(Photo by luxomedia, under Creative Commons License. Via Flickr)

So, it has begun.

Today there would have been a meeting with the municipal authorities to request naturalization for Beloved.

Except this morning at 7.15 AM I took a final look at the paperwork and (most importantly) the results from the exam Beloved took eight months ago. The exams that, way back then, cost us months of deciphering contradictory letters that no one then seemed to remember sending. The exam that (or so I found out this morning) is not the one they’d told Beloved he’d be taking. Not the one that I made them swear three times over, was the advanced, quick version that immediately qualifies. Instead they’d make him take half of another, easier exam, before proceeding to fail to invite him for the second part of the exam. So, he’s unqualified for naturalization at this point. He’s also out of a significant amount of money, and I have no idea if I can reclaim it for him.

The appointment with the municipality is cancelled. I’ve written to the immigration authorities, asking for a an(other) invitation – to the right test this time. I then asked why he was never invited to the second part of the easier exam. And I asked them to give me the name for the person responsible for his file. Since government shifted to its other ass cheek, there has been a merger between immigration and employment agencies (why??), meaning that all our previously gathered contact info and filed correspondence is now worthless.Frustrating.

Regardless, if I do not have a response to my e-mail after the weekend, I will call them on Tuesday. Let’s see how often they need to be harassed before they stop sending misleading, incorrect letters and misinforming the people who depend on on their actions for their legal stay in this country.


5 Responses to “Authority-fail”

  1. 1 Alice December 1, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    Gah. The immigration thing. I don’t know what country you are in but I’m sure it’s annoying as hell everywhere. I shed more than a few tears over the whole ordeal and probably spent 20 some hours of my life waiting in depressing dirty bureaucratic offices for different transactions and authorizations and redoing the same stuff over and over again but slightly different and paying more and more. I was so ecstatic when I got my residency. It was like… I can never be tortured or lied to by another ill-humored, lazy, mean bureaucratic ever again (I wish. But at least not for immigration stuff)

  2. 2 thesmittenimmigrant December 1, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Does Argentina have good protection for residents? I presume it gives more security than a temporary (student)visa, but in the US (for instance) it’s not nearly as privileged a position as citizenship. How are laws for double citizenship in Argentina? Would you consider exchanging your citizenship for an Argentinian one? I’m curious (but feel free not to answer, it may be too personal).

    I’m keeping my country of residence off the blog for privacy reasons. Silly, maybe, but I’m more comfortable that way since not everybody (‘s employer) knows about the emigration plans. Anyway. We have notoriously tight rules for immigration and gaining citizenship. I just had no idea of the incompetence surrounding the process.

  3. 3 Alice December 4, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Protection? Not sure what you mean… I can vote in local elections and I never have to renew my residency. I don’t know if I could be deported for any reason… like a felony or something. Maybe I should but I don’t.

    Argentina is in general pretty lax if you marry an Argentina or have a baby born here. Yup… they give citizenship to women who have babies here… regardless of their legal status. Which is very problematic. It basically attracts a huge amount of negative immigration. And then on the other hand, it’s near impossible to come here for a good reason… like work or investment. Which I think is totally messed up.

    As for citizenship… Argentina allows you to have as many nationalities as you like. But I wouldn’t change my US citizenship for Argentine. I can apply for it after 2 years of permanent residence but it’s not really smiled upon by the US… when you actively pursue another citizenship (if it’s automatic, it’s def. fine but it you have to seek it/ apply, then you sort of enter in a gray area) So my plan is, wait until I’m done having kids and they all have their US citizenship, then I’ll likely apply for Argentine citizenship.

    And a country with notoriously strict immigration laws? Switzerland comes to mind. It was in the NY Times… even kids born in the country to immigrant parents don’t get automatic citizenship.

    • 4 thesmittenimmigrant December 5, 2011 at 9:28 am

      I was wondering about the risks of being deported, indeed. I know that the US, if they want to, can call almost anything a “crime of moral turpitude” and kick you out, for it if you “only” have a green card and no citizenship. Means that I can’t participate in demonstrations and protests until that’s taken care of,

      With regards to gaining another citizenship as a US citizen, it depends on the “intent” to give up your US citizenship. We plan on consulting a lawyer, but based on the process as I know it, it would seem hard to prove intent. Our law specifically states that you may keep your citizenship if you gain one that you share with your spouse.

      It’s complicated, eh 🙂

      • 5 Alice December 5, 2011 at 2:29 pm

        Yeah. It’s totally complicated. I noticed the spouse clause but I’m not sure if it refers to when you marry and then seek citizenship or when you marry and are automatically granted citizenship, as it is in some countries.

        It’s a raging debate on a lot of ex pat forums and in general… most people don’t want to mess with it since the laws are a little unclear on the subject. I know a lot of women married to Argentines and the consensus is… US citizenship is much more valuable than Argentine and it would be silly to put it in jeopardy. That being said, I’ll probably apply at some point in my life. But only after kids and having spent enough time here for me to consider this my country.

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