Friday, June 27, 2008

Mission Accomplished - Visa Application

Yesterday, I went to the Spanish consulate to get my visa. The consulate in San Francisco is in a nondescript home that does not have a sign outside so I thought I had the wrong address. When I arrived, I was quite nervous because I had read horror stories of people being turned away for ridiculous reasons such as having their doctor's clearance letter hand written instead of typed. Luckily, my student visa was approved despite the fact that I am being paid to work in Spain and that I am not affiliated with university. Fulbright has a weird agreement that allows me to stay in Spain on a student visa because my work is related to cultural exchange and academic pursuits. The best part of all is that I did not have to pay the visa application fee. I guess Fulbrighters are exempt from the fee which is quite exciting because I had no idea about this policy until the guy at the consulate told me the fee is zero dollars.

All told in order to get all of my visa documents, I had to go to the Schenectady police 5 times, Schenectady county clerk twice, and the secretary of State in New York once, Santa Clara county sheriff once, Santa Clara county clerk once, and the secretary of state for California once.

Now all I have to do is wait six weeks for the consulate to mail me my passport.