Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Residency Process or They Got All My Lunch Money!

Dedicated to Maria. Just because.

Installment #1 - January 24th, 2013
We're doing it. For reals, yo. We've decided to officially establish ourselves in the Dominican Republic and we need to be legal. Don't ask me why. Everyone here thinks we're crazy for taking the legal route. It is fraught with peril. The path less traveled, if you will. We have encountered many proverbial obstacles thus far including, but not limited to: the fog of confusion, the cement barrier of stupidity, the potholes of misinformation, the tumbleweeds of bureaucracy, a few literal highway robbers narrowly avoided and several random sheep. Yes, I'm living a B-rated video game.

For those who have also chosen, for whatever reason, to take this same exciting path through the unkempt jungle of a government unsure of itself, I'm documenting the steps and, more importantly, price tags for each of the requirements here. If you have oodles of cash laying around, I strongly recommend just giving it all to a lawyer. They have connections we lowly immigrants do not. And they talk sexy.
If not, this is how we're rollin'--free agents, lone rangers. All prices will be in US dollars, unless otherwise noted. So relax, and have a good laugh with us along the way, because the alternative is misery. Or loneliness, unless you count the occasional sheep.

1. In June 2012, the Dominican government changed the immigration laws requiring all people requesting residency to do so from their "country of origin". Good thing we were all born in the same country! Since not even Dominican kids have cedulas until they're 18, Josh and I have decided to only go through this process for ourselves and will get the kids through the process at a later time. Stupid? We'll let you know in a few years.
     *One-way plane tickets to the US: $434 x 4 = $1736
2. Before we left, we had to have a Dominican citizen vouch for us. We had to travel to Santiago and pay a lawyer friend (I think normally the fee is far higher, but Josh is one of the friendliest guys on the planet and who can resist that?).
      *Round trip to Santiago for four: $26
      *First installment to lawyer: $87.50
3. Once stateside, we've started collecting all the documents necessary. This is what we've got so far:
       *Fingerprinting: $15 x 2 = $30
       *Copy of marriage and birth certificates (must be issued within the last 6 months) = $76.50

Missing Milk Money Thus Far = US$1956

Our next steps are to send the fingerprints to the FBI (could this video game get better?) and get our documents authorized & translated. The Dominican embassy says they'll authorize & translate for $133 per document. Awww, thanks guys. We found a second opinion.
More updates coming soon. I'll try to keep a running tally in a sidebar. Be fair warned, however, I dream big and have too much confidence for my own good. I may not be able to create such a tech-savvy piece of information on the blog. We shall see, dear reader. We shall see.

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