New Indian Consulate Service Sparks Frustration Over Delayed Visas

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Indian consulate in San Francisco is experiencing delays in processing requests for travel visas, which has left many frustrated and concerned their travel plans may be at a loss. Jean Elle reports. (Published Thursday, May 29, 2014)

    The Indian Consulate in San Francisco is experiencing delays in processing requests for travel visas, which has left many frustrated and concerned their travel plans may be at a loss.

    Officials said the delays come after the Consulate General of India hired a new company to process requests. The transition is not going well, officials said.

    "I think they should employ people who know something," said Vishwas Chaudhary of Fremont.

    Chaudhary was part of a crowd that gathered Wednesday outside Cox and Kings Global Services, or CKGS, desperate for travel visas.

    Without the documents, plans to travel to India and thousands of dollars worth airline tickets may be lost.

    Naghma Khan traveled to San Francisco from Los Angeles to pick up visas for her family. Khan and her family are scheduled to fly out of the country on June 2.

    Khan has been waiting for her documents since Monday.

    CKGS said Khan and other travelers are caught in the chaos of a new system. The Consulate General of India in San Francisco replaced BLS International with CKGS on May 21.

    Officials said issues started with computer problems and a back log of visa applications as new ones continue to pour in.

    "When we first started on Wednesday the 21st there was I'd say a backlog of 500 to 1,000 we to start off with," said Jaron Aquinde of CKGS.

    Staff worked all weekend are staying late in an attempt to catch up. The consulate on Wednesday did not provide comment on the issue.

    Meanwhile, CKGS said it is working closely with officials to address the back log and emergency visas first. CKGS hopes to have the delays eliminated within two weeks.