Have you ever tried to call your local immigration office? I did this morning. It was a call that was not meant to be. First, I thoroughly read the document that was provided for our fingerprint appointments. I overlooked the part that said to rearrange appointments, you need to make a copy of the current form for your records, and mail the original back. No, I didn't really overlook it... I was just ignoring what I read. I figured that if instead, I made a phone call, we could arrange it all over the phone and it would save both me and the Immigration office the postage required to make the new arrangements via mail. (Couldn't they just e-mail me or something?).
There was a phone number on there for problems / questions regarding your form. Well, technically I did have a problem / question regarding my form. The problem was I would be out of the country at the time of the fingerprint appointment. The question was, would they change it for me. I am fully aware that the instructions for taking care of that were included... but technically I DID have a problem / question :) Also, it said that if you did not show up for your appointment then you will be considered as to have abandoned your application. There is no mail tomorrow due to a holiday, so what if my request to change my appointment didn't make it there on time and my fingerprint date came and went and they considered my application abandoned? For that reason, I will just CALL!!!
So, I called. Multiple times I called - because it kept hanging up on me. When the option I needed was not available - like all skilled automated phone system manipulators know - I hit "0". this would surely get me to a human being. Nope - that got me an invalid entry message and an additional reciting of the 9 long options that I did have to choose from, none of which matched what I needed. So, I tried multiple numbering sequences "press 2", "press 4", "press ANYTHING". Finally I got to something that asked me to enter my case number. After finding the case number, I entered it. Well, it seemed as though my first three letters were invalid. Please enter again. So I did. Invalid. Enter again... invalid. Three strikes and you are out. Obviously the phone system thought I didn't know what I was doing so it kindly said "good-bye". The system was right. I did not know what I was doing. I was doing whatever it took to get a human on the line. I don't think a human can be reached ever. Even though it says that they are there to assist me from 8 am to 6 pm... I'm not sure it is true. I dialed every number sequence imaginable and none of them led to a human.
So, I give up. As sad as it is, I am having to follow the instructions and mail the form back in, hoping it makes it there on time and my case isn't considered "abandoned".
Have I mentioned that I DO NOT want to go to Switzerland next week? This is reason number 126 why I do not want to go. It made me miss my fingerprint appointment.
If anyone from immigration is reading this blog - thank you for turning around our documentation so quickly. I understand SC is one of the best immigration offices to go through with regard to turn around time. I truly appreciate that. How about leaving me a comment though and letting me know the secret to getting a human on the question / problem line. I won't tell a soul, I promise!