Most of the adjustments we are making are about living in a new culture that “does life” in a different way than we are accustomed. This specific post is more about life as an “extranjero” (Spanish for “foreigner”). So those who are from other countries that live in the States are going through a very similar process. As a foreigner, there is lot of paperwork to complete. This past week or so we have been working on the paperwork for our baby daughter, Isla. Isla was born in Argentina, so in the eyes of the Argentine government, Isla is an Argentine! Because we are American citizens, Isla is also an American (in the eyes of the US government). While both of these things are true privileges. They do not come without paperwork and a few hoops to jump through. To get her American citizenship (officially), we must first…
- Obtain her Argentine citizenship (officially). We did this last week.
- Obtain her Argentine passport. (I don’t know if this is really necessary, but she cannot get her US passport without first obtaining her Argentine passport, so we did it). We did this today.
- We must then fill out an application for her Social Security number, a US passport application, and a “born abroad” birth certificate application. (we have filled those all out today as well).
- We must email all three applications to the US Embassy in Buenos Aires.
- We must also provide proof that we have lived in the USA. We must send these “proofs” by email along with the applications. We sent all applications and the “proofs” today.
- We will receive an appointment from the US embassy, to which we will show up with passport photos printed out (of Isla) to officially submit the applications. We have not yet received the appointment to do this. This is out next step.
Once we complete all of these things, our little bundle of joy will be an official Argentine citizen and an official American citizen. We are also in the process of applying for residency. This is another whole set of paperwork that includes multiple background checks, as well as other documentation with apostille seals, and everything translated into Spanish by an approved translation service here in Argentina. So our lives are filled with paperwork but that is a pretty normal thing for foreigners.
It can be frustrating when we are told we need something else before we can receive what we are looking for. I am thankful for Leslie, who is patient through it all and helps me to try to remain patient. It is part of life in another country, and it is a necessary part of our lives.