Category Archives: Indian Visa

visa update

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sorry to be so intense about this, but getting our visas in time was a big worry for me, so i just need to share every step of the way.

i have gotten a courier tracking confirmation for my visa.  maybe they will both be in the same envelope, that would be awesome!  it’s supposed to be delivered tomorrow!  if they are not in the same envelope, then i am sure hubby’s will come early this week as well.

so, looks like it’s a go!!!  wooooohooooo!!

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visa application: pre-weekend update

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in the computer system of the visa application centre, it says for my hubby’s “delivered by hand”, whatever that means.  they certainly have not delivered it to us, so i am hoping this means out with the courier.

mine, on the other hand, says “ready for dispatch”, again, whatever that means.  does it mean ready to give to the courier, or does it mean we are supposed to pick it up?  i think they should put a key or a legend on their site, so we know what each of these means, but that’s just me and my thorough customer service desires.

regardless of the difficult labels, i know this means they have been processed and approved, and all we need now, is to get them in our paws!

thank you to the nice man at the Indian Consulate for doing your best, and now it’s “Please courier guy, please deliver these fast!!”

fingers still crossed folks, send your vibes of fleetness to the courier!

wee visa update

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i just got a call from a gentleman at the Indian Consulate, asking for some clarification about the certification of our clinic as an ART clinic.  he asked if we had a letter from our clinic which included the registration information.  in fact, we do not have such a letter, though i did include the certification number of our clinic in one of the letters that we had written to the consulate.  we talked, and he is aware of the website where the certification numbers can be found (i put it in the Useful Information section to the right), and he said he would look it up as well.  he asked when we planned on traveling, and when i said “the 18th”, he said “OF THIS MONTH?!!?!?” in a somewhat distressed way.  when i confirmed it, he said that things appear to be in order, and that they SHOULD be able to have the applications processed by the end of this week, and that he would give me a call.  he was very nice, and i appreciated that he was concerned about the short turnaround time, but that he also seemed to try to reassure me.

if you are on your own surrogacy journey and gathering documentation for your medical visa application, i would highly recommend that you insist upon your clinic providing you with some official documentation regarding their ART status with the Indian Council of Medical Research…. insist!!!!

keep those vibes coming and those fingers crossed folks… it’s going to be a close call!

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signed, sealed, and delivered.

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both of our entire medical visa applications have been submitted.  the submission clerk and her manager reviewed them, i paid, and they are off.

the staff, as always, were very nice at the office.  the female clerk now recognizes me.. hehe!  i know a few of you have asked me this, so the fee, per application, is approximately $152 CAD.  also, this time they must courier it back to us, whereas for the tourist visa we were able to pick it up, so that’s a bit different and i hope it causes no delays.  i am so lucky to work at home most of the time, so i can be around (hopefully) when the courier shows up.

please, whether you send good vibes, burn incense or candles, pray, meditate, do magic, make offerings of food or flowers, throw pennies in a fountain, or whatever, please just put in a good word or two for us, for our medical visas to be approved in time for our departure, and then also for our surrogacy to be successful.  i am counting on everyone i know, and even you all i don’t know except through this blog, and i will do the same for you whenever you should need it.

thanks y’all!

i am pretty sure we have everything this time…

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so i am going to submit our applications again this morning.  i so hope it’s all in order, because our trip is booked for us to leave on June 18th, so that doesn’t leave much time.  i am preparing myself for a constant state of anxiety while waiting…. sigh.

let the good vibage commence!!

a few things were missing…

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ok folks, the BLS office (visa submission office) said that our packages were nearly perfect.  the only two things that were missing were a list of the costs associated with the surrogacy (which is no problem to provide) and then hubby and i were missing one other piece of important information, but it’s not going to be relevant to any of you, so i won’t mention it.  this will prove a little harder to get, but i am HOPING to have it in the next two days, so i can resubmit on Thursday or Friday.

apparently it takes “a fortnight” to process, which is two weeks, so we are really cutting it close here, because we really need to leave in three weeks, or wait til a new cycle.

i am going to need all your good vibes sent our way in the next few days, and then also in the weeks for processing.  i am happy to trade good vibes for others of you who need vibage for your surrogacy or any other ole thing… just let me know!!!

