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Can a Teaching Spouse easily find work in UAE?

 
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feathers



Joined: 30 Apr 2012
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 5:30 am    Post subject: Can a Teaching Spouse easily find work in UAE? Reply with quote

Hi there,

I would appreciate any feedback, as I know that many of you on this forum live in and are already working in the UAE, or have done so. My question involves whether or not a spouse of an employed teacher in the UAE can easily find work in the area, on a spousal visa.

This morning my husband and I went through 2 pre-screening phone calls from the same recruiter, and in about 2 weeks time we may be interviewed again for a job in UAE via skype. We are a married teaching couple - ie, we both have teaching qualifications and teaching experience, etc., and we would like to come out to the UAE with two teaching jobs (therefore, we applied for jobs as a married teaching couple).

During the pre-screening, the recruiter asked us if only one of us would be selected, if we would still be interested, as the spouse (my husband) would still be able to come on a spousal visa, and the school would give both of us return flights and housing, and relocation costs. They suggested that he would be able to search for jobs once there, and could live with me, too. As well, that the recruiter really wanted to try to push for my husband to be hired by the school as, regardless. She explained that she thought that his credentials were just slightly different than mine, and that is why she asked.

So during the interview, we both said yes, that we would be okay with the arrangement if only one of us were offered the job.

So at this point, we are trying to find out whether or not this situation would actually be feasible before the next-stage of the interview or signing a contract. We will have to find out if he could, in fact, legally search for work on a spousal visa, and also if he would have any difficulty finding work while searching in-country.

I don't want to make this post too lengthy, but can give further detail about his credentials if needed. But basically, Grad Dip Ed, MA, BA, CELTA, and Diploma. The cities he'd have to look might be important - so I can say that the school has campuses in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al-Ain, Al-Fujairah and Ras Al Khaima. Perhaps you might know if there are many international or national secondary schools, universities, or language schools in the area, and if you feel that it is difficult or reasonable to find employment as a teacher.

The contract is for 3 years, (so obviously this would be a big decision) and the recruiter is known on daveseslforums as a reputable recruiter. The contract wage isn't as high as some wages are, but this is our first stint in the UAE, so we are trying to be flexible, too. The job would start at the end of August. I do know that there is a recruitment fair happening in Dubai in February, for example, and that is a place he could go to, to seek work.

Sorry if this post is long, but I know that in being able to give me your feedback and a proper judgement on this that you would need to know a few details - so I tried not to be vague.

Any advice is welcome. We have worked overseas, but never in the middle east and would therefore appreciate your opinions.

Thanks in advance!!

- Feathers.
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Eisenhorn



Joined: 25 Oct 2009
Posts: 143
Location: HCT Land. UAE

PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a spouse, you (or your husband) can get work at the local schools in the emirate that you are posted in. Especially if both of you have teaching credentials.

With that said, it also depends on the emirate that you are located in. Emirates like Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah will have many more potential employers than in emirates like RAK or Fujariah.

The only issue is that if your husband is on a spousal visa, it would have to change to a work visa offered by any school before he could legally work for them.

it is a bit of sexism, but a wife can work on her husbands visa, but a husband CANNOT work on a wife's spousal visa. (It has happened to several of my friends... they can't be on their wives visa and legally work. They had to get a visa from their new employer)
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15965
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 3:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Can a Teaching Spouse easily find work in UAE? Reply with quote

feathers wrote:
I don't want to make this post too lengthy, but can give further detail about his credentials if needed. But basically, Grad Dip Ed, MA, BA, CELTA, and Diploma.

I am assuming that he also has a few years of teaching experience? Are we talking about HCT here? If we are, I can't understand why they are not hiring both of you. Is his MA something unrelated?

VS
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feathers



Joined: 30 Apr 2012
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:12 am    Post subject: husband work in United Emirates Reply with quote

Hi and thank you for the responses.

Yes, my husband does have alot of experience in teaching - right now it is 5+ years in teaching EFL, but on top of that he has all of the credentials that I have listed above, too.

The school is IAT. I have read alot of the forum responses about this company and am hoping that there may have been improvement by now.

I am really paying attention to what the poster said about visas. It is also the case in Indonesia that if the working spouse is female, that the husband won't be able to find work, but the opposite is okay. I would like to know where I could find this information out - is there a visa website that I could go to?

