Fortunately, it seems like we are going to be able to stay in our house. We handled the situation in the way that we, as Americans, thought was best. We hired a lawyer. Right after he got involved everything seemed to change and now it looks like we will be able to stay in this house with the same lease terms under the new owner/landlord. I won't truly believe it until the new lease has been signed (note, Mr. Deep insists we do not need to sign a new lease) but hopefully we dodged a bullet and moving remains off the things to do list.
The universe didn't want us to get too comfortable though because now the project that we have to do over is our visa applications. Yes, the entire visa application process that I wrote about in this post and this one has to be redone. The reason? Mr. Deep's office here in SA has changed it's name slightly and that requires us both to get new visas.
And that is dumb.
If redoing the chest x-rays (we don't have TB) and the mounds of paperwork was not enough of a pain, it seems that I have a syndrome which makes my visa application even more challenging to complete. I don't have readable fingerprints. An FBI background check is a requirement for the visa application and to get the background check you have to submit a set of inked fingerprints.
Every every time I get an inked set of fingerprints from the local police station and we submit them to the FBI they get rejected. We have submitted four separate sets of my fingerprints and they all have been rejected. Mr. Deep, who is apparently normal as far as fingerprints go, was approved on the first submission. Each of my rejection notices contain the following statement,
"your fingerprints have been successfully received by the FBI, but are unable to be processed. There are a small percentage of individuals in which the fingerprint image quality is very low.
An individual, by the nature of their work or age, may have very thin or worn ridges in the pattern area."
Work or age? Did I type so forcefully over the years at work that my fingerprints rubbed off? Or maybe it was dialing into all of those conference calls that did it? Did I do a lot of work where my hands were soaking in acid for hours on end and I just don't remember it? Did all of my nail biting somehow harm my finger tips?
|To the naked eye all appears normal|
Electronic scanning of fingerprints does exist. That is what I had to do the first time when we were still in the U.S., and my fingerprints were rejected and I first became aware of my print deficiency. At that time, a guy from an accredited company came to our house, hooked me up to a machine and scanned each fingerprint until it was legible and then submitted all of my prints to the FBI for approval. Within 48 hours the background check was complete. So it can be done. But, the only companies that the FBI will accept scanned fingerprints from are located in the U.S. And that's - you guessed it - dumb! We did inquire to see if this prior set of scanned fingerprints could be used to conduct this latest background check but the fingerprint scans apparently are destroyed after they are submitted.
So I have to make a trip to the U.S. on Monday. It's a 15 hour flight each way and I have to go by myself. It's going to cost Mr. Deep's company thousands of dollars in airfare and I do mean thousands because I'm going to sit in the very front of the plane if you know what I mean. All this for a ten minute fingerprinting procedure. We are returning to the U.S. for Thanksgiving in less than two months but these fingerprints need to be done now.
Of course it will be nice to be able to see my parents and a few of my friends. I should not complain about a free trip home (but I will anyway.) I wonder how many Starbucks coffees I sip down in the few days that I am back in the U.S.? I can get a new iPhone while I am there since mine is old and looks like a brick. I can eat pizza by the slice every day and I can eat Mexican food. I can wander around Target aimlessly. When I talk people won't hear an accent. I will sound normal. When I order water can pronounce it wawdder instead of saying waw-teh. It will be fun. But it's still dumb.