I was just ready to mail in my visa application package to the Saudi embassy in D.C. this morning when I remembered that I had talked to a woman there who had advised me to call them to make sure everything was in order first.
Good thing I called. Turns out that I need something called a "visa block number," which is supposed to be supplied by the employer.
One problem I'm having is that I've used up my cell phone minutes for the month thanks to the 50 or so calls I've had to make to various numbers at the embassy. Therefore, I'm in the somewhat embarrassing position of calling and then begging them to call me back on my land line at home. They've actually been pretty good about that.
I fired off a Skype and an e-mail to my contact in Riyadh to see if they can get the required info. I find that Saudi e-mails don't come through reliably to my regular personal e-mail so I need to send all communications to my contact's personal e-mail, doubled up with a Skype message. That works pretty well. If need be, I can also use my Arizona State University e-mail, but I don't check that very often during the summer.
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