Pakistani Origin: Visa finally issued nearly 12 months later

#16 Dec 27th, 2010, 09:07
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#16
442454, while I too, empathise with ordinary people put to unneccessary hardship, you could perhaps raise your voice also against the profiling being done in many countries- particularly of Pakistani, Yemeni, Somali etc etc nationals (the Pakistani one being at least five years old in Europe and the US, from personal experience)- including in the country you give as your location.

Otherwise, much of your post is just a rant.
Last edited by capt_mahajan; Dec 27th, 2010 at 09:08.. Reason: missed a 4
#17 Dec 28th, 2010, 17:11
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#17
Hello notgoing I thought I would share with
you some progress made. I was unable to get a name but a nice man at the Home Ministry confirmed this policy as true and gave me a number to give the indian high commission consulate London to confirm. I am pleased but at the same time do not want to get my hopes up in case tomorrow it all goes pear shaped. Thank you again so much I will remember you in my prayers always. Will keep you posted.
#18 Dec 28th, 2010, 23:55
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#18
I'm glad I could help, good luck!
#19 Dec 29th, 2010, 16:19
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So wow, something just happened that's changed my opinion on this whole process. I got my visa! But, 2 days after my flight, so it doesn't do me any good.

So for 4 months my application sat at the consulate office, but after I had someone from the home ministry contact them, it gets processed in 1 week.

The home ministry told me that they never received any background check request from the consulate in the 4 months I waited and that when they do get an inquiry it takes them 21 days or less to process.

According to the ministry, since I recently went to India, I didn't need another clearance (a clearance is good for 3 years), the consulate could have just given me the visa a few months ago. So I wonder from this we can conclude that any visa application from pak origin is not getting looked at either until the consulate staff has absolutely no work left to do (and internet is down ) OR the applicant has connections to speed up the process. Great.
Last edited by NotGoing; Dec 29th, 2010 at 22:37..
#20 Dec 29th, 2010, 22:10
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#20

Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by NotGoing View Post So wow, something just happened that's changed my opinion on this whole process. I got my visa! But, 2 days after my flight, so it doesn't do me any good.

So for 4 months my application sat at the consulate office, but after I had someone from the home ministry contact them, it gets processed in 1 week.

The home ministry told me that they never received any background check request from the consulate in the 4 months I waited and that when they do get an inquiry it takes them 21 days or less to process.

According to the ministry, since I recently went to India, I didn't need another clearance (a clearance is good for 3 years), the consulate could have just given me the visa a few months ago. So I wonder from this we can conclude that any visa application from pak origin is not getting looked at either until the consulate staff has absolutely no work left to do OR the applicant has connections to speed up the process. Great.
Would you be kind enough to inform me of a phone number I can call at the Ministry? It would be GREATLY appreciated! I applied in November and am not planning to travel until mid-March, so I don't want to waste this valuable time having my application sit in a pile.
#21 Dec 29th, 2010, 22:34
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#21
Unfortunately, figuring out where you are in the visa application process can't be done on the phone, I had people (relatives) go there in person.

As far as the phone numbers go, I was told not to give them out but the biggest challenge for me was to find the right department, which I mentioned in earlier posts. Just search the web or maybe JasminRana can share the number she handed to the consulate.

The folks in Delhi are awesome and ready to help, the only thing is you need someone on the ground. If you don't know anyone, I would think calling a travel agent there to represent you may be the next best thing (they'll need a copy of your passport).
#22 Dec 30th, 2010, 06:19
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#22
What an unneccessary, absurd and huge rigmarole! They really need to have their own regulations widely promulgated, understood and implemented by their own staff everywhere.

I have never heard of the need to have somebody representing you in the country where you are applying for a tourist visa. The fact that notgoing (and others?) feel the need to do this is symptomatic of the mess at the Consulates.
#23 Dec 30th, 2010, 07:56
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#23
I live in downtown Chicago, close to both Travisa Outsourcing and the Indian Consulate. Should I even waste time going to the Consulate to see if they can help me out at all? I don't have any family in India, as all of my family in the region is in Pakistani Punjab.
#24 Dec 30th, 2010, 10:36
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#24
I guess if you want to go there is no other way but to sit and wait. Also when they give you the visa its a single entry visa valid for 2 or 3 months from the time they issue. So basically there is no way to really plan anything.

Personally I've had enough, last year I got the visa 1 day before the flight, I really thought this year would be easier.

nujabes, if you can talk to the visa officer at the consulate, that will definitely help get your application moving. The challenge is getting that meeting. Maybe you can try bluffing that you spoke with the ministry of external affairs and they haven't received request for your background check. (unfortunately these are the tactics we're having to resort to now )
#25 Dec 30th, 2010, 22:20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotGoing View Post I guess if you want to go there is no other way but to sit and wait. Also when they give you the visa its a single entry visa valid for 2 or 3 months from the time they issue. So basically there is no way to really plan anything.

