09-09-09 sounds like a magical date, and of course it is : it is the day that we moved to Argentina. Although it looks like we chose that date, we didn’t. It’s the immigration officer who noticed ‘the magic’ of the day when we arrived. That is 3 now years ago.
It is a date that does not go by unnoticed, because every year around that time, we have to renew our one year visa. Now it is our 3th time, which means we can -finally- apply for permanent residency. Why do we want permanent residency so badly, you might wonder. Well, one reason might just be to avoid the yearly tramite we have to go through.
Tramite is one of those Argentine words that can’t be translated. There is no English or Flemish word for it. It means that you have applied for something and you have to go through a (mostly long and often complicated) procedure. It means you asked for something, and you have to be (very) patient until you get it.
For example, when we arrived here, we were ‘in tramité‘ to get our D.N.I (local ID) for 11 months, and then they told us they can’t give us one because our visa was about to expire. But then finally 13 months after our arrival we received it.
You would think that after the first renewal it’s just a piece of cake, you know how it works exactly, but every year the law had changed, and we had yet to present other documents. Our first renewal was the hardest : they had changed the law and had forgotten to add “our” category. We were considered inexistent, our status changed into ‘precarious’ and our files were send to the legal department.
So no we go for permanent residency, and we are changing our status forever. Knowing, or at least expecting it to be slightly more complicated then just a renewal, we started the procedure about a month ahead, which means nothing more then trying to find out what documents we need to present this time. And when we, the whole family, finally presented ourselves at migraciones, they gave us a the ‘certificado de residencia precaria’ : they need another month to ‘consider us’, before they finally put the correct stamp in our passport.
After that we can start our next tramite, we need a new DNI too, we already have our date : in the beginning of November. Then a new drivers license, then… Ok, let’s just do one thing at a time.
Long live Argentina! I am (almost) here to stay!
And I wonder : is it equally hard to get a visa in Belgium? I most definitely doubt it…
N.B. for all the Belgians now fearing that we have given up our Belgian nationality, don’t worry : residency has nothing to do with nationality!