Wasn't in the book.
I told the PRO to go back, as Hillary Clinton would be very interested to know that the USEmbassy in Muscat does not recognize the University of the State of New York.
He comes back again. Nope, the Omani guy says it doesn't exist.
So, I go myself. Steaming, but in control. See the Omani guy. No discussion. I just said "I want to see an American from this office right now thankyouverymuch,yes,now!".
Very nice young lady arrives. Explained the situation. She laughs, apologises, copies and whomps the stamp a few times. Done.
Sigh.
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mci



Joined: 11 Sep 2004
Posts: 56
Location: Oman

PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 11:44 am    Post subject: docudrama Reply with quote

Well my 2 cents is probably worth about that, but regarding the document tango that is often ( and as often as not) required here in Oman, everyone on this thread seems right on - every variety of paper-pushing described so far is accurate as far as I have seen, heard and experienced.

There is no apparant consistency and with the increase in demand, probably a lot of the procedures are being circumvented for speed.

And VS, maybe give ol' ELS a break - Wink I've been here for a while and know quite a few of the teachers and admin. in the various ELS centers, including Nizwa - whatever the sordid history of ELS in the Gulf was, and you allude to the horror often, from where I stand, things have improved. In the cities, the language centers are offering market value contracts and part-time pay and the Nizwa U. deal is on par with any institution in the country - Nizwa is just not Muscat. I also acknowledge the growing pains that they are going through - refer to this and other threads regarding patience and tolerance and one can and will do alright.

mci
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Aliskander



Joined: 01 Feb 2005
Posts: 50

PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2005 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thing in Oman as in many Gulf countries is that it is often who you know and if your face fits - not what you know.

Example: British lady in Salalah - wth degree and all TEFL / TESOL qualifications and 2 years experience (not in Oman) was turned down by Min of Ed and 2 private centres as not having the right documents!?
However they have a British lady inspector of English who works for the Min of Ed (checking the standard of English being taught in the schools and colleges) - with TEFL but no degree!
Yet, the Min of Manpower state you have to have a degree!
Guess which was the younger of the ladies?
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Stephen Jones



Joined: 21 Feb 2003
Posts: 4124

PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2005 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oman is rather fun with documents

Back in the mid 90s I went to Fujairah and decided to drive into Oman. No chance no visa. The Emirates didn't want to let me back in because they said they'd stamped me out but I had nowhere to get back in on.

Next holiday I try for a visa. The Omani ambassador lived next door to me, literally, but the guard at the door insisted that there was no such thing as an Omani embassy and I had to get my papers at the Qatari one. I gave up.

About a year later a colleague had an interview in Muscat and found the Omani Consulate and went there to apply for the visa. They refused the application and told him that the form had to be filled in on a typewriter. Of course everybody was using computers and word processors at that time so it took him a week to find an old typewriter that he could use.

A few weeks later I was in Al Ain, looking for somwhere cheap to stay, and had been recommended a hotel in the other side of town. It was only looking at the street signs that I realized the other side of town was Oman. The next day I thought I'd take a short drive to see how far I could go before I met the checkpoint. A hundred and twenty kilometers nearer Muscat I turned back as I didn't want to get busted for driving without insurance.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15855
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey mci

You may not have noted that this is an old thread. Laughing More current comments on ELS on the University of Nizwa thread.

VS
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shebab



Joined: 17 Sep 2003
Posts: 165

PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was once accepted to SQU, and was in Colombia at the time. To "attest" my documents (which were from the US), I just took them to the local notary, paid a few pesos, and had them stamped with some official-looking ink written in Spanish. I fedexed it to Oman, where they happily accepted them as being attested by the "minstry of foreign whatever."

I suggest you fly to a similar country that has no diplomatic representation in Oman and do the same thing-it's a lot easier than trying to get it done back in the States! Very Happy
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