Tío Pablo y Tía Ani
1Apr/180

Residency Fun v2018

Believe me, if you're sick of hearing about this topic, I'm waaaay more sick of dealing with it :-).  It's coming up on that time of year again, where I need to start preparing for the fun of our family's residency renewal.  Our IDs expire on Aug 3, and yeah, unlike other missionaries, we have to prepare early as we need all our ministry's documentation in order before we can submit things.  And guess what?  This year, our ministry's docs are not close to being done yet ... a new wrinkle in the fun.

OK, let's try something new and use bullet points (maybe it'll help me be less wordy).  All joking aside, we do ask for your prayers on this; we're a bit confused on how this is going to work out this year.  It'll be our first time in this kind of a mess (last year's mess, also interesting, has caused this year's mess to be more confusing).  Here, I'll explain:

  • Our "Cedulas" (residency ID cards) expire on Aug 3.
  • We are planned to travel to the US from about mid-June to the end of July, getting back right before (or maybe on the day) our cards expire.
  • Once expired, we have to pay a daily "multa" (penalty) for each day we remain expired.  And it's a penalty per day and per person (so 4x).
  • If all the paperwork is ready and the submission of those documents are accepted, there is a minimum of 2 weeks waiting period to get your new ID cards (assuming they approve the renewals - there are two approvals, the submission of docs and the approval of renewal).
  • According to what I've been told, we must personally submit our documents and get them accepted for approval.  Other people cannot submit them for us, they say.  We must also show original passports and the current ID cards in order to get the first submission approval, which we, of course, can't do if we're traveling.
  • OK, Paul, so why don't you just submit the paperwork *before* your US trip and then get the ID cards afterward?  Wouldn't that just be the logical thing to do?  Sure it would!  But we're not necessarily in the land of logic and reason, are we?  Immigration has a rule that a person cannot submit a residency renewal until a *maximum* of 30 days prior to the expiration date.  Which means, in our case, we cannot submit documents before our trip, as that is more than 30 days prior.  Ridiculous!  "Hey, if I want to submit things prior to the expiration, giving you more time to do the research and possibly even missing out on valid days of my current ID, that's a benefit for you all, government.  You all get my money, and I don't get the full year's value of my residency.  You all should be happy."  But alas, not how things work here.
  • On top of that, the government entity that handles non-profits is, for some odd reason this particular year, requiring that Forward Edge renew a bunch of their key documentation, which all comes from the States and has to be Apostilled and sent down here.  Without those updated documents, they aren't giving the Villa their org docs, which are all part of our packet of documents for residency.  So things get even more interesting (hopefully, this will get resolved soon enough, but one never knows).
  • So, we're stuck in a rut at the moment.  We can't submit early by rule and because we don't have the corporate docs yet.  And submitting late puts us in an odd position.  I don't mind the fees and penalties, not a problem.  But I don't know if submitting that late could cause them to reject our renewals outright.

For now, that's where we're at.  We are going to try and write up a Power of Attorney so our lawyer can submit the documents on our behalf while we are in the States.  But we think that still won't work as she would need our original passport and ID cards (which will be with us).  I'm also going to try walking in there the week before we leave and just try and submit things, assuming our corp docs are ready.  Let's see if they'll just let me (everything depends on who you get at the window and what mood he/she is in that day).

My last-resort option, and the one I think I might go with, is to submit documents after things expire, then wait a long while before returning, pay the huge penalty, then get new expiration dates that are far enough away from our US travels that we won't have this issue again for a while.  That may work, or it may make them think we left the country or something, and they drop our residency altogether :-).  I guess that'll be a sign of some sorts, ha.

Again, we'd love the prayers, appreciate it!  It's all become just part of living here (I'm sure people go through this in the States as well) ... and it'll hopefully not affect my nerves the way it did last year; but I'm not sure I've matured enough since last year to guarantee that :-).

Posted by Paul Barmaksezian on April 1, 2018

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