Prit and I have made a daily trek to town over the last couple of weeks to obtain our Permis de Séjour. A Permis de Séjour is a permit that enables us to reside in Haiti without having to renew our tourist visa every three months. It also entitles us to buy and own land, privileges that citizens enjoy.
After all these years in Haiti, we had already obtained residency status. However, in January 2010, our documents were sent to Port-au-Prince (the capital) to be renewed. Unfortunately the devastating earthquake that took an estimated 200,000 lives on 12 January also brought down the building where our documents were held. There was no data to prove we ever had a permit.
As most of you know, 2010 involved a personal earthquake of our own. Prit almost became a different type of casualty during that year, but thanks to the prayers of many, he survived. The pursuit of the Permit de Sejour fell by the wayside. Finally, we started the process of renewing our papers again. We were both disappointed to be advised to start all over again at ground zero. “You would have to pay an exorbitant price for every year you missed, so it would be more advantageous to start over completely.” I wondered if it was going to be more advantageous for us or for everyone that would be paid along the way to getting the requirements met.
We’re happy to say that all the documents have been resubmitted and we’ve been told to return after the holidays. After running from this office to the next, sitting for countless hours in the bank just to obtain one letter, we are very relieved to have everything turned in.
Would you pray with us that things would move along quickly? Having the Permis in hand will free us to move towards our next step. I’ll share more about that later.
Here’s the list of requirements that has kept us incredibly busy. Now that it’s evident that we are not criminals who have fled to Haiti because of our sordid pasts and our fingerprints are on file, we pray things will move along quickly and that we will come to the end of our quest for the elusive Permis de Séjour.
To make an application in the United States, you must provide the following documentation to your closest Haitian consulate or Haitian Consular Agent:
- Letter stating the reason why you are intending to spend more than a year in Haiti
- Statement of good behavior from your local police station in the United States
- Set of fingerprints from your local police station in the United States
- Two (2) ID photos
- Photocopy of the first three pages of your passport
- Medical certificate from your doctor in the United States
- Bank statement
- Write a letter requesting an application for a residence permit to the Directorate of Immigration and Emigration by notifying the reasons.
- A photocopy of the biographical page of passport of the applicant.
A letter of employment from its employer or the person who supports it, guaranteeing the stay of the foreigner in Haiti and repatriation if necessary.
- A Medical Certificate not older than thirty (30) days.
- Two (2) photographs of the person applying (format: Passport Photo and color).
- A photocopy of the boarding card obtained during last re-entry to the country.
- A photocopy of Birth Certificate (French translation required).
- A bank statement from a bank operating in Haiti.
- A criminal record (Country of origin of recent date)
Note that when filing documents, the applicant will have to be interviewed and then to complete the application for a residence permit. His fingerprints will be taken and stored in the database of the institution. In reference to Article 34, the annual application for renewal of residence permit will be accompanied by the slip proving payment of fee income taxes of the fiscal year elapsed. For those who work for a foreign organization, the letter of introduction must be written by the organization on its letterhead.