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  1. #1
    mrs_cullen is offline Newbie 510 points
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    Oct 2009
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    My experience at the immigration as a spouse


    Hi everyone!

    I just thought I would share with you my experience of going to the immigration office today for a visa extension. Like I mentionned on the thread subject, I am a spouse. Not a student.

    So, my husband called the immigration office downtown a month ago to enquire about the steps needed for my visa extension. Indeed, I arrived in Antigua on January 2nd and the stamp on my passport says that it expires on April 2nd. The lady on the phone gave him an appointment for today. She said to be there at 8am since the office opens at 8:30am. We took a taxi downtown and got to the office at 7:20am. There were already several people on line. At 8:45, the immigration officer started calling people who had an appointment. I wasn't on the list, so I went up to her and told her that my husband called the office and was offered an appointment. She asked me the name of the person I had the appointment with. Unfortunately, my husband didn't write down the name of the lady when he called - he didn't know he was supposed to. After talking to the immigration officer and my husband telling her that he was a AUA student, she told us to see Mrs T. upstairs. We went upstairs and a nice lady helped us find Mrs T. We were brought to an office and I was asked to fill out a form (surname, name, DOB, passport number, home address...). When I was done filling that out, Mrs T. asked me to see a marriage certificate, along with my ID pictures. She granted me a 3 month visa. We had to pay 150EC.
    Overall, the experience wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I was expecting to wait on line for 8 hours, but we only waited 1h30. The office opened at 8:30am and we were out by 10am.

    Advice for spouses:
    - When you call the immigration office, try to get an appointment (don't ask for one, just tell them your spouse is a student at AUA and you are asking for permission to extend your visa - I mention this because depending on how you address the issue, they might remind you that it is granted to get a visa extension, not garanteed...). Also, make sure that you get the immigration officer's name!!!
    - Go to the office downtown early: 7:30am is a good time.
    - Bring marriage certificate and ID passport pictures (they didn't ask us for any proof of income, but you can bring it anyway).
    - Be polite and stay cool, even if sometimes they're rude to you (nothing will come out of you arguing with them).

    Good luck to all who are planning a trip to the immigration office downtown!
    Last edited by mrs_cullen; 03-31-2010 at 10:04 AM.

  2. #2
    tperrin's Avatar
    tperrin is offline Member 510 points
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    Oct 2007
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    i can relate to you on this one. i was a student, but my husband wasn't and i can remember those mornings when he had to be downtown at 6am just to get in line at the immigration office. the key is to be super polite to them, and they will do the same for you. again-- just because you get the extension one semester doesn't mean that you will get it the next.
    just be patient with the process- it will work out.
    "they never said it would be easy, they just said it would be worth it"
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