Thursday, July 15, 2010

Visa

A big adventure is on the horizon! Nick is moving to South Korea...next week! While it's all very exciting, the entire process has been frustrating. A lot of "hurry up and wait". The biggest hurdle (so far) has been in obtaining a work visa. You can visit South Korea without a visa for up to 90 days, but they kind of expect you to have a return ticket. We've been unsure of a lot of things from the start, but when things got moving, they moved fast. In a matter of days, we've received a start date, itinerary and airline ticket from Los Angeles to Seoul. Ready to go, right? Not so much...

We live in Phoenix, not Los Angeles. And still no work visa.

More waiting...

Less than one week before his expected start date, we're told that we should have a visa number by the end of the week. Then, we need to visit the Korean Consulate...in Los Angeles. We have to convert the visa number to a real visa (whatever that means). At this point, we're contemplating our options. Do we drive to Los Angeles, spend a few days, drop Nick off at the airport and the girls and I drive back (six hours in the car with two little girls...not my idea of a good time); Have Nick fly there and back in a day (on Friday) and fly out again on Sunday to catch his flight to Seoul; or chuck the whole thing and go back to normal life (not really an option). But we can't really decide anything because we still don't have the visa number...and it's Thursday.

Finally, we have news: still no visa number. We should have it later today which means we can contact the consulate and ask if there's any way we can get the visa in one day (not likely). Or, we can delay the start date and change the flight to Korea (extremely expensive and, in the words of our contact "the most painful"). Finally, we can book a return trip with every intention of cancelling it so that he can go on a tourist visa and plan to visit the Korean Consulate in Japan or China.

What?

This is what confuses me most. He's not going to Japan or China. He's going to Korea. Why would we need to visit Japan or China to get a Korean visa? In any case, this is the option we're now pursuing. I have no idea what will happen next but it's sure to be exciting.

Anyo hashimnika! (Ok, so that's actually hello and not good bye or anything that might seem logical to end a post, but not much has been logical at this point and it's really all I know how to say...other than turtle, car and banana.)

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