I am Legal!


Posted by wendy | Posted in expat life | Posted on 14-05-2010

We went to the GNIB (Garda National Immigration Bureau) office on Monday to get my visa sorted.

I was a bit surprised that anyone can enter the office without having already a number or bag checked, x-rayed, etc. It’s kind of nice! The office is nicely arranged, desk had a curved booth in front of it so the people get privacy and in the same time people who need wheel chairs can get through.

We saw the packed office and figure we go get lunch first and come back. Big mistake!! The amount of people in there stayed the same after we got there at 1:00pm! BOO!!

Anyway after like looking around, we found a sign that says all inquires go to desk 15. We almost jumped the line because there was no line (?). Anyway we had to ask another patron where the line was and it was like behind us. The line moved pretty fast. The guy told us ok here’s your ticket you should come back at 3:00pm.

Since we were already there (at about 1:30 or so) we decided to just stay. I didn’t bring anything to read because according to Mr it would be like in and out. 😛

It was kind of fun to eavesdrop and listen to other people’s immigration process. There was this woman (we thought she was Eastern European but she turn out to be American) getting advice from the immigration officer. She has a boyfriend who is Irish and wants to get a visa to stay so she can live with him. The officer told her she can do this but it would be better if she just get married. I have never heard such of immigration advice! He went on and on on how if they get married then it would be easier for her to get status to stay. He told her that all she need to provide is wedding invitation or picture of the two from few years ago to show they are in a committed relationship. I don’t think any INS agent in US would give such advice!

After an hour or so I was so bored so I asked Mr to go get a newspaper. After reading the newspaper for 10000th time, we got our number called (at about 5 I think). I went up to the desk, show them Mr’s passport, my passport, our marriage certificate and info sheet. (I only had to fill out one piece of paper saying where I live and my contact information.) The Agent didn’t ask any questions, took the paperwork and told me to wait until my name is called.

I feel bad for the guy who had to call out the names, because I would also have difficulty saying some of these names. They would call out nationality and then name which makes it a bit easier. Lots of laughter when they call out names.

After another 15 minute or so, the agent called my name and my card was ready! The processing agent didn’t tell me to smile so I looked pissed off, but oh well! I always look pissed off on all my government photo anyways!

I can’t say the day was fun filled, it was pretty long! It took a while, but I don’t think it was that bad. Considering getting a green card an take years even if you are married to an American citizen the process is a breeze. And I didn’t have to pay anything! And it’s good for 5 years! Mr said if you are married you don’t need to pay, I guess marriage is big here.

Now I have to get a PPS number and I get insurance and bank account! I can finally legalize my title as Lady of Leisure!