I can't believe it's been nearly a month since I blogged. I've been putting it off just so I could write about THIS...that I've finally completed the Registration process.
It's not like I procrastinated. I received my Letter of Invitation less than a month after arriving. Then the letter had to be accepted by whatever government agencies are involved. Then I had to go to Budapest to apply for my long-term VISA. That only took a week and about three times what I had budgeted for a VISA. Upon returning to Ukraine I had 45 days to "Register"; that is, to apply for and receive a Temporary Residence Permit which involves a LOT of paperwork with various agencies. I was fortunate in that my church provided an Attorney that basically did EVERYTHING. All I really had to do was sign enough forms to buy a house! And pay a lot of money. Did I mention that I paid a lot of money? Here's an excerpt from one of the conversations I had with the attorney:
Attorney: "You must pay "X" amount to complete your registration. (X= the total amount due). You understand that it actually cost "Y" amount for the registration and you will receive a receipt for "Y" amount (Y = the actual amount due to the appropriate government agency). But you must pay "X" amount. You will not receive a receipt for "Z" (Z = um...I can think of no better word than, Bribe which is standard operating procedure. NOTE: Z was 7x more than X...also not budgeted for!). You understand, yes?"
Me: "Da". What else could I say?
In any case, it's done. I'm legal. I have a Religious VISA good for one year and renewable this time next year. Supposedly the renewal process is simpler (and I hope cheaper!). I have an Official Temporary Residence Permit. I'm good to go!