Oh visas. How we loathe you.
After waiting in lines, getting placed in the Argentina police system, waiting in more lines, and paying $350 pesos we are finally legal students in Argentina!
When you enter Argentina, and pay the tourist entry fee, you get a stamp in your passport for a tourist visa, which is valid for 3 months. If your tourist visa is about to expire, you can make a quick trip out of the country and you will then have a new 3 month visa! (Most people here just hop on a boat and spend the day in Uruguay.) This is all fine and dandy, but as students going to an international university we needed to get a student visa to be able to have our transcripts sent back to the US.
Bright and early (literally – it was like 6:45AM) one chilly March morning we made our way across town to the Ministry of Justice to get get our police records, the first step in the visa process. We waited in line outside the Ministry, then went inside and waited in another line. From that line we went to another line, paid some money, and then sat down to wait some more. We then filled out some information, got asked a few questions, got our fingerprints taken, and violà! Part one completed!
Part two was today. We had to meet at the Migrations Office to finish the process, but that is easier said than done. Whether it be by train, subte, or colectivo, we all managed to have a semi-difficult time finding this place, but once we got there we had plenty of time to get ourselves together….while waiting in line. After that first line, we waited in another area for our numbers to be called, and then we went to another line to pay some more money, and then went back to the second line to give them some papers, and then sat down. Then the joyous moment came when we were finally given our student visas (and told “welcome to Argentina!”)
It’s NOT over?
Just when we thought we were finally done, we were told that we have to return to the Migrations Office in 20 business days to pick up our real student visas because we were only given temporary ones.
We would also like to give a shout out to one of our wonderful program directors, Nahuel, who was there waiting with us and fixing any of our mistakes throughout this entire process!
-Abi, Alexa, & Maddy