It has been a busy couple of weeks. A busy couple of months. So I deserve a coffee and a pastéis de nata.
Downtime has been limited due to general busyness at work and home. But I’ve taken time out for myself and read a biography of Charlie Chaplin. Chaplin had a complicated life. Multiple marriages, eleven children, challenged childhood and controversy and allegations throughout his life. However, he acted his life out the way he acted on screen. With humour, comedy and often, in silence. Even after his death on Christmas Day 1977, his body was stolen in a ransom attempt.
Despite the silent films, screenwriting and directing that Chaplin is well known for, he is less known for his many quotes that, in my opinion, are more powerful than his visual art. Although The Tramp is pure genius.
“A day without laughter is a day wasted.” – “We think too much, and feel too little.”
Occasionally, I get a lightbulb moment. Actually, quite often. And sometimes the lightbulbs stay on. Thanks Charlie.
“The best thing in life is to go ahead with all your plans and your dreams, to embrace life and to live every day with passion, to lose and still keep the faith and to win while being grateful. All of this because the world belongs to those who dare to go after what they want. And because life is really too short to be insignificant.”Charlie Chaplin
Over the last few weeks, England has begun to make sense of exiting lockdown. There remains apprehension as we get back to doing things we’ve taken for granted for our whole lives. We continue to have unanswered questions.
It seems strange going into a ‘non-essential’ shop. But recently I popped into a local charity shop to drop some donations off. At the same time, I scanned the books on sale. And managed to pick up a Portuguese / English dictionary. A bonus purchase to add to a book I’d ordered only a week before.
I have never been great at foreign languages. At school, I had to take a language for my exams. In fact, I didn’t have a choice. The only language I was able to take was French. I scraped by with my worst grade, but I passed.
Now as I look forward to moving to a new country, I want to learn Portuguese. I have apprehensions as I know that learning a new language isn’t going to be easy. I’ve done a lot of research. Listened and read how other people have approached it. From a four hour intense session (that’s not going to work for me) to an hour a day for months. I’ve taken a look at some of the apps, and some YouTube tutorials. I’m considering flashcards and other ways.
But first I’m going back to basics and I’m going to try to learn the first thousand words. I think the pictures will help! Linking the pictures with the words is a start.
I know there are ‘cheats’ such as Google translate – which is great for a quick translation – but I’m not sure it’ll help me understand or learn. I can already type and ‘cut and paste’.
Let’s see how it goes. Word by word.
Número de Identificação Fiscal – NIF
I have though, needed to put the dictionary to good use already. In the last week, I have applied for my Número de Identificação Fiscal. My tax number for Portugal.
As I don’t live in Portugal, I needed to appoint a representative who lives in the country. Copies of my passport and proof of UK address has been provided. I’ve also had to provide a letter to authorise my representative to act on my behalf. That all needed to be prepared in Portuguese. There is a standard statement I needed to write and sign, but I put the time into translating it to English.
Hopefully, there is only one more stage to go. A video call to prove I am a real person and I look the same as my passport photo. Fingers crossed, I’ll receive my NIF number within two weeks.
As soon as I receive my NIF, I will be able to open a Portuguese bank account. Both of these are required for my D7 visa application. I believe that getting these sorted early in the process demonstrates greater intent to move to Portugal.
The list of items required for the visa application is lengthy. Therefore, just like my other to-do lists, gradually getting things planned and sorted is helpful. I am approaching my visa application in three stages.
The first stage will focus on the actions that need to be set up or I need support in getting them set up. This includes the NIF and a Portuguese bank account. The other key requirement is an address in Portugal where I will be a resident when I arrive on my temporary visa.
The second stage is the parts of the application which I need to prepare and put some energy into. This includes my personal statement, passport photos and criminal records check as well as preparing a draft application to ensure I’ll be able to provide all the necessary information.
The final stage will be to prepare all the documentation. Copies of my bank statements, financial information, proof of residual income, and proof of future income and pensions.
Researching how other people have approached the D7 application process, there are many different methods. Those who are working to a fixed, short-term deadline do seem to be able to prepare and apply for their application within a month, and a decision is usually made in four to six weeks.
The consistent advice though is the more prepared, detailed and comprehensive your application is, the quicker the response. A half-hearted application will get a half-hearted response. It’s no surprise really. Answer the questions they are asking fully, will make their job easier. Simple.
So, on reflection, it has been a busy few weeks. Lots on. Lots of planning. Lots of preparation. And lots of progress.
All of this is breeding more confidence, determination and motivation.
Charlie, I’m hearing you and I agree. “the best thing in life is to go ahead with all your plans and your dreams”.
Main picture by kind permission of Daria Shevtsova
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