Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The day we unexpectedly had to go back to immigration

It was a quiet morning in Mongolia for us, doing some homework and revision as well as some doctoral studies. Rachel popped out to pick up some groceries. Alas, our plans went awry after lunch with a phone call - there was some irregularity or technicality with our visas. So we trundled down to our language school again (such a warm day), and started catching some buses with our teacher. We catch the no. 6 trolley bus into Sukhbaatar square, and then the no. 11 bus out towards the airport; it takes about an hour. This was a good chance for Rachel to thoroughly practice counting in Mongolian with our teacher.

At immigration our teacher conversed with someone behind the counter - they were expecting us in. The problem was relayed to us. About a year ago they changed the laws so that only a student doing a Masters or higher could bring a spouse in on a family visa for more than 3 months. That is not us. No one had bothered to tell our teacher when she had applied for our visas and processed all our paperwork. The upshot is this, they extended Rachel's visa to 90 days (from 30 days), and she will need to leave the country in order to re-enter under a different visa, in this case her own student visa; this also means she will need to study full time. So they extended her current visa, and sometime in the next 3 months she'll pop over to a nearby asian country for a few days and come back.

It might sound all distressing, but it could have been much worse really - they might have just kicked us out for unknown reasons; so we're upbeat about it. You could certainly pray about it though, it is a rather non-insignificant hassle.

Then another hour on the buses back in; our teacher graciously gave us a lesson afterwards too, as we will miss one tomorrow morning.

Fun Mongolian fact of the day: Some people have names that translate as "not this one", "not that one" and "No-one", attempts to ward off the evil spirits by downplaying the child's importance.

1 comment:

  1. GUH: bureaucracy!!! Good excuse to visit Japan, I say! ;P