Friday, March 13, 2009

Buscando Visa para un Sueño...

Juan Luis Guerra is a Dominican singer, very much known around the world because of his famous merengue's compositions. I can say that despite of all the years he has been working in this, he is like Madonna... always reinventing himself. Always with something new to bring up.
In this occasion, and although there is a friend of mine who says some of us believe Juan Luis Guerra is the only merengue singer alive, I will stick to my personal opinion, that this man can relate in many ways with the population.
Every time I have to go to the Spanish Consulate in order to obtain a specific visa (first one of study, now a working visa) is the worst thing that could happen to me, and this song always come to my mind.


I have had to ask for a Spanish visa 3 times in my life.
The first one was ok, because I didn't even go to the Consulate. An agency did all the work for me, and I am so grateful. It was for my 15th birthday, and my gift was a trip to Europe and Africa. Great trip ever.
The second one was BAD. I was supposted to obtain my visa in 3 weeks, but until the 4th I didn't received it. Excuses? Not even one. My passport was supposedly at Spain waiting for my study permission to be approved. Though I was already accepted by the University I was going to.
4 weeks in order to obtain a visa, and the Customer Service Agent that was at the Consulate only gave me but bad responses, nothing to calm one down.
The third one was the Worst. I already knew how the Consulate was working... and so I was prepared. I delivered my passport on Feb 16th, and called to its office two weeks after. My passport was done since Feb 20th, and Customer Service agents said that it was ok for me to pick it up from next morning on. And I said! Well too bad for them that didn't call me before to let me know, but anyways Im so picking my passport and leaving asap. Next thing I know, I was at the Consulate and they wouldn't give me my passport, cause the date I was supposted to pick it up was March 11th, and yet was the week previous to that one.
Im like WHAT?! My passport is damn ready, I called and they said it was Ok to pick it up.. But the agent there did not understood my urgency. She said she did not have a manager, wouldn't call anyone whom I could speak to, but her. Passports were locked in, and guess what?! No one had the key, according to this girl...
I called back to Customer Service phone line and they talked to me rudely, and said that I had to wait despite of what they had said the day before... and hung up on me...
Now, I might be crazy or stupid, but in my opinion the Spanish Consulate is not right...

The thing is that, just like me, there are many people dealing with these kind of situations every day, and no one would ever speak out loud to let know what's happening. Golpe de poder (People abusing of their power) just like Juan Luis Guerra says in its song "Buscando Visa para un Sueño", Qué más puedo hacer? (What else can I do?) since there are no options for us whatsoever.
This is an European Consulate located in the Caribbean, and I am not saying all Consulates work the same way. But being Spain such an important country to which lots of dominicans go abroad to, this issues should be solved soon. It should be an embarrasment to all spanish people when we let know how much trouble we have to deal with when trying to go to their country.
Proving we have enough money to go, a house to stay at, a good insurance, a medical certificate of good health only issued by 2 doctors that have an angreement with the Consulate, among other things... make this process unpleasant. But still, we have no options that to be submitted to them.

If you wish to hear this Juan Luis Guerra song,please go over you tube and find this link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PiC9TyiBoxI