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My Emigration and Immigration-Part 2


The aesthetic interiors of Kingfisher aircraft with their ‘branded’ red colour embossed all over the place looked attractive.I’d heard from my peers in India,that only KF airlines had the good-looking Airhostesses…hopefully it was true…Now I’ve got time to relax for the next 3 to 3.5 hrs,I was served with dinner too.The demo given by Yana Gupta(in her KF airhostesses outfit) over the video screens was simply marvelous that anyone could follow the instructions with ease.
With the parking FULL, the flight could not land and was encircling in the sky for 30 mins.It landed our country’s capital at 9:40 P.M.


I grabbed my checkin bags and had to board my next international flight to Toronto.Without knowing that the Delhi International Airport is 13 kms from Domestic Airport and an internal shuttle would take people to the Airport, I coolly came out of the domestic airport. There came the twist in tale as how I’m gonna reach to that alien place. When slightly queried with a taxi guy,I was startled when he asked Rs.800 to go to Indira Gandhi International Airport. I was not ready to get cheated and peeped on the left side …I could see lot of cabs standing in Queue…probably a prepaid one I supposed….it was little difficult for me to push the strolley weighing about 60 kgs of weight into one of the cabs….I paid 130 bucks….


At the international airport you would’ve never seen that much crowd right from the entrance till the security check…,There were long Q’s everywhere in front of Airlines for checkin’s….
I was so pleasured to sit in the Boeing 767 Air Canada flight at 1:45 A.M but this time the interiors were not as soothing as KF…the attire of the Airhostess were not that attractive though…kudos to our Vijay Mallya for KF that he could understand the customer’s taste.I’d a stop over at Zurich, Swiz. The airport was extremely awesome that the Swiz govt had spent millions of Euros for the infrastructure. I was amazed with its high ceilings and the clear view glasses from where I could see the flights landing and take offs as well….no words to compare our Delhi IIA with this one….


I reached Toronto airport after 19 hours…..now the passengers were segregated into 2 groups..one group whose final destination as Toronto, had to take right turn and for those heading to Ottawa had to take Left turn…Since my final destination was Ottawa I’d to join the Q on my LHS..
I saw the display showing “Customs and Immigration check”…My turn came when the customs officer,a guy, asked these questions:


why u came to canada?
how long u’ll be here?
are u carrying any food items?
where u’ll work?
ur place of stay in canada?


After having answered to all these questions, the customs officer scribbled something on the customs form which was given by airlines ….I handed over that to another guy who was collecting them a few yards away on the same path…Now I didn’t know which direction to take.. a right or a left….i’d put the passport in my leather pouch and was concentrating on the “Directions” showing upward arrow which directed to “collect checkin baggages”.
In the next one hour, I boarded the domestic flight to Ottawa….The distance between Toronto and Ottawa comes to 415 kms which by air could be covered in 1 hour. I cannot describe in Words the beauty of Toronto when I was looking at the window …I could even see the world’s only free standing building ‘the CN tower’. I jiggled with joy when I reached my apartment and my new roomies welcoming at the gate.


The next day I don;t know what made my roomie who wanted to check my passport….he was little doubtful that one of the seals in the page next to visa stamping was missing…so I asked to show his passport which had an extra seal and found to be the “immigration seal” and no work permit letter….from then my heart beat count has increasd from its normal rate to 100 beats/min….How could I miss the immigration check?? On tracking back, I realized that I missed it after the customs check after which I took a diversion.. I remember the guy who collected the customs form was supposed to direct me to immigration check as well. Moreover y it didn’t strike my mind ….I’d to feel bad for my volatile memory and for not following none of the guidelines as told during the briefing session….now I was again brought back to the state how I was running the day before in Bangalore…but for one difference now in abroad…Immediately I rushed to the Ottawa Airport and obliged to the Immigration officer, a lady,and told her that I missed the immigration check and needed the Work Permit letter. She replied saying “Since u’ve already came into the country and moreover the port of entry was at Toronto..nothing could be done at this stage”….my heart stopped for few seconds…she continued ” There are 2 options either u should go back to India and come back to Toronto. Otherwise u need to cross the canadian border to get into the US and come back to canada “….and she left the place leaving me in solitary. A quick decision was not possible at this stage and had to discuss with my roomies and few of my colleagues….with serious discussions we came to know that no one had faced such a peculiar case like this…I thought no idiot will forget to miss his/her immigration and I’m the only exception …. The whole Saturday went waste.On Monday I went to ‘local’ immigration centre and posed this query for which they were not aware or had not heard of such a case…God was still crazy with me…I took a taxi from the immigration centre to my appartment. The driver, an indigen of Bangladesh, spoke to me in a good manner…I could not stop saying him that I was facing such problem and don’t know what to do…..that guy a canadian citizen now was aware of people crossing canadian border to get WP letter and immigration check. And also claimed that he would drive me to the border (a place called Prescott) and help me to get these things done. So we both decided to cross the border. He went to his home to fetch his passport and in few minutes we were heading to Prescott..


From Ottawa to reach Prescott would take 2 hours….I’d say that I was doing some adventurous job on a foreign land. That was a highway and our car was driving at 120 kmph, a speed which could never ever imagine in Bangalore or in coimbatore…with some general discussion with the driver who had settled in canada for about 15 yrs and his generations are canadian citizens. It was true that 10 yrs back immigrating into canada was not a tough task and the govt was promoting people from different races to settle in their home country. Now the situtation had changed that too after 9/11 attacks. I’d a stupid question running in my mind “Y didn’t I settle in canada ….I could’ve done my studies here and need not suffer like this”. Thinking GOD would defintely support and would get my seal/WP……From rear, I could see the name “Prescott” on my left side…so we were on the HOT spot and there our action begins…the canadian immigration building was so silent unlike the airport. The complete muteness suspected me that whether the Immigration office was functional or not. Then I identified the entrance and got into the office…my heart was pounding like anything and was eager to hear the reply from the immigration officer as what SHE(again a lady) would say…On looking into my passport she understood my problem and said “Yeah..I could do it…but first of all u must cross the bridge and get into the US. While entering u must tell that u want to get WP letter”….I could not say how happy I was when I heard that…had not had the wings, I would’ve flown…


With anxiety, I and the car driver crossed the bridge. It was a green bridge colligates canada and US…This had been the bigger experience in my life and would not except much bigger than this in future too.When we crossed the bridge I was surprised to see the plate showing “Welcome to Newyork,US”..ohh so I got an oppurtunity to step in US land that too in Newyork..I was so fortunate then. At entry the American officer threatned me asking few questions…y did u come here…for which my reply was “I wanted to get canadian WP”. He guided me into the US immigration office and in few minutes I was handed with a refusal letter for not having a valid US visa. Now I could get into canada as I posses a valid canadian visa….it is as simple as that. Having seen the beauty of the US port of entry for canadian people, we took a ‘U turn’ via the Green bridge and came back to the canadian immigration office. Now I was little relaxed with the things going well and the most ‘kind-hearted’ lady in the immigration office collected the refusal letter and my PP. She went inside a room and came out with a print out. I thought that was my Work permit. Also she laid a seal on the page adjacent to my visa stamped. I saw that to be my immigration seal with the current date.


I told million thanks to the car driver who assisted me to do all these….had a thrilling experience and also for being on illegal stay for 2 days!!