Canadian visa

Boryana and I went to the Canadian Consulate in Buffalo to apply for new Canadian visitor visas today. I hadn’t been there for 9 or 10 months. And a lot of things have changed since then. The building security does not require you to show them an ID and they do not issue the temporary pass for the Consulate visit. A security lady from the Consulate makes trip down to the lobby every 10 or 15 minutes. She would check your ID and paperwork and then will give you a temporary pass – it is actually a sticker that you have to attach to your clothes, so don’t go there wearing expensive ones ;-). I hadn’t seen this security lady before. Bo and I did only wait for about 7 or 8 minutes when she showed up. She checked the abovementioned items and we were in the elevator in no time. But the biggest change is upstairs in the waiting room. They are actually telling you exactly where to sit and wait (after you’ve been to the window and you have deposited your paperwork with the other lady there). All cellphones, laptop computers, etc. must be turned off (and I actually overheard the lady telling some other guy that she has the right to confiscate any device that is not powered down). So it would be a good idea to bring a book or a bunch of magazines with you, but get them out of your bag before you “check it” with security. And forget about doing any actual work while you are waiting. There is one TV on the wall that was tuned to CNN or another news channel, but after a while they start repeating the same things over and over again and it’s becoming progressively harder to ignore the TV blabbering. We were ordered to sit on the last (of 4) rows of seats so
that “there is room for the other applicants”. Not that too many applicants were present but the lady still insisted that we do not sit wherever we want. The other problem was that we were located just under the A/C outlet on the ceiling and after 20 or 30 minutes we started feeling cold. So plan on having someting warm to put on while there because the wait is usually no less than 2 hours and you can easily freeze there. So the process is go up, apply, wait, wait, go pay the fee, wait, wait, wait, try not to freeze, wait a little bit more and after 11 o’clock somebody will most probably call your number back to the window where you get all your papers back and a visa stamp in your passport. So we can go to Canada again now…

One thought

  1. Last Friday I went for Ukrainian Visa. I will share my impression in a dedicated post, but I can say I was extremely glad with all they did.
    Maybe the lack of people help them, I don’t know. But it was actually a pleasurable experience.

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