Thursday June 9, 2016 – definitely a memorable day, and not of the good kind of memorable. This was the day we made the drive from Hopkins Village to Belmopan to submit our application for residency. Much time went into obtaining the appropriate documents for the application, writing and re-writing the application based on our circumstances and still I came away unsuccessful.
My husband and I arrived at the Immigration office by 9:30 a.m. and got my number card – orange 39. There had to be 25 people waiting to see an immigration agent, either for nationality and permanent residence, or passports. Most of the people were waiting for nationality and permanent residence, a.k.a. orange cards. In some cases people were just waiting to see if they were approved to obtain their nationality cards ( meaning their parents were Belizean). In other cases, people were waiting to put in applications for their passports.
So after sitting for a bit of time I went into the Immigration office to ask what number we being served – #6, and at that time I knew it was going to be a long day. Finally about 3:30 my number was called. And here is where the story turns. In the Belize law men cannot be dependents. It is written very specifically – women, children, infirm and seniors – are written as dependents. Not men. So the first time I wrote the application I put it as me applying with my husband as dependent but I figured it wouldn’t fly. So I rewrote the application with my husband being the applicant and me the dependent. But, and here is where the story really turns, because I have the work permit and my husband isn’t employed he is still seen as the dependent and the residency application has to be submitted for me. Only.
One of the requirements for residency is a work permit. My husband needs a work permit. Until he obtains a work permit he cannot apply for residency. And this is because his name is on a registered business.
So I need to redo the application with my name on it only, I have to make sure that all the submitted documents are originals and then head back to Belmopan and take another number. And sit and wait. Oh, and one other thing – no whiteout allowed.
Oh, and to make the day more of a non-success than it already was, I had an appointment scheduled with the eye doctor – who, due to car problems, didn’t make the appointment. And he only gets to Belmopan on Thursdays and Fridays, as he works mainly in Belize City. So all around, a strike out day.
Some days life in paradise is like life anywhere else. There are ups and downs. I will keep you posted about the trials and tribulations of the residency application process from my perspective. The process is different for people depending on their circumstances. We will see how my process pans out.
For those of you who are planning on submitting your own application here is a picture of the checklist that is used by the agent at Immigration.