Becoming Peruvian Part 3

The singing lady from my previous visit received the documents today.  She was very kind with a positive, can-do spirit.  She also had a good sense of humor about the limitations of the system.

We arrived at Migraciones in Breña at 9:45 AM for the 10:15 appointment.  The taxi ride, again, took 45 minutes.  This time they called me in at 10:00 AM, 15 minutes early.  As she reviewed my paperwork she commented, “Hiciste bien tu tarea.”  That means that I did my homework well, the papers were all in order.  I thought that the amount time in the office would be less this time but I was wrong.

As she reviewed the papers she rearranged them, checked them, returned some of them to me and asked questions.  She had me put my fingerprint on several documents and went to the waiting area for Ana Maria’s fingerprint.  She asked how I met Ana Maria, if I had ever been to Arequipa, what I teach.  I couldn’t tell if this was normal conversation or her checking out the veracity of our marriage.  She also asked why we were giving her all of the documents that were required for our marriage license from 17 years ago.  I explained the problem with my last name, at which time the lady from last week chimed in with an, “I remember you; they gave you two last names.”  Yep, that’s why we returned.

Then the singing attendant took out two highlighters, one pink and one yellow.  She began looking through the list of arrivals and departures that Ana Maria and I had in the system; she wanted to see if we were both in Peru when we married and if we traveled together.  She also took out two forms that I needed to fill out and sign.  I asked her, “Aren’t these the same two forms that are on the second page of the other form, the one I already filled out and signed?”

She smiled and said, “Yes, they are.  Please fill them out.”  Her demeanor told me that she understood the stupidity of it.  I appreciated that.  Systems!

Ready to open the new citizenship file in the computer she logged in and, well, everything can’t go right: the system was down.  After trying several other computers she looked for and found a tech specialist.  The mere presence of the specialist threatened the computer enough to make the system work (a very similar thing happened to me at school a few months ago!).

At about 11:20 I left her office with the number of my case file and a promise that I would hear an answer in 30 working days.  I also had her office phone extension because as she said, “Sometimes it takes longer and you have to call.  But we try and we are getting better.”

This was a day of good service in a year of good service.  Now I wait.

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Some of the Documents

Here are just some of the documents you will need to apply for Peruvian citizenship (because of marriage):

Using Adobe Acrobat Reader you can fill the documents and save them… in case you have to go back again.  I’m going back on Thursday; I’ll let you know how it goes in this year of good service.

Becoming Peruvian Part 2

The president of Peru has declared 2017 El año de buen servicio al ciudadano. That means, the year of good service to the citizens.

With my Interpol document in hand (see Becoming Peruvian Part 1), along with several other documents, we celebrated Thanksgiving by applying for citizenship. To make life easier, Migraciones Peru publishes a document on its website listing the documents that you will need in order to apply for citizenship. As a matter of fact, they publish two lists, two different lists. They also do not answer their phones. We decided to go with the easier list knowing that public services in Peru are trying to make things easier. It is, after all, the year of good service.

We arrived at Migraciones at 10:45 AM ready for our 11:00 appointment; the taxi ride there took about 45 minutes. They received our documents at about 11:15 and called me in at about 11:35; Ana Maria could not come in, yet. In a cramped office with three desks, an office that also acts as a passageway to additional offices, I met with a kind woman who took her work seriously. At the desk next to us another woman sang along with her headphones; she quieted down when we began talking.

One by one the official went through the documents. Thankfully we had used the correct list. By the end of our meeting Ana Maria was called in and a few changes were necessary:

  • Three of the documents had to be rewritten, she gave me blank copies;
  • I had to talk to the officials downstairs to find out why, according to my entries and departures list from Migraciones Peru, my first entry into Peru was in 2009 but we were married here in 2000 (remember, we are in the office of Migraciones);
  • Ana Maria’s official birth certificate from Mollendo, Peru had to be certified as real in Peru;
  • My marriage certificate had a second last name, my mother’s maiden name, but that name did not appear on any other document, so I have to prove that I am the same person in all of the documents and that my mom is my mom- rest in peace, mom.

