In addition to selling everything we own there is a lot of paperwork to get ready to move to Abu Dhabi...especially if you are taking your family!
Documentation Needed (all teachers):
Letters of Reference (2)
Criminal Background Check
Authenticated Teaching License
Authenticated Diploma of Highest Degree
Additional Documentation Needed (for families):
Authenticated Marriage Certificate
Authenticated Birth Certificate (for each child)
Additional Documentation Needed for Children of Divorced/Deceased Parents:
Authenticated Divorce Degree (or Death Certificate)
Notarized and Authenticated Letter from Child's father
Now, since there is a cost involved in the Criminal Background Check and in the Authenticating of documents, it wouldn't be wise to do these 2 steps until AFTER a letter of offer is received. However, getting your passport might not be a bad idea. We already had our passports (yes, even the children) from a few years ago. Click HERE to read about how to get a passport and how much they cost.
Passport = approx. $135 (for a first time adult - renewals and children are less)
Criminal Background Check = $50 (this could vary depending on the company you use)
Notarizing Documents (step 1) = Free at most banks if you are a member. (Our Secretary of State also notarizes for free).
Authentication (step 2) = Secretary of State (Arizona) $3 per document
Authentication (step 3) = US Department of State $8 per document
Authentication (step 4) = UAE Embassy in the USA $30 per document
ProEx (courier for steps 3 & 4) = $125 + $25 FedEx
If you are a single teacher these fees are not so bad but we are a family with 3 children and 1 of those children is from a previous marriage. This meant that instead of 2 documents to Authenticate ($232) we had 8 ($478)!
Other than the letter from Unicorn's father and a certified copy of my divorce decree, we had all the documents we needed ready to go at the time of hubby's interview. On the 15th of November we drove up to Phoenix to go to the Secretary of State and have the documents notarized and authenticated. Then we went to Staple's to copy each document (another $2) and ship the documents to ProEx for steps 3 & 4 ($30 shipping).
ProEx will get the documents today (don't you just love tracking packages?!?) and it takes about 10 days for the process to be completed in Washington DC. Then they ship the documents back to us (another 2-3 days) and we submit our final documents to Footprints and they send it to ADEC to begin processing our VISA (which will take at least 2 weeks). At this point we have to be ready to leave at a moments notice!