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Visa Application Issues & Certificate of Good Conduct for US Citizen

g someone in the Reddit community who has experience in HR and has processed visas after the 4 February introduction of the Certificate of Good Conduct (will use CoGC for short) or someone who has gone through the process themselves after that date might be able to help clear some confusion being generated by the PRO of my new company which has prevented me from getting a visa.

For context... I recently switched jobs. My former employer who was in the Dubai Creative Clusters Authority (DCCA) canceled my visa on 20 February. With this cancelation, it's my understanding I need to leave the country by 20 March or have my visa status changed by then. My new employer is a part of the Sharjah International Airport Free Zone (SAIF). I'm also an American citizen who has lived and worked in Dubai for about 1.5 years.

At the time of launch for the CoGC standard, Dubai's website did not provide details for what they wanted for American citizens regarding the certificate of good conduct. They had a general explanation, but it's not as common in the US as I would later find out. The US consulate did not have details either. Since I was already in the US in late January and knew I would need something, I asked around. Apparently, it's common for immigration purposes for my home state to issue a criminal record report that foreign employers use abroad. (My home state heavily hires expats to go abroad and work for oil and gas firms.)

In late January when I was in the US and having read that Dubai would require a CoGC, I went to the local police department of my home city and got a record that shows I have no criminal record as well as a similar document from my home state. (I had to do a fingerprint submission for the state one.) I also already applied and received an Arabic copy (not sure why they didn't also send me an English one if that exists) of the Dubai Certificate of Good Conduct from the Dubai Police Department.

My visa application though was rejected. I've been told that the rejected application included the normal documents (passport, passport photo, etc..) and my Dubai Certificate of Good Conduct.

First, I've been told and read that if you're just transferring jobs that all these documents aren't necessary. Is this true? I can't seem to find an official answer about this published online from a UAE government agency. The only thing I've seen are in local newspapers. Suffice it to say, their reporting isn't something I'm going to trust given the lack of details and how often things aren't clearly explained in those papers.

Second, the PRO initially said that I need to take my Dubai Certificate of Good Conduct and get it stamped by the US Consulate here in the UAE, and then I would need to take it to the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs for attestation. It doesn't seem logical that the US Consulate would stamp a Dubai Police Certificate of Good Conduct. It's not a letter they produce so why would they stamp it? I'm calling the US Consulate tomorrow to verify, but they gave me a generic email that now details an FBI background check process at a national level. (This just means I'm likely to waste a not so small sum of money going back to the US to sit and wait for this document. I was told it can take 2-6 weeks. If you're also in the US more than 35 days in a year, you lose the tax advantages of being an expat.)

Third, I talked to some friends in HR at other companies and they said I shouldn't have an issue, and they've been able to hire expats since the CoGC standard came into effect even without the FBI docs. I asked my new company to resubmit the visa application, and now they're saying that SAIF can't accept it because it shows in the system I'm on a 40-day visit entry. I assume that's because my previous visa got canceled, but I'm not sure why that would prevent my visa application from going through since when I first moved here I was on a visit visa and then got my residency visa while on the visit visa.

I'm also now being told that I have to have my Certificate of Good Conduct from my home state translated into Arabic and have it stamped by the US consulate here and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Again, I'm doubtful the US Consulate will do that. (I'm calling them tomorrow morning to ask.)

Can anyone help me sort out all this confusion? What should be happening? What I should be doing, and what documents I really need (and signed/stamped by whom)?


| 👁 1317 | Posted April 18, 2018 | Share on Facebook | Twitter | Google+

| Modified: April 18, 2018 | Author:


Siaphan 1 year ago

What did you find out from the US Consulate?

batdxb 1 year ago

Most PRO i have seen in this country are unfortunately incompetent. Most logical one seems like getting stamp from MoFa of USA then UAE embassy in USA. Plus once document landed here in UAE go to MoFa (at Al Manara center) again to get last stamp. This is procedure I have done lately for certificate attestation and marriage certificate. PS I am not USA citizen.

StripedSocksMan 1 year ago

Weve had a few guys that were temp hires switch over to permanent hires since this new law went into effect. Some of them had been here almost 2 years with their temp company. Anyway, all they needed was the letter from the police saying they werent criminals. Our HR is incompetent as hell and they figured it out so it cant be that hard.

burksterdxb 1 year ago

I'm also now being told that I have to have my Certificate of Good Conduct from my home state translated into Arabic and have it stamped by the US consulate here and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Again, I'm doubtful the US Consulate will do that. (I'm calling them tomorrow morning to ask.) This seems more like it. This is common practice for any certificates issued in another country. Last time I had to go through this, the lady at the MoFA explained in detail how it works. This was when I had to get my UK degree certificates attested. Think of all these signatures as adapters. Local UAE authorities are only compatible with the MoFA, not directly with any authority/institution abroad. The MoFA is only compatible with an embassy/consulate in the UAE. Again, not directly with any foreign authority/institution. That's why you need a consulate/embassy stamp, before the MoFA stamps it. Sorry, I don't have any other info or comments to add on the process. EDIT: Reading back, this whole adapter analogy doesn't sound the same when she explained it to me. But you get my point... :)

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