The offer letter has been signed and returned, what's next? Next, is sending lots of documents and waiting for those documents to be processed.
The first part in this process is authenticating documents. All that means is I have to prove that the documents I'm sending are true and real documents. I have to send my teaching license, degree, and marriage license. If we had kids we'd have to send each birth certificate. Each document must be notarized and then sent to the Secretary of State in DC and then sent to the UAE. This entire process is said to take 14 days if you choose to use ProEx. So, I wanted to jump on this as soon as possible. I was contacted by Proex which is a courier service that will take care of everything for a fee. The only thing they suggested I do was get my marriage license authenticated because if I didn't I would have to send it to them, then they send it to the Secretary of State in Raleigh which in turn will send it back to Proex for them to send to the UAE. I decided to authenticate my own marriage license...
Begin an adventure:
I told my Dad I needed to go to Raleigh to take care of some paperwork and he was thrilled to go. My Dad and I got up early and were on the road around 6:00am. We arrived in Raleigh around 8:45am. The Secretary of State's office is 2 South Salisbury St. (That's for anyone who wants to get documents authenticated in NC.) We walked to the counter and I gave the lady the completed cover letter which can be found here and an original copy of my marriage license. The authentication process costs $10.00 and can be only be paid with cash in exact change or a cashier's check. We paid the fee and were told we could pick them back up at 3:00pm. If we would have arrived after 10:00am we would have had to pick them up the next business day.
Then this question hit us: What do we do for 7 hours? First on our agenda was breakfast. My Dad eats the same breakfast everyday and he was not about to change his routine because we were in Raleigh. We went to Denny's and ate. As we ate my Dad asked me to look and see what was nearby. I listed a few places and his eyes lit up when I said JCPenney's. So to JCPenney's!
We walked around aimlessly. Neither of us needed anything so we just browsed. Dad decided he'd like to look at shoes even though he needs a 3E wide shoe or bigger. These shoes are hardly ever in big chain stores but to our surprise they had a 4E wide shoe in his size and he was thrilled. JCPenney's has a Buy 1, Get 1 50% off sale so he asked me if I wanted a pair of shoes. I'm not one to turn down shoes, free shoes at that, so I began to scour the rows of shoes looking for a pair that would be comfortable for me to wear in the UAE. Daddy paid for our shoes and we were on our way.
We sat in the car and he said, "Ok what can we do now? Can you find us a bowling alley or something to do?"
I found a bowling alley and Dad was satisfied. We Googled directions and we found ourselves in a bowling alley that was filled with high school students on a field trip. We had to wait for a lane but while we waited we played in the arcade. I tried to conquer Ms. Pac Man and Dad tried to conquer the Wheel of Fortune Pinball Machine. A lane opened up as the high schoolers were leaving so we began what would be 4 games of bowling with Dad dominating every game. I did however improve each game. After bowling Dad decided he'd like to walk around a Mall. We went to the North Hills Mall but it was actually just stores and boutiques. We decided to walk around anyway and we found ourselves in Target. Again, we had no purpose so we just perused and talked. After walking Dad said let's get a sandwich before we head back to pick up your paperwork. We walked to McAlister's Deli, ate, and got back in the car headed back to the Secretary of State to pick up my now authenticated marriage license.
We parked, walked in, I presented the lady with my receipt and she handed me an envelope. She told me to check it before I left. I looked in the envelope and pulled out the documents but I had no idea what I was checking so I just looked for the marriage license and I said I guess this is right and we were on our way back to Charlotte.
My next task that I just finished was to email my Proex contact a scanned color copy of my degree and teaching license. I have to send, via US mail, my authenticated Marriage License and pay the many fees. For anyone wanting to know about moving to the UAE and teaching here is a list of all the fees just for documents that I was quoted:
Thank God I Ubered during CIAA so now I have a little change to go towards these many fees.
I was able to get the paperwork ball rolling and spend some quality time with my Dad. I'd say that today goes in the #Winning category.
I've added some pictures of our adventure and the authentication paper below.
Remember to Be Uniquely You and Be Kind to One Another! Until next time...
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Hi! I'm Unique. Follow along with me as I try unique things and travel the world!