Visa drama

I’m a follower of rules and directions. Give me a form and I’ll fill it out. Tell me to gather paperwork and I’ll make copies and organize it.

So I gathered all of the documentation required for our visa applications, including translations and Apostilles, with duplicate copies of everything.

We dutifully made our 15-minute appointments at the Spanish Consulate in Houston for after our house-hunting trip in June. We backed up 90 days to start with doctors’ appointments and background checks.

So – with documentation in hand, we made the trip to Houston. We expected a cubby-type office, where we would spread out the paperwork and discuss our plans.

Instead, we walked into a DMV office, complete with rows of white folding chairs. Two windows, one for Spanish nationals and one for visa applicants. They called the time for our first appointment, and we went to the appropriate window and handed over our folders.

visa-folders

Twenty minutes later, the clerk returned with both folders in hand. All of Husband’s paperwork had been approved. They had gone about a third of the way through mine, then discovered we somehow didn’t have a second appointment. After more than 5 minutes of explanation that they couldn’t process my paperwork without the second appointment (note that’s 10 minutes beyond Husband’s 15-minute appointment), they told us that we’d have to make another appointment. Oh, and by the way, they preferred to see 3-4 months’ worth of financials.

So we went to the lobby and made TWO appointments for the end of August – pushing the 8-week processing time right up to our departure in October.

And then I hit our financial institutions, getting the now requisite 3 months’ worth of account activity – 4 copies of each, so we each had an original and copy.

We returned to the consulate in August, turned in our paperwork, and they were back within 15 minutes with all pages stamped – for both of us!

Based on what we saw in both visits, they send applicants away the first time for whatever reason, then auto-stamp on the return visit. Just to see if you really mean it…

 

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