Yesterday, we spent the morning visiting various offices. Yes, we were once again working hard to get through the requirements to get André his family visa.
As you may know, the next hurdle we needed to jump over was proving to the Italian government that we are renting an apartment which is big enough for the two of us. There is in fact a minimal square meterage that is required depending on the number of people living together. I think we needed to rent a place that was at least 45 square meters. I am unsure what the purpose of this measure is; perhaps they don’t want situations where whole families are crowded together in tiny one-room apartments.
In order to get the proof that our apartment was sufficient for our needs, we first had to go register our rental agreement with the government. We ended up having to go with our landlady, Lorenza, who also needed a registered copy of the rental agreement, so we ended up with a copy each. As we arrived before the office opened, we were out of there in a half hour. Then André and I needed to go to the Comune di Trento’s office to give them this copy so that they could start the approval process.
But first, we had to find the office.
I swear, I think we walked around for a good half an hour, trying to figure out where the offices were. See, the thing is, the building where the Comune’s offices are rise above a shopping centre. But we didn’t know this. We could see the buildings, we looked at the front doors where there were no mentions of the Comune, we walked around the shopping centre looking for a way to get into the office building, heck, we walked out into the back of the shopping centre, turned around, looked at the office building rising above the back-end of the shopping centre, and still couldn’t see how to get into it.
At this point, we were confused and dejected. Were we even at the right building? There are no numbers on the doors of the shopping centre, so we didn’t know if we were where we were supposed to be. So off we went to see if the building next to the shopping centre might have a number. And that’s when I spotted a small sign for the Comune, pointing up the ramp towards the upstairs parking lot.
So up we trudged to the parking lot, where we found a way into the building. Yay! But no information as to where to go. A short discussion with a man who happened to enter the building at the same time as us sent us up to the second floor where we found the correct office. Yay? No yay yet. The first woman we met couldn’t speak English but she found someone to help us. This second woman explained that we needed to fill out a form for the family visa demand and we needed to go across the street to get the plan of the apartment we are renting. Then she very kindly printed out the form, called the man from the office that distributes housing plans to explain that we were coming and what we needed, gave us her phone number and told us that when we came back, we needed to go downstairs where we would hand in the form and the plan and our stamped rental agreement. And if the person there didn’t speak English, to just give her her name and phone number and she would help.
I have to tell you, Italians are so nice!
And so, armed only with our courage, and a bunch of forms, we crossed the street, entered the building through the wrong door, went to the wrong floor, walked around being lost again, got told to go down to the first floor, went there, went into the wrong office, and got redirected to the right place. Where we had to wait in line as people went in to get prints of housing plans. When it was our turn, the man gave us the plan immediately and sent us on our way.
So back across the street we went, into the correct office, where we grabbed a number and waited our turn. It turned out the woman who served us had enough understanding of English to help us through the process without having to resort to the nice lady from the start of this whole series of events.
And so we now await a piece of paper that should arrive by mail in about 10 to 14 days that will be the last piece required before we can get André’s visa. At least, I think it’s the last piece.
Half a day it took us to do all that. But at least it’s done now.