We drove to the Chilean Consulate in Houston this week to complete the first steps in the process of moving to Chile.
We registered the kids--this is strangely the lengthy part, as it can take up to 6-7 months. As with all things in Chile, though, a "pituto" (someone you know on the inside) can speed things along. The woman at the consulate said that she knows someone in "extranjeria" (immigration) that she can ask to speed things up.
We registered our marriage. We were technically supposed to do it in San Francisco, but they allowed us to sign here and then they will send the papers there (where they will presumably be accepted--we hope). Registering our marriage involved deciding what kind of economic contract we wanted--this determines how assets acquired during the marriage are divided should the marriage end (in both death or divorce, I think). I read up on it a little before going... then totally forgot which one I had decided on. We ended up deciding on "separacion de bienes" (separation of assets--which means that what I acquire is mine and what he acquires is his) Jokingly I said that I wanted the kind of contract where what is mine is mine and what is his is mine, kind of like the system he and I currently operate under. Who knows if we have made a colossal blunder...
I inquired about my visa and was pleasantly surprised to find out that once I fax my paperwork, it only takes about a week. I have to get an FBI background check and an HIV test/medical check-up but apart from that it will be fairly quick. Of course, it costs about $400. I think I remember reading that if I were to do it in Chile it would be free... but that it would take an eternity and lots more paperwork. Plus I want to land with the authorization to work.
For all of those who understand the complex system for buying the simplest of things in Chile--order at one counter, pay at the register, then hand over reciept and pick up goods at a third counter... you will be happy to know that the same process applies at the consulate in the US... I had to go downstairs and deposit the $10 it cost for the registrations in a their bank account, and then take the receipt back upstairs.
I have also started looking into schools for G for next year. The cost of some of them is enough to give you an anxiety attack.