The hassles are never-ending and even extend to Maputo and the American Embassy, but I am sorted with a temporary visa at least for the next three months.
I went to Consular Services first thing on Friday morning to get fingerprints (my back-up should I need to obtain a notarized copy of my background check from Texas Department of Public Safety). However, I could not get the letter from them stating that I stated that my background check is authentic because the consul was gone and the acting consul was not comfortable signing such a letter. So I returned on Monday morning when the consul was back and had no trouble getting a letter. Then I had to take that letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to have them notarize it so that Immigration could accept it. Amazingly I bumped into another American who had a car and was also headed to the Ministry, so I rode with her. However, at the Ministry, they would not notarize the embassy’s letter because the new consul’s signature is not on file with them. What?! So we went back to the embassy, arriving ten minutes before they closed, and I waited for an hour while one of the Consular Services officials made phone calls to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and to Immigration in Maputo. The best he could do for me then was say that the director of Immigration in Maputo was going to call the director of Immigration in Beira. I returned to Beira on Tuesday just praying that the call had indeed been made and accepted.
On Wednesday morning I met with the director here who hadn’t heard from the director in Maputo. But she called him and said she would accept the background check. However, I still can’t get my residence visa because I am waiting on my work permit. In the last week or so, the system between the Ministry of Labor and Immigration has changed. Previously, residence visas were issued with a receipt from the Ministry of Labor stating that documents had been accepted and were being processed for a work permit. Now, however, a residence visa cannot be issued without proof of the actual work permit, and work permits are taking up to five months to issue. Thankfully, Immigration offered me a three-month temporary visa. Now I just wait.