Since landing here we knew that visas would have to be taken care of, and expected things to be complicated, but not nearly as crazy as they turned out to be.
I suppose a bit of background and explaination is in order, right? ok, so we arrived in October and got our passports stamped with a 90 day visitor visa. So we’re carefree for the most part. Fast forward to November and we go in to take care of both our visas, and are told that we need these forms and all of these support materials. Fine, so we go in, and are told that we actually need not the things on this list, but on another list. So we go back to the apartment, get things together and go in AGAIN, and yet again are told that we have all the wrong things.
I start nannying, and JP finally gets his student visa taken care of, and he’s told what we will need. Fast forward to December and we go in, and are told yet again we will need a different batch of supporting doctuments… guh, so I email my parents to get some letters stating that yes I am working as a technical writer, and yes they were offering financial support. So we go in and the gal run numbers and says that because the supporting letters from my parents don’t list an actual amount (we were told that they didn’t need to, because well, we did ask!) we were *still* short 200 euros per month… ACK! This is ESPECIALLY annoying because we weren’t able to get to a printer before the appointment to print out my personal invoices from the writing, aaand she told us we could email them to her. So we do, and then we’re told something along the lines of “Sorry, but all emails with attachments take 24 hours to get cleared through the system” …
My face: O.o
JP’s face: o.O
Our thoughts at this announcement: Why the HECK did you just tell us to email it to you then?!!?!
But she is kind enough to extend my visitor’s visa for yet another 90 days, so we have more time to provide the needed doctuments.
So we were out 30 euros, but we were good until the end of March… or so we thought!
Again fast forwarding to last week (think March 21st – 26th) JP emailed the office on Monday and got no response, so he emails again early Friday morning and gets nothing back by Saturday morning. A little worried we start to gather materials, and I plan to leave the cell phone at home so he can email again Monday morning and if he didn’t get anything after lunch-ish he was going to call. Sunday morning we happend to notice one tiny little problem — my extension visa expired March 28th. We kind of look at eachother and pull the whole freaking the crap out. Then are frantic to find an internet cafe open (which turned out not to be too big of a problem aside from it being a good 20 minute train ride away) and to print me a new application and some more supporting documents.
Sunday night I don’t think either of us got much sleep — mainly because, as we found out chatting later that morning, we had both been plagued with horrible dreams of going into the office and someone making a phone call, and then me being deported. And for some reason in my dreams I was taken away by steam punked out Stormtroopers…
So we get up REALLY early Monday morning — keep in mind that we finally caught up with the US and Monday was our first day of daylight savings — got on a very crowded train and went to the office. I was totally shaking with every step and had a horrible feeling in my stomach. We get in and JP talks to the secretary who thankfully shows just as much concern when hearing about our problem, and then searched the email system to see if JP’s emails had gotten ignored. As it turns out they never actually made it to the inbox… methinks a spam monster is to blame… anyway, she then asks JP a few questions, one of which was my nationality – when we say USA she relaxes and says that we don’t have too much to worry about, and then makes an appointment for Wednesday first thing in the morning for us. JP was also a little pumped because she TOTALLY thought he was actually German because of his mad language skillz 😀
We leave feeling so much relief its hard to describe. We’re both somewhat in giggle-fits, and head over to a coffee shop to get a treat for breakfast.
Wednesday morning rolls around and we get to the office super early again — in fact so early (we were totally paranoid about being late) that we had to walk around downtown for nearly 30 minutes before they unlocked the front door. So we’re actually beat in by another guy who apparently had an appointment the day before, but he was told it was changed, and he was in from Kiel and it sounded like a whole mess. The secratary tells us to go have a seat and someone will be right with us. So we sit, and are again feeling super nervous, and again worried. Not so much about deportion, but about fines for me staying over for two days on the last visa. We are taken back by a guy and we sit down, I sign the papers, he only looks over maybe a THIRD of what we were told to have, then disappears with my passport… he comes back and says we’re all clear, hands JP a note and tells him to go pay 5o euros at the front. We kinda do a double, then a triple take and JP gets up to make sure that was it. And it turned out it was. We’re both a little confused, but are like “oookay, what’s the catch?”
As it turns out there was no catch at all. We walked out of there jabbering back and forth like a couple of idiots, but where SO relieved to have it taken care of. Also, looking back we were pretty annoyed that we got the run around for SO long. But like JP said, we totally know exactly what we need for next time.
Now if you’ll excuse me, we’re off to check out another Saturday market 😉