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Friday, 20 November 2009

Planning a trip to America – part 3 - Pay before you apply

While visiting other countries in the world, all we need is valid passport, a booked ticket and photographs, but visiting America needs lots of planning and no agent can do it for you. You have to self-apply for the visa and that too online.

First things first…you have to pay before you apply for a visa. Yeah right! Did I hear some one asking ‘What if they don’t give you visa?’ Hahahaa…!!! Your money is gone down the drain, and it is not a small amount, mind you, it is rupees seven thousand plus….I am told that they refuse many applicants per day and swallow up their hard earned money to pay the salary of those insensitive people at the consulate.

Well. I went to HDFC bank to pay for the visa, no, not any HDFC branch, (there are so many HDFC branches in Bandra area, but none were authorized to accept the payments for the visa) the nearest HDFC bank was more than 10 kms away and during rush hour, it takes more than forty minutes to reach that bank.

In hot sun, I took auto and reached the bank. I was directed to a desk that was manned by two people stationed for this purpose (yawning away). I showed them the photocopy of my passport and they made a ‘USA MRV VISA FEE DEPOSIT SLIP’ (three copies) that had barcode sticker.

This is the barcode number that we are suppose to use to book our appointment online

Three hours wasted for just paying for the visa. (For someone who opts to use public transport in Mumbai city, the time wasted will be more than that)

to be continued……

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