Sunday, January 24, 2010

Three Inches of Paperwork

Kiss My Fish
Kiss My Fish
Originally uploaded by toastfloats.
I'm not complaining. I swear I am not complaining.

Okay, I'm complaining.

Our documentation to apply for New Zealand work visas consisted of hundreds of sheets of white paper repeatedly stating the obvious: there are five of us, we are all related, we have no criminal record, and we don't have any known communicable diseases. Each must included a signed photo. Our name, passport number, and date of birth must be written on each and every page. IN ALL CAPS.

Now when we filled out all this paperwork, I experienced a deeply uneasy feeling that it wasn't going to work. No matter how good the government -- and New Zealand is ranked number 1 as the least corrupt country in the world -- submitting three solid inches of paperwork can not be good. It was inevitable that Bad Juju would happen.

At first, the problem was simple. New Zealand's medical authorizing agency didn't agree that DrC was a doctor. Now this might raise eyebrows, but we figured it was probably a tit for tat measure. Somewhere along the line, the United States got snooty about the qualifications of some Kiwi doctors so in retaliation, the Medical College said, "Hey… well if you don't think our docs know an ass from a hole in the knee, then we're fairly well convinced your docs don't either." We could be wrong. That's wild speculation. But it makes sense.

So we stood on one foot, jumped up and down singing a kumbya mantra, resubmitted roughly two thirds of his credentials going back to prove that he did emerge from a human womb, continuing with validation that he did drink the Koolaid in kindergarten and finishing up with a dance number in which DrC did -not- wear lace panties but he did wear the Do Me heels. With these slight changes, />poof/< It turns out that DrC is actually a doctor. Good to know.

So our agent then dutifully trundles off to the New Zealand embassy with our visa applications. And everything is complete. Right? Of course not. First, New Zealand is highly suspicious of the fact that the doctor doing our medical examination is the same individual who evaluated our chest X-rays. I'm betting our somewhat sarcastic and nearly automatic response to a situation of this nature -- This is Mexico -- isn't going to work. So because this IS Mexico, we trundled off to get a radiology friend of our doctor to reprint the reports on his letterhead.

New Zealand also understandably did not appreciate that the lab results were in Spanish. Off we go to get the lab director to retype up the report in English -- where in he must change words such as PSA to PSA and glucosa to glucose. It's a big deal.

Arriving Back in La Paz
Arriving Back at La Paz
Originally uploaded by toastfloats.
I am not complaining, however. Not really. Getting into New Zealand is proving only slightly more challenging than getting our car registered in Washington state and slightly less difficult than securing a Mexican fishing license. With the exception of the weird rabies timeline on the cat, I find virtually all their requirements and requests reasonable, albeit tedious.

But the bottom line is that we still do not have visas. We have plane tickets, jobs, and a resident hotel reservation, but no visas. Fingers crossed people!


boatbaby said...

Plane tickets, a place to crash, and JOBS is a darn good start. You can do it!
Sereia wrote on their old blog about this process, funy stuff as always. Bon Chance! :)

Behan said...

oh Toast, I am dying to see a picture of Dean in the FM boots. OMG... that is almost too much to contemplate!!

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