Until last night, that feeling of going back home was hiding somewhere deep inside and the curiosity and anxiety of meeting friends and family was kind of lost, but finally, the moment is closing in and I am starting to gear up for my upcoming trip to Home. I am still not on toes and way far away from that goose bump feeling but I’m sure it’s not too far now.
Last night I finally decided to start the process of my journey and prepared my list of “To Do things”. The first and foremost was to make travel reservations which luckily I made quite in advance by booking my to and fro tickets in the month of May. Second down the list which is by far the most important is to get set for the process of Immigration and Visa stamping. I must say, I never understood the process that USCIS has laid down for Immigrants. You apply for your work Visa, US government does all sorts of background checks and what not and then makes a decision of approving or rejection. The fun part comes now. You are in US and have been there for last 4 years and your work permit is renewed by the US government after all that investigation and background process and finally sends you the approval. But that is not enough. The government doesn’t renew your Visa stamp on the passport within the country. You must fly out of the country and get it stamped on your passport to be able to come back. You are still half way to the fun part. When you fly out to some country or say your home country and go to the US Embassy, they still hold rights to deny the stamping and that too without giving you any reason. This is absurd. US government has done all background checking and investigation and then came to the decision of approving your stay then why the heck Embassy in your or other country denies stamping. It stinks and hurt to the bottom of your butt when you are denied. Is it one of those nasty tricks by which US government attempts to make money or is one of those torturing techniques used to dishearten and demoralize innocent people, it is tough to conclude but two words for the whole thing is “it sucks”. Well anyways, no matter how much I crib and mock, the truth is I have to go through that pain striking experience this time. I was supposed to go through this last year at the same time but probably the US government had some different plans and so they took their own time processing my renewal process and forced me to cancel my reservations and travel plan. So last night, I spent an hour to fill up my Visa application form and trust me, I felt like back in school and college. Such a huge form and you have to fill in every single small minute detail like when you entered US, how long you stayed each time, which date you left, where you worked, who was your employer, who is your employer, etc. etc. etc. OMG was what came out my mouth at the end of the form. I still haven’t submitted it but would do so soon. The third most important task is to get my Visa appointment date and what a pain it is. I have to check 5 times a day to see if the dates I want are opened or not. If I miss a single day I am doomed and I might have to look for some other city which I kind of don’t want to but if that is what I would have to do, I will do it. Hopefully, I don’t miss on my date and get the job done smoothly.
This morning when I woke up, I realized that I don’t have much to do over the long weekend so why not to get going with the shopping and guess what, my credit cards started jumping out of my wallet. To start with, I headed to the nearest factory outlet and got myself a pair of jeans that would be worn for the next 365 days in and out of office and practically everywhere. I’m lucky to have such a cool office where I don’t have to be in formals every day. I used to dress up for quite some time when I joined but if the president of the company comes in jeans and shirt, why do you want to dress up right? Everyone knows me, I am a polar bear, I mean not literally, but yes, I love cold and I guess lucky to be living in Chicago where it snows for 4 months and winters last for good 5 months. 32 degree F (0 degree C) or below, doesn’t matter. Light clothes and maybe just a jacket or a sweater would do perfectly fine for me. I remember one instance from 2 years ago when my HR stopped me in the morning and said, AJ give me your home phone number. I need to call your mom and tell her that you are not wearing proper clothes to protect you from snow and cold and I laughed at her and said, go ahead and call my mother. She will not be surprised. So I bought couple of t-shirts for darn cheap price because Delhi weather in November, I guess would be perfect for short sleeves t-shirts or maybe a light sweat shirt. On the way back home, I realized what should I pick up for my friends and their better halves so stopped by a nice shop and did some cool shopping for the ladies. Still to do for the guys but what, I am confused. If I ask them, I know what’s gonna come my way, iPhone, Bose home theater system, gadgets or something similar and if I really get these things, I think, I am going bankrupt this year J just kidding. But I guess for guys, I would go out on hunting next or next to next week. There’s so much more to do and now I feel like hardly any time left although, I still have practically 2 months but the countdown has now begun.
One most important thing to be done is to legally make someone my beneficiary here which would be someone from my family of course for the worst case scenario if my visa stamping gets denied and I am not allowed to come back. If that happens then I will have to get my assets (I am saying assets as if I own a whole lot of money here) disposed of, lease to be closed, bank accounts to be closed and many more things for which I would need someone here who could do all this legally without any issues. Never thought, going back to home would be such a project.6 comments