July 20, 2011

Schengen Visa...

Anyone of you who's from Nigeria and only has a green passport (not those of you with dual citizenship and *red/blue passports in addition) has probably at some point or the other stood in line for a visa application.

When KOK and I chose Malta for our destination, we assumed since Malta was a Schengen State, the visa application process would be a breeze... It wasn't my first Schengen Visa, I had been to Rome just a year before...

Absolutely not! First indication was when I applied through the Maltese embassy for our site visit trip in February. They do not leave anything to chance, they called KOK to verify we were actually engaged, they called my wedding planner to verify we actually planned to meet with her, they called my employer to verify my employment, they called my health insurance to check that in the unlikely event that I need emergency medical services in the 4 days I would be in Malta, that I was covered... Finally, after theses exhaustive checks I was issued a Limited Territory Visa - permitting me entry into only Malta for exactly a period of 6 days !  It took ~ 2.5 weeks+ to get the visa

OK - they are just doing their job and subsequently after we've paid deposits and signed contracts with the vendors in Malta - this should get easier right?? Not quite...

Between the fact that you cannot apply for a Schengen visa greater than 3 months before intended date of travel and some personal trips I had planned, I didn't apply for my visa for the wedding until June 21. I had contacted the Maltese embassy to notify them that the trip in February had been great, and wedding plans were in full swing and they should expect visa applications from our guests...I confirmed the names of the guests that would be applying as well... 

Anyway, after almost calling the Maltese embassy daily since June 21, I finally received my passport in the mail today with my visa to travel for my wedding. Thanks to the fabulous folks at the Maltese embassy in DC - Mr. DG and Ms. NA. They answered my constant phone calls - even started greeting me by name. Also included with my visa was a letter wishing my groom and I all the best.

Some cool things that have happened as a result of having several people apply for visas for our wedding: 
1. Ms. NA at the embassy in Washington DC mentioned how beautiful my invitations were :) and told me I looked very pretty in the picture on the pre-wedding invitation.
2. At the Maltese embassy in Canada, my sister forgot to take a copy of the invitation but some other guests had applied, and taken their original invitation which the embassy retained on file - the consular lady in Canada says "O you're the sister of the bride, I have the invitation on file, very pretty" and pulls out our wedding invitation...
3. At the Maltese embassy in London, a friend handed over her visa documents and the consular officer says, "O you're going for K and K's wedding - you only have the pre-wedding invitation, where's your coral invite with the ribbon? " Luckily our friend had hers in her bag... 

All in all, everything has gone OK and I'm very grateful. 



*Red passport - British ; Blue passport - American

6 comments:

  1. That's exciting to know things are going great...never knew the embassy workers had the right to call your job, medical and even the planner like are you for real..., the wedding is drawing nearer, I pray it all turns out a success, have fun, relax and just enjoy the big DAY!

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  2. I guess it's because it was a destination wedding. All the best to you guys!

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  3. God is working!!! All the best, have a safe trip!

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  4. All the best to you guys :)

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  5. The great thing is at least many of your friends and family have had their visa's verified.

    If I tell you of some of the horror stories I have heard -lol

    :-)

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