I now am officially here as a non-immigrant for educational purposes.
I won’t go through the grueling, frustrating, and seemingly purposefully insane process that had to be gone through to get here in detail, but it took about 2 weeks, numerous trips to the copy and photo shops, more than necessary taxi rides, various “official” documents and then they managed to suck a couple hundred bucks from my pocket on top of it all.
And… I still need to go back again in 2 to 3 months to get the full year visa. It seems more as if it’s just another way to get yet another sixty bucks out of me. Then they require reporting to immigration every three months! I’m not sure what “reporting” costs, hopefully only the cost of transportation. We’ll see…. Thankfully, I am relatively near the immigration bureau. It is only about 30 minutes away, which for here feels very close by. I feel sorry for the people who have to travel for hours every three months.
On the bright side, the workers (Don’t say that to them! They are “officers”! not workers, I was informed when I used the politically incorrect, or maybe hierarchically incorrect, word the other day…) at immigration were very friendly and helpful. They were actually quite organized and did things in a relatively timely fashion, once you actually got there and had all the required stuff. That place is quite the enigma compared to my personal experiences living here! And those are government workers! Amazing….