Robin mentioned a pustule on her blog the other day, and while that's not exactly what I plan to talk about today, it sums up my feelings for the entire process.
Later today we get to go back to Immigration to continue the process for my FM3 visa. My marriage certificate -- now properly apostilled from a kind soul in Springfield, IL -- spent two days at a lawyer's office getting translated (for the second time) and now we get to bring it to the local municipal building to get registered*. Then we must bring the pile of papers to the Mexican Immigration office to get everything finalized. I have no idea how long it will take for that to happen.
Now, I need to clear a few things up. I've inadvertently confused A LOT of people with all this talk of immigration, but the process I'm taking care of right now has nothing to do with Ibis' attempt to get back in the United States. What I'm talking about is documentation to legally keep ME in Mexico.
When you travel to Mexico (I'm assuming you all travel by plane) you fill out a form that states how long you'll be in the country, and an immigration official gives you back the bottom portion -- a square piece of paper -- to hang onto until you leave. That's called a tourist visa. You can stay in Mexico on a tourist visa for 180 days, and so far I've timed my visits home to coincide with the end of each 180-day period. This past March we decided we couldn't justify the expense when we think we might be out of here soon so we went to Immigration to find out what our options were.
Turns out the cheapest option was for me to apply for an FM3 visa, which is valid for one year and is renewable for up to five years. (After that they want you to apply for more permanent status.)
Even though we don't want to be here any longer than necessary, we opted for the year-long visa, and that's where all the running around began. To apply as Ibis' dependent, we needed to register our marriage certificate with the Mexican government, but that had to be apostilled -- in the state where the marriage took place -- so it would be viewed as an official government document. We originally thought it just needed to be translated, but that was just a waste of time and money. The apostille needs to be translated, so we had that done this week, and finally, today, we're going back to have it all registered. Then back to Immigration.
I realize I did a poor job of explaining this last time, and I may have confused you even more this time around, but I felt really bad when everyone was wishing me good luck so we could get home soon, when really this is keeping me in the country. I'm actually NOT ALLOWED to leave Mexico right now because I don't have any form of visa.
*I have no idea what this "registering" accomplishes.