|The sun peeked out for a few hours while we were in Manly making our way to the ferry.|
Later in the day the email arrived stating we had another appointment at the same office on March 27th at 10 am. That was clear to us. Thus, we didn't call the phone number which we'd left on the kitchen table which continued to nag at me. Should we call? Or should we wait until our appointment?
Yesterday morning, we decided to call to see if there was anything additional we could do or prepare for the upcoming appointment on Monday. After waiting on hold for 20 minutes in the queue, finally a friendly rep came on the line.
|Sailing on a windy day.|
Calling might provide us with an answer. There was no way we wanted to show up on Monday having failed to do something required in this complicated process. Yesterday, we were relieved we'd called when we were told we better not show up on Monday without having applied online for Visitors Visa #600, a necessary adjunct to our Bridge Visa which was in place for only two weeks (ending on March 27th).
If we didn't get the Visitors Visa, we'd be in big trouble next Monday when the Bridge Visa expires at midnight. The phone rep immediately sent us the link to apply for the Visitors Visa.
|An appealing candy kiosk in at the Manly Ferry station.|
Before we could even begin the 20 page process, we had to sign up for an online immigration account which required a series of seven or eight security questions.
Having to deal with answering security questions can be a tricky process. If an answer is off by only one letter, one number or a single aspect of the answer, it may result in total frustration when trying to recall what was originally intended.
|Manly is a charming beach town with shops, restaurants and water activities.|
It ended up taking at least a half hour to getting our individual accounts set up. As we've mentioned, its been very rainy and humid since we arrived. When we were 10 minutes into this process, I suggested we turn on the air con. We were both drenched in sweat. Oh, I don't like this stuff.
Immediatey Tom turned on the air conditioning. Besides, we'd done two loads of laundry hanging it indoors on the portable rack making the humidity all the worse in our little apartment. The air con was a welcomed relief.
|Yummy looking mounds of interesting flavors of ice cream at the Manly Wharf.|
Once we completed page 4 and hit the "continue" button for page 5, we both received an error message, "You cannot continue from this point based on your current status. Call the immigration office immediately." Oh, oh.
We called again, waiting on hold on Skype for another 30 minutes only to be told, when a different rep came on the line after looking up our file, that were not supposed to fill out this form. We were to wait and see what transpires on Monday. Oh. She was very kind and apologetic that we were told otherwise. We asked her to note the conversation in our file which she promptly handled.
|After dark this cruise ship headed out to sea from the Sydney Harbour. Hopefully, that will be us one month from today on April 22nd.|
Worse case scenario...we could be told to leave the country immediately and not return for three years, missing our cruise on the April 22nd, forcing us to fly to New Caledonia, book a hotel for almost a month and wait for the ship to arrive at a port of call three days after the cruise begins and then have to load our bags on a "tender boat."
Best case scenario...we'll get another Bridge Visa, good until April 22nd when we'll board the ship in Sydney. There's another possibility that we'll have to leave the country, fly to another country and return a day later. Also, there are possible fines, penalties and circumstances we aren't aware of at this point which by Monday, we'll be well informed.
|Kookaburra atop the roof of neighboring house.|
After all, the results of this scenario whichever way it goes, won't cost us more than money, time and inconvenience. In the realm of things, as we always say, "If we have our health, we're safe and we have one another, we can handle it."
So it goes.
May you have good health and be safe with those you love.
Photo from one year ago today, March 22, 2016:
Many farms in New Zealand have ocean views adding another layer of beauty to the scenery. For more photos, please click here.