Friday, August 9, 2013

And Then There Was a Glitch

Well, nothing ever goes smoothly when it comes to India. There are just too many factors that prevent you from going through anything without running into some kind of trouble.

I told hubby several months before our interview how critical it was he get an international drivers license. This would save us several months wait for him to start his life here. He started asking around to find out how to get this in India and was told all the things he needed to know. We knew when he would need to apply for it and how. It wasn't supposed to take long and since his drivers license was still valid it wouldn't even be that much trouble.

Then we got the interview letter I reminded him how important it was and to go ahead and get the process started. He went in and they told him his license was fine but they couldn't give him the international license without him having his valid visa and plane tickets in hand. If you haven't been to India, it's expected that the rules change with each person you talk to and there's nothing you can do about it.

So hubby gets his approval notice from the embassy and goes back to the courthouse to start the process and get the file made and take his pictures. He gets there and then he is informed that his license is old (not expired just old) and they have a new system so they can't give him an international license until he gets a new drivers license. Getting the new license will take 30 days and then he can come back to apply for the international license.

That crushed me. Here we were, visa has been issued and printed and now they tell us we are going to have to wait 30 more days. And that's only if we're lucky and things don't change between now and the next time he talks to someone. Oh and it doesn't count holidays or Indian standard timing which I know means nothing ever gets done on time. No one in that court system ever wants to work or do their job. I know, I've been there before myself.

I had no hope of this license coming through in a timely manner. So I started checking regulations here in the US. Hubby would have to wait about 6 weeks after arrival here for all of his permanent residency documents to come through as well as get his name onto some kind of bills showing residency here and get his social security number before he could even apply for a learner's permit. So without the international license he would have to wait months to start his life after getting here.

That means no applying for jobs (because he couldn't get to the interview or to work if he got it). No learning how to drive our cars which are almost completely different from cars in India. We have predominantly automatic transmissions as opposed to many in India being manual. We drive on the opposite side of the car and the road. None of these things are hard but they take time to get used to. So after getting all of his documents he would then need to take time to get comfortable with driving here before he could move on with his life.

We were faced with a decision as to whether or not to wait for this license or not. So I did some number crunching and added up everything that mattered. If he waited for the license then it would only be 2 1/2 months before he could start working. Or to be more simple with this, about 10 weeks. That's the earliest, not a definitive number. Then I figured up how long it would take if he didn't wait for it. It would be a minimum of 12 weeks.

Then I thought about how long it can take to get hired and how long he would need to recover from the flight and adjust to the time difference, etc. We talked to people who had gotten the license to see how much difference it really made for them. FIL talked to some people to see if he could speed up the process.

We started looking for plane tickets as this was a huge part of the deciding factor. Hubby had some stringent requirements for where he would and wouldn't stopover, etc. He was starting to get on my nerves to say the least lol. There were hardly any flights available for anytime in the first 2 weeks that met both our needs. The ones that did meet our needs didn't have enough seats left for us to consult his parents and be certain of the decision. 

In the end we decided to hell with the international drivers license. It wasn't worth the wait. But hubby didn't come right away either. We found a great ticket for 1 week after he got the visa and his parents freaked out a little. It didn't matter they had been arguing the few days previous because of the mixed emotions in the house. They didn't want him to leave so soon. So we again went back to searching for tickets. We finally settled on a ticket for 2 weeks after he got the visa. 

Finally, something definitive!


  1. Alexandra MadhavanAugust 9, 2013 at 1:34 AM

    Don't worry, it will all work out! Moving is just very stressful...especially moving countries!

  2. Hi I just came across your blog and find it so interesting! My husband and I were in a very similar situation about two years ago, moving our whole lives from India to the States. In my experience, embrace the time that your hubs has to wait, it is a BIG adjustment! Relax and give everything time to settle, everything works out and its not as stressful as you're making it seem. :)

  3. Oh definitely! I remember when I had to do it and it wasn't exactly fun.

  4. Oh man. My husband and his family make things stressful lol. They put everything off till the last minute then run around in full on panic mode. Add that to the intense emotions, fear of the unknown and many other factors at play and this situation became quite stressful.

  5. How long had you and your husband live in India before deciding to move to the USA? Why exactly did you choose to move? Just curious :)

  6. I think we started talking seriously about moving back about 6 months after I came to India. My health was not improving and it was getting pretty scary. I had a horrible case of yellow jaundice and I was fearful of how things would turn out. So we agreed we needed to move to the US.