La vie n’est pas un longue fleuve tranquille aka Consulate Visits 2 and 3

My life is full of adventure. Not always the type of adventure I like, but it’s all part of the journey. This week, I went to pick up my visa and like at my first visit, I had another surprise. I got my visa and OFII form and was told to check to make sure my name was spelled correctly, which it was. I was so happy to finally have my visa that I practically ran out of the consulate. After a little while, I looked at my visa again because I was so happy that I finally had it and *drum roll*- It’s not actually the right visa! Gasp! And the OFII form isn’t filled out properly either. They gave me a student visa and checked the student box on the OFII form. Needless to say, I started freaking out a little, but I was prepared. Thanks to my other visa problems, I had both the emergency and normal phone numbers for the consulate saved on my cell phone. It wasn’t technically an emergency, so I waited until 4PM to call the number which only works between 4-5PM. The mean woman of window 1 picked up and told me I had to come back to the consulate the next day. I tried to get them to let me come back right then, but they wouldn’t let me saying they were closed.Probably someone was still there who could have fixed the mistake, because when I was a student, I had to come back after they technically closed because they forgot to take my photo. The woman tried to put the fault on me saying I should have looked over my visa better before leaving, which I should have, I admit. However, the visa should have been correct. Regardless of when the mistake was found, it was their fault, not mine. I filled out all the forms correctly. They had copies of my arrêté de nomination, a form proving I’m employed by the French government, and I didn’t hand in any campus France forms which you need for a student visa. So why would I have thought they might not have given me the right visa? I had to come back the next morning. When I came back, the mean woman of window 1 was at window 2, the window I had to go to. She told me that she’d called my name earlier, which makes no sense since I didn’t have an appointment time. She said it would take about five minutes. I didn’t believe her, of course, and an hour later, I was called to window 2 or 3. A nice young guy went over my visa line by line with me as well as my OFII form. Though this required two days worth of on peak train tickets, I now FINALLY have the correct visa. I have never been to the French consulate of NY and not had a problem. It’s incredible, really. I’m not very happy with the consulate and if there’s a next time, I’ll be sure to check EVERYTHING. VERY. CAREFULLY. I really have to wonder, if I’ve had a problem every time I’ve been to the consulate, this time and for study abroad, how frequently do these problems occur? There is a positive side, though. One of my friends from France, Camille, was here visiting me, and she really wanted to see New York, so this forced us to spend two days in New York. We had a lot of fun in the city, despite the problems and I now have my correct visa. Enfin. Moral of the story, look your visa and forms over really well when you get them back!


About Quiche Lauren

A blog by an English teaching assistant in Nîmes (Académie de Montpellier) through the TAPIF program.
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