Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Visas schmeezers

Get this: You apply for a residence permit once you arrive in Iceland, NOT while you're still in Australia!! So, "The 90 day visa you have received [...] gives you 90 days to travel to Iceland." Weird, cos I thought Australians could spend 3 months in Iceland without a visa! [update: the special 'D-visas' that we got allow us to apply for residency. If you squint at it, it sort of makes sense. Sort of...]

Our current visas allow us to travel to Iceland. When you arrive in Iceland, we then register our Icelandic address and have our mugshots taken at the Immigration office. THEN, the immigration office will issue your residence permit card. I'm glad (hope?) the immigration office knows what's going on...

Visa thrills and spills

It's heart-pounding excitement here, as our visas appear to be for 90 days, instead of the full year they were supposed to be. No-one in Iceland appears to be at work yet, but L is frantically calling and emailing to find out what the story is. Stay tuned!!

Monday, 26 November 2007

visas nearly in hand!

From the Royal Danish Consulate General in Sydney, who issue the Icelandic visas:
"I have received your passports today AND the permit from the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration. Your visas have been issued and I will return your passports with the visas in the Express envelope you enclosed tonight."

Happily, the race between the visas and the flights appears to have been won by the visas - but I'll confirm this once we have our passports back in hand!

Friday, 23 November 2007

Bought plane tickets!

Wow, we're leaving on Friday, the 30th. Tulla-Bangkok-Copenhagen-Reykjavik. 6 hours in Copenhagen, but only 2 hours in Bangkok, so that L seems to have done a good job finding flights. Flying with Thai Airlines. Right, I'm off to go climbing - all this excitement has left me needing an escape. (Omg, I have a presentation to give in 2 weeks!) Have begun acclimatising to Iceland time - they're 11 hours behind us *sigh*.

we zijn dar biiiijnaar, we zijn dar biiiiijnaar....

we're going to iiiiiiceland, we're going to iiiiiceland (sung to the tune of 'we zijn dar bijnaar', but you can imagine any annoyingly ear-wormy tune you like) - our visa applications have been approved! Now we just need to send our passports to the Danish Embassy in Sydney to get the visas stuck in, and we need to buy our tickets. Oh, and pack. we zijn dar biiiiijnaar, we zijn dar biiiijnaar... !!!

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Cracking that whip

My Icelandic Head of Department has now called the Iceland Directorate of Immigration on my behalf, explaining "the urgency and vital importance" of getting my visa SOON, and how important a person I am :) . He also told me he told them that "we had planned an international conference here in relation to your arrival on the scene and now everything was up in the air because you weren't here yet. She answered me back and promised to look at your case tomorrow." So, cop that, you unenlightened immigration officials you.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Going-away party

Well, still no visas or plane tickets, but we've had our going-away bash now! The photos are up on picasa, but you need to be invited to see them, so drop me a line if you'd like viewing rights of our lovely friends at our take-over of Papa Gino's last night :)

Friday, 16 November 2007

visas next week?

"Your application will be examined next week. Your representative will be informed if any further documents are required, or if your application is approved."

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Plane tix update....

Um, so, we didn't buy our plane tickets after all, since they would require payment within a couple of days anyway, which we don't want to do until we have our visas. But I have now heard from Iceland that they will be emailing the visa details to Sydney for us, so as soon as they're approved, we'll be gone in a few days.

Enquiries about our departure/arrival dates are becoming more insistent, from friends here, and from our landlords there, but sorry, we're still 'aiming at 21-22/11'. The linguists in Reykjavik, meanwhile, seem to have nothing to say at this stage.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Visa/dates update

I've been getting lots of emails and requests for updates, and the bottom line is: no, we haven't bought our tickets yet, because we still don't have our visas!

I sent an email to every embassy and consulate remotely connected with us getting our visas, and received several replies, so I have some idea of the timeframe: Iceland (the Directorate of Immigration) received our visa applications on the 24/10. For a process that normally takes 3 months, they're 'working as quickly as they can', and I expect 3-4 weeks turnaround on that (so around the 17th). Iceland then informs Sydney that they can 'issue the visa'. This means that we send our passports to Sydney via registered mail, and the person there said that, depending on workload, it would probably take a couple of days to get our passports back, with the visa permits stuck in them (so around the 20th).

We're planning to book plane tickets this afternoon, for the 21st (I think), with STA, because if we need to reschedule our flights, it doesn't cost anything. Flight Centre were going to charge $100 per flight to change, and booking online is about the same. Since we're going to be cutting it fine with the visas, we really need movable tickets. And this means that, even we once we've booked our tickets, this doesn't mean we'll be leaving the country then!! But the 20th/21st of November is a good approximation, hopefully.

We're expecting to hold our going-away party on Monday the 19th, at a pizza place in town, so hopefully folks can bring kids and there won't be any clean up. But we'll send an official invite closer to the date (unless too many people say that date's no good beforehand).