Renewal Visa Experiences at El-Mugamma

Everyone who wishes to extend their period to stay in Egypt can’t avoid visiting this place, El-Mugamma.   I’m one of those who has to visit there since I’d like to stay in Cairo around 2 months but I only have a month visa.

As El-Mugamma is the government office and it’s quite far from where I stay, I tried to prepare myself very well before I’ve to go there.  Actually, I tried to get help from Thai students here who can speak Arabic fluently.  Unfortunately, this is the examination periods,  Most of them aren’t free.  They said I’ve to wait but they can’t tell me the exact date when they can go.  I’m afraid that I’ll be overstayed in Egypt and there’ll be a lot of problem after that.  Therefore, I decided to go there by myself and Alhamdulillah, there is a Thai student who stays at the same place with me volunteer to go there together.  She told that she can speak only little Arabic which might not help me so much but she’s willing to accompany me along the way to El-Mugamma.  For me, that’s more than enough.  I’m so thankful for her kind and feel at least there’s someone beside of me, like this proverb “Two Heads are Better Than One“.

I prepared the document for renewal my visa according to my online investigation; a passport size photo, a photocopy of passport’s first page, and a photocopy of the old visa.  As I read the blog of a person who has an experience of renewal visa there, I found that the steps weren’t too complex.  I really hope so and made Dua for that.

El-Mugamma is located nearby El-Sadat metro station.  This is the information I know from the internet.  I’ve gained lots of experiences along the way and I finally got there without lost within an hour.  El-Mugamma was very crowded even though it’s still early in the morning.  Before entering the building, I had to keep my camera with the security guard.  Actually, I was unwilling to keep my camera with them since I saw the desk they kept my camera.  It was old, dirty, nearly to collapse, and there was no locker!!!  It looked unreliable but I had no choice.  I had to keep my camera with them.

I went upstairs to the first floor trying to find where do I’ve to apply my documents.  This place is huge and it’s like a labyrinth.  I tried to ask the officers there, I ask 7 persons and got 7 answers which made me be more confused.  After 40 minutes, I finally found the counter to apply my documents.

There were a lot of people on that counter.  I tried to ask the officer where to get the application form but no one answered me.  I then asked the Malaysian student who was filling the application and she led me the way to get the application form.  After completed the form, I started to get confused again where to submit.  After asked a lot of people, I got the answer that I had to buy the stamp first.  Each citizens have to buy different rate of stamps.  The officer told me to buy 8 pounds of stamp for Thai citizen.

After I bought the stamps, I was really ready to submit my documents.  I had to go to the different counter which is for non-Arabic citizens.  I submitted all of my prepared documents.  There were 3 officers at that counter and they started to discuss among them.  Then one of them told me I’ve to get the letter from Thai embassy first.  I use this  Ohhhhhhhh I didn’t really want to go to Thai embassy.  I met two Canadian guys and they told me that they had no need to ask for a letter from their embassy.  They tried to help me to talk to the officer but they got the same answer.  I finally had to go to the Thai embassy, TT_TT.  But I really thank those two Canadian guys who tried to help me many ways, thank you very much.

I came back to El-Mugamma again after a long journey to get the letter from Thai embassy. YY_YY  I submitted my letter together with all the documents.  Seems like I had a new problem.  The officer told me to buy one more 3 pond stamp.  I go back to the place which sells stamp and asked for that stamp but he didn’t understand what did I ask for.   It’s a “communication barriers” TT_TT   I walked around these 2 counters around an hour and yes I finally get that stamp.  I submitted all documents again (and hope they will accept), the officer checked the documents.  She approved my application and she said I had to come back here again tomorrow to get the visa at 10 o ‘clock.

Next day around 10 o’clock I went El-Mugamma again at that counter.  I met the same officer and she told me to leave my passport on the other counter.  TT_TT   I went to that counter and gave my passport to the officer.  She took my passport without any words until I ask her what do I have to do after this.  She said just come back here again after 2 hours to collect my passport (with visa).

After 3 hours gone, I went to that counter again.  There are a lot of people waiting for their visa.  Since there was no line to queue, I just tried to find some space to stand.  That moment was very terrific, breathless, crowded, everyone tried to scramble to get themselves to the front of the counter. -_-”  The working process was still manually, all I had to do is just be patient and wait.  Some people complain with their friends about the slow working process while the others who can memorize Al-Quran recited Al-Quran during the time they were waiting.  For me, I just observed those people and gain so many positive thoughts ^_^

Alhamdulillah, I finally got my visa after a very long long long waiting.  ^____________^ Two days at El-Mugamma gave me a lot of lessons.  I met a lot of people along the wayม both helpful and helpless.  This is life.  I hope I’ll be stronger when I’ve to face this kind of situation again, in shaa ALLAH.

22-23 May 2013

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