A couple of weeks ago I received the following message…
From: Txxxxxx Gxxxxx, Mxxxx <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 2 July 2008 2 Jul 21:38:16
Subject: Positive Answer
Dear Mr. Fisher,
Your visa has been approved today. You have until August 2nd to come to pick up your visa in person. Please, don´t forget to bring your passport and your flight information with you before 10:30 am. You don´t have to make an appoinment for that. We are closed on July 4th.
This was the most exciting news on the immigration front I have had in three years. Now that this issue has been resolved, I can post about it.
Those of you who have read my profile information know that in January of 2005, I concluded the sale of my house in Richmond, California and purchased a piso in El Masnou, Barcelona. I needed to regularize my immigrant status in Spain, meaning I had to obtain a residency visa. One of the things that I needed was the proof of ownership for my property in Spain. I had to wait until May before I received that.
Having gathered all the documents needed from Spain, I flew to San Francisco to assemble the documents needed there: police clearance reports, medical certificate, financial statements. Finally, in mid July I submitted my paperwork to the Spanish Consulate. They said that visas were taking 2 to 6 months to be approved.
Four months later the status of my visa application was “Still waiting for approval.” Subsequent queries only resulted in an automated response. I never heard what happened to my application. Last November I went to Consulate in San Francisco in person only to find that my visa had been approved in January of 2006. But I never received word of the approval. The agent said that I had to start over completely and re-apply.
So this April I started the whole process over again. When I went to the Consulate the agent was very critical of me as I had not been following the rules for length of stay in Spain. “I will have to talk to the Consul about your case.” Worse, the State of California didn’t send me the correct clearence form. I had to call and get them to send me the right one and make a new appointment at the Consulate. I had to reschedule my flight back to Barcelona and pay almost as much as the flight originally cost as a result.
When I went back to the Consulate, my half-hour appointment lasted an hour and a half. The agent took my paperwork up to the Consul. Twenty minutes later she returned and said three words: “Everything is OK.” I was very relieved to hear that after the longest hour and a half of my life.
So I was very surprised to get word that my application had been approved in less than two months. After checking on my children’s schedules I made flight reservations and arrived at SFO the evening of July 9th.
The next morning I arrived at the Consulate a few minutes after 9. The agent took my passport and told me to return at 2 in the afternoon. In the intervening hours, I bought everything on my shopping list.
I returned to the Consulate promptly at 2. After sitting in the entry room for a few minutes, the agent came out and said she had my passport and handed it to me. I quickly looked at the visa to make sure that the information was correct. I was very happy to have it in hand.
And here it is…
The saga continues…