We took a trip to the French Consulate in Chicago last week. We had to visit in person to apply for our long stay visas. I had 14 documents just for my visa application alone. Copies of my birth certificate, rental house agreement, bank statements, letter promising not to work, proof of medical insurance and an express mail envelope from the US POST OFFICE ONLY were collected by the Consulate. Their caps, not mine. I think I may have also given them my report card from first grade, but it is hard to tell. Oh, no wait, they wanted Joey's report card from first grade. Seriously.
The kids had their own separate list of documents they needed. But I have already blocked that out.
I think the French Consulate was testing me to see how many documents they could request before I cracked. But I didn't crack. Oh wait, yes I did. When we arrived the first question they asked me was whether I was applying as a student or a visitor. My mind went completely blank. I couldn't remember how I was applying. So I started mumbling about how I was going to take French classes and blah blah blah. Finally, I hear Rod saying VISITOR, she is a visitor. Then it all came back to me and my mind clicked back on. One word. I forgot one word.
They kept our passports with them. It was an eerie feeling leaving their office and leaving the passports behind. What if I wanted to pop over to Canada on a moments notice. What would I do then?
But now all is good. I got the express mail envelope today. We got back all of our passports with nice official French visas attached. I think we have passed the first test.