Visas, Visas, Visas!

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Sike! It’s a lot more work than going on Oprah!

We have been busy getting our Vietnam stuff sorted AND getting marriage stuff sorted for me, as we are getting married in the UK and Rob is from the UK (lucky duck). Oh! And canceling our residency in Kuwait! Phew!

For Vietnam visas, we were told that we need our teaching certificates and our university/college degrees notarized (by a notary), authenticated (by the Department of State of a state), and legalized (by the Vietnam Embassy is DC/London). We were also told that we need a copy of our passports notarized. We need copies of every single page of our passports notarized. Because my teaching certificate only  has my first and last name, while all other documents have my first, middle, and last name, I needed to get an affidavit of same person notarized and authenticated. Then we needed a criminal background check done from Kuwait and a medical check done in Kuwait that is stamped by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and then legalized at the Vietnamese Consulate. It’s a lot. And not just that, it is a lot of money. We do get reimbursed up to a certain amount of money, but my affidavit has put me over that reimbursement cap, which means I won’t be seeing all of the money I spent. Oh well. It was only, like, 50 bucks? Yikes.

Anywhos, the marriage visa has been a pain! My understanding about getting married in the UK is as follows: you and your partner need to be in the country for 7 consecutive days then you go to a registrar’s office and fill out a form that then allows your names and the announcement of your marriage to go out into the Universe for 28 days. If no one objects to this marriage during those 28 days, you have a year to get married. Um, what?! How crazy, how different! So, since Rob and I have not been in England and we would like to be married before going to Vietnam, we had to figure out a different way. There is a place in Scotland that allows you to fill on the special Universe form and submit all documents 29 days before your marriage from where we are. On top of filling out a handful of these special Universe papers, I also had to apply for a marriage visa. It was very nerve-racking. They gave us a checklist of all the documents they needed, and I am pretty sure we gave them all of those and then some because we are both extra careful and not keen on rejection (who is?). Luckily, we got that back within a week! I think I went a bit out of order in terms of the events of this paragraph, but whatever. We are now waiting for our special Universe forms to get to the UK!

Lastly, we are also having to close out all our stuff in Kuwait so that we can have our residency canceled. I’ve chatted with many people from many different schools, and it seems that Rob and I got super lucky in that both our schools let us do most of the work on our own. How sweet! It’s like our schools think it is super easy or something! I mean, it isn’t hard, but it is a bunch of work. We have to cancel our banks, our internets, we have to have our apartments checked, we have to sign a paper saying we’ve been paid everything we were supposed to be paid even if we haven’t been paid it yet (HA! Rob did that… I won’t be), then we have to turn over our passports and IDs to be stamped away and canceled. The Kuwait part is the easiest of all our visa stuff. Thank goodness. Getting the criminal background check has been a headache so far. Hoping that headache is done, though…

Like I said, we have been super busy. Getting visas and canceling visas isn’t all that easy, but it will definitely be worth it in the end!

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