I posted exactly one week ago today that out Visa had been approved in Brazil and that Michael and I were hoping to have it in hand and be on our way in 10-14 days. Then, a few days later, we were thrown a major curve ball.
Basically, obtaining a work Visa for Brazil is a huge PROCESS but here is the short version:
Step 1: Get a job there (check — as of October 2011 when Michael’s firm confirmed his transfer to the Sao Paulo office)
Step 2: That company has to file a work Visa application on your behalf with the Brazilian government (check — as of November 2011)
Step 3: Visa application gets approved in Brazil and is ready to be processed at your local consulate, which for us is in San Francisco (check — as of last week and should be ready tomorrow or Thursday in SF)
Step 4: Preparation of all sorts of documents to present to the consulate in your jurisdiction when the Visa is ready
Step 5: The consulate processes the Visa along with the documents and grants the actual Visa that sends you on your way.
Basically, we are in the midst of Step 4 and have everything ready EXCEPT for one document that threw us for a MAJOR loop. For some reason our marriage license needs to get “legalized” (aka signed off on) by the consulate in Atlanta since we were married in South Carolina and that falls within the jurisdiction of the Atlanta consulate. Not only this, but the Atlanta consulate only accepts documents through the mail and their website says it can take up to 20 business days to legalize, with no way to expedite the process nor gauge how long it will actually last. WHAT???? 20 business days?? THEN we will have to get it mailed back to San Francisco, take it to the consulate here with all of our other documents, and wait another couple of days for the actual Visa. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!! (PS – check out how NOT user-friendly the Atlanta Consulate website is)
It’s a long story as to why we didn’t know this sooner, but suffice it to say that Michael and I were DEVASTATED when we realized that we may not be as close to getting there as we thought. As of right now, the Atlanta consulate has our marriage license and we are PRAYING that the approval is VERY SWIFT! (Theoretically it could happen in a matter of days and then we would be right back on track but there is no way to know.) Separately, we had already been scheduled to come back to San Francisco today to legalize some documents at the consulate here (which, in San Francisco, takes only a couple of days and is easily done in person) and pick up the Visa, so we went ahead and flew to SF today, but now we’re not sure how long we’ll be here waiting. We do know, however, that we will not be leaving here until we have Visas in hand and are boarding a flight to Brazil.
The move has already been an emotional process (and we’re not even there yet!) but we are trying to keep in perspective that this is not something bad, it is just the delay of something great. We are just SO ready to get there and had no idea that there would be so many issues and delays that would come up, but I have faith that we are CLOSE and that we will get there soon, in God’s perfect timing. So, on that note, if you want to pray for us, please join us in praying that the approval from the consulate in Atlanta would be very quick and that no other issues would come up. In the meantime we are back in SF as we continue living out of suitcases, working, studying Portuguese, etc.
PS — We have actually done a ton of awesome stuff recently including a trip to the Grand Canyon, a visit home to SC (me), a half marathon (Michael)…and I’ll write more about that soon. Just wanted to share the news…