Part of the visa application for a nursing job in Saudi requires a physical by a doctor and lab work. A lot of lab work. And a lot of paperwork.
Unfortunately I did not read everything through before going to the doctor. I read a lot of it, so I knew to request a medical release form for my gynecologist to get my pap smear results. (Yes ladies, maybe the only job you ever apply for that requires a pap smear and pregnancy test!) But I did not notice, on the first page, after it says VERY IMPORTANT, it says the forms must be completed by a Medical Doctor (MD) and they would not accept forms by a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO). I must have skipped the details because it said MEMO TO PHYSICIANS. And unfortunately, the office I went to only had DOs.
But the office was great and they managed to find me an appointment at another office with a MD. This doctor happens to be a female Muslim. Did they do that on purpose after learning why I need the exam? They appointment is now next week, which means another morning of fasting. But gives me 6 days to attempt to drop 5 pounds! (They ask for a self-filled medical form with the original application. I gave them the weight I was hoping to be by the time I moved to Saudi. I am 10 pounds away.) I know I won’t lose five pounds that quick nor is that healthy. But maybe 2 pounds?
There are Medical Report forms for the Saudi Embassy that must be filled out in triplicate. There are forms for the hospital that are 3 pages long. Then there is a list of pre-existing medical conditions that lists what disqualifies candidates from employment. It also includes a list of diagnoses that require a waiver in order to work there. This includes “impaired vision/hearing” so I guess I will need a waiver since I wear glasses or contacts. If your BMI is over 30, you need special approval to work. (I am in the clear for BMI, but if I drop those 10 pounds, I will have a BMI of 25.)
I also had to go to my police station and request a Good Standing letter for the visa. It has to be an original letter signed and stamped by the chief of police. I had a background check done and sent to the recruiting agency from my state, but the embassy needs this letter. The police station said they will have the letter ready in a few days.
The agency wants me to faxemail them copies of the Good Standing letter and my physical paperwork when it is completed to make sure everything is done. Then I will FedEx them the forms since the embassy wants the originals. Then I just wait for my Prometric exam results to be released. The way it seems things happen with the Saudi bureaucracy, I bet it will be late March before I know of anything or until I know my start date in Jeddah. And then I need to give four weeks notice at my current job. (Honestly, I think two weeks is all I need to really give, but I did not want to leave them high and dry.) I would rather start earlier rather than later because I was worried of the challenges of arriving during Ramandan, but I think this whole year will be full of challenges.