In this post series, I document my upcoming trip to Australia from inception to accomplishment !
Previously on Destination Down Under :
For our trip in December, we were done with the return airfare booking by June (because we had made up our minds and wanted to seal the deal and also because we were getting a good discount on my husband’s credit card).
My husband mailed his reporting manager informing of his leaves in the year end, even before we booked the tickets. So his coast was clear and his 2 weeks leave was approved well in advance.
I, on the other hand booked the tickets (with a 3 weeks leave), but figured that I would tell my boss a little later as we still had a lot of months before the trip. In August I finally decided, that it’s time so I was constantly looking for the right occasion to make the announcement. I know it sounds crazy but I’m not exaggerating when I say that a 3 week long leave is quite a big deal in my office, more so because I’m responsible for two important projects (whose schedules are luckily not clashing with the trip) and many other aspects of many other projects as well.
One fine day, my boss was distributing sweets in the office for sharing his happiness. I grabbed the opportunity to inform him of my plans. I was excessively tensed because, not only was I informing of three weeks in Australia in December-January, but also of one week at our hometown during Diwali, the Indian festival of lights. I finally managed to blurt it out and got clearance. And I cannot tell how relieved I was !
Next I discussed the same with the boss of my boss as he also needs to approve my application for foreign visit. In the application I had to mention my previous trips and dates, purpose, funding, address etc for the present trip and finally get it approved by the Head of my institution. Why is this required, you ask. Well, I am employed by Department of Space in Government of India, so I am required to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from my office any time I plan to go abroad. This letter is also required for the Visa application as it mentions my leave of absence, is a certified proof of my employment and demonstrates my intent to return to my home country.
I submitted the application last week and am awaiting receipt of the NOC. For my Europe trip last year, the entire process took around 2 weeks so I am hoping to get a response in a week or so. I checked online and found out that the visa process can take up to 15 to 20 days. So we’ve decided to apply for it by October at least, to be on the safer side.
What’s Next ?
Documentation for Visa !