The Never-ending Story… of paperwork
The never ending paperwork! Get color copies of your passport page, color copies of you degrees and teaching certificate. Get them all notarized, send them to your state, get a unicorn to lick them and make sure they get to Teach Away by yesterday.
Okay I am slightly exaggerating, but only slightly.
Basically everything under the sun must be Xeroxed and scanned. However the most tedious is the process of getting the documents authorized. I went to my local UPS store and had them notarize my degree and two teaching certificates. Then I mailed them to the Florida Department of State. These two steps were not too expensive and pretty simple. I did have a small snafu when the lady at the State Department kept trying to tell me about getting my documents an apostille. I know that there is a difference since Teach Away specifically said that an apostille would not work, AUTHORIZED is the key wording. I eventually got transferred to the right person, so stay diligent.
I then held on to the documents while I waited to hear about the job. This was only about a week or so. Once I heard I had the gig (YAY!) I called ProEx. ProEx had a great reputation and they also had the quick turn-around capability. Teach Away wanted my authorized documents within three weeks. So I called and talked to the lady and she was unbelievable helpful! She emailed me the form and step-by-step directions for what I needed to do.
Now ProEX was pricey! I ended up shelling out about $350 for three documents to go through the final two stages of the authorization. I felt comfortable having heard so many good things so I had no worries when I mailed my documents to them.
ProEx then took my documents to the U.S. Department of State, had them give this snazzy form with John Kerry’s signature on them and then packaged them up for the final step: The UAE Embassy. At the embassy the UAE stamps their approval and also kept my black and white copies of each document on file. Then Proex mailed them back to me. The whole process took about two and a half weeks! Not bad at all!
Having read on other’s blogs and Facebook, I knew not to unattach the pages but I had to scan them to Teach Away as they are needed for my Visa process. Scanning documents that have been stapled in the corner and attached at the top was a challenge, but I ended up with the pages scanned. Unfortunately my scanner made each page a different document, so each of my three documents had six pages total that was eighteen pages total.
I did some research and downloaded Adobe Acrobat IX Pro (the trial version) which gave me the ability to merge PDFs. This was super easy and then I attached the three PDFs and emailed them to Teach Away. I received a confirmation of receipt stating all was well. Now I just get to wait four months for the Golden Ticket to Abu Dhabi!