Wow, so how many months late is this blog post?!! (Only by more than half a year… the shame!)
This blog post is a quick one to give you the heads up on all the things you need to do after getting that dream job. I have put up a few websites that I highly recommend to help you get started.
First off, you need to make sure you are looking in all the right places when applying for that job. Being a teacher, I mainly used TES, Guardian Jobs, Search Associates, Teach Away, Eteach International, Leopard Fish, Seekteachers (excellent for the Government Ministry of Education Schools), and last but not least, I have to give a huge mention an agency that I joined whilst here in Dubai called Education 1st. They have a branch in the UK as well as in Dubai. I found them to be passionate, diligent, punctual, and there to help regardless as to what your questions and needs are. I never felt like I was a burden on them despite my hundreds of questions!Ok. So you’ve landed the job. Now for all the paperwork. The dreaded paperwork that confused both me and my husband. We searched the internet high and low looking for any information on what steps we needed to take. We literally had to figure it out ourselves and try and seek advice from anyone that was willing to help. Thank goodness for those blessed beings!
- Attestation (Part 1) – Solicitor
First things first. Getting your documents attested.
Goodness, this is such a long process, I would highly recommend you getting your documents attested immediately upon receiving your job offer and contract.
If I were to attempt to explain what attestation meant, then I would say it is how the UK and the country of travel verify your original documents to prove you are who you are, and that your education certificates are not forged. For more information check out the gov.uk website here.
What documents will I need?
– Original birth certificates (For your children – If Applicable)
– Degree certificates
– Marriage certificates (If applicable)
– The right to practise in your field of work certificate. For me as a teacher, it was my PGCE certificate and my QTS certificate.
– Latest DBS (or CRB as it was previously known)
You will need to head to a solicitor who specialises in attestation for obvious reasons hah! They will check the validity of your documents and will stamp, sign, and date them. It is vital that upon receiving your attested document, that you check that it has been stamped, signed, and dated. Your documents will be sent back to you if they are not, which will cause so much headache and of course a delay because of a small mistake. which you could easily have avoided.
In due course I will upload the details of the solicitor who attested our documents. He was prompt and extremely reasonable in his price which was a bonus. Most firms may charge you anything between £25 – £100+ per document.
Married? Make sure you get your marriage certificate attested as well. The UAE does not allow non married couples to cohabit so please do make sure that you are aware of this very important law!
Children? You will also need to make sure that you get their birth certificate attested.
I almost forgot! Please check that your name is written on all of your documents EXACTLY as it is written on your birth certificate. (There’s a long, funny, yet hugely stressful story relating to this. I’ll save it for another post!)
If they do not match up, then there is a huge possibility that the UAE Government may reject your application. Yes, we are speaking from experience. Luckily we managed to get it all sorted in time and had our employer help us Alhamdulilah!
- Attestation (Part 2) – Foreign Commonwealth Office
Once you have received all of your documents from the solicitor, you will need to send your documents via post to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (aka Legalisation Office) in Milton Keynes. This office basically helps to support and promote UK citizens and businesses to flourish in countries around the globe.
Head over to this website here. You need to complete the online form and make sure you have input all details regarding each of your attested documents.
It costs £30 per document plus courier fees. I highly recommend you opt for the courier to return your documents! Personally, there is nothing worse than knowing all of your original documents are floating around from van to van knowing that there is the tiniest chance in a billion that I won’t get them back. But hey, that’s just me.
If you ask my husband “What’s your wife like when she thinks she’s lost her passport or birth certificate?” I’m sure he’ll have plenty to say 🙂
A heads up, we had a photocopy of our birth certificates sent over. Wrong move. They need original documents for birth certificates. So if you are anything like me and fear losing original documents… I would order a spare copy just for safe keeping from this website.
This process can take a few weeks depending on whether you have it posted during peak weeks. Ours took about 2 weeks.
- Attestation (Part 3) – UAE Embassy
You’ve made it to the last stretch! You need to take all of these very important attested documents to the UAE embassy. This is in London and I would highly recommend going as early as you can. The earlier you go, the quicker you can retrieve the final stamp of approval from them which can take a few hours.
I went there during a weekday and arrived at roughly 1pm and got my documents and left by about 5pm I think.
Before you head to the UAE embassy, make sure you head to the correct address. I don’t fully understand why but they have 2 offices. You need to head to the branch which is located at Prince’s Gate which is practically minutes away from the Science Museum. So at least you have something to do to kill a few hours whilst you wait for them to process the approval.
The full address is: 30 Prince’s Gate, South Kensington, London SW7 1PT
Telephone: 020 7581 1281
There is a fee that needs to be paid and they take payment in their currency. I paid with a credit card so do double check how they accept payment as I cannot remember now.
- POST THEM!
Woohooo!!! You’ve done it…. or so you think!
Now you need to courier your precious documents to your employer overseas. You MUST MUST MUST do the following:
– Obtain the correct postal address for your documents. Speak to the HR team or even the Principal’s. They are really active here in Dubai and are very eager to help.
– Make sure to get a PO BOX number for them. (Just incase).
– Use a reliable courier. We used DHL who were fantastic and had sent out our documents within 48 hours. We paid about £40 for the service but it was well worth the money.After this last step, you just need to take a step back and try to relax. Praying that it all goes through and that the Ministry in the UAE accepts it without any bumps in the road because trust me… we had loads!
- Other vital info:
– Make sure to have at least 16-20 passport sized photos. You will need them for many things when you arrive in the UAE such as your UAE license, your UAE ID card, your work ID etc…
– I cannot stress how important it is to make sure you scan or even photocopy your documents. Some employers will accept photos of your documents from a mobile phone. But there are a lot that will not accept the documents. You will notice many of your official documents will have official watermarks, seales, and holograms on it or even all over it. If your document is genuine then it will become apparent when scanned or photocopied. A good example is your degree certificate.
– Once you have scanned these all in (or photocopied), make sure to save them as a PDF file. I cannot even begin to tell you the number of time I was asked to resend an application or my official documents because it was not in a PDF format. Yes, that even goes for your passport photo too! Do it all, just don’t take the risk I say. It’s better to be safe than sorry trust me on this!
– Getting your attested documents translated into Arabic! A brand new law came into effect shortly after we arrived last year in August 2017 which stated that all attested documents must be translated in to Arabic. Luckily for us, the school that me and my husband worked in had our documents translated for us. Now, I am not sure if that is the case for all schools and if they will have the documents translated and signed for you so you need to find out this information prior to leaving the UK!
I know I have skipped a massively important blogpost on how to get a job here in the UAE, but hopefully in due course this will be posted! Last but not least I hope this helps those that need it as much as me and my husband needed it!
What was your experience coming over? How has your experience been so far? Is there any other information you would like to hear about?