Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The straw that broke it

Almost two weeks after finding out about the mistaken form, we have got the new form completed.  Kinda.

There are some difficult questions, for example:
  • "I attach evidence that my partner and I are not close relatives.  Yes/No." 
    What exactly counts as evidence that two people are NOT related is not clear.  I'm hoping birth certificates are enough
Then there was getting Ross' signature witnessed by an official person again.  What a pain.

Still, the embassy seems to have softened its tone a little - maybe they realised we weren't quite so thick after all.  They just want the new forms, they say.

Given that the post here takes a little over a week, I thought it best to bring the form in person - the train fare costs about the same as registered post anyhow.  However, since I'm working, Ross would've had to do it, and he (after getting us up at the crack of dawn to go to the station and complaining lots) decided it would be better to post it.  The logic escapes me.

So, we're still not any further.  I'm sick of it all.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Two steps forward, one step back (and a kick in the teeth too)

Application submitted, delivery receipt received, and a phonecall to the embassy to confirm they did actually mean it when they said 3-4 weeks processing time...  I was starting to feel like we might be on track.

And then a nasty email from the Embassy, the upshot of which is that we'd got mixed up between two types of application.

After spending a day feeling miserable about further delays and trying to understand the problem on the immigration NZ website, I decided to call before going any further.  I wanted to be entirely sure I was submitting the right form before going any further, and the details weren't clear on the website.

I'm still in shock at the absolute rudeness of the people there.  I mean, you have to work at it to be that nasty.

I could barely get a word in: "Yes, I did spend weeks reading your website and it doesn't say, that's why I called -",  "Yes, I appreciate that you're busy but I have read your email and I'm not asking you to repeat it to me -"  and "Yes, I now understand what the problem was and if you'd just listen to why I called for one second then maybe I'd take up a little less of your oh-so-precious time."  Oh, and by the way, I don't have unlimited amounts of time to listen to you mouth off about how stupid I am when you haven't even bothered to hear why I called.

Maybe this is what it means when the app says you have to meet the character requirements.  Stand in line to be verbally abused and then see if you've still got the will to continue applying.

Reconsidering move to NZ - place clearly contains some of the world's biggest assholes.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Sweet submission

After being in a very bad mood since the application failed to reach the embassy on Monday, I now have some good news to report: it is now, finally, off our hands.
It wasn't plain sailing.  We were thrown into a dilemma of, "How long will it take?"  "Will we be stuck here with no passport for months into the New Year with no job?"  "Would it be better to just go to New Zealand immediately and worry about applying for the right to work there?"
This latter option was surprisingly do-able.  I hadn't realised that with a British passport, I can just go to New Zealand.  The only requirements are a return flight within six months and some money in the bank.  No visa.
But I couldn't have worked - at least not in a straightforward way - until I got a work permit (which seems to be the same thing as a visa, except you get it from within New Zealand).

I have to admit that I felt a little nervous at having the gate opened to me like that.  Suddenly there was nothing between me and New Zealand - it all felt so unfamiliar and far away.  
Some sound advice from Ross' dad was to try and get some information out of the embassy staff about how long it would take.  One brief phonecall later and I had my answer: "three to four weeks".
Really?  Was it a lie?  A mistake?  I was expecting at least two to three months.
Well, we'll find out in five weeks.  We sent it off by registered post yesterday.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


The application didn't go in yesterday.
In the brief window of time between the train arriving in Rome and the NZ Embassy closing at 12, Ross didn't manage to find a cash machine to get the fee.

The Maiella on All Saints Day from Passo San Leonardo