Posts Tagged ‘Passport’

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… the passengers were segregated into 2 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!!


My Emigration and Immigration-Part 1

A small intro….
Travelling abroad, one of my long term aspirations got fulfilled when my manager in wipro said “Sathish, You are selected for an onsite assignment to canada”. I was perished in ecstasy when my visa got stamped in a week time….with friends bugging for “onsite treat” that week I’d to say was my “onsite celebration”….but the travel day was not confirmed…

Here comes the main play…
The day started as usual and was about to step out of my room to my office at 8:00A.M…suddenly my mobile started buzzing….When I stared at the display,it was my boss calling..With agitation I took the call and he said “your tickets are confirmed and you should travel today”….I was astounded to hear that ….I felt like everything stopped around me and even my roomies were puzzled. The craziest thing was I didn;t do any packaging not even the day before, assuming my travel dates would fall during weekends….’heights of indolence’-that’s what I’ve to tell ….
Impelling myself,I started to first collect my passport,tickets and the critical thing for survival-money…..without these I could never think of going onsite…..then I took an auto from my room to Madiwala office.
I don’t know whether I’ll pray GOD daily or not but used to do in escaping from the ‘moron’ Udupi garden signal for changing RED light to GREEN one… my surprise I found the signal blinking in YELLOW and could cross it without waiting….I was heading towards my office in Madiwala to check my mailbox for the ticket date and mails from my manager….The flight from Bangalore to Delhi was at 4:20 P.M. I’d the determination to get all the things done before 1:00 P.M as I’d to do purchsaing of masala items and a suit case.I’d another problem of vacating things in my cubicle and found it would suck lot of time.So i decided to do that little later and prioritized in collecting tickets and PP for which I need to go to another office which is 15 kms from Madiwala.Things were not moving as fast as me because I could not get an Auto after waiting at the gate for 10 mins…At last I found one autowalla approaching me but that guy stopped few yards away from me…without knowing that he had problems in his vehicle I asked him “Sarjarpur poganuum”..that guy accepted the offer worth 60 bucks but put me a condition that I’d to wait for few more minutes till he changes the break wire….I said “OK”…
Auto started and in around 15 mins I could see the Wipro sunflower logo…felt happy to see the wipro office as I’m going for first time in my 2.8 yrs stint with wipro.
Travel briefing,a mandatory session to be attended for all abroad travellers before leaving, went for 3 hours. I’d to wait in the same hall to collect the FOREX as was told by the travel agents who gave the briefing.Then after 1 hour I came to know that the guy was sitting in his place and would not be coming to the room….his place was not that far and was just opposite to my wing ….I ran inside that wing and caught hold of the FOREX guy and laid my signature on few forms …at last I was exuberant in seeing the dollars for first time when he gave me the currency…
The game was not over yet when I saw the time to be 12:30 P.M ..just 2 hours to go to airport….I’d set a target of leaving my room at 2:30 P.M itself,so I could do the checkin in the Airport 2 hours for the domestic flight…my next immediate step as I came out of the campus was to hunt for an Auto to go back to Madiwala office….frenzied with the deserted road and no autos passing that way,one kind hearted guy gave me a lift in his bike…but I should say my fate that day was very worse that his petrol tank was empty in half way and stopped in the middle….I’d to recall the statement “GOD must be crazy” that too with me. My minute’s dial in my watch did the dupication of the work of second’s dial and was already 1:00 P.M.My old roomie had agreed to help me in this wreched time of mine and agreed to wait in Big Bazaar shopping mall near to Forum…again had to hunt for some lift …could any cars or bikes or autos could stop me and drop me till the Madiwala flyover would be g8..that’s what I felt…again GOD came in the form of a guy on TVS 50 and dropped me till the Madiwala flyover. Finally I grabbed all my belongings from Madiwala office and left that place heading towards another wipro office to collect the ticket. Here is another challenging treasure hunt as again I don’t know the wipro campus in Koramangala.This time with a new autowalla at peak traffic in the Madiwala roads took to one of the 3 wipro campuses in Koramangala…..but I was not sure that I got down at the right office where my tickets were handed over to the security person at the entrance. He was baffled to hear when I said “I came to collect my air tickets”. The guy said “I think you came to a wrong campus and this is K1”. In wipro terminology,the 3 offices in Koramangala are called K1,K2 & K3. My actual destination to collect the tickets was from K2. The security person drew me the route and to add fuel to the fire the auto in which I came had left,as that guy could not park his vehicle in the “one way” road. Then with weariness I ran till the main road like “run sathish run” and seized an auto. At last I arrived to the right K2 office and ran to the security. My tickets looked attractive and a sudden thought came then..did I note down my place of stay in Canada???
I called one of my fellow colleagues to read the address from some print outs which I forgot to collect from my cubicle desk. Now with eveyrhing set, I maneuvered towards Bigbazzar where I’d to meet my friend.

In the same ‘waiting’ auto, I got down at BigBazaar mall and met my friend in the ground floor who was waiting for me.He economized my time by dumping some of the items in a stroller so I started picking other items of my choice. My watch was showing 2:15 P.M and with about 25 kilos of weight we got into an auto and approached to my room. The next target was to pack all these stuffs and my clothes. Believe it or not, i’d about 30 set of pants/shirts which I could wear continuosly for a month without repeating . Picking the best among 30 shirts/pants was a tuff job but still I did “Inky pinky ponky”and took 15 of them. In the meantime the cab arrived and reckoned to the airport. In this peak..thrilling…pathetic hours of mine I could not thing of having any food from morning…hardly speaking I didn;t get time to peek into the canteens either in Madiwala or in sarjarpur. I should appreciate the vigor I’d in me till I got into the cab and went forward to few kms. Suddenly I got appetite in the stomach and it starting striking my mind that “hey man..u need some food”….a small tropicana juice could quench my hungriness but that too did help.I barfed all the stuffs and in few seconds i arrived near the airport.

While in the cab I’d to talk to my family members in Coimbatore. My bro,sis-in-law,sis & bro-in-law-everybody’s work got stranded because of me as no one went to office on that day. That did not stop with them …even my niece,nephew(from sis &bro) also bunked from going to school.With my hutch prepaid card balance for Rs.10,I could not end up saying “bye..bye” to all of them. So they had to call to my mobile. My mom as usual started crying as her son is travelling too far now …..a place not like Bangalore which is just 345 kms from coimbatore. With controlled emotions I went inside the airport and got the boarding flight at King Fisher Airlines….with that discomfort I could not miss the beautiful airhostesses in red midi’s….the time I checkedin was 4:00 P.M
At the boarding gate now the waitstate started as the flight for 4:20 P.M got delayed by 1 hour due to technical problems. i was so furious when a guy informed this on mike…about to blast him but didn’t had the strength to do so….all my stamina evaporated from my body….I stuffed one of the available puffs from a cafe’ near the boarding gate. At 5:30 P.M the annoucement came that passengers can get into the flight…..