Suitcase and World: I'm out of visa pages?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I'm out of visa pages?

How can it be? I got my US passport in April 2006 and today, when I went to get my visa for my upcoming trip to India and Bhutan, I was told they could not issue the visa because I'm out of visa pages in my passport.  The guy who was helping me said that I've been a very active traveller over the past four years.  That indeed I have been but I thought I had five pages left.  At least that's what it looked like but apparently, those five are reserved for the US State Department to indicate amendments (e.g., name change) to your passport. I have no amendments to make but I still need to sacrifice those five pages.  *sigh*

So, now I have to get additional visa pages added.  I went to the State Department website to get information on how to go about doing this. Not so fortunate for me because the fees for US passports were increased just last week. In anticipation of the price hike, there was an increase (no surprise) in the volume of passport requests prior to last week......and therefore, a backlog to be processed.  To compound mattters, I'm going on misson to Mali immediately before India and Bhutan so I now have to expedite the passport request to give myself time to get both Mali and India visas. 

And get's going to cost me $82 for the pages, $60 for expedited service and $14.96 for overnight delivery. Yikes!! All this money and it's still going to take between 2-3 weeks to get my passport back.

Oh...the nail biting begins as I sweat through the waiting period!

Update:  July 29.  I came home tonight and there was a FedEx envelope waiting for me. Inside?  My US passport with the additional pages sewn in!!  Woohoo!!  Panic over!