Schengen Visa – Getting Difficult

Schengenzone

I just renewed my passport last year and I still had a valid US Visa for a few more years but my Schengen ran out, and my UK Visa ran out with my passport. The UK visa was straight forward, I submit the required documents and since I scanned the finger prints five years ago I don’t need to do it again.

I’m traveling and going through Germany so I submitted to get the Visa from the German Embassy with my original bookings at the time. I went to Al Qabas Visa processing in Sanabil Tower or Al Babtain Tower as it used to be remembered. Went through the process, it was smooth, they asked for my insurance, and the preliminary bookings. It was several weeks before my travel date which worked out fine.

I get notified after a week that my Schengen Visa was refused because I didn’t have a confirmed hotel booking and for 10 days I don’t have a hotel booking in Germany. I mentioned that Germany was not my end destination and they didn’t even pay attention to that. I was confused and pissed, there is even a stamp on my passport stating that my passport was reject by the German Embassy, on a new passport so that pissed me off.

I go back to them this time with the bookings stating that Germany is not my final destination, and the visa for the final destination is attached from when I originally submitted and if there were questions why didn’t anyone ask me, my cell phone number is on the form. The person at the counter didn’t type that up so they thought I was going to stay in Germany for 10 days without a hotel booking. Great, back to square one but this time instead of 5 days it took 3 days, and I got it after the weekend.

The surprising part was the Visa, the validity of it starts at the date of travel not when it is issued, usually the validity starts when the Visa is issued. And I only got 4 months when my previous one was three years, something is odd, but I will take it for now since I’m traveling soon. Still it was very odd that they are doing this and its not like I have had multiple Schengens before. so its surprising that they gave me such a short Visa validity. It seems they are getting more Anal or they want people to pay more for the Visas, I’m not sure what changed but its very annoying.

Kuwait Embassy @ The Ritz Carlton

I have never seen this before, but I was curious to why there was a flag of Kuwait at the entrance of the Ritz Carlton in Singapore. I was told that the Kuwait Embassy has occupied half of the 31st floor for the past 14 months now. I was shocked, they have half a floor with only four Kuwaiti employees and three Singaporian secretaries and two drivers. And they have special parking in front of them which is reserved for the staff of the Embassy.

From my understanding they have bought a building and are slowly renovating, but also from a Kuwaiti living in Singapore that they are so comfortable that they aren’t in any hurry to finish the supposedly new embassy, they are enjoying the services of the Ritz Carlton. I always speak to the door men since they know almost everything about the hotel, and I was asking about the embassy. They were telling me that they are very nice, and the staff at the hotel likes Kuwaitis. I asked him what time do they come in, he told me they have relaxed hours, Monday to Thursday from 9-10 am to 3-4 pm with a two hour lunch in between, and on Friday they come in for one hour then leave for Friday prayer and don’t come back, then they have Saturday and Sunday off. For a country that is suffering from a financial crisis the staff seems to be enjoying all the eminities of the Ritz Carlton.