Long term residence permit in record time!
Less than a week! 5 days to be exact. That is the time that went by between the day I applied for a long term residence permit and the approval day. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. Let me share the news:
The fact that it was so quick makes it more exciting, ironically, as there was no time to build momentum. Well, actually, there was plenty! About 4 years between the moment I decided to get it and the moment I met the living period required to opt for it.
For those who are not familiar with being an immigrant from a third world country in a EU country, let me give you some context:
Being from Venezuela (this varies from country to country), I require my employer to agree to provide the necessary paper work (and if they really want you also paying for the state fee) so that you can apply. As an employer, in order to apply, you have to justify that you are hiring a person from another country, like me, because you have not found, after X period of hunting, the right candidate in the local market. That means that you cannot get just about any job.
I have never had issues with that, but knowing what that means, theoretically, it’s always been nerve-wracking, because it means: no employer = no papers = no right to stay (though there’s a period of grace. I believe is ~3 months). So if you were to find yourself unemployed, not only are you worried about income, but about the fact that you can get kicked out of the country soon! The chances of that happening to an educated person, in her late 20s, and with experience are low. But I must confess, I am paranoid.
This paranoia could only be resolved by getting a long term permit. For that, I needed (among other things) to have:
– A certificate of Estonian language of, at least, level B1.
– Lived in the country for at least 5 years with a valid temporary permit for working/living (plus other conditions withing this period).
The longest wait, though, was the one for the language examination results: they said 30 days and 30 days it took. I expected them every day and every day I was left without news. Until December 17 2013, exactly 30 days after taking the examination, I got the news:
However, instead of going straight to the police office, I invested my energy of that month (just as every year) spending time with friends using the holidays as an excuse, but after getting tired of the celebrations, and setting the tone for the new year, on January 3, 2014, I went to the police office to submit the so long expected application for the long term residence permit.
Before that, on January 2nd, I had to trash 3 applaction forms which I filled in wrongly. Then I struggled a bit with eesti.ee site structure trying to get a paper copy of my language certificate because, just like everything in Estonia, I only had a digital copy (magic!). I brought 6 copies of my payslip as proof of income and I got my passport.
Once at the police station, they didn’t need any of that, except for the passport, because everything is online! I signed, had my fingerprints scanned, paid and left not without checking in on Foursquare first! (my most popular check-in ever, btw :)).
And 5 days later I got the great news! I now have:
– Left paranoia behind.
– The right to vote in local elections.
– The right to buy a place if I wanted to.
Isn’t it great?! I think it’s awesome!