Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My Brazilian Visa Troubles

I left Canada without getting a Brazilian visa for many reason. For one it seemed very complicated and I was sure there was an easier way. I didn’t plan this trip what so ever so I had no time to get one and I thought there was a chance I was going to be called back to Canada for my dream job traveling the world and getting paid. Also you need to show a ticket leaving from Brazil and I haven’t bought a roundtrip ticket in years that requires commitment which I don’t have. I ended up in Argentina before going to Brazil and knew you could arrange a visa through the consulate. I did what any person would do, I marched down to the consulate with my passport and photos to have them process my visa.

Not a chance Argentina likes to be a bit more advanced and westernized than the rest of Latin America which means red tape. I had to make an appointment and fill out a form online. My appointment was for Dec 29th but I wasn’t given a confirmation number, this is actually a key thing to have, if you don’t get a confirmation number than you don’t have an appointment.

I took off traveling Argentina before my appointment and returned to have my Australian friend tell me she made an appointment for the same day at the same time. This couldn’t be possible you can’t have two people at the same time. I discovered I didn’t even have an appointment and my Australian twin had stolen my time slot. I was screwed.

I made a second appointment which was in a week. I had all my information filled and I even bought a ticket out of Brazil and made hostels reservations the whole thing was legit as opposed to the last time when I had fake bookings because I didn’t want to commit to a departure date out of Brazil or any plans for that matter. My third time to the consulate, my third time marching across the big Avenida 9 de Julio, perhaps three’s a charm.

Things were going good when they were happy with all my information and said I could pick it up the next day. Instead the next day I get an urgent e-mail message from the consulate and they needed my presence immediately. What had I done?!

On my fourth trip to the consulate they told me they cannot proceed further with my visa because apparently I was going to work in Brazil illegally. Who had they spoken to?! I’ve never worked illegally anywhere.....never mind!!

After much fighting with them I discovered they saw that I worked on a cruise ship in Canada and since there are a lot of cruise ships in Brazil that I was going there to work on one( I worked on a small river boat for old people there is a huge difference! ).They couldn’t fathom that I could just travel for 3 months without working. I had already been traveling for 2 months and I had worked on a boat therefore I had money saved. They were nuts! Lots of people travel for months or even years without working, they travel on their savings.

At this point I was livid and my dreams of traveling Brazil were going down the drain. I was feeling a bit sickly and I don’t usually like to pull this card but I was frustrated, angry, my nose was running, I looked like hell and I just wanted to get the hell out of Argentina so the waterworks came. I tried to hold them back but a few little tears ran down my cheek.

They then told me to come back in two hours and it will be done. My fifth time to the consulate I had my passport in hand with my Brazilian stamp. Do da looo mother f-ers!!

To avoid all the annoyance I went through check out my next blog posting where I give detailed information about how to get a Brazilian Visa in Argentina.

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