Access Granted

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After the “4 day processing time” which turned out to be three weeks I finally got my visa. So it’s all good now?

Nope.

My work contract is from October 1 to March 31 – exactly six months. Business / employment visas can be issued for a maximum of six months, so it was not a coincidence that I put down the same dates on my visa application. They should fit together quite nicely. Right?

Wrong.

For some reason, which – despite several efforts of communication – is still unclear to me, they decided to put September 18 as the starting date. An odd choice, considering that the earliest date that I was allowed to pick up the visa was the 26th. Which means the visa ends two weeks before my work contract does. After more questions it became clear that it was essentially impossible for me to get a six month visa that would perfectly overlap the working period.

But I can apply for an extension to the visa during my stay there, right? I asked. The clerk, a mellow Indian man, smiled and said in a delightfully cheery, accented voice “You can try”, almost as if he’s cracking a joke. Maybe he was.

I could do little more than smile and say ok, I guess I’ll have to go with what I got, and since this is what I have then it’ll have to do. At least it’ll get me into the country. He smiled back as I turned and left the embassy.