11 Nov

Queue Fur Elise. It’s Monday night and the Cayma garbage truck has been around here somewhere for an hour already…

Today I almost got my paperwork submitted to the Ministry of Work. This is part of the process of applying for a work visa. In an nutshell, I am required to provide:

  1. A work contract following a standard form showing that I am employed by a Peruvian company (in this case, the company which I formed with a missionary friend who is a Peruvian citizen)
  2. The standard “formulario de solicitud” summarizing the work contract. It contains language like “De conformidad con lo dispuesto por los Artículos 5º, 6º, 7º y 8º del Decreto Legislativo No. 689 y por su Reglamento aprobado por Decreto Supremo No. 01492TR.”
  3. The receipt from Banco de la Nación showing payment of the required tax (about $8)
  4. The form explaining why the company is exonerated from the minimum percentages of Peruvian workers (there is an exception for managers, which I will be)
  5. The sworn declaration, duly notarized, that the company will pay my family’s return travel expenses at the conclusion of the contract
  6. Some other form which wasn’t in the official requirements but which I filled out in the office after Steve ran outside to make a copy. Government offices don’t provide copies of anything, but you can get copies made for 4 cents on nearly every street. For the record, they don’t provide toilet paper, either. Or toilet seats, because people steal them. Charming.
  7. A notarized copy of my passport. We didn’t know about this requirement beforehand and it cost me a day because the notaries don’t open in the afternoon until after the Ministry of Work closes. If the software business doesn’t work out, I plan to open a notary business here instead. I will hire an octopus who can stamp documents 4x faster than a human and will charge twice as much. The lines will be shorter but all the lawyers will come to me instead of paying employees to sit all day in notary offices. And my octopus will work from 2-4pm while all the other notaries are taking a siesta.
  8. An “official” translation of my diploma certifying that I really am an engineer. This took 8 days to obtain from the Centro Cultural Peruano Norteamericano in Arequipa, but thankfully the Ministry of Work provisionally accepted it without requiring a more official version or additional documentation.
  9. A notarized copy of my college diploma. This is the only time in 20 years since graduation that I have needed my diploma. I’m glad I could still find it and thought to bring it with us and that it is printed on nice official looking paper with embossed seals. Peruvians are impressed by that sort of thing.

So, where does the “almost” come in? I lacked one notarized photocopy, which I obtained this afternoon, so I will have to make another trip to the Ministry of Work tomorrow to officially present my papers. The good news is that, except for one overheard comment about why my pay is so low in the contract (because I’m effectively writing my own paycheck and don’t want to waste a lot on taxes), the process went very smoothly. The people at the Ministry of Work were most helpful. We did not have to wait and they coached us through all the remaining paperwork so the approval should now be a formality. Following that (Lord-willing next Tuesday) I will finally be able to apply for my work visa. I have only one month left on my tourist visa, but the local immigration office has been very helpful so we can hopefully get it extended in the likely event that my work visa hasn’t come in yet. Or just pay the fine for overstaying, which is a whopping $1/day.

Also, we almost got the extra security bars installed on the door to our apartment. The bars are there, but the door won’t close until the guy comes back to cut off a piece that’s too long and is obstructing the door. He’s supposed to come back Wednesday, and after the initial two week delay starting the project, has been pretty punctual so we’re hoping for the best.

On the bright side, we almost didn’t get our new couch through the door. We ordered it on sale a couple weeks ago after measuring to make sure it would fit up the stairs. It was all wrapped up in cardboard and plastic, which made it bigger, and made it up the stairs only with a great amount of effort from the 3 guys who showed up in the delivery truck. We had to partially remove the handrail on the stairs as well as the door to the apartment to get it in. While we were unpacking the couch and inspecting it, I put on my best straight face and told the delivery chief that the only problem was that it was the wrong color. His eyes got big, then I slapped him on the back and told him I was joking. They all enjoyed the humor as well as the fruit juice that Vicki brought out and the generous tip that I gave them for their trouble. Thankfully, we now have a comfortable place to sit for extended periods and to receive visitors. Hint, hint.

Hey, Fur Elise is done for the night.

2 Responses to “Almost”

  1. Teresa Price November 11, 2013 at 11:08 pm #

    Keeping you all in our prayers… Especially that your visa process will go smoothly and quickly! Love the updates!!!

  2. Mike Chandler November 14, 2013 at 11:11 pm #

    Things continue to come together for you, David! In my career I never had to produce a diploma for employment but always a transcript!


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