I generally prefer a drama-free life. That's why I moved to New Zealand to "just be". My days end up like this: train in the morning, take care of my dog, work in the afternoon, spend time with my partner in the evening. The training is in the most beautiful place in the world, the work is peaceful and I get to chat with fellow athletes, and I love my partner to bits. There's none of this same old shit that I experienced living back in Canada, or Australia: (sub)urbia, consumerism, people wasting time trying to impress other people, etc.
So of course I made plans to apply for another visa after this one year Working Holiday visa was over. I did everything in advance, and the list is lengthy:
- Get a medical certificate, get X-Rays, blood work, etc done (800+ $)
- Apply for a police certificate from your home country to prove you're not a criminal (50$)
- Fill out goodness knows how many forms (free)
- Have all kinds of proof of your relationship: letters from family, friends, co-workers, etc, tenancy agreement, bank transfers, mail to our address, bills, etc. (free)
- Get everything certified by a solicitor (15$)
- Send in the visa application (360$)
Again, all this was done on time. I did everything in advance. For example, I applied for a criminal record check by getting my fingerprints taken at a New Zealand police station, and I sent them off to the Canadian RCMP back in JULY. At the date of application, their processing time was 8 weeks. I waited and waited. My current visa was due to expire, and still no police certificate. I checked the status of my application and they simply replied that the wait time had now been changed from 8 weeks to 18 weeks. And of course, Immigration New Zealand does not care what the excuse is: I am missing a mandatory part of my visa application. It was denied (despite providing all the proof I could for the reason for the delay).
So, I have to spend 3000$ flying back to Canada, applying for another police certificate from Canada (turnaround time: 3 days, compared to 18 weeks abroad), apply for a visa from my home country, wait for its arrival, then fly back home to NZ. To fully appreciate my frustration, I think is almost impossible. I am wasting 3000$, and I only have 5000$ in total, I have to stop work and put my life on hold in NZ, and waste anywhere from 7 days to 1 month (if I am lucky) back in Canada, in Montreal, at a place that I left long ago because I simply despised it. Yay!!
The only bright spot in this mess is that it will never. EVER. happen again. Life in Wanaka will return back to normal, I just have to wait a while. And everyone in town has really stepped up to show their support and to help me in any way they can. I still have my job (even though my boss, nor I, know when I'll return), and everyone I know has provided amazing letters stating that I'm an awesome person, that my partner and I are really in love, and that I should goddamn be able to stay in a country that I've considered home since my arrival back in November 2010.
Training will continue, of course, even though Montreal is probably the worst place to train in.
Swimming: as per usual, I'll join one of the masters groups I used to swim with several years ago
Cycling: nope, not bringing any of my bikes, but I am in a strength period now so things can be a bit shorter, on a stationary bike in the gym or on commuting bikes, and it's all about short bursts of MASSIVE power. Keep on trucking.
Running: it'll be on roads, which is mentally painful, and on the track, but it's do-able. Just no trail running and "strength training" hill running.
Strength: 3x a week strength work.
So, onwards and upwards...