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Irish allied health professionals in Abu Dhabi

Irish allied health professionals in Abu Dhabi

Old Aug 5th 2015, 8:20 pm
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Default Irish allied health professionals in Abu Dhabi

Hi, I have a query specific to other allied health professionals who have made the move from Ireland to the UAE. I'm currently stuck in limbo with getting my documents verified by DataFlow in order to get HAAD licensed because of Ireland's lack of statutory registration of some of their allied health professions. (The process of establishing registration boards has begun, but not all professions are yet covered.) Because of this, I'm not able to get the Good Standing Certificate that HAAD requires. But, I know there must be some way around this, otherwise there would have been no Irish OT's, SLT's, (or psychologists) who got jobs in the UAE in the past, before the registration boards came in.

I'm incredibly frustrated and tired of the lack of progress. Any (useful and well meaning) advice would be appreciated.

TIA
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Old Apr 16th 2016, 9:59 am
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Default Re: Irish allied health professionals in Abu Dhabi

I'm submitting an update here as a service to any other HAAD applicants out there who might be in a similar position. I struggled along with virtually no help for a looong time! Here's what helped unblock the logjam:

1. I contacted my clinic and asked for feedback from anyone there who had gone through a similar problem and figured out a workaround (I knew there were 1 or 2 others who had followed the same path). One of my colleagues sent copies of some of the letters they'd submitted. From this, I thought to have the psychological association in Ireland write a letter of good standing for me. This was apparently taken as an acceptable substitute for the absent registration body's letter. It worked a treat and my DataFlow verification was completed just under a month later (almost 7 months after the start of DataFlow).

2. HAAD then began my licensing process. There was a bit of a stumble, and another month's delay, when they asked for copies of my college degree certificate, and for transcripts from both my college and graduate program. The thing to note is that it always takes them a week or two to restart the process after they've had to ask you to submit additional information, so send everything pertinent and that you think they could ever need to see from the very start.

3. They then approved me for the oral exam (no exemptions for psychologists, sadly), which had to be done in Abu Dhabi!!! That was a shocker. No one had ever even suggested that I'd have to travel there to take a panel exam. I rushed that through and took the exam 3 weeks later. Don't assume you can just do it without A LOT of study and review. I did some, but not nearly enough to get through it without massive anxiety, and I've had my degree and worked in the field for 20 years! Thankfully, I passed (notice given online 4 days later).

4. After that, HAAD moved to the CID (security check) process, which took only 7 days after all forms were submitted. There was an initial 2-week delay for my clinic to upload my appointment letter and for HAAD to begin processing the CID.

5. After the CID cleared, it then took 8 days for the license to be issued, largely due to the time it took for the clinic to submit my malpractice coverage letter.

6. Obtaining the entry visa took another 20 days from the time the license was approved, but half of that was the license getting to the clinic and the PRO getting my application into the MOL.


In total then, it took just over 4 months from completion of DataFlow verification to license issue by HAAD (including 3 weeks delay to get to Abu Dhabi and take the oral exam), then another 3 weeks for all the processing steps to get the entry visa. Then, and only then, do you give notice at your current job! I made that mistake on my first expat posting, and swore I never would again, no matter how much the new organization might be pushing. This time, it definitely saved me from a disaster, given the almost year between accepting the job and getting the visa
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