Do you have any idea how difficult it is to get a visa? Nope, not the credit card kind. That's fairly easy as they want you to have poor money skills and pay them all sorts of interest. I'm talking about a visa to get into a foreign country. Surprisingly difficult.
Today I finished up my application for a student visa for India. In total, I've spent about six hours over the last week trying to get this ready. If I didn't live 1,000 miles from the consulate it might have been faster to do it in person. I was asked all sorts of questions on my application like:
-my parents' occupations and nationalities
-what other countries have I visited in the last ten years
-what university I'm visiting
-have I ever visited India or been denied a visa before
-are any of my grandparents from Pakistan.
I have to ship an envelope with a proof of address, another passport picture (in addition to my actual passport), a letter inviting me the visit the university, proof that I will be able to financially support myself while there, and about $100....to be paid by money order. Then hopefully, they'll mail back my passport with a super fancy stamp in it. Or, someone may simply use it to steal my identity and buy a llama.
One other problem, I didn't even know what a money order was. Besides hearing of them as a potential payment method for a Snuggie, a Perfect Meatloaf, or some other crap sold on infomercials, no idea. That seems a little lo-tech for my generation. And sadly, the shipping process was so intricate my bank was closed by the time I got there. That's what happens when there were five inches of snow last night so it took three times as long as normal to get there and the only parking spaces were not yet plowed.
Money order, I'm going to deal with you tomorrow.
Then maybe, India will let me into their country. You'd think they would want it to be easier. After all, tourists bring in the big money. Even when they are poor college students.
Until next time, God bless America.