Friday, May 17, 2013

I feel like venting

This is a rant.  And also a prayer request.  (See how I got all spiritual there?).

It's time to renew my Temporary Residence Visa to live here in Ukraine.

Last month, you might recall, I left the country for a few days to visit Kyrgyzstan.  At that point, I had already begun the process of renewing my Visa by leaving my Temporary Residency Card with my Attorney.  Now...I took a picture of it so I'd have a copy, but guess what?  I accidentally deleted it.

So, upon trying to leave the country, the Ukrainian Border Guards claimed I had "overstayed" my Visa (the 90 Day Tourist Visa).  That was absolutely not true, of course- I just didn't have my Card with me indicating that I was good for a whole year.  You would think it would be as simple as typing my name and US Passport Number into a computer to realize that I was completely legal and had not overstayed my welcome!

That's what reasonable, normal people would do.  They weren't reasonable or normal.  They fined me $100 US and then let me leave the country without further ado.

Fastforward to ...yesterday.  My Attorney informed me that the Immigration Officials here pulled my "file" and saw that I had been "fined" and "charged" with overstaying my Visa last month.

Funny.  The computers don't work at the nations biggest airport to check my Immigration Status, but they work fine here in the hinterlands of Ukraine.

I was told by my Attorney that an unnamed government official indicated the situation could be expedited for a "fee".  I declined.

Furthermore, and this is mostly my fault, apparently there was an "appeal" procedure I could have taken to prove that the fine was bogus...but of course, I missed the deadline.

So there's my Attorney speaking with the "Director" of some Govt Agency...he's looking at my VISA which clearly shows that I was NOT in violation last month, he's looking at the "citation" that was bogus.  But because the deadline for appeal has passed he says he can't do anything about it.  Sounds like a "Director" that doesn't have the authority to "Direct" to me!

So we're are starting the process to receive a Visa all over again.  Just like last year.  I will have to go to the Embassy in Budapest all over again.  I'll have to spend all that time and money and energy all over again and this is a really bad time for me to be caught up in all of that.  I go back to the States in 2 weeks (for 2 weeks).  I'd like to get it all done before then.

Oh Ukraine.  You model of efficiency, you!

At least I can blog freely about it.  If I had written this in a letter home I would have to go to the Post Office and the clerk would have to record the purchase of the Stamp and the destination of my letter on three forms that require official stamps in duplicate.

1 comment:

BethinUkraine said...

Yikes. Ok, I can pray for that.