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New Visa Requirements at Universities
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Deeman15



Joined: 30 Apr 2011
Posts: 49

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nomad soul wrote:
Deeman15 wrote:
I can also confirm this new rule. Teachers are being rejected by the Saudi Embassy for not having a degree which is related to the position they apply for on their employment visa application. A lot of people have been sent their passports back and been denied. The majority have been EFLers with majors other than English or Linguistics.

If this is truly the situation, then it's a major problem between the employer and newly-hired teacher and not with the embassy.

I see that many of the latest TEFL job ads for the Kingdom indicate both a relevant BA and MA (i.e., no unrelated BAs even if the applicant holds an appropriate MA). This will be a headache for recruiters trying to fill spots because it would greatly shrink the pool of viable candidates. In fact, as a career changer, I wouldn't qualify despite having a relevant masters. Duh.


Most postings until very recently indicated that having an unrelated degree combined with a CELTA/TESOL/whatever was perfectly fine. Only now are they changing to reflect this new rule. There are universities where 80% of the teachers have this combination of qualifications. If they are unable to retain their current staff, this will pose a huge problem to universities in a very short time. As with everything else, this rule was applied blindly and without the necessary forethought.
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Sirens of Cyprus



Joined: 21 Mar 2007
Posts: 219

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Schools have no more business admitting students without a BA in English to graduate programs in ESL than they have admitting students without a BS in Physics to graduate programs in physics. Thank you, Saudi Arabia, for calling them on it.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4309
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sirens of Cyprus wrote:
Schools have no more business admitting students without a BA in English to graduate programs in ESL than they have admitting students without a BS in Physics to graduate programs in physics. Thank you, Saudi Arabia, for calling them on it.

(Rather... Thank you, Saudi Arabia, for shooting yourself in the foot!)

Although I have a relevant masters degree, it's my unrelated degrees and previous specialized experience that appeal more to employers in terms of the various English language domains I can teach, as well as my contributions to the professional development unit's initiatives. Ditto for other teachers who come from unrelated backgrounds or have unrelated degrees 1st or 2nd degrees.

So while I agree that a relevant BA or MA is important, having a teaching staff with diverse educational backgrounds, training, and experience is a smart move that can enrich the overall teaching and learning experience.

Anyway, I'm curious to hear what the recruiting supervisor where I teach has to say about this considering she's currently struggling to hire more qualified female teachers.
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uzurisoul



Joined: 27 May 2012
Posts: 28
Location: Dammam

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just arrived........I have my endorsement attached to my education degree so I'm good to go.......

In a memo our coordinator stated that a TEFL certificate is now required for those with majors in other areas...........The TEFL certificate program is being offered online Shocked The school will pick up a small percentage of the cost......We've all made it safely here from the states so I'm sure it has nothing to do with our visas...


Last edited by uzurisoul on Thu Oct 04, 2012 1:28 pm; edited 2 times in total
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readytotravel



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just received my work visa. My degree is in History.
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Anacita



Joined: 22 Sep 2012
Posts: 25
Location: west coast, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nomadsoul wrote:
"For employment visa purposes, you're only required to submit the (one) most relevant degree and not every academic credential you possess."

This is not the case here in the U.S.
I had to submit all academic credentials and the credentials had to be verified five different ways.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 4309
Location: Terra firma

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anacita wrote:
I had to submit all academic credentials and the credentials had to be verified five different ways.

Other than the degreeverify printout, a notarized letter from your uni registrar, and a sealed transcript, what other forms of (academic) verification were required? And did the SACM authenticate (stamp) each of your documents? I'm also curious... Were you hired directly by the university or are you an employee under a contracting company?
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Anacita



Joined: 22 Sep 2012
Posts: 25
Location: west coast, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the things I had to do was to take my diplomas (3) and my TESL certificate to a Notary Public and the Notary had to notarize a piece of paper attached to copies of the diplomas and certificate.
I also had to authorize a social security search of my academic record.
I spent well over a hundred dollars on the academic credential part of the visa application.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 16064
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anacita wrote:
I also had to authorize a social security search of my academic record.

What is a "social security search"? And what could it possibly have to do with your "academic record."??

This whole process only gets more and more bizarre and ridiculous?

Is it actually a transcript?

VS
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rdobbs98



Joined: 08 Oct 2010
Posts: 194

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anacita who are you going through. I am a direct hire at a Saudi University and never went through this. I did as Nomad Soul has advised before, copies of degrees and TEFL certificates which was enough. SACM is ok once you get someone to work with.
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Anacita



Joined: 22 Sep 2012
Posts: 25
Location: west coast, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The employer was SBC. The visa agent required me to sign a form authorizing a search of my academic record using my social security number.
So, if you add up all the ways the visa agent and the embassy requires an applicant to verify degrees, that's five (5).
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rdobbs98



Joined: 08 Oct 2010
Posts: 194

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should not have had to use a Visa agent, I did the whole process myself and it is not bad. Once you see what the process is and how much a Visa agent charges, you would be upset. I never had to submit any of this information at all and dealt directly with the Saudi Cultural Mission myself.

SBC has had some negative feedback on this forum if you check.
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Anacita



Joined: 22 Sep 2012
Posts: 25
Location: west coast, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"You should not have had to use a Visa agent..."

I had to use a visa agent because SBC required me to do so. SBC paid the visa fees to the visa agent, so I did not pay the Saudi Embassy or the visa agent myself. I did, however, pay for medical exam, police background check, and degree-authentication procedures---all together, it was like $500 and several weeks worth of work).

And then, the very day that the visa agent emailed to say that the visa was completed, SBC cancelled the employment contract.

There is truly no limit to how unprofessional these companies can be.
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rdobbs98



Joined: 08 Oct 2010
Posts: 194

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are not required to use a Visa agent, that is a lie. You want to know how much the actually Visa fee is if you do it yourself? $16 for the Visa fee to Enjaz and $10.50 for the fee when you file for the Visa on Enjaz. That is it!

My medical was free under my current health plan, no charge for the police report, and SACM doesn't charge for attestation of documents.

I know, I just did it myself and the agent I spoke to at first wanted me to pay about $300, even though I would get reimbursed, why would I do that?
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rdobbs98



Joined: 08 Oct 2010
Posts: 194

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is not the norm nor the truth. Like I said, I and many others who are going to the same university do not have specific degrees but degrees in other fields but have TEFL certification and teaching experience.

What may be happening is that schools do not like the candidate and rather than tell the truth, they find an excuse to get rid of them. This has happened more than a few times in KSA.
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