My sister, Sophia, went to the Pakistan embassy exactly five days ago to apply for a visit visa. She attached the photo copy of our youngest sister’s passport and national ID card as supporting documents (because she’s a Pakistani passport holder). When the lady behind the visa window studied the documents, she informed Sophia that an NOC (non objection certificate) from her company is required. So Sophia left the embassy and headed towards her office to get the NOC. But she got caught up with work and decided to return to the embassy the next day.
Except that later that night, Sophia changed her mind and attached our father’s passport and ID card instead. It’s not like the embassy is going to remember anyway. It is stated in the sponsor’s letter (i.e. from our father) that he is ‘of legal age and is inviting Sophia – his daughter – to attend the engagement ceremony of her sister. And that he will provide Sophia with accommodation and shoulder the expenses during her stay in Pakistan.’
I find the letter very funny. Specially the ‘legal age’ part.
When Sophia returned to the same lady – sitting behind the same visa window – the next day, she was surprised to see our father’s documents. ‘But you had attached your sister’s passport copy only yesterday!’ she exclaimed. ‘Oh well, I changed my mind,’ smiled Sophia.
Sophia got her Pakistani visa the next day.
This morning, it was my turn to apply for the same visa. So I was standing in front of the visa window – with the same letter from our father (with my name this time, of course) – exactly five days after Sophia had applied for hers. Anyway, so I found her munching on a cookie. She immediately put the box of cookies away as I appeared, and smiled at me. I handed her the documents and my passport. She flipped through them.
‘Your sister was here last week. She already got the visa,’ she said.
‘Oh, yes. Right. We’re flying out together,’ I said.
‘I remember your surnames. And your father’s name,’ she said.
‘And she came with a guy,’ she added.
‘Ah yes, we know him,’ I assured her.
She wrote something on a small piece of paper, and while handing it out to me, said, ‘Congratulations on your sister’s engagement.’
The note said I can come tomorrow to pay for and claim my visa.
Despite the rush at the Pakistan embassy, her memory is pretty impressive.
PS: So apparently there is some confusion on why we needed the visas. Actually, only two of our family members are Pakistani citizens (father and youngest sister), while the rest of us hold a non-Pakistani passport – for various reasons. Hence we need these Pakistani family member’s supporting documents and a valid visa each time we want to enter Pakistan. But it’s not really difficult – specially after having been born there – we usually get the visas without any problem within 24 hours.