A couple of regular TarapotoLife readers have noticed that I’ve been absent for a while (Vincent, Michael, thanks for getting in touch!). Well, I think I’m officially back. It’s a pleasantly fresh day here in Tarapoto, the little kids in the nearby kindergarten are screaming merrily and I’m planning on buying tickets for Saturday’s Miss San Martin beauty contest. What could be better?
The Delights of DIGEMIN
Part of my absence was due to a brief trip to Lima. I had to go to the immigrations office in Breña to pick up my resident card, a process that should have been quite simple but still managed to take about 5 hours (the entire process took more than 6 months).
Getting stuff done in the DIGEMIN office (Dirección General de Migraciones y Naturalización) is kind of like a lottery. Sometimes things go smoothly, a simple in-and-out operation; sometimes things don’t seem to go anywhere at all. Queuing is a grand test of patience, especially when you know that the only person who really knows what they are doing is sat at the end of the line. The free-floating “administrators” are just quite random, really. They wander about the third-floor, where we gringos are sent to “get legal,” pointing at things while trying to straighten already perfect queues.
While I waited in line, one of these roaming official-types slowly began to drive me insane. She was young, rather large, and dressed in a fetching, if tight-fitting, uniform (I honestly couldn’t say what her job description was, but she seemed to enjoy her work). Her professional appearance, however, was tainted by her fondness for bubblegum.
She stood next to our static queue, occasionally telling us to back-up or move forward, while blowing pink globes from her bright red lips, then letting the whole thing deflate all over her face with a satisfactory “POP!” After an hour waiting in line, that popping was accompanied by the grinding of my own teeth. I’m a pretty patient guy, but every “POP!” was like a Big Bang of bureaucratic inefficiency. Bear in mind that there were only four people queuing up in front of me, and the guy we were all waiting to see, the Director General or whatever he was, seemed to be playing Spider Solitaire on his computer.
Anyway, I managed to take my turn after about an hour and a half. Naturally, there was one form that I had overlooked (formulario F00000000007.a or something similar). I was told to go pay for that form downstairs, so I had to take my place in the Banco de la Nación queue before starting the whole process again. “POP!”
Peru Resident Visa
I can’t really complain. I left DIGEMIN with my resident card in hand, so I’m finally a legal Englishman in Peru. Believe me, it was a good feeling to get all that done, having jumped through plenty of hoops on the way. The whole process was also quite a drain on my finances (meaning an increased push towards non-TarapotoLife, paid writing work), as nearly everything had to be done in Lima. Anyway, now I can kick back in Tarapoto and forget about all that stuff, at least for now. I felt bad neglecting this little blog, but now I should have more time to keep things fresh….
A quick note of thanks to Ruud, The Ultimate Peru List and the ExpatPeru forums for helping steer me through the whole process. Cheers!
(Bubblegum image from justjess159, Photobucket)
How is the weather in June- August.?
Hi, know of a rental for JUne- august 2011?
Hot. There shouldn’t be too much rain, but it could be quite humid. So, basically, hot.
What kind of rental do you want? I’ve seen a few furnished mini-apartments for rent near where I live. You shouldn’t have a problem finding something decent – 2 or 3 days should be enough to find a place once you arrive (but don’t quote me on that).
Hi, would appreciate if you´d drop me a line with all info that I need to obtain the “peruvian green card”. Would really really help me a lot since the works of someone who´s been there actually is woth much more than reading amounts of info on the digemin site (which I pressume actually varies depending on who of those floating administrators you happen to see there). Thanks a lot!
Hi Josh, I sent you an email, let me know if you don’t receive it.
My boss here in Edmonton, CA, likes to exploit the immigrant workers in our shop… like a revolving door. we’ve had Irish and russian, now albanian, french and english are the current exploits. the Brit is Anthony, also
This spring I plan to be in Peru also. Feb, ’14 was my visit. Did not see much of Lima apart from the aereopuerto, 2 weeks in Tarapoto. I was very impressed with the city… after a few days
I contacted the PE embassy in Ottawa with little help on immigration. I will be returning to marry a sweet Tarapoto girl and I am wondering…
Can you list the forms that you had to complete to get that cedulla in your hands?
What was the cost out of pocket for all of these administrative red tape? I know that nothing happens faster than 1st gear in Latin America. I just do not want to be stuck in Peru with the deadline on my visitor visa looming.
I’ll be in Lima for a stretch when I get there but I’ll be visiting Tarapoto if not moving there or nearby when SHTF hits the planet. I’ll look you up.
I’m also interested to hear of methods to get my dineros into PE, without raising red flags. I do NOT trust banksters anywhere on this planet. Did you resort to any creative methods to make transfers?