I posted last month about my experience applying for a work and residence permit. Now it’s come full circle as I tried to claim the approved permit.
I arranged with the Danish Consulate in New York to have my work visa attached to my passport at the local police station. I thought this would be easy peasy, turns out it was anything but!
My well laid plans to deal with the visa and residence registrations last Friday were bulldozed when a not so friendly woman informed me that Foreign Police is only open from 10 – 1 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and from 1 – 3 on Thursdays.
Today, after some finagling, I was able to borrow a car, which worked out great once its owner explained “reverse” to me. There’s nothing quite like asking for a favor, then having to look a gift horse in the mouth by calling to ask something stupid like, ” how do I put it in reverse?”
My “quick trip” went long after the police told me I needed a letter from the Danish Consulate in order to collect my permit. I didn’t have a letter because they never sent one, they just left me a voicemail, so I asked them to retrieve the info online. They insisted that their system didn’t have info from the NYC office, which seemed a bit odd to me since the approval came from Copenhagen to NYC, but not speaking Danish kind of puts me at a disadvantage when handling these things.
Twenty minutes on the phone with the Danish immigration office confirmed that the police could in fact see my visa info online. Oh, but not so fast!
I’d submitted a passport photo with my application, but they needed another photo in order to issue my visa. Oy vey!
After paying 100 DKK (about $20) to the closest photo shop, I trekked back to the police station with four copies of a photo of me looking like I just crawled out of a sewer. I rationalized that it would go in a file somewhere and I’d never have to see it again.
After all of this, Foreign Police was closed, but they made an exception, and a little while later, a police officer came downstairs, shook my hand, and presented me with my formal permission to live and work in Denmark until 2013! The sewer rat photo is affixed with the visa stamp inside my passport as a constant reminder to always carry lipstick and a comb.
Major hurdles were cleared today, but there are still more. I still need permission from the government to buy my flat. I still need to figure out the Danish mortgage system. I still need to make the 18 hour (give or take) transatlantic trek with Opie. I still need to pack my shipping container. And I need to learn Danish.
Still, I can handle all of it because I know I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be right now.