Usually when you arrive in Belize they give you a one month visa which you can extend each month. Mine is due to expire on October 22nd so I went to Immigration today to have it extended for another 30 days.
When I got there the man at the desk took my passport and asked me to have a seat. Ten minutes later he calls me to the window. I was suprised because Belize runs on African timing but I was also keen to get back to the office. I made my way to the window, all excited at the prospect of knowing that it was legal for me to stay in Belize for an extra month. When I got there, instead of being handed my passport, the man says to me, ” You have a beautiful smile”. That was it, he then called the next person in line!
After half an hour of waiting and smiling in the hope that it would make them work on my passport faster, I decided to find out what was happening. The man told me that all he does is pass the documents to the relevant department and that the officer who is dealing with mine shall be back after lunch. I wish he had told me that from the start! I get the impression he just wanted me to stand there until it was time for him to go for lunch.
I decided to go back at 2pm and this time I was told to return at 3pm! I was already having visions of being deported and the heat outside was not helping. So I went back to my usual spot at the MHD and wasted an hour and a half.
At 3.30 I arrived and this time my passport was waiting for me…I have been allowed to stay until January 31st 2005!!