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The world is strange. Bureaucracy is even stranger. While I am willing to throw caution to the wind in some carefully considered situations, I know that I must carefully managed other events in my life, or they will manage me.

Consider, gentle reader, the concept of a VISA. Normally, you would stay somewhere, say, Spain, for three months or less, which a USA passport gladly permits in many countries. If you choose to stay longer, then there is paperwork to complete. Figuring out what that paperwork is, how to complete it, and where to take it is a wonderful little scavenger hunt that often goes in circles. (Want an example? Check this out: http://goo.gl/XbhPW) You have to be patient, be tough, and be persistent.

I had originally decided to move to Spain and finish my paperwork for a long-term Visa there, but recently decided otherwise. I am now in the process of preparing for two-day trip to Miami to get a “long-term residency, non-lucrative visa” attached to my passport. Unfortunately, since they need to take my passport, I have to wait until I return from Paris later this month (actually, the beginning of August) for a school trip.

The problem is that I have a flight scheduled and a hotel scheduled for leaving September 15, certainly not the longer 3-6 month approval period suggested by the consulate web site. AAAAHHHHH!

Here are some of the things I need  (and several copies of each):

  1. Completed Visa application
  2. Passport-type photos glued to the applications
  3. My passport and a copy of all pages
  4. Personal ID (Drivers’ licence)
  5. Background check from the FBI or police (English, Spanish, translated, notarized)
  6. Health certificate from my doctor (English, Spanish, translated, notarized)
  7. Proof of sufficient finances (Bank statements? Pay stubs? Other stuff?)
  8. Proof of accommodation (Notarized letter from a friend? Letter from me explaining reason for staying longer than 90 days?)
  9. Proof of health insurance with full coverage in Spain
  10. Authorization of residence application (Form EX00) and 5 copies
  11. Authorization of original residence fee (Form 790 Code 72)
  12. Visa fee… I think it’s $140, but a friend says that they take cash, too, not just money orders

I have scheduled my appointment, and have started gathering all of these items. I leave in a week for Paris, so I have to get as much done as I can now.