medical visa application stuff

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finally we have gathered all the stuff we need for the medical visa application packages, and we are ready to submit them tomorrow.  what a lot of stuff.  i wanted to share the list of what we included, because the checklist in the “Useful Information” section on the right is only for a general medical visa (could be for any medical procedure), and the medical visa for surrogacy is much more complicated.  so here’s the list, NOT in order:

  1. the CHECKLIST – you have to sign it when you drop off the package, because they review your package with you to make sure you have everything, or they will write down what is missing (hopefully nothing)
  2. application form – signed with an appropriately sized picture pasted to it
  3. surrogacy letter for perspective parents – from the High Commission of Canada (or your country’s) in New Delhi
  4. surrogacy contract – signed by all parties and notarized
  5. letter stating we will support the child(ren) after born
    1. we included the notice of assessment from our 2012 tax returns to show our income
  6. proof you will be able to pay for the surrogacy and related expenses (bank account print out)
  7. letter from our doctor in Canada explaining why we need surrogacy
  8. letter from clinic in India explaining when we need to be in India for surrogacy and where the procedures will be performed and how long we need to be there
  9. information to show the clinic is an ART clinic registered by the Indian Council of Medical Research
  10. marriage certificate (holy crap, i thought i knew EXACTLY where our certificate was – in a file folder called “wedding” in the filing cabinet – so i didn’t worry about it.  then this afternoon i looked and it wasn’t there, so we had to tear through every single paper in our house.  eventually, we found an old box full of paper, and hubby said “oh, that just looks like garbage”, but i had been through everything else.  sure enough, there it was, in the exact blue plastic sleeve i had in my mind’s eye…. if we hadn’t found it, it takes something like $150 and 7 business days to get a replacement… close call!!!  now it’s in the “wedding” folder in the filing cabinet, where it belongs.)

so, hopefully that’s everything.  i will let you all know how it goes tomorrow morning.  fingers crossed, ‘kay?

***ADDED JUNE 4th*** – please ensure you include information or proof from your clinic that they are a registered ART clinic.  while we just included this info in amongst the information in the letter of intent to support the babies that are the result of this surrogacy, I would recommend that you get a letter directly from your clinic, or at the very least, print the 20 page list of ART clinics (in the Useful Information section of this blog) and highlight your clinic.  it will just be more clear than what i provided, and while the gentleman i spoke to at our consulate office was lovely, you might not be as lucky, so have your package as straight forward as possible.

visa yay!

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well, not totally yay, but partially yay.

i believe i have gotten to the bottom of why i had such a hassle figuring out the visa stuff.  i know from my work that it was the end of the fiscal year on March 31st, as it is every March 31st, and it looks like the contract for managing Indian visa intake and phone calls, etc., ended, and was in limbo for awhile.  it just so happened that i was attempting to do visa applications and reach folks to ask questions at the very same time, so it was probably just my bad luck.  likely, others won’t have these issues going forward, but keep in mind if you are doing any of this work near the end of any fiscal year, sometimes this is when new contracts for services are negotiated on the planet, and the lack of a contract might create issues with any agency you deal with.

i went on the Indian visa website yesterday, and it looks like it has been updated with new phone numbers, additional information, and there is even a very helpful website that is linked there (clearly the newly contracted organization, called BLS India), that explains everything you need for visa applications and where to go, what to bring, hours, etc.

we have now submitted our visa applications, and have been told this takes about 5-7 working days.  there was no mention of an appointment or interview; i had thought we would need an interview, but i can’t recall where i got that idea.  so, if all goes well, we will pick up our tourist visas next week and be good to go.  the staff were very friendly at the office, and it was altogether a lovely experience.  the staff was, however, very new, so i didn’t feel comfortable asking them any questions at this time, as i didn’t want to add any confusion (the lady who processed me said i was her first :P) by asking questions about the upcoming medical visa.  i will perhaps call the helpline at the new number, once we have our tourist visas in hand.

still no word back from the Canadian Foreign Affairs office.  i am beginning to wonder if we should visit the Canadian Embassy in India, when we are in India for the first visit.  maybe it would be easier to have this conversation and make the request for the needed letter in person.

