Yesterday, due to my Filipino citizenship, I had my Visa appointment at the Consulate of Spain. After spending a week gathering the most current documents, notarized letters, and making sure I had every piece of information required and optional through 4 different checklists, I was ready.
Yet, I felt SO intensely unprepared.
In travelling, citizenship can matter so hard and I didn’t realize it until recently.
It turned out I was… just slightly unprepared. The agent did accept my application with the condition that I return to submit two further documents in order to submit it for approval. After all the work and preparation, according to him, I was missing documents from my sponsor. He even showed me on the website where this paperwork was itemized.
My problem with that is it was listed as a requirement for MYSELF, the applicant. Being that those documents were for a situation I was not involved in (and therefore no paperwork would exist for it), I took it as not applicable and moved on. Apparently, even though it wasn’t stated, it was not required of my sponsor to fill in that missing spot for me.
This is why it’s both so easy and so hard to go through this process. If only you knew you could trust that the list and details provided to you were accurate and alternatives clearly outlined, should something not apply to you, this could go easy for everyone. But it’s not. It’s also likely that the human employees of the Consulate have the most accurate information and they’re not wrong, but if this news isn’t available to the general public who are showing up with documents outlined on an outdated checklist of the official embassy website, guess who pays the price?
Last night, I had to beg my mother to scramble up these extra documents.
I had to write up another letter. And then we had to rush to an emergency 24hour notary to stamp our documents for $45 that essentially said the same thing as my previous notarized letter, which the agent only accepted for HALF the sponsorship requirement.
So, today, I come in with my paperwork, a little bit poorer, but also a little bit more hopeful. If accepted, I’ll be done with this process. Except, I won’t be because I’m going to have to wait for their answer, praying that they approve my application… Or my whole trip is cancelled.
But, it’s not just MY trip.
My boyfriend, my friend, and her godbrother are all a part of this trip. They all have US citizenship. We’ve booked flights, AirBnBs, train tickets, and restaurant reservations. If I get denied, everyone’s trip gets possibly cancelled. That’s the most heart-wrenching part of all.
It’s with this realization that sent me home immediately after my appointment to apply for my US Citizenship.
It doesn’t seem like it to any of the people around me, but I am proud of my Filipino Citizenship.
I’m also a Fil-Am and largely a westerner in mind and heart. (Just watch Crazy Rich Asians. I feel you, girl.) I was young when I left the Philippines, but so much of my soul still plays at Luneta, eats pizza at GreenHills, and hangs out at SM for the aircon. My citizenship was the last thing I clung on to, even as I changed as a person, growing up with different values, priorities, and certainly a different mouth than my cousins back home.
See some of the ways I’m still conflicted about American Culture.
I guess it’s just time now. I don’t want to get over-dramatic about vacation planning, but it sucks to have people’s money and holidays held hostage while I pray for admittance. It won’t do much for this trip – it’s in the universe’s hands now – but I’ll be better off for the future. Hopefully, my friends won’t stop being friends with me because I ruined their vacation.
Side note: Is it too late to apply for the airforce if I get approved? That had always been my dream.