Part 4: The Storm Breaks (after knocking down a few more innocent trees)
I received an email on Monday saying that my application had been sent to Canberra that morning – nearly an entire week after my initial appointment. That afternoon, I received an email from the embassy saying that I needed to give them (the embassy) another document ASAP. My application won’t begin to be processed until the embassy receives this additional document.
The storm clouds that had been rumbling in my head for the past week gave an almighty crack, and a torrent of fury and bright flashes of ire engulfed my consciousness.
I mean… erm… I was a little bummed. The point of the visa appointment is so the staff there can go through all your documents with you and tell if you need to provide anything else. I had TWO appointments (because, you’ll remember, I had to go back to Brisbane a second time) and the staff failed to tell me that I would need to provide another document. So now I had to wait til I could chase up this new document and send it through to the embassy, and only then would my application begin to be processed.
The universe smiled, content with its work of destruction.
I managed to chase up that document (more proof of accommodation) and send it through to the embassy two days later.
There were now less than 15 business days until I was scheduled to leave the country on the 4th of January. Because I had to send my passport to the visa people, I would have to reschedule my flights (this costs $$$) and my travel time would be cut short. There is nothing that I could have done to begin the process earlier, as each thing that I needed to do relied on the completion of a previous step, which was out of my control (such as receiving an accommodation offer.)
At this point, the universe took pity on me. Or it got bored with watching me flail about in the layers of bureaucracy (it had been watching this for some weeks now, after all). Either way, it only took the embassy 3 working days to process my visa, not the 15 days that I was warned to expect. I therefore received my passport and visa in plenty of time (surprisingly, it didn’t get lost in the mail), and went off to frolic around Europe before my exchange, just as I had planned.
And so, the moral of this story rather depends on your outlook. Either a) everything will go horribly wrong; or b) everything will turn out alright in the end.