Wednesday, July 29, 2009

More visa delays

Ruh roh.

It's been about one week since I learned that I needed something called a "visa block number" from my Saudi employer before I can even send the application package in to the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission in Washington, DC.

Now I'm getting worried because I haven't had so much as an acknowledgement of my need for the information, which suggests to me that my contact is on holiday somewhere and not available by either e-mail or Skype. Unfortunately, I have no back up contact in S.A.

I've been holding off making local and family announcements of my plan until I have the visa firmly in hand.


  1. Employers have to get permission to hire (and offer) visas to foreigners. In this instance, your employer-to-be has not yet gotten that permission, the 'visa block number', so you're forced into a holding pattern.

    This could be just the normal FUBAR of life, but it could also indicate that the employer doesn't take the job terribly seriously. It should definitely raise a bit of a warning flag. Not a fatal flaw, but not great, either.

  2. You're not alone mate. Just when I thought nothing else could possibly go wrong the KSA Embassy in Aus has lost my visa number.

    Fortunately, my contact in the Dept over there is still at work so she's been really quick to follow it up with the University and it seems they think everything should be fine. I've forwarded her email address onto my agent here so they can hopefully work it out quickly.

    Tho it does seem that this is the time of year that a lot of Saudis take holidays. I know that the heads of the department I'll be working for are all away. Its no good if your only contact has gone tho. I hope its a short vacation if that's the case.

    Good luck. We'll all look back on the visa process one day and have a laugh right? I hope so :).

  3. John: thanks for the comment. What I discovered is that my contact/sponsor had thought he had supplied the appropriate number. Unfortunately, he was traveling extensively when the issue came up. Although I have a couple other e-mail addresses at the employer (IPA), none of them have ever responded to any correspondence (nor would I necessarily have expected them to.

    I have to give kudos to one of the expat forums. I put an urgent general plea for help up and got action within a day or two.

    Stacy: if you're checking my blog, you'll see how it all came out, as of today (Aug. 6).