November 15, 2002

Of visas and vicious assistants …

I called the US embassy yesterday since I wanted to inquire into going to the US again and find out if it was even worthwhile to make a visa application. I have spent around US$ 2500 already (not saying that Jen – who is the main reason for my two trips to the US – isn’t worth it mind you, I would spend hundreds and thousands of times that amount if I had the money but that not being the case, I’d like to save what I have if possible) and didn’t want to spend another US$ 100 on a visa application and then find that I am rejected. Plus, if I got rejected for a visa here, I can’t reapply for a certain time period – not sure how long but I think five years was mentioned …
Anyway, I called the embassy and asked if I could talk to a visa officer. The person I got was a Sri Lankan employee of the embassy and she says that I can’t talk to a visa officer just by walking in and that I should apply for a visa. I told her that I’d already been to the US twice, had problems with the INS and wanted to explain to the visa officer the situation and get his/her opinion before I applied for a visa. She says, "I can’t tell you anything about it!" and I asked her if she was a visa officer and she said no. So I told her that I wanted to talk to a visa officer and she says "The visa officer does not answer the phone!" and I said that that was fine but that the last time I had visa problems, the lady I’d spoken to had asked me to simply come see a visa officer and that was all I wanted to do. She says, "You can’t speak to a visa officer and I can’t help you. So bye!"

I was seething by this time but there really was nothing I could do. I could try walking into the embassy but she’ll probably be there since I had to go through this same assistant the last time. I want to call the embassy again and see if I’ll get a different assistant since I know there is another lady who is more helpful. But in the meantime, I’m stuck with a decision as to whether to spend $100 (which I don’t mind so much but I do mind not being able to apply for another visa for five years) or to just walk in there and try to talk my way through. I hate it when Sri Lankans do this to you – from what I hear, this is always the case since they seem to get this sense of power over us poor mortals by doing this.

Of course, since I seem to be stuck here for the moment and all I really want to do is to be across the Atlantic so that I can at least be close to Jen, I think about all I can do is look for a job over there. Of course, finding somebody to sponsor me would be the tough part – I am even willing to pay the sponsorship fees (as long as they aren’t over a couple of thousand bucks of course) and pay my own fare over there if somebody would just hire me. Only problem is finding somebody like that :p There are no CEOs of large corporations reading this blog are there? :p If so, how would you like to hire a coder who can work in C/C++, Java, Delphi, C#, FoxPro, Oracle, VBScript, Vantive and a host of other languages/development environments? :-) But seriously, if anybody can help me out in this (know any people who might be willing to hire etc.) I’d be forever grateful – anybody?

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Tags: Personal, Real Life
Posted by Fahim at 11:40 am   Comments (0)