I honestly believe that everything happens for a reason and that there’s some unknown reason behind my passport and visa issues, but I also believe it’s important to bring attention to this issue. Nothing is going to change unless people know what is going on, and I feel that I have the platform to do just that.
Yesterday, after little sleep, I woke up early to cancel my flight. Never in all of my years of traveling have a I had to cancel a flight, and, under the circumstances, it was difficult not to get upset about the process, especially since the flight was non-refundable.
Vayama, the company I booked with, was excellent and gave me many different options before I finally chose to cancel. I almost made a change to my reservation, but with over $700 in change fees and the difference in flight prices, I decided it wasn’t worth it. My fear was that I would have to cancel that flight too, losing more money all at the hands of CKGS. Hopefully some of that can be refunded through insurance, but the process has been completely draining and it’s far from over.
On Friday afternoon, I refused to go back to the CKGS office. One experience was enough for me, and since I had already left VisaHQ in charge of my visa and was paying them, I let them take care of the issue. Now, I am beginning to feel grateful that I did go through VisaHQ because they have access to CKGS that I would never have. Still, even though they can gain access, that doesn’t prevent CKGS from lying to them.
I knew the person in charge of my case at VisaHQ was heading to the CKGS office on Friday evening and when I e-mailed her to ask for the status, she informed me that CKGS had told her my visa had been denied, and that she wasn’t sure why, but that she would find my passport and leave with it.
Disappointed and confused at the reason for being denied, I began to think of possible reasons. Would my dual citizenship have been an issue? Perhaps I had traveled too much in the past few years. I had questions, but I felt relieved that I had an answer and would be getting back my passport. That way, I could head to the consulate myself to resolve the issue and get on my way to India.
But, a few hours into this thought process, I began to worry. I remembered the CKGS employees I had dealt with the day before and the lies they so blatantly told the people I was surrounded by. I began to see this as a way for them to buy time, and an excuse for the grief they have been giving me.
Which is why, I wasn’t surprised when the e-mail came at 11pm telling me that VisaHQ hadn’t found the passport and was leaving the office with nothing. My heart began to sink, and I knew I’d have no choice but to cancel my flight.
An hour later, I received another e-mail from VisaHQ informing me that before they were told that the visa had been denied, they were told that my visa was sent directly to me. This was impossible because I had never paid for shipping, and when they weren’t able to answer questions about tracking numbers or payment methods, they switched their story and said my visa had not been approved.
Again, it was confirmed that the business I was dealing with was corrupt. But, the plot continued to thicken with an e-mail I received yesterday morning.
After my issues on Thursday, I spent Friday reaching out and leaving telephone messages and e-mails to everyone I thought could be of service. Of those, I received one e-mail back. It was from the Indian consulate, confirming one of my greatest fears, that Cox & Kings had never even submitted my passport to the consulate.
I knew that there was no hope in getting my visa in time for my flight, and reluctantly, I picked up the phone and cancelled my trip. Then, I spent the day sending more e-mails and making more phone calls; the process has been exhausting.
Around mid-day, I was given an e-mail address for someone who works at CKGS, from someone who has gone through the process. It was my first direct line into the company, and I couldn’t have been more grateful. I sent an e-mail, and actually got a reply rather quickly. It was the first positive step of the experience.
While, I haven’t heard from this person yet again, they have promised to locate my passport. It may not even be a real lead to where it is, though I do feel some small sense of hope. But, that could just be the positive attitude I usually carry with me.
To further practice that positive outlook, I decided to finally finish up packing for India. Maybe sending some sign to the Universe that I am ready to go will help. Who knows? But, I’m at a loss of what else to do at this point, and with my passport still missing, there’s not much for me to do but wait. When it does finally arrive, I want to be ready to head out that door and finally get on my way to India.