Papers & the organised chaos in La Paz!


Two days after his arrival, we went to the immigration office to start up the migration procedure.  I thought we knew exactly what we would need as we were informed by friends and family but… Eventually it became a day to day task with the result, that we were running up and down town! To our surprise on Wednesday, March 27, Vincent got his Passport with the Visa stamp needed! But of course he also needs to have a “carnet” an ID card for foreigners. To our surprise we got that one a week later! A total of six weeks we spent on the Visa, which is very fast for Bolivian standards. Of course it was very convenient that I’m still Bolivian, because of birth, knowing the culture, speaking spanish and having my family helped a lot!

Vincent: If you would like to know more details…! First I had to go to Interpol where we had to go back in total three times to get the right papers and off course to get the right stamps. Step two: the local police, you will have to bring all papers with you copy them about two times in order to get the other stamps. Believe it or not we had to go there three times again. It’s been a good way to test my kindness and patience…! Finally after the right stamp on the right paper from the police we could hit step three: Immigration. We thought this would be the last one to get my visa and stamp in my passport, so yeah here we go. In between all of that, we saw a lawyer and a notary for over.. guess what three times, to get the right and official papers that prove with official evidence that I have a place to stay enough income etc. Somehow it seems there is always one paper missing. When we visit these places we always go out arranging another paper or a copy of a paper, I believe in total we made about 40 copies of different papers. I almost forget: I also had to pay a visit to the medical centre for a full check up of my medical situation. After many years not going to a doctor for a check up I can say I passed the tests and I am still healthy also got a paper and stamp from them! Then finally we got a date where I could get my passport with stamp! I almost couldn’t believe it, then they told me I have 25 days get my foreigners ID! ooohhhhh my patience almost ran out… Another office called SEGIP (latest registration system of Bolivia) where I would have to go to! Got there the same day with all the papers all the stamps and then to my surprise one week after, I got my Bolivian ID card yahoooooooo!  I was very happy I must say. In short: Bolivia “loves” bureaucracy but everything is on track to accelerate to become digitalised my documents and information will stay in the computer for 15 years they say – yes believe it or not – all government bodies are being linked via the digital road.

Dayna: We are curious! Cause the office people doing the paperwork, input and editing, etc. at least do three things at once! Yes, the Bolivian is also quite impatient and always too late. In between there always will come someone passing the line to ask a quick question, even if they have the same system as in the Netherlands (pulling a number). Anyway after two months you get used to it. And it works! Everyone here completely agrees with the “in between questions”, unless you are not doing an action that would stop the procedures of the other three before… then the whole line would protest!


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This entry was posted on April 10, 2013 by .
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