Saturday, April 24, 2010


This is a part of my series on pursuing a Temporary Residency Permit in St. Petersburg, Russia.

 In this episode: I officially hand in my application for review

I will write a more informative summary post later, but for now I will just tell about my own experience.

My appointment was on Friday, and I got my final document on Thursday, took it over to be translated, and picked it up on Friday morning.

I was really happy at the prospect of handing everything in, but at the same time I was nervous that I had forgotten something or made a mistake. I knew it would all work out in the end, but I really didn't want to have to go run around fixing something and then have yet another appointment at Immigration. read more/-

The queuing has been different each time I've gone. This time I wasn't sure of my number because I made my appointment over the phone. At 2:00, we were allowed to make our way to the back porch where the security guy was waiting. There were more people than I thought, and we sort of clustered around.

First he started calling people by name....was that how it was going to be?

People were slow to respond.

Now he invited people to give their numbers and started letting them into the building, a few at a time. Wait a minute...

I caught a glance at the sheet of paper and saw that I was at the top of the second page, #24. Interesting that the woman on the phone had said they were "full."

I had heard that the people next to me had a higher number, so the next time the security guy appeared, I squeezed in close.

"I have #24!" I said.

He ignored me and let #31 proceed.

"I'm #24!" I tried again.

He ushered in #28.

Then he finally let me go in.

After a few minutes in the waiting room, it was my turn for the consultation. The attendant started going through my documents.

"Elizabeth, where is the translation of your passport?" she asked. Noooo. This is what I had been afraid of. Did I leave it at home? I looked in my reserve pile and found it. Whew.

She checked and checked, going from one document to another, making sure everything was consistent.

She stared closely at the FBI background check with its apostille. Let her inspect away...I was confident that everything was in order. But there was a slight error. Apparently, the translator had messed up the date... in the U.S. we write month, then date...while the rest of the world writes date, then month.

"I will accept it," she said, "but we may call you and ask you to redo the translation."

She also stared closely at the medical forms, noticing the Jan. 27th date.

"You realize these are only valid for 3 months?" she asked.

"Yes." April 23rd was right on time; April 30th (the next Friday) would have been too late.

She gazed at my various stamps in my passport and visa. Something was missing.

"Do you have a photocopy of the page with these recent stamps?" My Estonia trip. I looked through my papers even though I knew I hadn't done a new round of photocopying since traveling.

"No, I don't." Now what? Would I have to run to a copy place? No, she would make a photocopy herself. Thank goodness.

Then I had to put my signature on everything and fill out a little statement, and that was it.

Before leaving, I filled out a customer satisfaction survey, where I answered favorably except for concerning the queuing (today's confusion), the website (not enough information), and the waiting period (5 months from submission of documents).

Then the secretary called me over and asked me to help her with something. She called another employee to the desk, who asked if I had any tips for finding housing and tickets to New York. :)

So I now am in possession of a stamped piece of paper (see earlier post) from Federal Migration Services stating that I have submitted all my papers for review for the purpose of obtaining a Temporary Residency Permit.

To be continued in the fall...


  1. Oh, my goodness! I'm so happy for you and the tenacity that you were able to muster for this ordeal. We pray that God's favor rests on your and on those documents. We trust we shall have the same favor as we apply for our "voluntary visa" for South Africa. I've heard it's not nearly as challenging - supposedly, they are not that difficult to get - but the paper work is still rather daunting!

  2. Be encouraged! I think the hardest part was just coordinating it all. It was actually easier than, for example, applying for college.


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