July 18, 2011

VIP UAE Immigration

I have a new respect for immigrants to any country and since I am a US immigration attorney, it is sort of refreshing to be an immigrant to another country to help me have a renewed sense of sympathy for my clients.

My husband arrived June 14 and I arrived July 1. Soon after I arrived, Burak had his residency visa based on his work.  He then had this passport tied up because he was obtaining a visa to travel to Saudi Arabia and then was actually going to use his passport to go to Saudi Arabia.  This was going to be an issue because I was only given a 30 days stay in the UAE and had to convert my tourist visa into a resident visa fairly quickly given he was my sponsor had is only in the UAE one business day a week due to work.  We needed his passport and he to put my visa in action.

We also need a car. But we can't get the car until he has a driver's license.  He can't get a driver's license until he has:
- his residency visa
- an eye exam from an optical store
- 2 passport style photos
- money
- letter from his company
- original drivers license 
- copies of most of this
- go submit them to the Govt office

We needed Burak to start the process for my visa so on Sunday he went to an immigration office to sign something to get Rex and my visas started. Today I went to a medical clinic to get my medical exam for my visa. 

For Medical Exams:
The regular process costs approx 310dirhams (less then $100 US) and takes 7 business days
The Urgent Process costs approx 500 dirhams (approx $135 US) and takes 24 hours to process
The VIP process costs approx 690 dirham and take one day to process.  Burak's company paid for this process for him and we paid for this process for me. Rex didn't need an exam because he is younger than 18 years old.

I went to Burak's office and two employees accompanied me through the entire medical exam process. I spent one hour or less taking some blood and getting a chest x-ray. When Burak returns Thursday, he will go finish up the immigration process and then I will have my visa and then go get my driver's license! 

We needed the driver's license to buy the car and get a loan and drive the car. So hopefully we'll have a car this week or early next week and can quit taking cabs everywhere. Just to go from my neighborhood to central Dubai - 20 minutes - it is about $10 US dollars one way.

When both Burak and I have our visas, we can sponsor the maid/nanny. A man alone can't sponsor a maid so he needs for me to have a visa to sponsor her.  She is about to go out of status too so we are trying to get this all done ASAP. 

It is nice for time and peace of mind to have someone helping us through the process.  Burak's company has been guiding us or actually helping us through the process. I have a new respect for my profession.

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