The Visa Slalom

Skiing is an apt metaphor for trying to get all the documents ready for our visa appointment, arranging to ship our goods overseas, navigating Spanish banking and all the rest. It’s winter, after all. But just like tackling the giant slalom, it’s tiring and about halfway down the hill, one wonders if one will make it to the end without breaking a leg or my neck.

The background checks weren’t done by the FBI when they predicted so we were able to get them done by a company called IDVetting. It cost a ton of money but we had little choice and now they’re out to the State Department getting Apostled. I hope to get them back next week.

Then there is the fact that our bank in Spain refused our wire transfers using a universal currency service every expat uses, that saves us tons of bank exchange fees and wire fees. No one has ever heard of this before. So I’ll need to figure something else out there – most likely just paying the exorbitant fees our banks charge.

Getting our US banks and investment firms to sign and date our statements, verifying that they are actually our statements, has also proved so incredibly challenging, it boggles the mind. And once they finally agreed to do it – somehow the US mail screwed it up and I didn’t receive them and have to call back and explain it all over again – to a new set of people who are baffled at the request and are not sure they are willing to do it. I’m in an endless loop and without these we can’t hope to get our visa approved.

Then there is the apartment lease that has taken 6 weeks to get to the point where we have something to review before we sign. But then I guess if we can’t get a visa we won’t need an apartment.

And finally, the overseas shipper we were going to use that turned out to be total flakes. I have finally found another that will pick up our stuff from our home in US in February, some time – if our visa is approved, and deliver it the our apartment – as soon as we sign the lease, in Valencia.

Until we get these documents – we can’t get them translated so we can meet our Consulate appointment. Each of them requires time, patience and persistence. And continued follow up. It’s crazy making and shouldn’t be this hard.

Everyone I know who has gone through this process has shaken their heads at how hard every step has been for us. I finally turned to my husband the other day and asked if it was all worth it? Is the universe telling me to stop with all this? Why is EVERY SINGLE THING like pulling teeth? Why has no one else ever encountered road blocks with each step required? Even then, we’re not ensured our visa will be approved.

He shook his head.

‘Maybe its so we will really appreciate all that it took to get there.’

I’m not so sure anymore. But maybe I’m down because I’ve been battling the flu. Then again, maybe I have the flu because I’ve been battling all this document HELL!! Chicken and Egg. I haven’t given up yet, but I’m close. I’ve got the towel in my hand and I’m almost ready to throw it in.

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