Saturday, August 11, 2007

Nostalgia for Misrad Hapnim

A little over a year ago, I applied for a J1 Visa which would allow me to be a "legal alien" in the US. After making an appointment online, I went along to the American Consulate in East Jerusalem (a fairly surreal experience) and 10 days later my passport was back with a visa attached, good for 1 year instead of the 3 I'd requested (my shlichut has a 2 year contract but it generally extends to a 3rd year).

A year later, I've just received a couple of sheets of paper from my employers which I know are somehow related to the visa but not really sure how they work - so I pick up the phone and ask. Apparently, they mean that as long as I have these papers, I'm legal in the States despite my visa running out shortly (great). So how do I get a new visa? I ask, expecting to be told which Government office to go to.

Not that simple. In order to get a new visa, I've got to go to an office in........Jerusalem - the same one as I originally visited. If I leave the US after August 20th, I will not be allowed back (I'm not even going to risk giving it a shot with my British passport - the fact that it "might" work is no real comfort).

Now this is all well and good assuming that I don't want to leave the States other than to Israel - fortunately cousin David got married in Canada when the Visa was still valid but what if I fancy a trip to the UK to visit Mum? No go - as is the Caribbean holiday that Mrs Gilly was trying to talk me into.

This works the same way for a friend of mine who is here with his (American) wife. In order to get a working visa, he has to find a job and then go to Israel to apply for a visa.

I respect the US's right to set policies for visas any way it likes but it puts the fact that you can make an appointment (if you can get through on the phone) at Misrad Hapnim and go and get a visa without having to spend $1000 on an air ticket into a slightly happier light. Yes they're inefficient, don't speak the language and all too frequently on strike - but at least they don't require a 12 hour plane journey.....

Shabbat shalom

Gilly

4 comments:

tafka PP said...

Great title: I guess the upside is at least you get to meet your niece?

lisoosh said...

I'm a Brit, used to live in Israel and moved to the US 10 years ago with my Israeli hubby. We've done most of the adjustments and dealt with plenty of beaurocracy, so if you need info, advice or whatever, drop me a line.
Can't help you with this one though, sorry.
See PP for references.

Yehudi01 said...

Sorry to hear about your government-induced braindamage. I love your site and read it often! Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

warhammer gold warhammer money warhammer accounts tibia money tibia gold tibia item runescape accounts buy runescape accounts runescape money runescape gold runescape gp runescape power leveling runescape powerleveling cheap rs2 powerleveling runescape equipment buy rs equipment runescape runes cheap rs2 runes runescape logs cheap rs2 logs runescape items buy runescape items runescape quest point rs2 quest point cheap runescape questpoint runescape gold runescape items runescape power leveling runescape money runescape gold buy runescape gold buy runescape money runescape items runescape accounts runescape gp runescape accounts runescape money runescape power leveling runescape powerleveling tibia gold dofus kamas buy dofus kamas wow power leveling wow powerleveling runescape questpoint rs2 questpoint Warcraft PowerLeveling Warcraft Power Leveling World of Warcraft PowerLeveling World of Warcraft Power Leveling Hellgate money Hellgate gold buy runescape logs buy rs2 items cheap runescape items Hellgate London gold Guild Wars Gold buy Guild Wars Gold runescape items rs2 accounts cheap rs2 equipments lotro gold buy lotro gold buy runescape money buy runescape gold buy runescape runes lotro gold buy lotro gold runescape money runescape gold cheap rs2 powerleveling eve isk eve online isk buy runescape power leveling rs2 power leveling tibia gold tibia item runescape accounts Fiesta Silver Fiesta Gold Scions of Fate Gold Hellgate Palladium Hellgate London Palladium SOF Gold Age Of Conan Gold AOC Gold ArchLord gold tibia money tibia gold runescape accounts runescape gold cheap rs2 powerleveling buy ArchLord gold DDO Plat Dungeons and Dragons Online Plat