Posted by: Googie | March 3, 2010

How could America do this to me?

I had been to the US twice before on work and lived there for a considerable amount of time. When I returned the first time, they detached the departure card (I-94); but left it there on my second departure.

I didn’t think it would be an issue at all, but during some random conversations with fellow travelers and their experiences at American immigrations, I wasn’t so sure. So I read about it a little online, and it appeared as though it could be a problem after all. So I thought I’d clear things up at the American Embassy at Hanoi, and got there early in the morning.

The security at the embassy didn’t let me speak to any official, and asked me to go to the American consulate a few streets away. Guards at the consulate were no better. I was refused entry because I was neither Vietnamese nor American. I explained my problem to the security guy who spoke to someone inside, and said that everything was alright and I could go to the US with no worries.

So would I fly to the US on the assurance of a guard that there would be no problems? No ****ing way!!!!
So I went online once again, and sent e-mails to the American consulates both in Hanoi and in Chennai. The Chennai guys were quick and I got a reply within an hour. It was indeed a problem but I could go to the US if I could sufficiently prove that I didn’t overstay in the US. All the necessary documents for this were in Bangalore.

So now I had 2 choices:
1. Postpone my flight to the US, ask Shaarad to courier the documents and fly to the US
2. Go back to India and then think about the next plan of action

Option 1 involved hardly any monetary loss, but option 2 was what I really wanted. So here I am – 5 pm Vietnam time – tickets to San Francisco canceled – tickets from Hanoi to Bangkok and then Bangkok to New Delhi bought – total loss about 30,000 Rupees – happiness in my heart, priceless!

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  1. 🙂

  2. I am telling you… Your post with the AK 47 will be a problem… delete it!!

    Just kidding… hope everything works out for you…

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