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RE: Family Reunion Visa from Kolkata

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Family Reunion Visa from Kolkata
Answer
4/2/15 9:11 AM
Hello,

I am very new to this community and while I have gone through a lot of posts I have not come across posts specific to Kolkata. So here's my story and question. 

For the last 9 months I was living in London along with my husband. My husband got a job with a company in Munich and we went to the embassy in London for visa application. While they accepted my husband's documents and issued him a blue card the next day, I was told that there is a verification process and it would be prudent on my part to apply from Kolkata. 

On 19th March, 2015 I applied for my Family Reunion Visa from the Kolkata Embassy. The embassy collected both visa charges and the verification charges from me and also took my biometrics. After which I was sent home. 

The visa process seems to be like a black box as there isn't any tracking mechanism or method of finding out what's going on. 

Q1. My husband will relocate to Munich only by end-April. Does that affect my visa chances in any way.

Q2. Also, what is the verification process? My marriage certificate has already been apostilled. Does that help in any way? Do the authorities visit my home or do they do the verification at back-end?

Q3. Also do I need to do any follow-ups regarding my visa, both here or in Munich? What is the right time to do follow-ups, if any. 

Thanks a lot. 
0 (0 Votes)

RE: Family Reunion Visa from Kolkata
Answer
4/9/15 10:41 PM as a reply to Arpita Bagchi.
Hi Akankshya,

You situtation is very similar to our situation last year when we applied in London. I am a scientist and I got a visa in one day. The visa applications of my family members were pending for 2 and half months and they could not make a decision because they found it very difficult or complicated to verify the marriage certificate from London. In the end they recommened to reapply in Calcutta. After applying in Calcutta, it took 3 and half months to get the visa stamped. My wife and kid had to stay away from me for 5 and half months. Everything happened automatically, though it took a long time. Each time I tried to find out what is going on, they were very rude and harsh to me.  

Now, the answers to your questions:

Q1. You visa process will not be affected by your husband relocating to Germany. I relocated 1 month before my family applied in Calcutta. Still I could not do anything to speed things up. Some people here or some of your friends may tell you that your visa process can speed up a bit if your husband go to the local immigration office (auslaenderbehoerde in German) in Munich and enquire what is going on. I personally recommend you and your husband NOT to do so. From my personal experience I can tell you that sometimes or most of the time it can screw up things. 

Q2.  Apostile stamp is useless for German authorities. Our marriage certificate was apostilled 5 years ago and we have lived in UK and another European country with that certificate for the last 5 years. Our kid was born in Europe too. Still they aked for verification as German authorities have stopped believing Indian birth/marriage/educational certificates. So they will verify your marriage certificate by sending a lawyer to your home. The lawyer will come to the address you have given in the application without giving any prior notice to you. They usually come 1-2 months after you submit your application and pay the verification fee. They will ask for your marriage photographs, invitation card from both your family and your in-laws family. In some cases (it happened to us) they also ask for voter id cards, electricity bill etc on your in-laws names. The lawyer may also (it happened our case too) want to visit the marriage office where your marriage was registered and the certificate was issued. Then the lawyer will go back and write a report to the consulate. You can feed the lawyer some good food if you like. But it is not necessary. That's it! So don't worry. Stay calm and wait patiently until the lawyer comes to you.

Q3. After the lawyer visits you, give at least 2-3 weeks time for the consulate to complete the formalities. After this time the immigtation office in Germany should automatically send the approval to the consulate. The consulate will then contact you either for an interview or for the issuance of a visa. If the immigration office needs any further documents, they will automatically contact your husband by post. Your husband should then submit the documents they ask for. So, I would wait 3-4 weeks after the lawyer visits you. If you or your husband don't hear anything, then you can start following up. They always say the processing time for a family reunion visa takes at least 3 months. So bugging them too many times within this 3 months time will make things worse.

All the best. You have to be patient. That's all. Don't worry, you will get a visa. It's only a matter of time. God bless you!

Should you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to ask me.
+1 (1 Vote)

RE: Family Reunion Visa from Kolkata
Answer
4/10/15 5:53 AM as a reply to Shankar.
Thank you so much for the detailed response.

I have closely followed up with the authorities until now since I was anxious about the process and had some travel booked in May from Munich. This is despite my husband warning me against to do so. However, the authorities have been exceptionally polite despite my repeated follow-ups.

In one of their mails yesterday the authorities in Kolkata said that they are awaiting an approval from German authorities and I should follow up with the relevant Aliens authority in Germany. We have a relocation agency assigned to us and my husband has asked them to find out. I have in the meantime also written a mail to the Aliens authorities.

I will now not be following up with them as suggested by you since now the relocation company is involved as well.

In a subsequent mail to them after they confirmed my docs were with German authotities, I checked with the embassy in Kolkata if my verification was done as noone has visited me until now. They however refused to comment. I am locked up inside the house as I am too wary of stepping out in case they visit. Now that my docs are with German authorities, does this mean my verification is over?

