I am a little anxious, as we are getting all our paperwork in order to apply for our long term visitors visas in Atlanta tomorrow.
Getting everything together for the consulate is cumbersome....and here is why.
First, each individual passport holder must have his/her own appointment. There are only two appointment slots per day. So if you are traveling as a family, like we are, two people can get appointments on one day, and the next group of two must wait until the next day. So it you are a family of five, it would take three days of appointments! Perhaps when we get to Atlatna tomorrow, we will find out differently....but according to the website, we have to do it this way.
The other thing that is required for the visa is health insurance. It makes sense that one would need insurance, but we did not know that we needed it prior to our appointment. We figured that we could purchase it once we got to France. Needless to say, we were scrambling last week, trying to figure out which insurance to purchase. Buyer beware....not all insurance meets the Schengen Visa requirements. Did I mention that I hate trying to figure out insurance policies? Fortunately, I had connected with a woman who has been living in France for the past four years. Her name is Annie Andre, and if you ever plan to do a trip like this, I encourage you to check out her blog...http://www.annieandre.com/blog/ Anyway, she helped me out big time!
The consulate also wants to know that we will not work while we are in France. Again, I understand that they do not want us taking work from one of their own. In addition, they want to know how we are going to support ourselves while we are there. Rick had a letter drafted from his financial advisor. In addition to these documents, we must provide a French translation of each one! Fortunately, I have two wonderful local French women who have entered my life because of this adventure. The first is my daughter's French tutor, Céline. She translated the net worth statement for us. I tried, but I was looking up every other word on Wordreference.com! I gave it my best shot, and then Céline modified it so that they could understand it! The other wonderful woman, Catherine, leads the French conversation class that I started taking on Thursdays. She graciously reworded the "no work" document. Now we just have to hope and pray that the consulate was not expecting us to translate the tax return! Can you imagine?!
Praying that tomorrow goes well.
I thought that I would add a picture of us leaving the French Consulate. The box is in Bronwyn's hands because THE REQUIRED VISA PAPERWORK FILLED UP AN ENTIRE BOX, INCLUDING THE REQUIRED FRENCH TRANSLATION OF EVERY DOCUMENT.
Although we were intimidated by the Visa requirements and worried that we would be rejected for some technicality, fortunately, the person who interviewed us was very nice.