Monday, May 5, 2008

Vital Records

Passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates, forms, paperwork, everything notarized in duplicate or triplicate...

If you are planning to live in another country for a period over three consecutive months, then you must go through the immigration department of that country. So, as in the case of my upcoming year in Norway, I am going through the process of filling in forms and proving that I will not become a burden on the Norwegian government. This means collecting documentation of my current employment, the Fulbright grant offer, that I have a place to live, and that the university (UiO) truly wants me there (among other things). It is quite time-consuming, but I am sure it will be worth it. And, unlike when we went through this with my husband’s immigration to the US, there are no questions on the Norwegian forms asking if I have ever been a member of the Communist party or if I have ever attempted to overthrow a government. (I don’t know if the forms still ask those questions...)

At the same time that I’m completing all of this paperwork, I’m finishing out the school year (this is finals week), collecting books, materials, software, and equipment to help me with my art and research while I’m in Oslo. We are packing our winter clothing for next year, arranging for our mail to be collected and sent to Norway, as we watch the airline ticket prices climb higher every day. We can’t really purchase our airline tickets until we know that the paperwork for the residency visa will arrive in a timely manner.

I am going to keep a journal of the whole Oslo/Norway/Fulbright experience on this blog so that my family and friends can follow along during our stay. I have done this before during our summer visits on my previous blog and uploaded a lot of image galleries before Flickr became so popular. I’ll probably use Flickr and YouTube for pictures and videos this year.

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