In my case, they said it would take a minimum 6 weeks to process. I am guessing they have made some changes in the process. The relocation agency appointed says that they can help by talking to the authorities to move my case faster. I hope they can.
0 (0 Votes)

RE: Family Reunion Visa from Kolkata
Answer
4/10/15 6:01 AM as a reply to Arpita Bagchi.
U have to be very patient especially with the spouse visa. If you contact them repeatedly, the case worker will deliberatly go slow with your case. Their TAT is 3 months but citing that the case is in India, they can extend it to 6 months. You will end up hiring an immigration lawyer and few thousand euros will be spent.

Verification starts once the paper docs have reached Germany. 
+2 (2 Votes)

RE: Family Reunion Visa from Kolkata
Answer
4/10/15 6:19 AM as a reply to Wim Hannover.
Oh is it so!

Because until now i.e. until a week ago they were saying that my docs are with the lawyer. It's from yesterday they started saying that we cannot decide about your application till we get the approval from Germany. You can contact the responsible Aliens Authority in Germany and enquire about your visa status and how long they might need to send the approval.
0 (0 Votes)

RE: Family Reunion Visa from Kolkata
Answer
4/10/15 11:03 AM as a reply to Arpita Bagchi.
Hello again,

Let me tell you a few more things in a very straight forward way. I may sound a bit rude, but actually I am not. 

- Unlike our Indian system, German bureaucracy is very efficient. Since some dirty Indians have submitted fraud documents in the past, today we (the genuine people) are suffering from these verification things. So please be patient and try not to follow up the case, by yourself or your husband or any other relocation company. I fully agree with what cebit said in his reply. 

- The who process involves four different authorities, the consulate in calcultta, the lawyer firm in calcutta, the aliens office in munich and the civil registry office in munich. Each of these authorities need some time to do their job and there is a transit time involved in each step. In an Indian office, if you push them hard your case can go faster. But here it does not work that way. The authorities in India have been exceptionally polite just because the personss who reply to your email are Indians, not Germans! If you keep sending emails or keep calling the aliens office in Munich, they will turn things around. You can try if you like, but I am sure you will regret later. So be patient and allow the time they need! You must not forget that you are not the only one who is going throught this hassle. 

- The lawyer firm always gets the verification fee and the certificate to be verified a few day after you submitted your application. But the lawyer usually visits 1-2 month later. Can you make the lawyer visit you as soon as they receive the case from the consulate? I am sure you cannot and you have to wait for them to visit you, which you are doing right now! So why are you thinking of  following up with the aliens office?

- Your case cannot move forward until the aliens office receives the verification report of your marriage certificate from the consulate. This cannot happen until the lawyer visits you.

- Some of the dirty Indians have made this procedure lengthy and messy. The Geman authories no longer believes us, our documents and the way our system works. So please be patient which I have been and others have been telling you. It will happen, just takes time. 

- By the waw you don't have to be locked up inside your house for the lawyer. If one of your in-laws is at home and can provide all the documents/information they ask for, it should be okay. Of course you should be in town and reachable in case the lawyer wants to speak to you on phone or really wants to meet you.

I am sorry if I have hurt you. But I only tried to be very honest in my opinion.

 Kewwords: Be patient and wait. 
+3 (3 Votes)

RE: Family Reunion Visa from Kolkata
Answer
4/10/15 10:05 PM as a reply to Shankar.
Ah Thanks!

I was more concerned about staying inside the house for forever than anything else. 

Anyways, will pay heed to your advice and won't bug them. I will update this post once there is any update at my end. 

Thanks a lot for sharing your experiences. 
0 (0 Votes)

RE: Family Reunion Visa from Kolkata
Answer
4/28/15 12:22 PM as a reply to Wim Hannover.
Hi Cebit,
I applied for reunion visa on 21st january and my verification was done within 10 days..my docs were sent to abh and first week of feb and till that time whenever i call the consulat they give me same answer that we are waiting for clearance from german authority...whan my husband went to his local hamburg abh they told him they hav received the docs and dnt know why the karachi consulate is not...its been more than 3 months...i am really worried..usually verification is the reason for delay but in my case verification was done really fast even the verification officer was saying that you will get your visa in max 2 months but now its more than 3 months...
0 (0 Votes)

RE: Family Reunion Visa from Kolkata
Answer
5/27/15 11:55 AM as a reply to Sana.
Hello,

So I finally got my visa on 18th May and here's the full timeline and my experience with the process:

17th March : I arrived from London to Kolkata. My husband already had his visa granted by the time I was in Kolkata. He was offered an EU Blue Card. 

18th March : I had booked my appointment before my arrival and I had in possession the documents needed to apply for the visa. I had checked the visa amount a week before and had got my draft ready based on the amount mentioned a week earlier. However, the visa cost was updated / changed on Monday and therefore the draft that i had in possession was no more valid. I was asked to retun from the security itself and was asked to book a new appointment. 

