Is the Paper Chase over?
Monday I spent the day waiting in long lines, but for a change, I came home with what I hope are finally enough papers. Here's the latest list of requirements from Inmigracion for my application for a long-term visa:
1. Birth Certificate, with Apostille from the state, officially translated and then legalized at the Collegio de Traductores;
2. New FBI clearance (the previous translated and legalized one expired while waiting for other papers), officially translated and legalized, etc.
3. A new Argentina police clearance, because the previous one had expired;
4. My retirement letter from the Los Angeles Public Library, officially translated and etc.
5. Marriage License, translated, etc.
6. Jack's Death Certificate, translated, etc.
7. Letter from the U.S. Embassy that says I'm the "same person" because my passport and birth certificate have different names; this letter legalized at the Cancilleria Argentina.
8. Photocopy of my passport.
9. 2 photos
10. Proof that I take out money from ATMs here in Argentina (which is not easy to do these days.)
11. The most important paper: money to pay the fee.
And I've got 'em!! Well ok maybe I don't have the money yet because of ATM problems, but God willing I will soon.
I've got way, way more papers than these, and lots with expensive and fancy Apostilles, but they were never all the right ones. Every person I saw in Inmigracion made a different list.
At first glance, this Paper Chase appears easier than it was, but I've got a 5 lb box full of documents! And of course each document had a price, especially those fancy apostilles.
So on Friday I'm going down again to Inmigracion and with any luck, will be able to start the process of getting a long-term (2 years) Visa. Then I won't have to leave the country every three months like I've been doing for 4 1/2 years as a "tourist." If I still don't have enough papers, then it's off to Uruguay next week to get my passport stamped.