By Sikander Hayat
I wanted to share an experience with you guys. I needed to apply for a Pakistani visa and went online to see what the process was to get the visa. My search took me to the website of the Pakistan high commissioner in London. This website stated that Pakistan High Commission in London and other high commissions have stopped processing visa applications and that all applications are now dealt though Gerry’s Visa Services. I went on this website and it gave the addresses of different offices in United Kingdom. I chose the Bradford office, which I thought was the easiest one to get to 80 miles but still nearer than anything else.
I got my docs ready, signed & dated everything and left home at 6:00 am to get there on time for 9:00 am as same day visa service is provided between 9:00 am and 11:00 am. I got there right on time at 9:00 and after spending some time in looking for parking, I went in. There was only two more people in the office as customers. There were three members of staff. One at the gate to issue tokens, another at the reception to check documents and the third one to actually process the application. There was also a counter for making fee payments but I never got that far.
I was seen immediately by the reception and the first question she asked was “Where are from in UK?”. After hearing my reply, I was told that Bradford office does not cover my area and I need to go to Birmingham office for my visa application to be processed.
I told them that there is nothing on their website to suggest that what areas are covered by each of the respective Gerry’s offices. They apologised but that was of no use to me as my whole day was wasted. I gave them this suggestion to put this very important information on their website as it is not fair to their customers to travel hours and hours and not have their applications processed.
That was that and I left and got home after hours of travelling. Tomorrow, i am going to try my luck at the Birmingham office of Gerry’s visa services and hopefully will have a better result.