One of our hopes for the move to Dublin was that we’d be there by my birthday. Incidentally, I turn 38 on Sunday so as you can see that ship has sailed.
Several days ago I wrote about how we had basically no insight whatsoever into the visa approval process and how frustrated I was with the law firm Alan’s company uses for the visa processing because they were giving us no tangible information to go on. Shortly thereafter they provided Alan with the link to Ireland’s Department of Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation – the organization that processes visa applicants for the country. They also told us that based on what they knew we should get our visa approved the week of August 24. For those of you playing along at home, that’s this week.
So we’ve been logging on to the website every morning (since by the time we wake up it’s already EOD in Dublin), seeking a general update on their timeline. While we can’t get any specific insight into our specific application, the site does list where they’re at – in general – in processing certain types of visas. For example, if your application was for Employment Permits in respect of Medical Professionals and you submitted on or before July 17, you probably would have heard something by now. The problem with relying on the site to know when you might hear something is that they don’t update it as regularly as you would hope. For example, our paperwork is for an Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit type of visa and if you look at the website – last updated on August 24 – it says they are currently processing applications that were submitted on July 3.
This is where things fall into the gray zone for us and we have absolutely no insight into what’s going on beyond some pretty lackluster assurances from the lawyers in Dublin handling our paperwork on behalf of his company.
I FedEx’d our paperwork on Thursday, June 25, using the fastest possible sending time to Dublin (at a pretty substantial mailing fee, I might add) and received confirmation that it arrived on Monday, June 29, someone in the law office signing for it well before noon. From there, I’m not entirely sure what day they submitted our paperwork, but I *want* to say it was sometime between July 1 and July 6.
(Edited to add: Alan just told me they filed our paperwork on June 30, and the government agency acknowledged receipt on July 6.)
And here’s where I have more frustrations.
Back in college I worked for the Department of Linguistics at my University, where a world-renowned English Language Institute is. My job was to type up the visa paperwork – on a typewriter, mind you! – and make sure that all applications got out the door within the same day they were received. During our busy season I ate my lunch at my desk to make sure that a student from Kuwait, for example, had his paperwork processed in a quick and timely manner and that his application was FedEx’d to the appropriate government agency within 24 hours of me opening that envelope. (Looking back, holy hell I had a lot of responsibility for being only 19!) And so, the fact that someone may have sat on our paperwork for days before submitting it makes me cringe. I have to keep telling myself NOT to think about it because I don’t need to be any more frustrated about this process than I already am. But yeah, I do often picture a few women sitting around an office processing 2-3 applications a day, talking about the TV shows they watched the night before, or heading out at 4 p.m. to go have a few pints at the pub before heading home and then returning the next morning at 9 a.m. for three more hours of work. Actually, this has pretty much become my vision of what’s happening over there.
But I digress …
So, based on the fact that three days ago they were processing paperwork from Friday, July 3, I’m going to guess that the reality is that our application wasn’t turned in until at least Monday, July 6. So, you can deduce that if on 8/24 they were processing 7/3 applicants, on 8/25 they were processing 7/6 applications, on 8/26 applications from 7/7, and today they were doing applications from 7/8. Which puts us squarely past the day when our application was supposedly submitted.
The question is, if we wake up tomorrow morning and don’t have word on our visa, what are the lawyers in Dublin going to tell us this time? Are they going to blithely tell us that there are even further delays and we should hear something in two additional weeks? Are they going to apologize? Hell, are they going to acknowledge the date they gave us has come and gone at all or are we going to have to bring it to their attention?
But an even bigger question we have is how their delay affects our overall time in Ireland. The visa application had Alan starting his job in Dublin on September 1. At this rate if they approved our application tomorrow the soonest we think we could possibly get to Dublin is mid-September. Does that push back the duration of his work period, or are we locked into the September 1 date as the time at which our countdown begins, even if he’s not actually in the country? I don’t think we’ve gotten a clear answer on that and that’s just one more frustrating thing on top of the frustration sundae.
At this point I’ve stopped packing. I’ve stopped even trying to figure out how to best optimize our apartment for the remainder of our time here. I’m tired of putting things in boxes. Alan said to me last night, “I feel like we’ve stopped making progress.” Yeah, and you know why? Because there’s no reason to do anything else. At this point I’ve gone through all of my crap. I’m not going to go back over it with a fine-toothed comb. The movers can throw everything into a giant bin, unsorted, for all I care. I’ve pretty much stopped looking at the real estate listings imagining what part of town we want to live in, trying to decide if we want a condo in the city center or a calm, tranquil house in a neighborhood. And that makes me mad because I want to be excited for this move. This is something we’ve wanted for so long and have looked to the future longingly for. So it makes me mad that I’ve long passed the time when I would have been thrilled to get notification and have instead passed into the “it’s about goddamn time” zone.
The bureaucracy has diminished my joy and that makes me more upset than anything.