Aiya, I’m sorry it took so long to update you on the precarious situation that I alluded to in the last entry. My visa was never submitted by the man who was supposed to submit it, which means that I was illegally here for roughly 6 months. And that incurs a fine for each day you are without a visa. My school was being sketchy about what had happened and how we were going to fix it, but I eventually realized that it was because they genuinely didn’t realize it didn’t have to be super complicated. I basically told them what needed to happen. (Which I know from having seen other teachers do it.)
So, my school gave me the money to pay the fines, and I went to the Omani border to pay them and get a new visa. As an American, I get a tourist visa simply for entering the country. I entered Oman for long enough for them to stamp my passport, then entered UAE again, and voila, I get a tourist visa! That tourist visa is valid for 30 days, but it can be renewed indefinitely. Technically, you’re not supposed to work if you’re on a tourist visa, but it’s an easy way to get around fines and the government sort of turns a blind eye to it. Especially for Americans.
And my future job is still secure. They’re actually in the process of making my next visa, a residence visa under their sponsorship. So perhaps I won’t have to spend a day going to Oman to renew my tourist visa when the 30 days are up…
The whole visa situation is really quite ridiculous. It’s difficult to know all the rules fully and then sometimes the rules change slightly. They’re also different depending on which country you’re from. For awhile, Canadians weren’t allowed to get tourist visas, due to drama over an Emirati airline’s placement at a Canadian airport. One Canadian guy I know got stuck in Oman because the school thought they were sending him to get a tourist visa, but it turned out that he needed the work entry visa and that took a month to process.
But the point is that for me, right now, finally, it’s all good.