The good news: since 7th January 2011, I have been accepted as an Overseas Citizen of India.
The bad news: somewhere in Delhi, a computer has rejected my photo.
Becoming an Overseas Citizen of India has turned out to be something of a saga, not least because of the absurdly stringent photo specifications.
I gathered my documents and submitted my first application in July 2010, a full 6 months ago. It was rejected because my face was too small in the photo.
The second time my face was the right size, but the photo wasn’t. And finally, the photo was good enough to slip past the (human) processors at the embassy in London, but rejected by the central computer in Delhi.
All of which means another few weeks of waiting before the application is fully processed, and, as picking up the OCI visa requires the presentation of my British passport, probably a month at least before I can get on a flight back to India.
Frustrating of course, but really nothing I can complain about, given my more than passing acquaintance with the struggles asylum seekers face to achieve resident status in the UK. I’ve had my month of winter sun already, and the days are becoming lighter later, if no less grey and rain-filled; I really can’t complain. For now it’s back to Nottingham, job hunting and sofa-surfing, and who knows what the next few weeks will bring.