When studying abroad, one of the first things you need to do is get a visa. Customs at the airport will give you a stamp upon arrival saying that you can stay in the country for three weeks, but until you visit immigration, you cannot leave and reenter the country.
Thankfully, Champlain Abroad makes a group appointment for all the Champlain students to go to immigration together. There were three time slots because our group was pretty big. I was a part of the first time slot since my last name is early in the alphabet, so we got up first to head over. Our appointment was at 9:30am and we met up with Tony, the Interim Director to walk over about an hour before. Other groups were meeting with Liz, the student life manager, and the other RAs a little later. Since we were walking pretty quickly, we even had the chance to stop and look at Dublin Castle.
We must have been the first group on the list that morning as our appointment was right when the immigration center opened up. We went in and got a ticket assigned to us and went to wait in a room with all the different windows and a tv with the number that could go up. We were given a paper to fill out while we waited which asked us for our contact information and address. This was to be used to send our residency visas to. Residency visas are the cards we got with our information on them, stating that we are allowed in the country for the time period we are studying here. When it was my turn to go up to the counter I gave the person my paper, passport, past bank statements, and the documents given to me by the college. He asked me when I was leaving and if he could see my plane tickets to leave. Then he had me take a photo with the camera on the wall and I was good to go.
About a week later everyone’s residency visas started arriving and we all compared how our photos came out. Thankfully, you’ll only need to show these when reentering the country. Otherwise, it’s kept safely in my wallet.