Conversation ended, I went downstairs to figure out how I could make corrections to my official entries and departures list.  (While I did that, Ana Maria officially cancelled the appointment we just had so we did not lose the money we paid for the appointment- it was nice we could do that.)  Turns out Migraciones had three different names for me: with and without my middle name, with and without my mom’s maiden name, and with an additional last name of Ley. Who knew? We performed the necessary paperwork to join all three records together. Now my first entry into Peru is listed as 1996. At least I think it has been changed- they would not show me the change on the computer screen. By the way, I still have no personal documents with my mom’s maiden name.

The part about certifying Ana Maria’s official certificate requires no comment. What could I possibly add to certifying an official certificate? It only requires 10 working days and a return trip to RENIEC.

As for the marriage license, back in 2000 when we married, the official filling out the paperwork for the marriage license insisted in putting a second last name. Both Ana Maria and I protested because I have no document that has my mom’s maiden name. The official really insisted and added the name from my birth certificate. Now we have to request the original paperwork from the town where the civil ceremony was held… which is easier than requesting a birth certificate from Minnesota.

If all of this takes longer than a month I will have to begin again at INTERPOL because that document is about to expire. I think our official copy of the marriage certificate already expired; it’s only valid for one month.

A big thanks to Ana Maria who has done most of the work to get me citizenship! Happy Thanksgiving!!

The president of Peru has declared 2017 El año de buen servicio al ciudadano. That means, the year of good service to the citizens. What might a year of bad service look like?

Becoming Peruvian Part 1

Part one began a little over a month ago when I went to Interpol, the International Police here in Lima.  To apply for citizenship I need a document saying that I am not a fugitive wanted for illegal activity in any country. We got in line at 7:00 AM ready for the 8:00 AM opening, the wrong line. Thankfully Ana Maria found the correct line after asking many people and receiving contradictory information. After waiting, getting fingerprinted, waiting, having my teeth checked, waiting, filling out the forms again because the forms we picked up before had changed and also needed to be filled out in a different color, we were finished. We left.

But we weren’t finished. One week later I went back at 7:00 AM to stand in a different line to pick up the document saying that I am not a fugitive. I’m not, by the way (see image). I asked three uniformed people at Interpol which line to stand in and I stood in that line. Again, the wrong one. I was tempted to stand in line by the window that says “Pick up your document here” but I knew better. On my previous visit I had discovered that said window was not where I needed to go, in spite of its label. Including transportation time we had invested 6 hours into this process just at Interpol.  (There are a series of documents needed to get this document and I won’t go into those details.)

Finally, I picked up the Interpol document after showing a picture of my US passport that I had on my phone. I had been told to bring my Peruvian ID (CE) because no one in Peru would request a US passport for a Peruvian document.  Nope, that was wrong- no one except Interpol.  This only took two hours- 1.5 hours in the wrong line and 30 minutes in the correct one.

This document is valid for three months so on my next day off from school I went to Migraciones to apply for citizenship. How hard could it be?

Happening in Peru: Flooding

Off the coast of Peru and Ecuador the ocean has warmed 5º C or more.  This warming is known as the Costal El Niño and it is wreaking havoc on the land and people of those countries.

This article from Reuters explains and shows what is happening.  Be sure to scroll down.  Here are some more images of the flooding.

Today is the 4th day of no classes for students in Lima, as directed by the Ministry of Education.  Because of the flooding, travel has been difficult if not impossible in some areas and most everyone has been affected by water shortages. The excess water, filled with dirt and debris, has overwhelmed the water treatment plants, shutting them down and cutting the water supply.  Schools cannot operate if there is not a steady supply of water.

At home our basement cistern ran dry but the water tanks on the roof still held water; we did not run out completely.  Three buildings down, where my mother-in-law lives, they were without water for about 12 hours.  This is to say that we have been extremely lucky!  A few hours with no water is nothing when compared to the destruction in other areas.

There are many organizations that are gathering items and money, the Red Cross being one of them.  Please help the international effort if you can.

Julio Papá

Arguing with the television,
turning it down, loudly,
eating fresh rosquitas and offering them
to everyone.

Wanting to share in the wine
But too methodical to do so.
Keeping life’s rhythms and rhymes.

Patterns that matched his shirt.

Setting his watch by casino,
Punching the clock at the café as if going to work,
Paying without comment.

Community wherever he was.

Welcoming you, as you are,
Who you are,
Supporting your dreams,
Take a nap if you want to, fix the world if you want to…
But how about a sandwich at 8:40,
And could the doctor’s appointment be after breakfast and before the café?

Missing
You
Deeply