After a series of calls to the US embassy, it turned out that I needed a document called “Movimiento Migratorio” in order for me to be eligible to submit the forms necessary for my wife’s K-3 spouse visa to the US. Now, I’m very content in Peru and our plan is to stay here for the forseeable future, however, it’d be nice if I could take my wife to the US to see my brother’s wedding and to meet my friends, and things like that.
It turns out, getting the “Movimiento Migratorio” is a piece of cake. All you have to do is go down to Peruvian Immigrations (you should always get there as early as possible because the lines get ridiculous…I arrived at 8:15, but I think it opens at 7:30). You go through the metal detector (which always beeps when I go through it, but they never search me or anything, weird), turn to the left and go to the “informes” desk. There, the guy gives you a form for your “Movimiento Migratorio.” This you take over to the banco de la nacion (it’s on the first floor in the back), and pay 20 Soles. I believe you also need a copy of your passport (you basically ALWAYS need a copy of your passport, at this point, I don’t even enter Immigrations without about five copies of that and every other relevant document I happen to be in the possession of).
So you pay your 20 Soles, and then Submit the document to a window across from the bank. Then you go and sit in a waiting area for about forty minutes while they prepare it, and eventually they’ll announce your name nice and loud over a loudspeaker (I was afraid somebody was going to come out from the office and whisper it in a “low-talker” voice and then give up and go back in never to be seen or heard from again, thus leaving me without my movimiento).
But nope, they announced it loud and clear and I went over and picked up this pretty cool piece of paper that shows every time I’ve either left or entered Peru. I suppose most people don’t have like 50 entries into Peru in their lifetime like I do, and I have to confess, looking over that piece of paper, I felt pretty proud of my life choices. You see, back in the early 00’s, I was just travelling. I’d drop off my stuff in Peru and then go to other countries (you could rent a room in Peru for 100$ a month then). I was essentially living on money I’d invested (this was back when the stock market was still on the rise), and I also got a couple bucks here and there from stories I’d written. Sure, every now and then I woke up in a cold sweat terrified that I was making some horrible mistake by not having a “regular” job and spending all my free money feeding some 401k, but I’ve never had too much of a belief in things I can’t touch or see (looks like I made the right choice in hindsight).
Hell, I’ve always had the urge to travel, it started when I was 16, 17, 18 and has only recently started to taper off, although I’m still in Peru so I suppose I never really quit traveling.
So there I was in Peruvian immigrations looking over my movimiento migratorio and it says nothing but trips to Venezuela, Spain, Columbia, Panama…and in fairness, for many of these trips those were just layovers on the way back to the US or Europe…but it still looks pretty cool. That’s the record of my life, or at least the last decade, and in all honestly, I can say that I couldn’t have spent that time any better. If from now until then end I screw everything else up, at least I can say that I got that 15%, or 10% or 5% of my life (depending on how long I live) right!