Fortunately, Margarida has put most of what we need to know on her blog and I am so happy that they are going ahead of us. I have watched how Jehovah has blessed their efforts to go to Portugal and they are leaving at the end of this month. Their passports are stamped and they are ready to go.
As witnesses, we must always follow Jehovah’s command in the bible to obey the laws of Caesar if they do not conflict with Jehovah’s. This means we must obey Caesar’s law regarding entering, living, and working in a foreign land. In some Latin American countries it is possible to live on a visitors visa by leaving every 3 months and re-entering. This is not an option for Portugal. We have to get approved for a visa before we enter the country if we want to stay a year. If granted, we have about 3 months or so to enter Portugal and then we can request to renew the visa the following year. After living in the country for 5 years we’ll have the option of becoming permanent residents.
The difference between our goal to go to Portugal and our goal to go to Costa Rica or Panama is exactly this. We must be approved for a visa first. If we were to choose Panama… well my husband is a citizen so that country is easy. Or in Costa Rica we can simply go and every three months we would enter Panama and then go back to CR.
So even though our goal to go to Portugal is firm, we are ready to go with our Plan B if for some reason we are not accepted for a visa. However, according to Margarida, the process is very easy and we have no reason to feel hesitant but it’s always wise to have a plan B in case things don’t happen the way we plan.