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Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by Foneypharaoh, Apr 5, 2011.
Dave, are you confusing 'worst thing' with a prerequisite for the job?
In some cases....
See my last post
Or . . . perhaps we hould blame this crawling internet connection.
Hould we indeed?
ndeed we hould
It's been a long day . . . again . . . and I should head for a shower and a nap.
Brilliant teachers don't have long days; they just sildier on...
...some even soldier on...
I quite good at thumping chest and shagging Jane
The threads are for providing information/help and a bit of lightheartedness....
These efforts are bloody rubbish!
Not funny, but I'm surprised there's no reference to the nonsense some ME school practices, such as taking your passport off you when you arrive.
Never worked there, but someone who did told me in Qatar you need the school's permission to leave the country as you need an exit visa to leave. So worst thing a school can do to you: ruin your life by not allowing you to leave.
Principal Skinner's post is mostly true, but there are a few distortions and inaccuracies.
Firstly, schools in Qatar (and in other parts of the Middle east, such as Saudi Arabia) will want to get their hands on your passport. They need your passport in order to start processing your residency permit (RP). Some schools manage to get your RP sorted out in a few weeks, but one school I know in the UAE took months and months. Once the RP process has started, it has to be completed, otherwise you would have to start all over again from the beginning. When the RP process is finally completed, then your passport will be returned to you. Once you have your RP, then you can buy a car and get a licquor licence. The bad news is that you will not be able to use your passport to leave the country without an exit visa. Some countries, such as the UAE and Egypt, do not require exit visas, but quite a lot of ME countries do have them.
Exit visas have to be given with the approval of your sponsor (i.e. the owner of the school). Most (if not all) schools in the Middle East are owned by a local person and they have to give their permission in order for you to have your exit visa. Your headmaster or headmistress cannot give you an exit visa, since they are not your sponsor.
Having worked in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar and the UAE, I have to say that I have never personally known any teachers to have their exit visas refused. An American colleague of mine managed to get his exit visa in one afternoon, as he urgently needed to go to the USA to see his mother who was very ill.
To someone who is not used to the Middle East, perhaps RPs and exit visas all sound a bit strange and unpleasant. Having worked, off and on, in this part of the world for more than ten years, I find some British things like Council Tax and VAT to be much more strange and unpleasant.
There are other little details that Hippo has neglected to mention. The following are specific to the UAE, but may also be commonplace in other countries in that area.
Without your sponsors approval you cannot do anything. For everything you need a No Objection Certificate or a Salary Certificate. Driving licence, apartment, mobile phone, insurance, car, internet, etc. etc. For everything the sponsor has to give you a letter with his or her permission.
You do get used to it while you live out there and it begins to appear normal. A stint afterwards in a country that doesn't treat you like a second class citizen soon alters your perceptions back to normal again.
As for the exit visas, they were a very real thing when I lived in Dubai. You may not be asked for them at the airport, but there is the possibility that you will be. I was asked about 3 or 4 times over a period of 6 years. I have known of friends being refused permission to fly because they did not possess them.
Not a distortion. I'm talking about schools that keep hold of your passport even after visas and stuff have been given. Not common practice in the better schools like DESS and JESS, but it happens more often than it should.
I turned down a job in Qatar many years ago, owned by a British lady apparantly, because the recruiter wouldn't guarantee the school would hand over my passport as so as the paperwork was completed. It is common practise in Saudi and not just for maids. I turned my back on the ME (I don't count Egypt, Mr Hippo, because that's in Northern Africa and visas are easy) because of various issues like that. It would take a whole heap of money, far more than currently on offer, to lure me back to that part of the world.
No, Principal Skinner. You wrote, "...you need the school's permission to leave the country" and this is not the case. You need your sponsor's permission. Your headmaster or deputy head will not be your sponsor. Even if the school's HR person does give you back your passport, you cannot leave Qatar or Saudi Arabia without an exit visa. You also wrote, "...owned by a British lady apparantly", but foreign nationals cannot own land in Qatar, except reclaimed land at the new Pearl development.
She must have been married to a Qatari?
Skinner - not all the schools in the ME are like that. Do you not think that maybe you have tarred them all with the same brush?
Perhaps I don't distinguish sponsor from school as easily as you do; I'm not referring to the head (that would be me!) so if the sponsor is linked to the school (i.e. the owner) then they could make life difficult if they wanted to. I don't like the idea of seeking someone's permission to leave the country. Someone I worked with a couple of years ago was in Qatar previous to working for me and had plenty of horror stories, one being a lady who couldn't attend her father's funeral because she couldn't get an exit visa in time!
Perhaps she was married to a local, but as it was explained to me it was owned by a british lady. I didn't take the job offer so don't know more than that.
You clearly like Qatar and seem rather easy going in regard to HR giving you passport back or not.
Skinner specifically said that not all schools are like that.
And the other point is just semantics. Surely the school is your sponsor? So the school's permission and the sponsor's permission are the same thing?
I'm not up with Qatari law, but surely you can own a school without owning land? Schools often start up in rented premises and (perhaps not in this case) only move to buying when the roll gets large enough.
This is all just nit-picking and hair-splitting.
Yes in Qatar it is the sponser that gives the permission and not the school but if the school say no then I'm pretty sure that the sponser will comply with those wishes, so effectively you need permission from the school.
An owner of the school doesn't necessarily have to own the land, they could be leasing it as in the case of a Qatar 'school' recently mentioned on these threads.
Most schools are decent and will not refuse, however I have heard of particular examples of refusal.
It's a lovely day today