Saturday, January 9, 2010

Consulate trip 1

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.


Katy said...

Glad to see that their overseas embassies operate just like a little piece of Chile .. means if any of us ever get nostalgic while visiting our home countries we can just head down the embassy for a refresher. Did they put every piece of paperwork in a separate plastic bag when you left? That would have been gold.
Good luck with it all though. Am sure is a better idea to do as much before you arrive as possible, and at least if it gets annoying you can just think about how much MORE annoying it would have been to try and do it here. (And as I type this I'm just back from the post office where I waited literally half an hour while a poor german couple tried to accomplish the apparently near-impossible task of .. posting a parcel to germany.) Gotta love it here.

Danielle said...

Oh wow! You really are serious about moving to Chile! I do hope the rest of the process goes smoothly for you and that you find work there. Who will tend your kids?

mosey along said...

No public school system in Chile?

Glad you got the first step over with - must be a bit of a relief getting the ball rolling?

(hey my word verif is "wordruts" - very appropriate since I'm blocked big time....)

Phoenix said...

Oy vey! This sounds so complicated...remind me to not move overseas until I have my life (and paperwork) together over here in the US!

When is your planned moving date?

Amanda said...

When are you moving?!?!?!

As far as I can tell, separación of bienes is good. Especially because it protects you both of you in the case of a lawsuit. (Not that anyone would ever sue you, but you never know.) That way, for example, whatever is in your name is protected. A lot of slimeball embezzelers have separación de bienes and then put the house is just their wives' names so that they can't take away their homes if things go south. Not like it matters, but you know.

We had to do separación de bienes so that the baby mama will never be able to "demandar" and tap into my assests in the case of an inheritance, etc.

Amanda said...

By the way, I would pay millions of dollars not to have to stand in line in the extranjería. Going to policia internacional and getting the carnet is bad enough, already.

Scuola Italiana is where my stepdaughter goes. It's a pretty nice school, they just built new facilities and it's awesome. If you're interested in a good school that isn't that expensive, my mother in law taught at Instituto Alonso de Ercilla. It's a really demanding, competitive school, but I like it because it's not really cuico. It's not expensive in comparison to other schools of its academic caliber, just hard to get in.
Scuola has much better arts/creative programs. I think the Scuola people are really disorganized though. You could always be gringo and send them to Santiago College, Nido or The Grange, though. But maybe look into an Italian or French school, since they already speak English!
I'd probably send my hypothetical kids to the international school. I forget what it's called.