How not to do inmigration.

Here is a fun story by someone who happened to stay illegal for a few months in the country of possibilities — Venezuela.

So, as I knew I was staying illegally in the country with an expired visa, I decided to read what the Law said and consult with a lawyer on what the best course of action would be to return to my homeland. Fortunately for me, there was a section dedicated to human rights which implied no incarceration for an alien in the country due to illegally staying there. There was also no penalty or anything clear on the subject. The lawyer said to buy a ticket, and then present myself in the airport, and leave the country. Simple enough (there would be a prohibition of 10 years to enter the country, although it was never mentioned in this bill).

So I did just that. A friend of mine happened to do the same. She was also illegal in the country. She went to the airport, got a slap in the wrist and the prohibition and flew to her country about a month ago. I paid my airplane ticket, I went to the airport, got by baggage checked out, and then went to immigration.

It happened I could not fly because of a tax I had not paid for staying illegally in the country (which was new). The amount was the equivalent of 1.8 USD. 1.8 USD. So I asked where in the airport could I pay for that… Well, guess what? Not in the airport, I had to go to the main office in downtown Caracas. And guess what? It was Sunday, so I could not fly that day. So I got the plane changed to Tuesday. Due to money issues, I finally was able to change the flight to Tuesday, but it was too late on Tuesday to give them copies, after all… they only worked until 2 pm due to the energetic crisis in the country. At 6 pm the vice president declared holidays from Wednesday to Friday. Holy cow, I had to stay until Tuesday next week… Why? I had to re-change my airplane ticket, get the money borrowed or do something about it, go to the offices, present the copies of everything, get it sealed, and fly on Tuesday. So I did just that, but the only day available was Wednesday (thanks to God, you will see later why). And all the government offices would be closed until Friday.

I decided to get to know Caracas, I had lived in Valencia for a year and a half and knew the whole city. I got with friends, went to eat to good places, etc. I prepared everything for Monday to present the copies I was asked and get the passport sealed.

And again, news struck. Labor Day, which is celebrated on May 1st, was going to be celebrated on Monday. And on Tuesday, they would only work until 2 pm, and then go on holiday again… Apparently, there is no work to be done.

So here I am, waiting, and just hoping they get to work on Tuesday, so I can get the passport sealed on the same day and fly on Wednesday, all of this while trying to get out of the country, which should actually be interested in me leaving through my own means as soon as possible. Wish me luck.

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