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Zambia

Barely Legal part 3

A month after my last visit to the Immigration Office, I returned. All three immigration officers were at their desks, dressed very informally. “Good morning,” I said, cheerily. “Am I at the correct office for immigration services?” They all laughed at me and said that they didn’t need to wear uniforms on “dress down Friday”.

I told the senior officer that we had finally managed to pay the extension fee on line and I showed him the receipt. The website said that when my permit was ready at Mfuwe, I would receive an email telling me to collect it, but there had been no email.

But the problem is that Zambia is introducing a new system of plastic cards to replace the green booklet with gold-embossed state seal. And the plastic cards are not ready yet. So I got another 30 day stamp in my passport, an updated letter and a stamp on the receipt.

It is all Gnus to me

“That will take me to 15th April,” I said. “I will be leaving Mfuwe on the 15th for KK International Airport in Lusaka, from which I will depart at 02:00 on 16th. Can you give me just one extra day so there are no problems when I leave the country?”

“No, that is not possible. Please come at least a day in advance of the expiry date to get another extension.”

“The 13/14th of April is a weekend. Do you open at weekends?”

“Only by appointment.”

“Can I make an appointment?”

“No.”

But today I received an email from the Immigration Department: “Kindly come through to Chipata region immigration office to finalize your temporary employment permit application. Failure to which may result into prosecution.” That’s a two and a half hour drive away. I hope I can sort it out at Mfuwe Airport immigration office.

By Dr Alfred Prunesquallor

Maverick doctor with 40 years experience, I reduced my NHS commitment in 2013. I am now enjoying being free lance, working where I am needed overseas. Now I am working in the UK helping with the current coronavirus pandemic.

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