I called up the helpdesk and they advised that I must wait for 24 hours before booking a new appointment as their system prohibited them. However, I spoke to the embassy and they said that they would release my appointment in a short while and I should be able to book an appointment for 19th. Thanks to their advise I was able to do so. 
Important: Make sure you check the visa cost just 2 days in advance and get the draft done accordingly. 

19th March : Armed with my new draft I walked in to the embassy. I had with me all the documents listed on their website. However,  they needed very few of the ones I had printed. For example, they did not need a photocopy of all pages of my passport but just the first and last page however they needed several copies of my marriage certificate and first and last page of my passport - which wasn't listed on their website. 
Anyways, it wasn't a major concern as there was a photocopier in the nearby court premises. 
I submitted my documents and was informed that it would take atleast take 2 months to process my visa. In special cases, it may get done within 6 weeks. At the end, I was handed over a receipt of all my payments (12000 for verification + 4100 for visa). Make sure you retain the receipt as it is required during the next stages. 

14th April : On Ambedkar Jayanti (public holiday), I got a phone call from the security at my residence that a lawyer had arrived. The lawyer was quite a polite and humble being and gave us all the time we needed to get the photocopies / printouts done from a nearby shop. He sat and spoke to me in great length about the schooling options to colleges in Calcutta and rest of India. After collecting all the necessary documents he told me that he would do his best to send my verification report to the embassy at the earliest. 
Important: I did not get a call from the lawyer. He told me that my phone number was never shared with him. Furthermore, he informed me that it was rather convenient for him to visit on public holiday as the courts were shut. As an applicant, you can therefore expect the lawyer to arrive on Sunday. He also advised me not to handover any document for which I did not possess a copy as any document submitted to the lawyer is never handed back to the applicant. 

13th May : I received a call from the embassy asking me to visit the embassy on the next day with my insurance, itinerary and passport for an interview. 

14th May : I arrived at the embassy at the allotted time and handed over to them the necessary documents. Since I had an intinerary mentioning my travel date as 22nd May, the authorities suggested that I collect my passport on the 18th between 1:30 - 3 PM
Important: There was NO interview. Just document collection and gathering information pertaining to my husband's employment, my intentions of gaining an employment in germany etc. Do remember to carry the receipt that was handed over to you by the embassy at the time of visa application. You need the receipt to enter the embassy premises and also for submitting your passport. 

18th May : I arrived at the embassy at 1:30 and handed over my receipt to the authorities. I was asked to wait for some time. However, the wait was a bit longer than I had expected as I was handed over my passport only by 3 PM. The authorities asked me to check if everything was in order before I left. 

While this is the entire process I went through, let me now share my experience regarding the need for follow-ups and reminders as it is often discussed in this forum. 

Like everyone else, I was a nervous wreck when I first applied for my visa. Not only did I had to quit my job and return prematurely, I also had some travel plans booked which were non-refundable. Like everybody else in this forum, I must admit I did send a lot of emails to enquire about the process. I got satisfactory response from the authorities in India as they explained to me in detail about each and every step. However, beyond a point I realised that there isn't much that they can share as I was getting a standard response - 'Your visa is in process'. At that moment, I decided not to email any authorities in India as it was just futile. 

Back in Germany, we had a company assigned to us to help us with visa processing, relocation etc. They were however in contact with the authorities in Germany and were regularly updating me about my visa stauts. For example, if my verification was still pending, if my visa application was still in India, if my visa was processed and sent back to India etc. At no point I felt they were in any position to influence the authorities as they were only sharing the visa status. Once my visa application was processed in Germany, I was informed by my agent that I would get a call after a week from the authorities in India. It did follow the exact timelines and I did receive a call from the Indian side. 

As someone who has gone through the process, I feel that the authorities follow the process by the book and they are not influenced by any number of mails that you as an applicant send to them. At the time of application I was told that if my documents were in order it would take them 2 months to process my visa and in fact it did take them exactly 60 days! The authorities are very helpful but they can only tell you so much as the data they deal with is confidential in nature. 
0 (0 Votes)

RE: Family Reunion Visa from Kolkata
Answer
6/14/18 6:16 AM as a reply to Arpita Bagchi.
Hi,
Any recent update on the dependent visa process from Kolkata? Can anybody please share his/her recent experience?
Thanks in Advance,
Regards,
Sudipta
0 (0 Votes)

RE: Family Reunion Visa from Kolkata
Answer
6/20/18 1:27 PM as a reply to sudipta mal.
sudipta mal:
Hi,
Any recent update on the dependent visa process from Kolkata? Can anybody please share his/her recent experience?
Thanks in Advance,
Regards,
Sudipta

Hi, I had applied in the 2nd week of May and I am still waiting for any kind of update. No officer has come for verification yet and I have called the number but no response from them, they asked me to wait for the email. Could you please update on your status?
0 (0 Votes)

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