The GoGlobal Blog

Passport Problems

Passport Problems

Last Friday, all of us in the program went to the Foreign Police Department to register our visas. If I could compare this system to anything in the United States it would be the DMV…but a million times worse. There is only one Foreign Police Department in all of Santiago, so you can imagine every single foreigner is there. We all arrived promptly at around 9:00, an hour after it opens, and received our numbers which were in the 170’s-180’s. Upon obtaining our numbers, we passed the monitor that showed what numbers they were on, and they were only on 20. Not only was this place crowded, but the system was so slow that we ended up waiting there for 4 hours just to register our visas. Within those 4 hours, I took 2 naps and ate a snack. It also was around 90 degrees that day so we were all pretty sweaty and exhausted by the time our numbers were called. After registering our visas, we left at around 1:00pm to rush to the second office to obtain our Chilean identity numbers, which I think of as a social security number or driver’s license number perhaps. The only catch was that the office closed at 2:00pm, and the office was maybe half a mile away. All of us pretty much ran to the other office and made it just as they were about to close but luckily they took pity on us and we were the last people to be helped. Covered in sweat and panting like a dog, I excitedly gave my documents and passports to the lady who suddenly had a quizzical look on her face. She exchanged a couple words with the woman next to her with my passport in hand and then moved on to the next cubicle and the next. My stomach dropped because I knew there was something wrong, and low and behold, the woman explained to me that the man at the airport stamped my passport saying that I left Santiago on January 10th instead of that I arrived. Furthermore, she told me that the Foreign Police Department should have caught this mistake and that I would need to redo this process all over again. ALL OVER AGAIN. A whole day’s worth of waiting and sweating to be rejected because the man at the airport used the wrong stamp. Anywho, I re-did the process today with success and NO WAITING IN LINE! I was very lucky today, so maybe my luck is changing around. Point learned- make sure customs uses the correct stamp because otherwise it’s a pain in the butt to get it fixed.




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