As part of my immigration process I had to have my fingerprints taken. Prior to having that done, my medical process needed to be complete. On Sunday I received an email that they were ready for me and there would be a bus leaving at 10 am on Monday for the fingerprinting location. I was very excited because completing my fingerprints means I am about a week away from having my Resident Permit, which gives me the ability to take my drivers test, buy a car, purchase a permit to buy alcohol, and I get my passport back.
Monday came and a bus load of recent arrivals headed out to have our fingerprints taken. The mood was positive even though it was very hot on the bus and the air circulation was about half as powerful as it was in my civic. Upon arrival our HR representative met us at the bus and told us the fingerprint system was down and we would have to come back later. When someone asked when we could come back the only answer we got was, “not tomorrow.” The mood was still generally positive as we all knew to be flexible and realized things take time, but there was still some frustration.
After receiving another email saying they were ready for us again we all met at the bus on Wednesday. The mood was excited as many people were ready to get completely settled and this is the last major step before we could do that. While waiting and while on the bus I was able to get to know some people better and found I really like these bus trips.
We arrived just past 10 am on Wednesday and the women entered the one room designated for women, and the men entered the one room designated for VIP individuals. Upon entry we realized things were not going that well. The room was packed and no one was having their fingerprints taken. The woman behind the desk said the system was “sleeping” and when asked for how long she said, “until it wakes up.” We were then told to take a ticket or leave. We all wanted out prints so we took a ticket and found a seat. After waiting several minutes a man in a very official uniform entered (possibly government security or police) and told the women working in the room that the system would be down until the next day and we should all leave. The women began announcing this to the room and telling everyone to leave. We slowly started to leave, and when about half the room was empty the system started working again. We quickly took our seat and were hopeful.
One thing I realized from this experience is that there is a start of a great process at the fingerprint center, but they do not always follow it. We had assigned numbers, but they never used the number system. While waiting we started to realize this and deceided to move to the front of the room. One member of our group was selected to begin and we were excited it was working. About halfway through her fingerprints the system broke down again. This time was all were asked to leave right away and we went back to the bus.
On the ride home most were a little frustrated, but I was a little excited to be able to see everyone again on the next bus ride. About half way home, one of the men got a call telling him to have the bus turn around. The system was working again! We all turned around and hoped for the best. Upon arrival I noticed that there were only a fraction of the people as before and the staff seemed more upbeat. We got numbers and waited. Again we realized the numbers were not being used. I eventually stood up and that got the attention of one of the finger-printers. That got her attention and our group was next in line. I was the first up and was able to complete my fingerprints. As soon as mine went through the system went down. At this point everyone in our group was laughing, which caused the women working to laugh. We were getting ready to leave when it started working again. Very quickly everyone rushed through and it worked!!!!! We now only have to wait a few days to get our permits!
The next step – the driving test…