I wish that the recruiter could have really thought out the answer to this when she said he would be able to find work. Does she really accurately know if this is true, or is just saying this? Hmmm.
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feathers



Joined: 30 Apr 2012
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:14 am    Post subject: Spouse teaching in UAE? Reply with quote

Oh yes, his MA is in TESOL. The school is a vocational institute which provides secondary and tertiary English.
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mimi_intheworld



Joined: 23 May 2010
Posts: 167
Location: UAE

PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like VS said, I can't understand why they wouldn't hire both of you. If they don't, though, you or your spouse should be ok finding teaching work in country. I know people at IAT...they need you both, at least!
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feathers



Joined: 30 Apr 2012
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:00 am    Post subject: Spouse working in UAE? Reply with quote

I also thought it was strange that they hesitated regarding my husband's qualifications. In fact, at the beginning, Teachaway only offered the application to me (even though I'd specified that we are seeking jobs for a teaching couple). Then they looked over his qual's and said that he was qualified and put us both through for a prescreening. On the morning of the prescreening, we got an email stating that the phone lines were down, and we ended up calling them and paying for the friggin' call (not what we had expected to do, but rescheduling would not have worked out with our work schedules, and at least we were ready). During the pre-screening calls, this question about his eligibility came up.

Honestly, I was wondering if it was some wierd recruitment tactic - you know, classic nice guy mean guy routine? "I'll really try to convince the school..." Wouldn't be surprised if we get some low-ball offer on pay. Hmmmm.....

The other thing that I've noticed is that in a recent Kaplan ad for their teachers, the pay and benefits are almost virtually the same as they are for IAT teachers, and the credentials needed are much less. Further, the work hours and time committment is less too - in fact a full year less in time committment and several hours less per week. So how do you justify that? And if my husband is not considered qualified to teach Secondary English in basically an EFL school, (even though he has his qualifications as a Secondary Teacher) and 5 years of teaching experience, then how can a Kaplan EFL teacher be offered about the same salary as an IAT teacher, and the Kaplan requirements (both in qualifications and teaching experience) are LESS than my husband already has.

I don't know. I wondered how in touch with each other the recruiter and the school are.

I've read several good comments about Teachaway, and I haven't given up, but I have to say - being told the "lines are down" and after only 10 minutes, "would you like to reschedule to Monday" didn't really impress me. It added alot of unnecessary stress. After all, we both got up at 4:00 a.m. for the call, and had rescheduled our week for that call. If the lines were truly down, I think that the recruiter should have offered to call again in an hour (regardless of having to do a little overtime) and if still a problem, apologized and offered to reschedule the calls at our convenience - such as the very next day.

Just a small winge. But then, this is my very first pre-screening call, and perhaps this goes with the territory and I should suck it up and just focus on the goal. Wink
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feathers



Joined: 30 Apr 2012
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:02 am    Post subject: Spouse working in UAE? Reply with quote

BTW, Mimi...

Are your friends who are working at IAT feeling satisfied with the job? Any good reports?
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15965
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IAT hasn't got a very good reputation on here. Never expect a rapid improvement with any of the employers in the Gulf. Sadly while an institution's job conditions can be destroyed in a semester, it invariably takes years, to never, to fix them. The fact that they haven't snatched up both of you is very... suspicious... since someone has pointed out that they need people. Of course one detail is that this is very late in the hiring process and most employers should have made all their offers by now and even started on the visa procedures for new teachers. Nothing happens quickly in the Gulf.

TeachAway normally only does face-to-face interviews, so I find the phone call thing rather odd. But... again... this is the Gulf, so best to expect the unexpected... and never expect efficiency. Cool And if callers are in the Gulf, they never seem to get the whole concept that the time zones differ, and also never worry much about your inconvenience.

All that said, as long as you are placed in one of the major cities - Abu Dhabi, Dubai, or Al-Ain, I should think that your husband would be able to find a position with his credentials. The larger employers like HCT should be able to spring for the visa. Worst case would be working for one of the lesser known employers for a year until he chases up something better for the next year.

But you will need to plump up your patience and lower all expectations of efficiency. Laughing

VS

BTW... most contracts in the UAE are for 3 years, but... all contracts have an exit clause. The usual is a 6 month/one semester notice to leave early with no financial punishment. (although if they give you a furniture/settling allowance - often near $8000, that is written off over the contract, so you might owe a portion of it back which is deducted from your final pay... normally easily covered by what you get when you sell the stuff before departure, so not a big deal)
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feathers



Joined: 30 Apr 2012
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:47 pm    Post subject: Spouse working in UAE? Reply with quote

Thanks, VS

Actually, the phone call was a pre-screening call. Teachaway does do those before the second interview, and if we do get the second interview, it will be done over skype.

Here's another question - since the teaching experience that my husband has is 5 years of EFL/ESL teaching plus his secondary practicum teaching, will that go over okay for a teaching position in UAE? He won't care about how well known the employer is, just that he has a good teaching job. I wonder, since I saw on one forum that Abu Dabai might expect at least one year of secondary teaching to qualify for jobs. But I am not totally sure about this - what have others heard?

