This summer we were on a campaign to get to 70% in order to get our visas. Confession: we had no idea what all that involved. Once we hit that mark we were pumped to start the process. And it has been quite the process.
Thankfully, we did not have to navigate this alone. The week that I went to Orlando for training we were able to make some calls to the Austrian consulate to get the ball rolling. A few things were getting lost in translation and I called on a friend of mine from Germany to make sure that we were understanding everything we needed to know.
We found out that we had to apply in person in Washington DC. We knew that it could take up to 3 months to get the visas so we wanted to go as soon as we could. The week after we moved in to our friend’s house we tried to plan in some rest before heading out to Illinois for training. After hearing about needing to apply in person, however, we knew it’d be crazy, but we felt like we had no choice but to get up there ASAP. So in a span of 7 days we moved, packed and flew to Washington, unpacked and packed again and flew to Chicago.
On my birthday, we boarded a plane on a quest for visas…..
We arrived in DC late that evening and crashed. We discovered the next morning that an 8 page application for each family member was required. Oh and by the way it was in German. Ummmm…. our whopping total of 3 german course were not sufficient for words like “Niederlassungsbewilligung.” We were able to get on Skype with our ministry area leader in Austria and managed to get them all filled in. Our next stop was to Kinko’s and Walgreens to print some pictures and additional documents we needed.
We arrived at the consulate by taxi at 12:30 and we must have looked over our documents 20 times and finally got it all together and turned it in before the 1:30 close time. Although we hoped we had everything in order, we found out that we needed to obtain Apostilles for a few documents before our packet was complete.
We were pretty bummed that we didn’t walk away that day completely done, but we were happy that we left the bulk of our packet and that we had fulfilled the requirement to apply in person.
With a few hours before our return flight home we took in a few sites of DC which we really enjoyed.
After returning home, we’ve done more running around (including a day trip to SC), and we finally got everything we needed and overnighted the packet to the consulate! We got word that our packet was complete and now we wait….
By now, our documents have arrived Austria and we are praying BIG to get a decision back soon so that we can board a plane and head that way. Here we are waiting again in this process. We know however, that in Him we can wait well and we trust, once again, that His timing is perfect.