also, still no word back from the elusive “Katie” who dropped the bombshell last week about the three months; i imagine i won’t hear back from her.  it’s entirely possible it was just someone who wanted to freak us out, someone who doesn’t agree with the process, or perhaps it’s just her own story and ours will be totally different.  i am not going to worry about it anymore, just work on our own journey and making sure it’s as straight forward as possible.

i have an appointment with my OB/GYN tomorrow, so i can ask him what he thinks of my anti-mullerian hormone test results (and the rest of them), and ask him what i can do for ovarian health (if anything), and what he would recommend for a patient with exactly my test results in Canada.  it will just be very good information to have, as i haven’t yet seen him since ANY of my test results came back.

as always, will keep ya posted!

a little more info about our visa work and stuff

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sorry it’s been a little while since i posted, but it’s been a super busy week, both with work and social life.

i turned 42 on Friday, and there’s not much to say about that.  it is what it is, i am trying to feel neutral about it 😛  i did have a great weekend with hubby and family, so that was wonderful.  hubby made me an heirloom piece of furniture, which is super romantic.  he’s been working on it at a relatives house for several weeks, as a surprise and i am super touched and love it very much. it’s a potato and onion bin, and i have wanted one for a long time, since coveting his grandparents’ one.  i have asked him to carve 2013 on the bottom so that our heirs will know when he made it 🙂  this is the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for me, and i just love him so much!!!

so what i eluded to when i wrote my last post, is that the visa situation is not ironed out yet.  i did the online visa applications for both of us, but it was a bit of a nightmare.  nothing that i expected to happen on the website happened.  it’s supposed to offer you to print the application when you are done, but that only occurred with mine, and not hubby’s.  so here i thought i had submitted his application and had no copy of it.  there seemed to be nothing i could do to get to the print page back for his application; they give you a temporary number so that you are supposed to be able to go back in and retrieve your application, so you can complete portions you missed and come back with more information, or if you need to take a break, but NONE of the numbers i got EVER worked, EVER.  luckily, i had the revelation that i could go into my browser history and go through every page associated with the India visa website, and i found his print page, so i was able to print and also save as a PDF, thank gawd.

another issue, is that the site is supposed to, at the end, ask you if you want to pay and submit your application.  it didn’t do this for either of us.  so we haven’t paid or applied yet.  apparently, only SOME of the cities allow online paying and submission, and surprisingly, Vancouver isn’t one of them…. so we will have to go in person.  we will do this in the coming week.

lastly on this topic for today, i have still, to this day, never been able to contact a human being at any of the phone numbers on the India Visa (Consulate) website.  never, not once, no how.  so an in-person visit is truly in order.

ok, then something a little disturbing happened after my last post.  someone read it and made a comment about how she and her spouse are a BC couple who are in the process right now, and are supposed to pick up their babies in June this year, and they have JUST found out that they have to stay in India for three months.  she said that they also have just found out that none of their paperwork can be done in Mumbai, only in New Delhi, whereas it used to be a 4-6 week process which could be done in either Mumbai or New Delhi.  really no other information was in her comment.

i struggled with whether i was going to approve this comment (you can approve or deny any comments on your WordPress blog before they just pop up on your page), but i think i will approve it because it’s part of our process, and i have been sharing all info on the blog, and don’t want to start being selective now.  therefore, i don’t want anyone to get freaked out by this (though i must say it freaked me out), because it was a very short comment and there wasn’t much context at all.  i don’t know if this is because she is one who started before the new guidelines, or what her circumstances are exactly.  i will be talking to the visa office when we go in this week so we know exactly what this is all about.  i have also emailed the woman to see if she is willing to share more information with me, but no response so far (it is a long weekend, and a beautiful one at that, so she may not have checked her email).  that said, she may have also provided a fake email address, because i think that commenters can do that, not sure.  my fingers are crossed that she will get back to me, so i can ask more questions for clarity, and of course i will share the information here.  if not, i will get to the bottom of it, research, research, research.

hi Katie – please contact me again, i could really use any additional information you feel you can provide to us 🙂

also, i have not yet heard back from the Canada Foreign Affairs office, so I will touch base with the Administrative Assistant this week as well.

this long weekend is recharging my batteries, so i am ready for more research and learning about the surrogacy process.