Travel Time (05 April 2009)
Today I asked to have me transferred to Al Khair Compound and got the approval. I am just waiting for the allocated house and the keys so I can move. My family will arrive next Sunday (05 April).
Last Wednesday, I booked and purchased the tickets for my wife and kids, wherein I went to a travel agent to pay the one-way ticket (Manila – Jeddah) that costs SR 2,680 for adult and SR 2,010 each for my two kids. I was able to get Saudia Airlines flight, which is a direct flight. The plane will depart Manila at 12 noon and will arrive in Jeddah at 7 in the evening (both local time).
Also last Wednesday, my wife went to the medical clinic to submit a waiver for her caesarian operation, thereafter she went to ISD to pay the agency processing fees. ISD asked me to pay only US$ 250 for the processing of 3 passports (for my wife and 2 kids) excluding the direct costs incurred (e.g. medical exam fees). I am not sure if they are simply giving me discounted rate because I previously worked there, or perhaps that is their standard fees. Good thing is also is that they required only my wife to undergo medical exams and not requiring my two kids (age 5 and 3). The medical exam costs P 2,700 and was conducted at L-R Medical Clinic (the same clinic that I seek second opinion for my alleged high cholesterol level).
My understanding is that other agencies would require processing fees on per passport basis, which could go as high as US$ 600 each (including the medical exam fees), as such even the kids will be required to undergo medical exams.
Anyhow, I am thankful to ISD for accommodating the processing of my family sponsorship visa.