Personally I've had enough, last year I got the visa 1 day before the flight, I really thought this year would be easier.

nujabes, if you can talk to the visa officer at the consulate, that will definitely help get your application moving. The challenge is getting that meeting. Maybe you can try bluffing that you spoke with the ministry of external affairs and they haven't received request for your background check. (unfortunately these are the tactics we're having to resort to now )
NotGoing, thanks for the response.

Are you sure that people of Pakistani origin, if and when issued a visa, are always given a 2 or 3 month visa? I intentionally paid $163 for the 5-year visa (rather than the $72 for the 6-month visa). I even asked Travisa about this before applying, and they did not recommend applying for a 6-month visa instead.

I understand that it is ultimately up to the consulate as to the length of the visa issued for all applicants; however, if ALL Pak-origin applicants are only granted a 2 or 3 month visa, without fail, then this would be grounds for a lawsuit. Why even accept payment of more than $72?

Thoughts?

Also, any recommendations on the best way to schedule a meeting with somebody of importance at the Consulate? I'm tempted to just walk 10 minutes over there now, but I don't see that being of much use.

EDIT: So it looks like the Indian Consulate in Chicago has normal business hours tomorrow (New Year's Eve), and since I have the day off from work (woohoo!! paid holidays!!), I've decided to go tomorrow. I want to be as prepared as possible. Any recommendations?
#26 Dec 30th, 2010, 23:21
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#26
I can only speak for myself, which its been the same 2 years in a row (single entry 2 or 3 months, I havent picked up my passport yet to know exactly which one it is this year and was last year, but I know for certain its not more than 3 months). I don't have any inside information that this is the policy though. I guess it's another thing to ask them tomorrow. Good luck.
#27 Dec 31st, 2010, 04:39
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#27
So I decided to stop by the Indian Consulate on my way back from work today. Since they re-open at 3:30pm, I got there right in time and was third in line.

I spoke to a man through a hole in a glass screen barrier, and it was went pretty much as expected -- a waste of time.

I wasn't expecting any miracles, but maybe just have a few questions answered:

Q: "Is there anything I can do to speed up the process?"

A: "It's not up to us."

Q: "Can you tell me which of these numbers I can call for more information?" (I handed the guy a printed copy of all of the phone numbers of the Ministry of Home Affairs in Delhi)

A: "There is no one to call. Once we hear from the Ministry, we will tell Travisa and they will inform you."

Q: "Can you at least tell me the average wait time to expect, based on past experiences?"

A: "No, we do not know."

Q: "So there is absolutely nothing I can do?"

A: "You submitted your application to Travisa, not to us. You can speak to someone at Travisa to see if they can help you."

Q: "I tried that already. They told me to talk to you (the Consulate)."

A: "There's nothing we can do, sorry."

Q: "Okay, thank you."

I'm currently planning for a backpacking trip through Asia, and plan on departing in late March from the US. India was definitely supposed to be a highlight of the trip, but I may have to swap my Lonely Planet India guidebook out for Lonely Planet China now.
#28 Dec 31st, 2010, 05:12
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#28
Yeah that's basically what we went through. They are trained to not say anything. But I think those guys are just doing what they've been told and are stuck in the middle of this.

Your application is probably in a pile next to the garbage (like mine was). At least you know what the deal is now. You never know, they might run out of work and pick up your application from the pile.

One thing they do here in Houston is let you write a note to the visa officer requesting a meeting or anything else (like "can you look at my application please"). That's something worth trying. We didn't get the meeting but a hallway conversation and he apparently read all of our notes.

If you want to be brave you can send an email but you might get on a black list (blacker than you're already on). The email addresses are here..

http://www.iafaonline.com/links2.php
#29 Dec 31st, 2010, 05:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotGoing View Post Yeah that's basically what we went through. They are trained to not say anything. But I think those guys are just doing what they've been told and are stuck in the middle of this.

Your application is probably in a pile next to the garbage (like mine was). At least you know what the deal is now. You never know, they might run out of work and pick up your application from the pile.

One thing they do here in Houston is let you write a note to the visa officer requesting a meeting or anything else (like "can you look at my application please"). That's something worth trying. We didn't get the meeting but a hallway conversation and he apparently read all of our notes.

If you want to be brave you can send an email but you might get on a black list (blacker than you're already on). The email addresses are here..

http://www.iafaonline.com/links2.php
When you say "write a note to the visa officer", do you mean an actual stamped letter, email, or just slip a note under the glass barrier? lol

I was just in Houston last week, actaully - I'm originally from Sugar Land.
#30 Dec 31st, 2010, 05:57
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#30
Funny that's where I live. Basically here you can give a printed note typed on a computer or a hand written note (to the receptionist) and have them give it to your visa officer.

Something they will tell you here is who your visa officer is and take the note back to him. Both officers here are decent guys, I'm not sure what is dictating this discrimination but as far as I can tell it's not them.

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