Always one to try to keep positive and in happy spirits, I have been met with a dilemma: a visa nightmare. One that up until now, I’ve viewed as out of my hands, which in many ways it is, but this process has me at the greatest level of frustration.
About a month ago, I submitted three visa applications to VisaHQ. Normally, I like submitting applications on my own, but I just didn’t have the time, and I had so many visas to get for the summer. I thought VisaHQ would be the best way to go, and in some ways, it’s been fine.
This is until my visa was submitted to India. As of May 21st, India switched the company it was using to process their visas. This was thought to be a positive change, but it’s turning out to be quite a mess. But, since VisaHQ submitted my visa for me on June 5th, three weeks ago, I thought I would have no issues. Unfortunately, here I am three weeks later, with no visa and no idea of when my passport will be back in my hands.
I kept checking my status on VisaHQ and waiting for an update on my visa, but all that ever changed was the time it would take to process. At first it was 10-15 business days, then 8 days, then 10 business days, now it’s 8 again. I can barely even follow it.
I reached out to VisaHQ about my concerns and the response was that it had to do with Cox & Kings and that there wasn’t much that could be done to ease my worries. I understood that it wasn’t their issue, but shouldn’t the company who is handling your visas at least try to ease your worries, and why did I have to reach out to them, instead of the other way around?
Still, at that point, my only concern was that VisaHQ wouldn’t have my passport back in time to get my Russian visa. I thought that I’d at least have my Indian visa by the date of my flight. A few days ago, it seemed that that wasn’t going to be the case.
Frustrated by VisaHQ, I tried to contact Cox & Kings on my own, which was a disaster in its own way. Every time I was able to speak to someone, they told me that they needed three more days and that maybe it would be best to change my flight date, even though they admitted that they had had my passport for three weeks.
Now, I sit in Starbucks, wasting an entire day before I leave, waiting for three o’clock when I’ll actually be able to get into the building to figure out where my visa is. I’ve heard plenty of horror stories of Cox & Kings losing people’s passports and VisaHQ has already informed me that mine was lost and had to be found last week.
Had this been an issue on my end, I would be understanding, but it’s not. According to VisaHQ, my application was submitted to Cox & Kings on Thursday, June 5th, which is three weeks ago today, leaving plenty of time for my visa to get processed and my passport to be returned.
At first, I was understanding. Cox & Kings has inherited a lot of its issues from the former company BLS, but the way they are handling this issue is completely unacceptable. Asking me to change my flights and each person telling me that they will expedite my passport, but not seeing a result is frustrating.
Now, instead of packing and seeing family and friends to say good-bye, I’m waiting to deal with an incompetent company, one that VisaHQ should be dealing with instead. I’ve also been spending all morning looking up new flights and realizing that my India trip, the one I’ve been dreaming about for years, is probably going to be cut short.
Cox & Kings and VisaHQ have not made this a pleasant process for me at all. I know, if I want to go back to India, I will have to deal with Cox & Kings again, but in the future, I will not be using VisaHQ again. I realize that there are many advantages to using a company to take care of visas for you, but it’s just not worth the money in my mind. I’ve paid their fees, and feel that the help I have been getting is sub par at best. I know that this is not entirely on their end, but I’m done trusting other people to do something I have had to wind up doing myself anyway.