VISA woes

I’m scheduled to deliver our 39th IT Manager Institute next week in Nigeria, but still don’t have my Passport back with the necessary VISA stamp to enter the country.

Last year, I received a Business VISA without any problems but this year someone at the New York Embassy decided I needed a Work VISA this time, , , even though the trip to Lagos is for the very same activity as what I provided in Abuja last August – to teach an IT Manager Institute.

Needless to say, it’s getting to be panic time, , , especially when you can’t get anyone to answer the phone from the Embassy, , , tried for 2 days last week to talk to someone to work through the issues and had no success at all.

Well, this weekend I decided to try some other things including:

  • Faxes
  • Email messages
  • Calling and leaving messages to any phone I could find
  • Registered letters to the Consulate General in NY and the Nigerian Ambassador to the US in Washington, D.C.
  • Calls to the other two Embassies – Washington, D.C. and Atlanta
  • Call to a US Senator’s office for help
  • Call to a US Representative for help
  • Anything I could think of to get some help!!!

Long story short – today we were able to talk with the Consulate General of Nigeria in New York and the Consulate is reviewing my file, , , we have had conference call discussions with my Nigeria host, , ,  and there is slight optimism today (Monday) when on Friday we had none.

The thing that got us some action seems to be the registered letters that arrived at the Embassies today. This act was actually one of my last resort ideas and cost me an additional $36.00, but looks like it helped get some attention when before we were getting nowhere.

Hopefully, tomorrow will bring good news and we are positioned to make our Saturday flight.

Don’t know if you are like me or not, but I like to get things lined up and have everything worked out with plenty of lead time. If the Embassy had granted the Business VISA like they did last August, I would already have my passport back and we would be all set —  no worries at all.

This time around, I’ve learned some things that will hopefully be of benefit in the future.

The good news – class materials are already in Lagos, Nigeria and I’m all set on this end, , , just a couple of things to check off my To Do List before heading to the airport. Hopefully, this time next week I will be in Nigeria teaching the class.

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