Friday, September 17, 2010

Can I just save the President's life and receive an instant Brazilian citizenship, already?

I am stressing out.

It's been a month since our package that was supposed to arrive in 9 business days was mailed. Still no sign of it. When I call the post office to find out what's going on, they send me to an invalid phone number. Inside that package are the two documents I need to complete my visa application.

But only after they've been translated, which I can't really have done until they arrive. Blast.

Double blast, because my 2 passports (old and new) are currently at the translator. That little job will cost R$1,254. Oh, and it's going to take another 12 business days to translate the passports, owing to the fact that the American government decided it would be a smart idea to put an uplifting quote on EVERY PAGE OF THE NEW PASSPORTS. EVERY PAGE. Thanks a lot, you've just created a bureaucratic nightmare.

Then every page will have to be copied and authenticated at a cost of R$5 per page. What's that, another R$300? Then we have to count the other documents that need the same treatment. Police record check, Brazilian background check, proof of residence, letter from the American consulate (US$50) stating my mother and father's full names.

Oh, but we're not finished. There's the public statement of maintenance, which my dear husband must do for me at a notary's office, to the tune of R$130, plus authenticated copies (there's another R$5 again per page) of both of our identity cards or passport pages, proof of residency and CPF (Brazilian Social Security-like numbers) cards.

We need a letter explaining why I have to apply for this visa in Brazil instead of in my home country. Hm. No one has been able to give me a sample of this letter and what I'm coming up with isn't particularly impressive. Because I can't live without my husband? I'll "morrer de saudades?" Will that work for the Brazilian government? I hope so.

I also need proof that I have health insurance. Hard to do when I've NOT had it for the past month. Even though the HR department assured us we were covered, they didn't actually send out the paperwork until Wednesday. For a plan I still don't know anything about. Not deductible amounts, what's covered and not covered, whether dental and vision is included...though we do know they don't do pre-existing conditions for 6 months, so the RA is still on us. For all we know, this plan might only cover leeches, ibuprofen and bonesetters. But not to worry. Information is in the mail. Within 6 days. Riiiight.

It's no wonder my muscles are knotting up. This is frustration taken to whole new levels. Now, thankfully the company will reimburse us for all these visa expenses. But since we weren't paid last month because it took too long to get my husband switched over to the Brazilian payroll, and doing a wire transfer will incur penalties of approximately 20% or more when it's all said and done with exchange rates and whatnot, we're stuck using ATM cards. With daily limits that are under what my translations cost. So do we visit the ATM's repeatedly over the next few days, or do I just wait until the end of the month when the salary should come in, realizing that it's going to incur another month's worth of waiting for this visa? And since I'm at the end of my first 90 days in the country, do I go in to renew my tourist visa and risk being denied? Or do I wait it out and pay the fine for overstaying when we take a vacation in November? Will they even let me back into the country??? Will I be able to live with my husband or will our first year of marriage be long-distance as well???


I don't intentionally seek out drama. But it sure seems to follow me around. When does life go to something resembling normal?


anne said...

first of all, OY! (wow, don't you feel understood, and much better now?)
no wonder you are hurting, the stress is making you "flare", am sure of it!
how the heck is the 90 days up already?
I'd say...heck, don't know what I'd say. What's the penalty for overstaying? What's the chances they'd actually deny you?
Don't you know someone who knows someone, who can pull strings?
Is there actually PROOF the pkt w/the important papers GOT MAILED?

is Brasil like Serbia, and you're not supposed to be without your passport?

Can the US consulate help? What about the state rep (or whomever) here in indiana, can they intercede on your behalf? this would be a good thing for your dad to explore.........
(Dick Lugar comes to mind...just cause he's Indiana and Internationally Known).
if prayers will help, am sending those!

hang in there. go along as you can. Don't anticipate the negative. (Like spending this yr not w/vance).
love you heaps!

Ellen said...

when does life begin to get normal?
90 days were calm with us, it was the four month mark where Biruk could have died, then the five month mark where he decided to open his own business, at 6 months we opened the restaurant and at 7 months my work visa was denied. Thank goodness I have 90 days to figure out what we are going to do before I am completely illegally here and up for deportation.
So when does it calm down? I don't know. I'm saying give it 5 years.

Anna said...

Being illegal is not sooo bad...I did it for a whole year (not a suggestion just a fact). Normal will never arrive. You are a foreigner dealing with a foreign government. However, I do believe that most countries have rules against seperating married couples for more than about 3 months due to visa issues. They may not let you work for a year, but you can stay in the country. Not sure if this is the same in Brazil (or canada - ellen). In the states they allow married couples to enter the country on a fiance visa because that only take 3 months. Everything will work out...I know you recieved the paper work which is a huge blessing in itself!

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