Visas

One of the difficult parts of living overseas is maintaining your legal status in the country. As missionaries to Kenya, we have to register with the government and receive approval to work here in that role. We did the same thing when we lived in Peru. In both places it is a bit of a hassle, although it was more difficult in Peru because we lived so far from the capital. In Peru we would get all of our documents and then travel by plane to the capital to wait in the immigration office line for several hours to be approved for our work there. The first time we went for our immigration review, we had to have police records, many apostilled documents from the US

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The immigration office is in the basement. The bathrooms are on the fourth floor.

including our marriage certificate and birth certificates, a dental exam by the Peruvian government, our fingerprints, and probably some other things that I do not remember. In Kenya it is easier in regards to documentation, but it still requires a trip to the capital. Luckily the office in Nairobi is one 1 1/2 hours from our home in Kijabe. You go and submit your documents, pay your fees, get fingerprinted, and then you wait. And you wait a little longer. By a little longer I mean a couple months. Eventually you get your alien card. Having the alien card is great because it gives you a more permanent legal status in Kenya, and it allows you to go to parks and other destinations more cheaply. You can buy a car. You are no longer a tourist! My current frustration is that I got my alien card and they only approved me until May! What!! That means I have to go through the entire process again in just a few months. Most people get a couple years of approval. At least I am getting a lot of practice in the process.

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