Saturday, March 20, 2010

Moving to Brazil in 21 Easy Steps

  1. Say, "I'm moving to Brazil, dammit!"
  2. Find a friend who has just passed on a teaching job in the Brazilian capital, not your first choice of cities, but only 90 minutes away by air from your first choice of cities.
  3. Interview with your prospective employers via Skype from San Francisco.
  4. Respond with a resounding "yes" to the offer of employment they email you an hour later.
  5. Compile all necessary documents for the visa process: college degrees and transcripts, birth certificate, passport copies, money orders; order background check from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
  6. Beg your wily friend from grad school to take the papers to the Brazilian consulate in Miami for "legalization."
  7. Listen to your wily friend from grad school cuss you out about having to wait in a long-ass line, having to use her own cash (since the Miami consulate doesn't take money orders), and having to come back another day to pick up the documents.
  8. Listen to your wily friend from grad school tell you that they couldn't "legalize" your grad school degree and transcripts because they were issued in the District of Columbia.
  9. Wait until your wily friend from grad school sends the documents back to you in Jacksonville.
  10. Beg your bestest buddy from back in the day to take the transcripts and notarized/apostilled copy of your degree to the Brazilian consulate in Washington for "legalization."
  11. Listen to your bestest buddy from back in the day cuss you out about having to wait in a long-ass line and not having the consulate take anything because the money order (this consulate only took money orders) was for $10 and they only needed $5 because they could only "legalize" the transcripts and not the degree because it was a copy and not the original, which is framed and put up in storage somewhere.
  12. Listen to the consular officer in Washington tell you over the phone in English and in Portuguese, in spite of your pleas of logic and reason, that they cannot accept the notarized and apostilled (by the Florida Department of State, no less) copy of the graduate degree and to send the original so they can punch a hole in it.
  13. Look through storage somewhere for your original graduate degree and overnight it to Washington to your bestest buddy from back in the day can take it to the consulate so they can punch a hole in it.
  14. Listen to your bestest buddy from back in the day tell you that the turn-around time for the two documents you needed "legalized" is seven days, not the two days posted on the consular website.
  15. Have your bestest buddy from back in the day listen to you cuss out the entire country of Brazil from the rooter to the tooter.
  16. Read with trepidation an email from the school official handling your visa process that he's going on Christmas vacation to Europe before the papers will get down there and that the mid-January moving date is most likely now going to be mid-February.
  17. Try to convince Brazilian consular officials in Washington to process your two documents in less than a week, then accept the inevitable as they tell you they'll try to have them done before the one-week deadline, but they can't make any promises.
  18. Have your bestest buddy from back in the day FedEx the documents, "legalized" exactly one week after they were submitted, to the school's lawyers in São Paulo, since the administration's already on holiday.
  19. Wait.
  20. Stare holes into your computer screen when you see that your work visa has been approved the day after Carnival, along with several foreign members of the Minas Gerais Philharmonic Orchestra.
  21. High-tail it to Miami, walk the final documentation (including police background check) through the consulate on Tuesday, flirt with the receptionist handling your file who still charges you the full $231, pick up the visa on Friday, board the plane on Saturday.
And voilà! Brazil.

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6 comments:

Aminah K. said...

Whoa! now that's complicated, You must be really patient.

kwerekwere said...

yeah, i won't be living there legally, it seems. i'd probably have to get police clearances from every country where i've lived for more than a year after my 18th birthday... which is seven and counting.

but yeah... there are a few of my friends that would go to some of those lengths for me. a few. most of the rest would give me the plane fare and couch space and tell me to run through these hurdles myself.

sherene said...

Ya, and I need a visa to even visit a country, let alone working there, so imagine my plight...empathize, even!

khw said...

And you thought the Colombians were bad!

:)

Jay said...

lol, too funny. Glad it finally worked out.

Fly Brother said...

Amina: Visa processes build patience!

Kwere: My friends force me to pay my own plane fare.

Sherene: You're right; at some point, I have to STFU and realize that as an American, my paperwork hurdles are comparatively few and far between.

KHW: It's true! I have to give Colombia credit for rubber-stamping everything and making the visa process that much simpler!

Jay: You and me both! Thanks.