Well so it's been one year folks.
I've been in Ireland for a year. Solid. No trips home.
I have to say, I've learned alot, but I'm going to save that for another post.
This post is about the immigration office.
Last year a few days after I moved over I headed down to the Guarda station with James (the Guarda Station is the Police Station. Guarda is Gaelic for police. obvious I know, I'm just putting it out there.) I'm not sure if this is the same all over Ireland, but in Limerick the immigration office is inside of the station.
We sat on the bench along with a variety of people, some waiting for the immigration officer, some who were under arrest or waiting to file a complaint and some, like Jame's new friend, were drunks pulled in off the street and waiting to sober up. It was a fun filled Thursday morning I'm telling ya.
Well so I sat and waited and eventually was called back into the office. A cramped room with two desks and a very intimidating woman. She had a strong accent and I'm pretty sure I asked her to repeat herself after each thing she said. At least twice. She also had the driest sense of humor I have YET to come across and I made myself look like a FOOL. Twice.
The process for me was pretty straight forward since I am married to an Irish national- hand over a bunch of documents, get finger and palm prints done, I think they took some saliva swaby thing (for DNA purposes?? I don't ask too many questions.) and then I had my picture taken and awaited my freshly laminated residency card.
(A side note, it was raining sideways that day- so forget about a decent hairdo.) The picture? questionable at best. The question being who was that woman and why was she so angry. I don't take good offical pictures.
Fast-forward to today. Exactly one year later I head back to the Guarda station, documents at the ready. I'm directed to the Eircom building next door where they have relocated the immigration office (Eircom is a telephone/internet company here in Ireland. They are basically evil. Like Verizon without all of the huge competitors.) Unlike last year though we don't have the pleasure of early morning drunks and slightly scary detainees.
Like last year though I get the same officer. Same sense of humor. (huzzah.) But on a big plus, this time around I could actually understand her!
She begins to go through all of my information, updating some, checking to make sure others is still the same. Then she asks if Dominic is my husband.
Me- ummmm WHAT?
Immigration Lady- We have Dominic listed as your husband....is this correct?
Me- NO. Not at all...thats my FATHER IN LAW.
Immigration Lady- oh hmm. Well it is Friday the 13th.
Me- oh yeah. (thinking what in the world does that have to do with you listing my father in law as my husband.) (obviously it was a very bad joke to cover up her mistake, but still.)
So yeah. Yet another screw up- or rather "clerical error" from the government. This one just happened to be creepy in a keeping in the family/west virgina kinda way. Thank goodness James came with me in case anything screwy happened since he had to show her ID to prove that he was the person that he said he was, you know, the one listed under the husband portion of the marriage license.
These kind of "errors" have been so commonplace in all of my dealings with anything official here in Ireland.
-Ive been married to my father in law
- Divorced from James
-Told I don't exist
-Denied a claim since I was an asylum seeker (what??)
-Told I don't live in Ireland. ( while in IRELAND. how does that work when I'm showing you current payslips and proof of address....no, I don't get it either.)
I know there are others but I can't seem to remember them at the time being. It's actually almost funny at this point all of these huge mistakes that they have in my paperwork. I've learned to come prepared for pretty much everything anytime I need to get something done.
Long story short I was able to get my file fixed and get registered for another year of living here in Ireland. I got a shiny new card with a new picture, which shockingly enough, is actually good. I look mostly human in it!
so now I only have 2 more years of waiting before I can begin the lengthy, expensive process of applying for citizenship.
all of the sudden I have a raging headache.