For a resident visa. Without this, I can’t have a bank account, can’t get a cell phone in my own name, can’t receive my household goods that were shipped by slow freekin boat about a year ago, can’t get a liquor license,(to buy, not sell) there’s a bunch of stuff that you can’t do if you don’t have a resident visa.
First, you gotta have a guy. Well, technically you don’t *have* to have a guy, but it seems to me that almost everyone I’ve spoken with has a guy. The company TBG works for has a guy. This guy is called a PRO, Public Relations Officer – and their job is to smooth the way through some pretty complicated procedures. Apparently in NO FREEKIN WAY does it mean to rush, as the guy was 45 minutes late meeting us for our appointment, and wasn’t even in touch with us till WE called HIM about his lateness. Grrrrrr. Anyhow, to get this visa, there was paperwork, no surprise, my passport, 2 passport photos, and some money. I’m not certain how much, things aren’t exactly as crystal-clear as I like them but I’m adapting and learning to appreciate the murkiness where it is. OK, not appreciate, exactly, but at least recognize, OK? I don’t put my fingers in my ears and sing “la-la-la-la-la” so that the murkiness doesn’t exist for me, I just grudgingly acknowledge that it’s out there, and will intersect with my life from time to time. And we move on.
Anyhow, money, paperwork, passport, photos, and the guy. We followed him on a weird route to this obscure government “health assurance” building….. pretty non-descript for the kind of place that issues resident visas, I thought…. And talk about a melting pot – about the only people that had business there were expats like us, so there were few natives. Inside, there was a male waiting area, and a female waiting area. This “separate-ness” used to cause me to bristle…. Wanting to puff out my chest and announce that we were all equal now, that we could even vote and everything….. then, I remember that I am no longer in the US, and can just leave those feelings behind, and appreciate that I get to wait in a MUCH nicer, quieter, better-smelling area than TBG. <smile>
The guy does something PRO-like I’m sure, he’s definitely not the most communicative human I’ve encountered….. and within just a few minutes, I am called to a desk WAY in front of the probably 75 other people seated in the waiting room(s). I go to the little counter, sit at the desk sideways, the processing man is on his cell phone, and shortly I hear “look to cameurrah”….. and I stopped. “Cameurrah”?? WTH is that? I am certain I appeared to have that deer-in-headlights look, not having a clue what the “cameurrah” was – because he gestured to the side of the divider directly opposite me with a photo of a camera on it, and there was a hole cut in the part where the lens was….. the cameurrah was gonna take my photo. I got this now.
Photo taken, the PRO guy comes along, hands the processing guy some money, change is made, “Inshallah” is exchanged, they shake hands, and my guy motions me to come along for the medical check evaluation.
Examination? All I want is a resident visa, not a health check. *shrug* apparently you won’t get a visa without the medical check. Again, the separate waiting areas, the female physician (I assume) questioning my health and meds….. stamped the papers, and sent me for my blood test and chest x-ray.
Apparently, the medical check is a blood test and chest X-ray for HIV, Hepatitis B & C, tuberculosis, leprosy, and syphilis. If results come back positive for any of those conditions, the person is deported, except for syphilis which is treated. TB cases are quarantined first then deported. Hepatitis B and/or C cases are definitely deported, might be deported, might not be deported. The rules are a bit fuzzy.
Yikes. OK, so, all that is finished now, just waiting for the visa to be issued. And, as if by magic, a few days later, this is what you get!!