I wanted to do a better job of informing those who are keeping up with our visa saga before I get another call from my sister! 🙂
Again for those readers who like the bottom line up front: We applied for a “first time” visa this morning and as far as we can tell we most likely made it into four of the 60 open slots.
For those who want some more details continue to read.
My day, Eric, started at 4:45am. The Visa office opens at 8 and we wanted to be there early because to make sure we were at the front of the line.
The first thing I did was look out the window to see if there was a lot of snow on the road to see if getting downtown would be difficult. I saw no snow and was relieved. Then I quick checked the thermometer knowing that we had a little over 2 hours of waiting in line outside before the doors opened. It was -2 Celcius which is 28 Degrees Fahrenheit and knew it could be much worse.
We had some Austrian friends agree to watch the girls while we went to apply. Fortunately, they are early risers and didn’t mind the early hours. We dropped off the girls and arrived in line around 5:55am.
When we got there there were about 10 others ahead of us in line. One had spend the night, another arrived at 2am another at 4am! Our stomachs tightened and our stress level rose when we saw others cutting in front and were informed by the person in front of us that some people were being represented by a lawyer and the the lawyers had multiple cases. The cases could “cut in” to be by the lawyer. We were wondering just how many people would be in front of us. When 8 o’clock arrived and went in we were 19 in line and made us feel much better knowing that even if the 19 in front of us had families we would be within the 60 available spots for a private visa that we need. We also knew that not everyone in line was applying for the same type of visa as we were.
Once we waited about a half an hour our number was called. After explaining to them our situation, the visa official agreed it was easiest to start over from scratch and reapply for the correct visa status. We had thought this would be the case and I had already prepared all of our documents with this in mind, so we turned them in and by 10:15 we were on our way.
They said that since our visas are in process, we do not need to leave the country even though our visa expires tomorrow. They provided us with a paper that says we are in process of obtaining our visa and we would only need to show this in case there is any question. We were so relived not having to think or plan a short trip out of the country this week.
We’ll just wait for a letter and we’ll see if we have to jump through more hoops for getting our visas again. We even had friendly visa officials, which is amazing since this is probably their craziest day of the year. One official I spoke with today says they will process about 1,000 applications today!
Okay probably more information that you had wanted but there it is. Thanks to those who have been praying for us. We did get close enough to the front of the line that I think we don’t have to worry about not being in the running for the 60 open spaces. Please continue to pray they will process our applications quickly and that we will be granted our visas.