Tuesday, October 4, 2011

$500 For a Wasted Trip to Delhi


This is part 1 of a 4 part posting, modeled after the popular Mastercard Priceless commercials. 

So hubby and I went to Delhi to file the visa via Direct Consular Filing (DCF). According to the embassy website there were certain requirements that had to be met first and I am 1000% sure I met them all. I re-verified that I met them several times before we bought our train tickets. 

We got to the embassy and were pleasantly surprised that it was empty. No waiting in line, of course wit a US passport they take you to a different place anyway so I wasn’t too worried. We got escorted into the USCIS office and signed in there and then waited for a lady behind the counter to call us up. She only called me by my first name and that should have been my first bad signal. It was still early in the day, I doubt she had time to be that worn out from the day. (They start letting people in at 9 and it was only 11 AM.) She asked me the following questions and I answered truthfully to all of them:

Give me your I-130. (Said just like that.)
When did you arrive in India?
How did you meet your hubby?
Have I visited India before? When? How long did I stay?
Has your hubby ever visited the US?
May I see your wedding photos?

She then asked us to sit down and wait and she would be back with us in a moment. At this point I was still all smiles, so excited to be on the path towards my future and away from the sickness that haunts me. The lady was gone about 5 minutes I guess, not too long but not too quick either. She didn’t even call my name this time she just motioned for me to come up to the counter and I did. 

She then told me she had just consulted with a consular officer and that I didn’t qualify for DCF because I couldn’t prove residency. I told her I had a residence permit and other proof of my residency and that she hadn’t asked for those so how could she know I didn’t have them. She told me that a residence permit didn’t matter because everyone gets those just so they can over stay their visa (which is BS because I know plenty of ppl who go the hell home to get out of here). I again asked her about my other proof which I know not everyone else gets and I told her I had met every requirement on the website.

She then asked me which website and I told her the embassy website and that I had printed it out and brought it with me. I then reached in my belongings to show her and she came back with the most unprofessional comment I’ve ever heard come out of anyone’s mouth (and I worked assisting women with filing government paperwork for over 4 years and personally assisted over 10,000 women and never once heard anything like this!). The woman behind the counter said to me “What are you questioning; I can give you an answer for anything that website says.” She was implying that no matter what the embassy’s official information said she wasn’t going to be bothered with doing her job and taking the papers. She even refused to look at any papers and proceeded with talking over me to tell me how to file by mail. 

I didn’t continue to push the issue after her comments and the look on her face. It was clear that she would have no problem having me permanently removed from the embassy for questioning her judgment and she wasn’t going to let me speak with the consular officer who helped her make this decision either. I will be filing a complaint against her and the embassy, that’s for sure. This is definitely a ridiculous mess, and this is NOT what professionalism is by US standards. (Yes, I know I’m in India but that is considered US territory by US law and they are subject to the same guidelines and standards as any government office in the US.)

Read more from this series:
2 - $200 For a Purifying Dip in the Ganga
3 - Freedom From Anger - Priceless
4 - For Everything Else....there's Rupees!

3 comments:

  1. taking with my career and that will be immigration reform. I have the education and will be devoting my life's work to making sure illegal immigrants are not shown preference over law abiding applicants for admission to the US. Currently, this is not the way the US seems to work, it's as if they favor illegals....just look at Obama's relatives that keep getting caught in the US and are all there illegally. Funny how they don't have to support the laws of the country when their own family member is sworn to uphold them so heavily.

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  2. People in embassies / border security are trained to be that way. This is why I found the Indian immigration at the airport so much more polite than the American or Canadian border security. You just can't win with those people. Hopefully things will go smoothly next time around this this lady will be fired soon.

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  3. Well, I'm certainly going to do my fair share towards getting her fired. The US is in no position to treat it's own tax paying citizens this way, much less those from other countries wishing to invest or spend money on/in the US. As corrupt as India is known to be I have never received such unprofessional treatment anywhere in my life. I will, once again, embark upon a letter writing campaign and enlist my senator to assist with filing complaints against this woman.

    One good thing did come of her behavior though. I now know for sure what direction I will be takin

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