This is a couple who thought they'd done their homework, researched the overseas company, and even had a contract.
"It's the type of job you dream of and we thought we had it. They just pulled it right out, just pulled the rug right out from under us," Dave MacPhail said.
Their East Side co-apartment is now vacant, their belongings are in storage and they have no jobs.
By now, these two professionals had planned to be settled in the oil-rich Middle Eastern Country of Dubai, located on the Persian Gulf. Dave, an architect who had been laid off from his Manhattan job in February, connected with DAMAC properties, headquartered in Dubai.
"They contacted me through the website called Linked In and asked if I'd be interested in a development position in Dubai," he explained.
Back in April, Dave met with a human resources representative at the Jermiah Essex Hotel where he was interviewing other prospective employees. The meeting went so well that they set up a video conference with the firm's CEO.
In July, he got a contract and claims there were multiple phone calls and emails reassuring him he had the job, including one in mid-September that read, "We expect to receive your visa in about 3 weeks?. Hence, we can look at a start date of second week of October."
"We knew we were taking a gamble, but we had a good faith contract, assurances throughout," Angie Dave MacPhail said.
Angie, who worked in 2 World Financial Center as a marketing executive, gave notice at the end of September and quit after another reassuring e-mail from DAMAC that read, "There is nothing to worry about."
Then came a phone call.
"Basically, they said we have some bad news. We aren't going to bring you over based on all the financial issues that are going on today. That was it. They said they were sorry," Dave MacPhail said.
A DAMAC Spokesman told us in an e-mail statement: "In regard to Mr. MacPhail's application, until such time as the work permit and visa approvals have been issued, the job offer cannot be processed further."
"It gives them the out," international law attorney Rita Dave said after reviewing the contract for us. She noted this language: "And won't be valid if for some unforeseen reason authorities or government authorities rejected his application."
"I knew it was in the contract, but with the reassurance that they were giving it sounded like everything was moving ahead as scheduled," Dave MacPhail said.
Rita Dave said people considering an overseas employer need to protect themselves.
"Make sure you don't sell your home, uproot your family and be ready to travel unless you know for sure you have a start date, unless you have physical documentation," she said.
Some additional tips:
Dave MacPhail said he has been unable to call or reach anyone at DAMAC since the news. Angie tried to get her old job back.
"There's a hiring freeze. My position's gone. It does not exist anymore," she explained.
The couple has been unable to rent their co-op. Now, almost out of savings, they are living temporarily with relatives.
"I've never had to deal with this. We could end up losing our house, our apartment because we're hemorrhaging money," Dave said.
"It's very stressful. You're thinking about it all day long. What am I going to do? Where are we going to end up?" Angie explained.
We have no way of knowing how many Americans may have run into similar problems with overseas employers, but experts tell us that with our economy the way it is and people looking for jobs anywhere they can find them, this problem could potentially become a major issue.