When you arrive in Dubai your tourist visa is only good for 30 days. After that time you can renew it once again for 30 days. Once that time is up you must either have your residence visa (or is it resident’s visa?). Clare and I finally applied for ours this past week. It had been held up because I had inadvertently brought the unofficial copy of our marriage license – thus we had to wait for a copy of our official one from the US to be sent to us and attested by the government here. Basically Shawn became a resident easily because he has a job here – Clare and I had to prove we are related to him. Believe me no one would claim that unless it was true. Ba dum dum.
We got the email that Clare and I could go apply this week. That entailed a medical exam for me – anyone over 18 must be HIV and tuberculosis free – so I got a blood test and a chest X-ray. I guess if I had TB I’d be sent home? That would be the most depressing way to be deported. Well HIV I guess would be worse.
The process was hilarious. It was a big old government building. Everywhere I saw signs that you were supposed to take a number. Meanwhile an intercom is constantly shouting out “Number 1106 to room 3 Number 1110 to room 6” etc. I hand the man behind the desk my papers and he gives them back to me almost immediately, telling me to go to room 4. I go there and it’s small room with a phlebotomist. I see people holding their numbers, I still don’t have one. They usher me through and draw my blood, telling me to go to X-ray.
I get there and everyone has a number. I am so confused and a very nice European woman tries to help me but is confused as to why I don’t have a number. They almost immediately take my chest X-ray.
After that I am sent to the biometrics area, where they quickly take my fingerprints and my picture. After that we are done! All of the paperwork is given back to Shawn’s work for them to process.
Shawn has since explained to me that American women here are often served first and given priority. Whatever that was I’m not complaining! Much faster than any DMV experience I’ve had.
The best part of the process was Clare’s and my paperwork.