Tuesday, January 02, 2018

India Vacation 2017

So we suddenly decided to do an India trip this year-end as it has been 4 years since we traveled.
We both got out H1B petitions approved (mine had an ongoing amendment) but we decided to go anyways.
Gopi got his holidays confirmed for 4 weeks, ticket costs were less and so we booked for them 3 on 27th Nov 2017 and I booked my tickets on 3rd Dec 2017. Packing was done, tickets were confirmed, visa appointment dates were taken, internal travel plans were fixed.
I landed at Bangalore airport at 1 am and had my domestic connection at 5am in the morning to Pune. The family had already reached there the day before on Monday. Was happy to see them all and parents and the sister/nephew.
Arranged all the documents for the visa appointment, arranged for taxi to Mumbai, slept for an hour evening and then directly at night.
Got up next morning and me and hubby left for Mumbai. Checked in a hotel at Sion and then went for fingerprinting.
Evening went to an Ayyappa temple at Kurla, returned and slept.
Morning went to the US Consulate, Mumbai.Our appt was at 8:30 am.
We went in and there was a long line, at the fingerprinting counter they called my name and asked me to wait. Then someone asked for my petition, after I submitted and they checked , after an hour of waiting they let us in the interview counter.
The VO asked few qtns to both of us and then gave us both a yellow 221g slip and returned our passports saying She needs more verification that we have a valid job and we need to email all the documents(even though we had it with us). We were shocked and surprised and dissapointed and angry(all emotions together), we hardly spoke on our return trip back to Pune.
The next days were pure torture, not knowing what will happen, contacting everyone for the letters(recent dated) , getting the lawyer to draft the letter.
We got all the documents by 12th Dec but had to wait for the lawyer letter for a week. Very frustrating period as we could not sleep. Website said that it took 1-2 months.
10th Dec we returned to Coimbatore. Finally the lawyer send the document on 17th Dec and we submitted them on the 18th Dec. That is when for the first time in the trip I slept peacefully.
I planned for a Kerala trip from 25th Dec to 31st Dec.
Now just waiting for visa. Not sure of anything at this time.