24 September 2008

Visa Woes? Visa Woes!

So I'm having trouble processing my work visa here in Angola. Aside from a Portuguese copy of my diploma, a police report from my hometown, my resume, and a to-date grand total of 12 passport-sized photos, the authorities require a letter from a physician stating I'm in good health. I arranged all of these documents and turned them in well ahead of time.

Just last week, 2 months after submitting my documents to be processed, I got a note saying my physician's letter was rejected. I asked why, since the letter stated, "the patient is in excellent health and should have no limitations to his travel plans or locales." It was rejected, I am told, because it didn't specifically say "fit to work in Angola." Good lord.

While trying to sort out this mess, I wanted to know if a letter from an Angolan doctor would suffice (since getting a new letter from home was going to be difficult). With this thought in mind, I wrote the following email to the person assigned to work on my case (names have been changed to protect the unhelpful):

Hi Mr. Blobby,

Can you please confirm that a doctor's letter from within Angola will satisfy the requirements for the work visa process?

Based on the prior experience of some of our colleagues XXXX and I are under the impression that the doctor's letter may need to come from a doctor located outside of Angola. Obviously this would negate our need to see a doctor locally.

I'm hoping you can help us clear up this confusion prior to moving forward with our appointments as scheduled for tomorrow.


The oh-so-clear response:

Hi Jeremy,

requirements says it must be from a doctor abroad, but as you have already one and in spite of not have the required information, I intent to use it as a tentative, the currenty one that you bring from abroad along the one you will apply for. It has result in some few cases before so I intend to try it again.
In the meantime, when you go abroad please apply for another one that can be used in case this one to be denied by the authorities,

please contact me for further clarification in case you have any other question upon this issue,
Mr. Blobby

I went ahead and asked my dad to run around town and procure a new letter. The physician that originally gave me the physical back in June had since retired, but he was willing to come into the office and sign an updated letter with the magic words included. I found out later the office printed the letter with the wrong date of birth. Luckily my dad noticed the error and took the letter back to the doctor's office. Since they didn't want to disturb the doctor's retirement a second time, the office clerk corrected and initialed the changes. This adulterated letter is now costing a fortune to overnight to DC to the organization sponsoring my employment here, and the DC folks in turn are sending a $120 DHL to get it here next week. All this and I'm giving the authorities a 49% chance of accepting it since it involves hand-written updates.

Oh, and the visa people want 4 more passport photos...

I have a headache.


Panda!!!! said...

This post would be more effective if it included the passport photos.

okmusician said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
okmusician said...

Reading your blog has this okie seriously wondering, "How hard is it possible to laugh without damaging your innards???" I have an idea your next communication with him should be in Portugese, as I believe your Portugese is better than his English!!! But -----thank you for sharing your adventures with all of us landlocked folk of the midwest . . .Karen

Horacio said...

i'm sure using the word "negate" did not help Mr. Blobby.

i'm sure giving Blobby the $120 DHL fee would have solved your problem - too bad we signed that T-bird code of ethics blabber...