Visa Adventures in NYC
9 July 2019
In order to be allowed to stay in Spain for more than a typical tourist visa allows (90 days), I need to get a long-term visa. The Spanish Ministry of Education, with whom I am being employed, has allowed us to get student visas… I guess because we’re in the education system. In order to get that we have to go to our closest Spanish consulate, based off of our driver’s license.
That was the problem I faced about a month ago when I still had a Colorado license. With that license, I’d have to go to the Los Angeles consulate. But with the intention of staying at my brother’s for most of July, that would be a long flight. And since they don’t mail completed visas, a second flight as well. So I flew out in early June to get my PA license.
That enabled me to go to the New York consulate today, which is much much closer. Taking the train in from New Jersey, I arrived mid-afternoon to Penn Station. With the help of a small computer in my pocket, I found my way to the correct subway station, bought my card, and set off for Brooklyn where I’d be spending the evening with my dear friend Sara.
As has become custom, we saw a show on Broadway this time being Wicked. I had seen it before in Portland when it came through, but seeing it at the Gershwin Theater was something else altogether!
The next morning, I set out to Midtown to the consulate all a fluster. What if my paperwork wasn’t correct? What if I missed something despite obsessively checking all my documents as recently as that morning? After a bit of waiting, it turns out I had nothing to worry about; I had everything they required. I was told the wait time was 2-4 weeks, but since my departure date is 04 August, I’m hoping it’s sooner rather than later.
Since I was in New York, I figured I may as well see the city some more. So I took the subway and then SkyTrain out to JFK. In all actuality, I had an appointment with the CBP for my Global Entry application. Not only does it get you TSA Pre-Check, it also allows you an expedited path through customs for five years. With my upcoming travel, I thought it worth it. Once you get conditionally approved, the interview stage is mostly a formality. I answered a few questions, looked straight into the camera, and left a part of my soul as collateral. You know, the usual.
From JFK to Jamaica to Penn Station to Pizza to Newark to High Bridge through back roads of Pennsylvania, to home. At least for now.