A few days back, I blogged about the adjustments I’ve gone through for the past few weeks as I have shifted to another company. I thought after signing the contract and exiting the country, all my document issues will be over. But I was wrong, totally wrong. So here’s a list of the stages I’ve gone through and still going through.
Losing My Identity
After sending my resignation to my manager and serving my last 30 days, a week prior to my last day, I had my medical insurance card surrendered to our HR manager. I could’ve given it later, like on my very last day in the office or have it extended as long as I don’t have a new one yet, but this idea will delay the processing of my final settlement pay (salary + gratuity + paid leaves). With the financial conflicts in mind, I opted not to wait for the last minute. This also means that I have to keep my body in shape, else I have to shell out money for being sick.
Anyway, before leaving the office, I also have to give the company my labor card, Emirates ID and my passport. Woah! Now I’ve got nothing to prove that I am who I am. This documents/identification cards are needed to cancel my residence visa (where it appears that my old company is my sponsor). I can only get my passport back once my new company has given proof that they’re applying me for a new visa. During these times, a copy of my passport and Emirates ID plus the visa cancellation papers always come with me wherever I go. These are my only proof that I’m not an illegal resident here.
It’s kind of hard to work in the new company without any visa at hand. Brings out my inner pessimist.
My new company has a grace period of 30 days to apply for a visa for me. By the time that they provide the application documents, I can then claim my passport and my final settlement pay from my old company. This marks the end of my business with them. Once claimed, the pink sticker or my visa page (residency permit) on my passport has been stamped CANCELLED. I am no longer a resident. Just a soul floating around the desert. Hah!
Still, it’s always wise to bring my passport anywhere I go since it’s the only identification I have.
Just Another Pink Paper
A week later, I was given an employment visa. Until now, it still puzzles me why I need to have this type of visa. Can’t they just transfer my sponsorship to the new company? Been here for more than three years, anyway.
Anyway, with an employment visa at hand, the new company gave me a two-way ticket to Muscat International Airport (read: to airport only) for a visa run. I just need an exit stamp from Dubai International Airport so I can continue with my application for the residency visa. The whole process took 5 hours. Including the return flight. Say what!
Doing It All Over Again
During the visa run, when I returned to Dubai, the employment visa also got a stamp. From which our HR manager proceeded to an application for medical examination. I went to the nearest DHA-accredited medical center and had my blood tested and my X-ray taken. Please be noted that candidates for residency who are found to have Hepatitis, AIDS and Tuberculosis will not be granted a residence visa.
PS. Shoutout to the medical center in Satwa! The woman before me in the x-ray check was bleeding. I think something went wrong when she had her blood tested. I hope you guys would be a little gentle and friendly. My right arm was aching for days!
After a horrible morning at the medical center (people tends to be grumpy during Ramadan), I ran to the nearest typing center to have my application for Emirates ID typed in Arabic. Typing + application costs 170 AED for one-year visa, 270 AED for two years and 370 AED for three. Then off I went to EIDA (Emirates Identification Authority) to get my picture and biometrics taken.
The Waiting Season
Now that I’ve done a couple of procedures, it’s now time to wait for the medical results and the identification card. Only then the company can go ahead to applying for my residency. Gah, such a long list of works to do for that pink sticker on my passport.