The process from applying for a US visa to getting one took a toll on my peace of mind. It didn’t help much that I had done it before and had a fair idea of what to expect. The forms seemed different now, the fees had gone up, and the one thing that still remained is the very long list of things to do and documents to bring to prove you don’t intend to stay there for the rest of your life. I haven’t ever applied for a visa for another country, so I don’t know how simple or complex things are.
So when I got a US visa and decided to make a hop trip to Europe for a few days, the thought of applying for another visa overwhelmed me. The process was a little different, the picture specifications different, and I had to wait for my friend to mail me a letter of invitation in original. I tried to be as meticulous as possible, going through every little detail mentioned in the website so that I didn’t screw things up like I was on the verge of doing the last time. It didn’t help that a lot many instructions were given in German and it took me a while to cruise through the website and find out the English options.
Anyway, so the invitation letter arrived, and I armed myself with all the documents on a fine Thursday morning to apply for the visa. It seemed that unlike a US visa, one did not need to make a prior appointment but could just walk in and submit the documents. You would anyway be called later for a personal interview, so it was a 2 day thing. The address for the consulate seemed a little unfamiliar, and some Google mapping, asking a few people here and there, and an argument with the cab driver later, I reached my destination.
I reached the consulate first thing in the morning, confident that I had everything I needed. I get into the building saying a silent prayer and face a burly man on the other side of the glass door.
Visa man: What visa?
I: Tourist visa.
Visa man: What country?
I: (What an IQ for a man working at the German consulate. Obviously Germany !!) Germany.
Visa man: When are you traveling?
I: 3rd week of July.
Visa man: Too early to give you a visa. Come back after 15 days.
That’s it. Nothing in the website told me that I was too early. What a start to the process of Schengen visa. Now I just hope I get one on time, because if they send me home for another reason, like say some important documents missing, I don’t think I will have enough time to come back.
I think I need to pray harder to the Schengen Gods now.