Saturday, February 27, 2010

Another appointment

This is a part of my series on applying for temporary residency in St. Petersburg, Russia.

In this episode: I find out whether or not I can still make the quota.


Jan. 18, 2010: I get on The List
Feb 5, 2010: First document review: problem with FBI check (everything else okay)
Feb 11, 2010: Get fingerprinted in Moscow to start new background check
Feb 26, 2010: Second appointment

After I came back from Moscow, having sent my new fingerprints off to the FBI, a friend of mine said that the quota for St. Petersburg had been filled. continue/-

Well, that was interesting…but what did it mean for me? When I was at Immigration in early February, they hadn’t told me I needed to hurry up. In fact, they advised me to give myself MORE time, just in case ( I didn’t listen).

I e-mailed someone who had gotten temporary residency last year. He assured me that if I had an appointment, I was definitely on the list.

Okay. Time to wait for the FBI check. No sign of it, but not much time has passed.

Feb.25th. Tomorrow is my second appointment. Nothing with my documents has changed. My original FBI check is still not presentable and my new one isn’t ready. Someone advised me that it’s better to keep showing up at the FMS office anyway, to check in and make sure they know you’re still pursuing residency.

I’m looking for something online and run across an announcement about the quota. The quota for 2010 is closed. Signing up for appointments is closed.

I'm planning on just asking for a new appointment, but what if it's too late? What if they say to me, “Sorry, you should have chosen a different date?”

Panic. But lots of people are praying for me.

I start to look for my documents again even though I don’t plan to submit them all for review. I can’t find my appointment “card.” It’s like last time’s except that it doesn't even have a number, just a time to show up. I don't really NEED it, but what if I do? It's not in my folder and it's not in my purse. It's not in my coat pocket. What about my other coat? There it is. This reminds me of my migration card incident.

Feb. 26th After class, I take one last look at my documents and then head off to the FMS. I get there a few minutes early and there are some people standing around, with a glazed-over look. The first few times, we were all clumsy and asking each other questions. Now, we are all experts??? No one seems interested in making conversation.

I’m on the alert for the signal, and when the security guard gives us the okay, I make a beeline for the now-familiar back porch where we enter.

There is no talk of lining up; there aren’t many of us. I’m second behind a couple applying together. The attendant tells us to get out passports, visas, and registration. Registration. Where is my registration? I didn’t put it in my packet because it wasn’t on the list; just a copy. Fumbling, fumbling…checking my folder of “reserve” papers…did I take it to Moscow? Yes, I did. It was there, with my extra fingerprints. Found it just in time.

It’s already my turn to consult with one of the officers. I tell her that I have a problem with one of my documents that isn’t fixed yet. She looks at the FBI check and shakes her head. She suggests visiting my consulate. No, no, they don’t do that. I explain that I’m waiting for the new one, I just need more time.

She helps me figure out the timing. I already have my medical forms, which are good until the end of April. So I should sign up for a slot before then, say, mid-April.

I also get a phone number to call in case I’m ready earlier and want to try to sign up for a different time-slot. Honestly, this was the perfect answer for me, because I don’t want to worry about making the deadline, but I also don’t want to drag it out longer than necessary.

All is well!


  1. This is all stressing me out.

    You write it up so well, it is like I'm doing it myself.

  2. It would be awesome to meet you any time you come to Moscow :-) Thanks for reading!


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