Sunday, April 29, 2007

Rosi isn't coming!

Here's my little girl standing quite confidently! I'll have to put up a video of some of her first steps too, once I get the video edited a mite.

Charlize shopping cart

As always you can see all of Charlize's photos including about 5 other recent ones here:

Today, I'm enjoying my second weekday holiday since I started teaching. I'm enjoying it now because I can write this at 4 in the morning and not be concerned about teaching in a few hours. Instead I'll be hunting around town to get my summer plans in order.

Rosi is not coming to Korea on a tourist visa because the surly woman at the Korean embassy in Manila has assured her that there is absolutely no way for her to travel as a tourist into Korea. She could come on a business trip, if she had a business. She could come as a worker if she were hired to cook or be a nanny by a Korean, but otherwise she isn't coming to Korea without a spousal visa.

So, the wedding date is set once again for mid-July and the setting is the Philippines. I have the requirements for a spousal visa as sent to me by a very helpful fellow in my Uni office (if some of the characters look really funny it may be that your computer isn't currently set to display Korean fonts):

동반(F-3)비자 발급 안내/ How to get Family Dependency (F-3) Visa

제출 서류

  1. 사증발급신청서 또는 사증발급인정신청서/ application for visa or a certificate for recognition of visa issuance

  2. 컬러증명사진 2(3.5cm x 4.5cm) / 2 color photographs (3.5cm x 4.5cm)

  3. 여권 / Passport

  4. 가족관계 입증서류 (결혼증명서, 호적등본 또는 출생증명서) / a certificate of verifying family relations ( a certificate of marriage, family registry, or birth)

  5. 초청자의 재직증명서 / a certificate of incumbency of an invitor

  6. 초청자의 납세증명서 / a certificate of tax payments of an invitor

  7. 수수료(단수사증 : 미화 30달러 상당, 복수사증 : 미화 50달러 상당) / Fee (about US 30 for single entry, US 50 for multiple entry)

  • 이미 한국에 있는 경우는 자격변경을 하면 된다

자격변경 구비 서류

  1. 여권

  2. 사진 2

  3. 가족관계 입증 서류 (결혼증명서…)

  4. E2 비자 소유자의 외국인등록증

  5. 수수료 6만원

As always whenever somebody tends to translate Korean for me there seems to be a lot more information in Korean than is forthcoming in the English translation, but I've gotten used to that.

I recall a negotiation for a new contract with my first boss in Korea. My boss would natter on for about 10 minutes and then my translator would say: She says "No".

Speaking of translation it must have been interesting to watch the Korean official in the consulate trying to communicate with Rosi! Rosi is quite short, maybe 5 foot nothing or a bit shorter even and the window behind which the Korean woman is stationed has a little hole through which she speaks. The hole is set at about 5 feet 6 inches and naturally the Korean woman's English is less than exemplary, not to mention Rosi's own English could use a touch of practise.

The first documented misunderstanding came on Tuesday morning, which was Rosi's first trip to the consulate office. She talked to me on the phone that night sounding very sad! Apparently the Korean woman had told her that she couldn't go anywhere because her passport (newly forged in February) had not been valid for 6 months yet. Upon hearing this I was outraged. I think the words "bullshit" and "fucking bitch" were the most commonly used words on my part.
After some work I managed to convince Rosi that there is no period of validity at the 'birth' of your passport, so to speak. If the passport is about to expire then that certainly is a problem for travel but other than the possibility that a passport is nearing its expiry date you cannot put any limitations upon its validity. Rosi wasn't aware of this. Personally I do not think this was a misunderstanding or a miscommunication. I know how surly that lady can be from personal experience and I wouldn't put it past her to tell a few lies just to avoid having to try hard to communicate with a really short person! And Rosi even told me that she showed her passport to this woman, but still was led to believe that she could not travel until August!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, Rosi returned with much trepidation, managing to get the lady to admit that she could indeed travel no matter how new her passport was and then she discovered that it is not possible for a Filipino to travel to Korea as a tourist. Then she went on to find out about the process of getting over here as a spouse.

The only requirement that the woman suggested that she would need is a notarized letter of invitation from her husband. I hope she is being accurate this time, but from a quick look at the requirements above as rendered from the immigration office here in Korea it sounds like she's making shit up again. Not to mention that, when I was in Manila in February the same woman told me that I needed to get a letter of invitation from my employer that invites my wife to come into the country. Not an easy task for a Uni with a pres that's always tooling around and in and out of the country. Not to mention what such a letter implies about their subsequent responsibilities for my wife. So, when is that office going to get its act together and give me the same opinion on the matter of immigration twice in a row?

That's my job for Monday then. I have to dig around and find out for certain exactly how to invite her and I also have to find some means of certainty in case the lady in Manila changes her tune so as to slap her down with my 'evidence' that she is full of shit once again. Oh yeah, I also need to renew my own passport which will expired almost exactly 6 months after our wedding date in mid-July. Do I dare to go over there without a new passport, risking the wrath of the terminally literal officials? I may not have a choice, the last time I approached an office about passport renewal they said I couldn't do anything until the 6 months to expiry mark.

And now I have had a gander at the Canadian passport application form. Good lord. How am I going to find a guarantor? The guarantor must be a practising lawyer, medical doctor, judge, police officer or the mayor of a city! Furthermore the guarantor must have known me personally for 2 years. Hmmm, let's see . . . I don't know any police officers having been a good boy for the past 3 years in Korea. I don't know any medical doctors because I am not terminally ill and personally think that most of them are useless anyway. I don't know any lawyers or judges either. Come to think of it I haven't been to many ribbon cutting ceremonies either so I haven't met many mayors. Guess I'm SOL. There is a Lieu of Guarantor form I can fill out but I have to make a special trip to the embassy just to get the bloody thing!

I think I've answered the question quite well by now as to why I'm up so late. Lots of crap to think about. On the positive side, I may be able to use the same notary public to sign both my passport application and invitation letter! Whooohoo. But I still don't have a clue as to why I need to write a letter to invite my own wife into the country!

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