Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tuesday Topic: Visas

This is just out of curiosity, but it reflects what my own family is right in the midst of now: What is the document situation like in your country? Can you briefly explain what it takes for you to live there legally? (I didn't have a question for you last week, because we were traveling to work on... residency documents.)

(If you have a “Tuesday Topic” question, please email it to me at fylliska@gmail.com. Provide your blog address if you would like to be linked to, or specify if you would like to remain anonymous. Thanks!)


  1. Americans and Europeans living in Turkey have it fairly easy in that we can apply for a tourist-residence visa called the "I love Turkey" visa. That said, it sometimes takes a lot of bureaucratic hoops, lots of papers, getting things stamped, running to floor 9, then floor 3, then floor 5 of the downtown police station. Then we have to go to our local police station when our visa comes through!

    And we never know when we might get kicked out. There is no such thing as an "m" visa here.

  2. We don't have visas, we have to apply for residency. We are here under a religious residency which is good for 2 years (if you stay long enough, you can get perminate residency) but there is a whole lot of money involved, and now we have to pay into the social security system even though we will never use the local clinics. Oh well. Oh, and this is something we are working on right now, because we have residency, we now need special letters of permission to take our kids (who are all US born, with US passports) out of the country! So strange!!!

  3. Visas here are basically an expensive bureaucratic mess. You have to apply for the parents, wait 8-12 weeks for your visa (and submit mountains of crazy documentation to get them), then apply for resident cards and wait 2-3 weeks for those. THEN you can start the process for the kids. There are some new laws in place that basically make it impossible to complete the process legally. Yep, there's no way to get everyone's papers processed before the previous ones have expired, because of the wait times and the fact that not everyone can apply at the same time. It is a process that requires a lawyer to sort out, and that is expensive!!

  4. Well, if only anyone could answer this question for good and for always. In reality it depends on the month, the day, the person sitting at the desk, and perhaps what that person had for breakfast. Ask ten different immigration lawyers and get ten different answers.
    We fill out our paperwork which includes documents with a special stamp. Write up a two year diary of what we plan to do (for EVERY day of the two years). And have about 20 other documents available which may or may not ever even get looked at. Then, depending on what you immigration clerk ate for breakfast you will fly through with a 2 month, 1, year, or two year visa OR (perhaps if she ate sour milk and no coffee) be told that you spelled the month of May wrong and therefore will be required to start the process anew.

    Oh, it is is possible/probably that you will need a document that the president made illegal the day before and therefore that particular document is both required and impossible to obtain.

    It's fun stuff.

  5. I can relate to each one of your comments. Becka, your statement about how it depends on who is at the desk, what day it is and what they had for breakfast is par for the course here too!!

  6. in niger, we entered the country on a misso visa and then applied for a residency permit. we are in the process of changing ministry fields... not sure what the situation will be for us, but am aware that it will be different. at least we are going from one place where the bureaucracy could change from time to time to someplace where it may be a bit more difficult, but at least we'll always know what to expect.