When all of you checked out these things, did you go to an embassy site?
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:14 am    Post subject: Re: Spouse working in UAE? Reply with quote

feathers wrote:
I wonder, since I saw on one forum that Abu Dabai might expect at least one year of secondary teaching to qualify for jobs.

Perhaps in the Secondary Schools they would require this... but I would think that at any of the better International Secondary Schools (the ones that will include Western expat kids), they would require more than one year. Plus they will want a teaching certificate/license from your home country.

The reality is that in the Gulf, most of us don't teach at K-12, but at adult levels - at universities, for oil companies or for the military. In the better university level jobs, they want to see a related MA and 3+ years of experience teaching Academic English (could be high school or college level). In addition some require that the experience be after the MA. Some of the universities will accept a BA + CELTA + 3 years of experience.

If you or your husband are looking for a university level job, go to the individual websites. There will be an employment section, jobs will be listed, qualifications will be specified, and you usually apply through the website.

And... BTW... if the employer is not well-known, it will most likely not be a very good position. These are small countries. This board has been here for years and most places have come up over the years... at least the places that teach adults. If I were your husband, I would avoid any "unknown" secondary schools. The students are more than a handful and the pay won't be enough to justify the problems. He should stick to tertiary.

Quote:
When all of you checked out these things, did you go to an embassy site?

I'm not sure what you are referring to here. What embassy to check out what? Personally I have never visited the website of any embassy for any country. The only time I've worked with any embassy at all was during the visa stage when I might have had to go there to get a stamp in my passport. (I was in the Washington DC area) US embassies abroad I pretty much avoided completely.

VS
(On the Teachaway website it states that all interviews for Abu Dhabi are done in person and you need to pay for the flights to one of the locations... so I'm surprised that they are considering Skype.)
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Eisenhorn



Joined: 25 Oct 2009
Posts: 143
Location: HCT Land. UAE

PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:32 pm    Post subject: Re: husband work in United Emirates Reply with quote

Hi Feathers.
feathers wrote:

I am really paying attention to what the poster said about visas. It is also the case in Indonesia that if the working spouse is female, that the husband won't be able to find work, but the opposite is okay. I would like to know where I could find this information out - is there a visa website that I could go to?

I wish that the recruiter could have really thought out the answer to this when she said he would be able to find work. Does she really accurately know if this is true, or is just saying this? Hmmm.


Not that I know of... at least not in english. It would make life much easier if it was something that is easy to find.

There are all kinds of rumors.... if your wife is a teacher, or if you are you can work on your wife's sponsorship, you can pay a 'fee' and work on your wife's sponsorship... But it doesn't work. According to my friends and my PRO a wife can work on her husbands visa, but a husband cannot work on a wife's sponsorship.

You can always email the ministry of labour and ask...
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Tiger Beer



Joined: 08 Feb 2003
Posts: 761
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eisenhorn wrote:
it is a bit of sexism, but a wife can work on her husbands visa, but a husband CANNOT work on a wife's spousal visa. (It has happened to several of my friends... they can't be on their wives visa and legally work. They had to get a visa from their new employer)

Sorry, I'm not contributing to the OP's question. But this really stood out to me.

If wives can work on a spousal visa. What kind of jobs, for one that speaks nearly fluent English, and is an Asian wife.

Could she work just about anywhere she wanted, fairly easily, with English? Are there restrictions on amount of hours they could work? Are they paid decent enough for just a 'regular job'? Or is it better for the spouse to not bother? (I'm under the impression that 'regular jobs' probably hire a lot of South Asian/Southeast Asians at extremely low wages, or is that not the case?)

In addition to that, are universities/colleges in English, that a spouse could take further classes for a further degree, easily enough in the UAE as well? I mean, without knowing Arabic?
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15965
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tiger Beer wrote:
I'm under the impression that 'regular jobs' probably hire a lot of South Asian/Southeast Asians at extremely low wages, or is that not the case?

Yes that is very much the case and unless she has good job credentials, I'm not sure that they even do local hire. They mostly bring over planeloads of these women to work for a pittance and be housed and treated like slaves.

Tiger Beer wrote:
In addition to that, are universities/colleges in English, that a spouse could take further classes for a further degree, easily enough in the UAE as well? I mean, without knowing Arabic?

Basically all universities are taught in English. The national institutions take few outside students, but there are many private colleges/universities that offer courses that may or may not transfer elsewhere in the world. You would need to carefully check out their accreditation. The best/safest option is probably the American University in Sharjah.

VS
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