Friday, September 25, 2009

Visa at last!

My letter of invitation came on a Wednesday. My "work permission" came on a Thursday. My daughter's letter of invitation came the following Tuesday (22 September.) I decided that driving to DC in some vain attempt to do it myself was futile at best, crazy at worst.

A neighbor who has traveled & worked internationally before recommended a passport/visa service. After my first attempt at contact, I wasn't much more impressed with the service than with the embassy--I got an answering machine. However, I left a message, and within an hour my called was returned. A friendly and knowledgeable person answered all of my questions, and I decided that using a visa service was much smarter than traveling to DC.

I mailed the applications and all the materials via FedEx on Tuesday, and on Wednesday I received a friendly email stating that my materials had been received. The embassy is closed on Wednesdays; however, they would deliver the applications on Thursday. For $100 extra per application, the process would be rushed, and the visa would be ready Monday or even possibly Friday.

Today I learned that the visa will be ready by Monday, which means I will get it Tuesday. I am very pleased with the visa service. They seem efficient and they communicate frequently. I am currently looking at flights. It looks like we'll be flying out on Wednesday, and arriving on Thursday! I can't wait!

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