Sunday, February 24, 2013

That's IT???

I never thought I would see this prayer answered.

Whenever I visited the Immigration Office, I would timidly ask the Lord that something would change. I knew I couldn't wish away the other foreigners, or expect the building to be renovated. I used to wish so much for an advocate, for someone to look at the conditions and try to make them better.

On Monday I went in to try to apply for permanent residency.

Here's how it works:

-Apply for temporary residency (I did this in 2010)
-Wait 6 months
-Claim temporary residency
-Wait 1 year
-Pass inspection, become eligible for permanent residency
-You now have 1 1/2 years to apply for permanent residency or go back to the beginning

Here's how my 1 1/2 years went: 2012 sped by because of pregnancy/the birth of David/the Estonia episode/etc.

In December, I was at the 3-month mark and got everything ready to apply for permanent residency. 3 months was enough to fix potential problems right?

Well, I knew there there was a pretty tough road ahead of us as far as making it to the front of the line. There could be 50 people on The List and only 4 or 5 people would get in that day.

And then, there was news: an appointment system had been employed. This is something I'd dreamed of! A time to go that was MY time; no more guarding The List and crowding the door.

But....the fights were not over. It took Nina 2 or 3 tries (getting there early in the morning and standing in line for several hours) to actually get into the room in order to make an appointment. And even back in December, the earliest appointment wasn't until February. Uh oh!

I had gathered all my documents just in case, so there they sat gathering dust, until February 18th when I had my appointment.

Oh, how I didn't want to go into that room. Nina was home with David, Vladimir was on guard in the waiting room just in case they called me earlier, and Andrei was on his way from work to join us.

Andrei and I went into the room together...

"Let's see your application."


"Proof of income."

I had to really dig for each item as I had piles and piles of potentially-needed papers, BUT they were all there.

She yelled about all the mistakes in my application (I had modeled my answers on my successful temporary residency application, but apparently each inspector has his/her own preferences).

Besides all those mistakes, we didn't have Andrei's actual passport with us. I wasn't married the last time I applied, so there had been significantly fewer documents to keep track of.

Now came the clincher...could I fix the mistakes and still apply, or would it take another 2 months to get an appointment, causing me to miss my deadline?

She saw that I had until mid-March, and then saw that my medical forms were running out in the beginning of March, so she signed me up for Feb. 28th. Hallelujah!

I can't believe I might actually get permanent residency without any drama.

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