Monday, December 7, 2009

Visas came today!!!!

We applied for 10 year visas and they were granted!  Yippee! 

I was pretty certain I would get one.  The cost for a 6-month visa to India is $60.  A 5-year visa is $150 and a 10-year visa is also $150!  In addition to the visa fee, there is a $13 processing fee each time you apply and about $5 to FedEx it there and $21 to FedEx it back.  So to apply for a 6-month visa twice in 10 years (I've already been there THREE times in 10 years! well....It will be 3 times after this trip)  So to apply for a 6-month visa twice in 10 years is $60 x 2, plus $13 x 2, plus $26 x 2 (assuming the costs don't go up) for a grand total of (wait, I'm getting my calculator, because, while I am love math and all it entails, I did to be an airhead when doing calculations.  I also really love parentheses (I'm sure I give you Grammar Heads out there a headache) and tangents (another math item))))))))))) (did I get them all closed???)

Grand total of...$198 (that was two 6-month visas).  One 10-year visa was $189.

Are you bored yet?

I also got RoseBud a 10-year visa.  We DID debate the wisdom of that, seeing as how she is just 14 and it added some money to the cost of this trip.  But again, this is her 2nd trip in 3 years and we plan to take a family trip with the boys in 6 years or so.  What it came down to was that I asked her what SHE thought about it.  She brought up needing it for the family trip and we also discussed the possibility of her doing an exchange program or some sort of service trip in college.  I was so pleased that she was open to such a possibility and that India has captured her heart, too!  She is such a great kid!

One more interesting (to me) note about the visas, is that apparently you aren't automatically granted a 10-year visa, just because you apply for one.  Another person going to SCH when we are there was granted only a 5-year.

BTW, the visa is permission to enter the country to which you are traveling. You must apply to that country's consulate here in America and they decide whether to grant permission for you to enter their country.  The visa is a sticker glued into your passport and the customs/immigration folks check it when you enter the country.  At that point, they give you a cool little rubber stamp in your passport to show that you were checked upon entry.

Here ends today's visa tutorial.

(Last interesting factoid:  You cannot use your Visa to apply for your visa.  They only take a money order!)

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