12 August, 2009

Major Malfunction On Duty Here

Yesterday, Dianna and I made the trek over to Belmopan to visit the Immigration Department to complete on of the final bits in our quest for residency.
We had the required money (in our case being US citizens, the dunnage was $2,000 BZD each), our passports, and copies of the passport pages that had changed from the last time we turned in a copy of our passport.

An uneventful trip under gray skies for the most part saw us wheeling into Belmopan after a good couple of hours on the road. Luckily, we found a parking space right away just across the street from the Immigration building.

We grabbed the folder holding our stuff and headed in. After a somewhat short wait, we talked with the girl who had been helping us before and she asked for our Security Bond papers. Both Dianna and I were sure we had turned those in on the last trip and told her they must be in the package. She said "No. If you had attempted to turn them in then, I would have refused to take them as that would have been out of sequence and I would have signed here that you turned them in," showing us the blank signature space on her form.

Back and forth for a minute or so like that, until I called Doug and Twyla, who are at the same stage in the process as we are and in fact, had been with us on the previous trip. Twyla said, "Oh no, you were supposed to turn those in on this trip." Then, my memory started working again. Talk about feeling like a total drooling dolt. I'm chalking it up to getting older. What else could it be?

So, profuse apologies to the girl behind the counter. Dianna had the foresight to ask her if we could turn in the money as we really didn't like walking around with beaucoup of cash in our pockets. This we could do.

Then, after depositing the money and getting a receipt we headed back to the young lady, who took our receipts, making copies of them for our file, and returned the originals to us.

Doug and Twyla had not accompanied us on this trip as their application package apparently got placed in a different pile than ours. Ours got the go-ahead by the Director, and their had to wait for two weeks as the Director was going to be out of the office during that time.

Anyway, with our forgetfulness regarding the Security Bond papers, we're now back at exactly the same stage as the four of us were before. I've already made arrangements to ride back over with Doug and Twyla to Belmopan (with the correct papers this time).

What will happen is this: I turn in our Security Bond papers; Doug and Twyla, turn in theirs as well and pay their money (slightly different amount as they're Canadian); we all turn in our passports, obtaining a receipt for each. Then we go back home for a week or two (not sure exactly how long), head back to Belmopan and collect our passports all with a nice pretty stamp in them saying we are legal residents of Belize.

So, unless there's another brain cramp, or worse, between now and then, it should be about another three weeks and the four of us will be residents. Woohoo!

We plan to go to Chetumal for a movie and dinner to celebrate our new status. I can't wait!!!!


Julian in SC said...

Ah, I see the dreaded new disease "CRS" has managed to skip the quarrantine and spread to Central America. There is no vaccine and no cure... Oh, the accronym CRS stands for "Can't Remember Stuff" (or something like that). It strikes everyone over 50 with varing degrees of advancement in severity. I am sorry to say that you have both come down with a bad case. I wish you well....


Unknown said...

Hi Dave,

Just a clarification....... You surrender your US passport and they give you a Belize passport when you become a resident? Is that how it works? Just wondering....

Hope all is well.

New York Bob

Dave Rider said...

Hi NY Bob,

Sorry, I should have clarified that. You temporarily leave your passport with Immigration in order for them to stamp it with the residency stamp. I think the Director has to sign the stamp in your passport, which necessitates your leaving it there. They give you a receipt for it (of course that won't do a whole lot for you if it's lost). Then you come back in a week or so pick up your passport with its new stamp, and abracadabra - you're a resident.

You only get a Belize passport if after 5 years living in Belize, you become a citizen and then apply for a passport. Even then, you don't surrender your foreign passport (as long as your original country allows dual citizenship - which the US does).

I hope this clarifies things for you.

On another note, I don't know about tonight's game, but last night 11-1. Man, the Yankees really cleaned the Mariners clock. Of course we'll continue to boo A-Rod. Of course it never was about the money... right.



Oh, I contracted CRS quite some time ago (of course 50 was quite some time ago, now that I think about it).

I've been a carrier for a long time. Kind of a Typhoid Mary sort of thing, y'know.


Unknown said...

Thanks Dave. That did clarify the whole picture. Did you get your neighbor set with the Internet yet?

BTW: Keep an eye on the tropics. Eastern caribbean is starting to heat up with 2 storms.

Take care.


Dave Rider said...

Hi Bob,

Not yet. He's an engineer so these things take time. They have to analyze everything and then some.

I gave him the info, so it's up to him now. I've done my part.

Believe me, we're keeping an eye on things. I use a Yahoo widget (hurricane monitor) that sits on my desktop. I love it. And, I check the NOAA pages as well. I do both bits first thing when I wake up, several times during the day, and last thing before I hit the sack in the evening.

Knock on wood, we're doing ok,

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