30 March 2010

Good for Another Year

Red letter day: we successfully negotiated all on our own the process of renewing our temporary residence permits for another year. Our advance work included ordering police reports proving we'd not caused any trouble over the last year and getting photocopies made of our US passports (all pages), Argentine identity documents (also all pages), apostilled and officially translated marriage certificate and proof of Kurt's pension, and our Argentine bank statements for the last 12 months.

At 6:45 this morning we arrived at the immigration office down by the port to find a line already some 100-125 persons long, everyone waiting for the doors to open at 8. Linda asked the third person in line what time he had arrived. "A las cuatro." Fortunately, residency renewal did not seem to be the most common reason for lining up at this hour of the day: we received numbers 8 and 9 for the renewal section and were on our way out the door by 9:15 with our passports bearing the required stamp and signature renewing our residencies through 27 May 2011. Next year we apply for permanent residency, which comes with additional benefits from other Mercosur countries. As permanent residents, for example, we will no longer have to pay $130 for a visa to visit Brazil. We can hardly wait!

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