Tuesday, January 19, 2010

That Endless Paperwork

I really should not complain.  I shouldn't.  But I had to go do visa and other official paperwork.  I've decided that this is just one of those things that is not fun.

I had to go get pages added to my passport, so after a long drive, we were met at the gates by a smiling security guard who told us that now we have to book an appointment for this service.  "But we just drove in here!"  He cheerfully suggested that we drive home, use our computer and book an appointment for tomorrow.  Hey, a little sympathy would be nice!  No.

Well, my passport has maybe, just maybe enough space... so we decided to go try for the visa and hope they don't notice that I am low on empty places.  My husband is perhaps the best visa-getter in the world.  We walked in, he cheerfully greeted the people at the desk, and gave over the paperwork after a long conversation as to the well-being of the entire family of both the desk clerk and the official in charge that day.

We waited.  Because I need a visa to my husband's country, the purpose of the trip is simple.  I go to visit.  The did not ask questions or require much from me at all.  In fact, besides one question, my view on the whole affair was not even asked.  All business was conducted by the men.  There was a glitch when my husband did not actually have any documentation stating he was from that country, so he simply respectfully asked what he could do.  The man scratched his head, disappeared for a few minutes, and then came back with an empty sheet of paper.

"Just write down that you are a citizen, and that you married your wife, and why she needs a visa."

So he did.  And signed it.  The officer picked it up, examined it, and nodded.  (Was being able to write well a test of citizenship?!)  He looked a little surprised and said, "you write very well, like you work in a government company or something like that."  My husband smiled and said thank-you, and that he does work, but with computers.  (Later we smiled again at the thought of why my husband's knowledge of the written language is so good!!  Computers are such a wonderful general thing to say.  We do work with computers!  If I am questioned, I always say, "I know he works with computers, but I don't understand that much about computers...."  That usually works.)

About fifteen minutes later, the man appeared with a visa in my passport.  He opened it up and showed us, "See, you were running out of pages in your passport, so I put this visa in the "admendments page", but I just put it over to the side a little so it covers up where is says "admentments" and where it should have said "visas", so it will work.  But you should get some new pages in it very soon."

See - they are creative!  Now there is just enough room for the stamps and all.  I will still try to get more pages, but the visa is done!

On a funny note, while sitting in the office, a lady next to me in the waiting room struck up a conversation with me.  She was totally shocked that I was applying for a visa to her country.  She asked me about three times over and over if we "foriegners" need visas.  I assured her that we did.  She looked completely dumbfounded and said, "Well, that is good then.  I thought it was just something we had to try to get to go to your country!"

I wish.  Oh, how I wish.

Now, another day, and another appointment with the embassy to hopefully get pages added to my passport, but at least I did get my visa.  I'm on my way soon!


junglewife said...

ah, paperwork...

I love your creative answers for things! It's nice to be able to answer without lying, but without saying things that others don't need to know, isn't it?

I don't know why visas and exit/entry stamps have to take up so many pages! i mean, technically there's supposed to be room for 4 stamps per passport page, right? Well, our Indonesian visa takes up an entire page! And when we enter or leave, there's another whole page! Crazy! No wonder we needed new passport pages after only being in the country for a couple years!

Carrie said...

Visa paperwork is a thorn in the side for sure! You're so lucky that yours takes just one day. Ours takes 2 weeks for his and an additional 2 weeks for mine and the kids'. And then after another month, we receive our residency cards. From start to finish, the process takes 6-8 weeks, 100 ibuprofen pills, and a quadrazillion dollars.

Is it apparent that I hate visa time?! LOL!

Congratulations of your visa!

Ellie said...

Mine would usually take several weeks, and the rest of the group I am going in with will take that long to get. Thankfully, this is only a month's visa and not a living visa, so it is simpler. For me the blessing is that I am married to someone from there, so I can simply state that I am going to visit. After all, I have new nephew and there is a holiday coming up. That is what takes this from weeks to a day. Something to be thankful for.