Sunday, May 27, 2007

Frustration Overload: Between the Jordanian Government and the American Government I'm about to GO POSTAL!

So, I could not be less impressed with BOTH the Jordanian government and the American embassy in Amman. The saga we have gone through trying to apply for a visa for our household helper to come to the US has been absolutely ridiculous. Today, I found out that the situation is even more dire and sadly I expect to lose the $100 I paid for the application. So, here I am to vent...

A MONTH AND A HALF ago, we started trying to renew our helper's Iqama and work permit. The work permit took two days, literally. The remainder of the process, which in the past has taken 4 or so days, is STILL not done. I honestly can't believe it. Now, I know the government is inefficient. I've spent more than a day trying to get a family book updated so that we can get a passport updated so that we can... But give me a break. This has gotten to the point of being ludicrous. They added steps into the process (some fingerprinting at the courthouse step) and didn't bother telling anyone. So, after waiting and waiting and waiting, we find that El 3atal has to take her down for fingerprints. They use the thousand year old technology of using a stamp pad with black ink and don't even have any running water or tissue for her to clean her hands afterwards. And now, we're in a no-win situation. I fear that without her work permit and Iqama the US government won't give her a Visa. And yet, I can't get her work permit and Iqama because the Jordanian government is so slow. Now, mind you, I'm sympathetic to the need to give 6000 guys jobs completing these, but let's get real. I honestly could not care less what you do in the background. Have 60 people copying the same paper 40 times and sending it 80 different places. I don't care. But finish issuing it to me on the same %$#! day. A month and a half goes beyond the realm of understandable, beyond even the realm of believable. And, if I weren't facing $100 of lost money, this blog post would be more in the spirit of how silly is this. As it is, if she is denied, I'll be sending an invoice for $100 along with the receipt for her Iqama. Let the government pay for it since their rampant, chronic inefficiencies are causing my problem. Oh, and boy am I glad we get to have this experience...

And, while I'm talking about the annoyances of this process (and to be equally fair to the idiocies of BOTH sides of the equation), let me say a word about the embassy. In order to apply for the visa, you have to pay a fee at the Cairo Amman Bank (why there, heaven only knows). So, the day before his trip, El 3atal and I go to the bank to pay. It is, at this point after searching for 10-15 minutes in the evil, evil Sweifieh, 3:oopm. Apparently the US embassy, in its infinite wisdom, has a 2:30pm cut off. Why? Who knows. The guy at the bank has no idea. Oh, and never you fear, the embassy doesn't tell you that on their website. And, they don't answer their phone. And their recording still says the wrong hours. So, all around it is no less frustrating than Jordan's governmental process are. All in all, this is a very, very, very, very frustrating process. And, if I weren't such a peace loving, sweet Mom, I really might go postal... Nah, just annoyed that's all.

Happy venting!

3 Comments:

At 10:32 AM , Blogger Summer said...

Best of luck!
Last summer i tried to apply for a visa for my house helper to bring her to the states for the summer holiday only. one of the conditions for taking her there was that i have to submit a proof to the US embassy that i pay her an hourly minimum wage according to the states rules, also they request an interview with her the case with all visa applicants....of course i ended up sending her back to her country when the war started last year in Lebanon and I was evacuated to the states with my son....let me know if these are the requirements for your helper too...but really, I wish you best of luck in getting her iqama and her visa!

 
At 10:39 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Summer, thanks. We'll see how it goes...

 
At 10:17 PM , Blogger kinzi said...

Hang in there! :)

 

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