Messy fingers

13 Dec

Upon arrival in Lima last night, I double checked my list of items needed for my visit to INTERPOL this morning. Besides the immigration status page from my visa application, passport photos, and copy of my passport and last entry stamp, a manilla envelope of “official size” is required. I was hoping to save money and use an envelope I had gotten for free from the accountant, but thought maybe I should make sure I had the “official size” so I ventured out on foot last night, found the nearby Tai Loy store for office supplies, and inquired about it. They did not not know what “official” size was, but they guessed it was probably A4, which is the paper size here similar to US letter (never before do I recall being conscious of what paper size I was using). Unfortunately, the A4 manilla envelopes come in packages of 50, and I hesitated to spend the S/.7.55 ($2.72) to buy the whole package. Then I considered that it’s only a fraction of the taxi fare to INTERPOL and back and it would be pretty stupid to get there and not have the right envelope on account of trying to save $3.

I liked the driver who picked me up at the airport last night, so I arranged with him to take me to INTERPOL this morning. I arrived about 10 minutes before opening (8am) and found myself #8 in queue. All the immigration lawyers (and assistants) arrive first in suits and hold places for their clients. It might be worth it to have someone who knows the system, but it would have saved me no more than 20 minutes this morning. Before I sat down to wait, the very helpful officer asked whether I had with me my photos (because their camera is broken) and the check to the United States Treasury for my FBI background check. Yes, I told her. When it was my turn to present my papers, she asked for my manilla envelope and I presented the smaller one. Nope, it must be bigger. Ah, no problem, I said, and opened the package of the A4 envelopes which I was still hoping I might return to Tai Loy. In that instant I was glad that I had denied my “penny wise and pound foolish” urge to save $3 on envelopes.

Everything went smoothly. I filled out the solicitation card which I hadn’t been able to find online, but there was plenty of time to fill it out there and thankfully I didn’t have to run out and copy their form as I’ve had to do at Immigration in Arequipa. Then they checked my teeth (part of INTERPOL’s mission is identifying bodies after disasters, as the pictures of airplane wreckage in the office clearly show) and took all ten fingerprints TWICE–once for them and once for the FBI.

The driver took me back to the hotel and I mailed the FBI request from the nearby SERPOST office. INTERPOL told me that my certification will be ready Wednesday, so I will be able to pick it up before heading back to Arequipa. After my work visa is approved, I can pick up my residence card from Immigration in Lima. It would be really great if my visa were approved by next Wed so I could go to Immigration on Thu or Fri before I return to Arequipa. Otherwise I’ll have to make another trip. After I receive my visa, we start the process all over again for Vicki and the kids.

I was a bit nervous about this visit. I am thankful to the Lord that it went smoothly and very thankful that the conference where I am speaking has paid all my travel expenses so it didn’t cost much at all to get this step taken care of.

One Response to “Messy fingers”

  1. Dawn December 14, 2013 at 9:53 am #

    Praise The Lord!

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