Thailand Visa Process seems to be a science fiction to you? Here’s the solution to your puzzle

Understanding the process:

Following are the high level steps of your VISA processing:

  1. Prepare all the documents.
  2. Fill out the application form.
  3. Submit VISA application.

Key Notes:

  1. You should set a tentative date and duration of your stay at Thailand as this will need to be mentioned in many places. Some documents will need to be collected as per these dates.
  2. You may be working in an organization or might be a business man. The process is same regardless of your occupation. Just the documents will vary a bit.
  3. You may also apply alone or with your spouse. Chance is more to get the visa if you are applying with your spouse.

Preparing the necessary documents:

Following are the documents that are safe to submit for a successful VISA application:

Must Submit:

  1. Photocopy of your passport (Page 1 to 5).
  2. Photocopy of your spouse’s passport (Page 1 to 5).
    – However, they will throw out the 1st Still, keep it with you and leave the choice to keep/throw it up to them.
  3. 2 copies of your recent passport size photograph.
  4. 2 copies of your spouse’s passport size photograph.
    – Don’t pin/staple/stick the photos on the application form. VISA officer will assist you with this. Just bring the photos.
  5. Your bank statement of last 6 months.
    – Try to collect the statement as late as possible before applying. Means, if you are applying on 5th of June, collect the bank statement on 2nd or 3rd of that month.
    – Please note that, if you collect the statement on 2nd, your statement will cover the transaction till 1st. Means, the statement covers transactions till the day before your collect.
  1. Bank solvency certificate.
    – This is actually a balance certificate. Try to collect this as late as possible. If you are collecting this document on 2nd of a month, your account balance at the day end of 1st will be provided the amount of your solvency.
    – If you are applying alone, make sure the balance is 60,000 BDT or more .If you are applying with your spouse, it is safer to have the balance above 1,30,000 BDT.
    – If you are depositing some money just to upgrade your balance and keeping it there for a few days, make sure you are depositing it at least a week earlier than the day you are collecting the solvency certificate, because, this transaction will be displayed in your bank statement.
  2. No objection certificate from your organization.
    – This applies if you work for an organization.
    – The NOC should mention the following things:
    — You are a full time employee of that organization.
    — Your passport number/identification number that you will submit along with your application.
    — Your organization knows that you will be on leave during your tentative journey dates.
    — You do not have any criminal records.
    — Here’s a sample NOC:
    NOC
  3. Copy of your hotel booking.
    – Don’t worry. Hotels can be booked online without paying a penny. Just visit agoda.com or www.booking.com or any other similar sites, book a hotel on the exact dates of your tentative stay in Thailand.
    – It does not matter if you are living in this place or not. Just book it for your staying days at Thailand. Do the original booking/payment later.
  4. Copy of your flight booking.
    – This is a strange document that you will need. Most of the airlines require you to confirm the booking by 1 day or less. Some airlines i.e.: US Bangla Airlines will require you to confirm the booking by a few hours. Don’t worry about that. They need a booking, you just provide it to them.
    – Just go to website of an airlines that fly from Bangladesh to Thailand. I prefer Bangladesh Biman to do this. Visit their site, select your dates and do a booking. Take a print out of this booking.
    – Please do this as late as possible. Best if you can do this just before you head to VISA application center.
  5. Photo copy of your marriage certificate.
    – You will need to submit this if you are visiting with your spouse.
    – This certificate must be written in English.
  6. An application for visa.
    – You will need to write a letter forwarding to the VISA Officer.
    – Below is a sample copy of that letter:
    Application

  7. Filled out VISA application form.
    This can be found from the following url: http://www.vfsglobal.com/Thailand/Bangladesh/Manual_Visa_Application_Form.html
    – Download and print the form out. Then fill out the form.
    – There is a guideline document that pretty much explains everything you need to know while filling out the form. This guideline can be downloaded from the above url.
    – Below is how the page looks and where you can download these two docs:
    Application Download

Additional Documents:

  1. Photo copy of your latest TIN certificate.
    This is a good to have document. If you don’t have a TIN certificate, don’t worry.
  2. Photo copy of your office ID card.
    This is also not required. But, it’s always good to provide this document. This one adds more value and credibility of your application.
  3. Photo copy of your office visiting card.
    Address of your office can be found here. Also, the phone numbers are here. This could be a good supporting document.

Prepare the application and submit it:

Once you are ready with all your documents, you will need to fill out the application form and go for submission. Please note that you will need to fill a separate form for your spouse. Means, one for you and one for your partner. Information will vary relevantly.

Things to know while filling out the form:

  1. The application form looks like the following (this is actually the guideline form):
    Application Guideline
  2. “Number of Entries Required”: Write 1.
  3. “Occupation”: While filling this out, make sure information matches against your passport. Let’s say your spouse is a house wife and she studies as well. Now, if you write “Student” in place of her occupation, they might be asking for documents from her institute acknowledging she is going out of country (like you need one from your organization, described at point #7 under “Must Submit” document list). It is always safe to mention “House Wife” if she is really one.
    – If your partner is working as well, she might also need to submit a NOC from her organization.
  4. “Permanent Address”: Copy the permanent address mentioned exactly on your passport.
  5. “Date of Arrival in Thailand”: Mention the exact date of your arrival in Thailand.
    – This should match with flight booking date and hotel booking date (1st day of your booked hotel’s date).
  6. “Name and Address of Local Guarantor”: Mentions a colleague’s name or a friend’s name. It will be good if she/he knows your whereabouts and about your journey. If they call this person, they might ask some details about you i.e.: where do you work, how’s your reputation at work etc.
    – Mention a person’s name who is attentive to his phone and answers calls.
  7. “Name and Address of Guarantor in Thailand”: There’s 90% chance you don’t have a guarantor in Thailand. Just don’t bother and write N/A.
  8. “Signature and Date”: Sign and put the dates on the day you go for submission.

Submitting your VISA Application:

In Bangladesh, there is an organization named VFS Global who do the VISA processing of Thailand. However, the right to reject or approve VISA applications remains to the Royal Thai Embassy. You will need to go to VFS Global office in order to submit your VISA application. Below are the details:

  1. Prepare all documents as per above instructions.
  2. Do not pin/staple any document with each other. Yes, if a single document is multi page i.e.: bank statement, you must staple the pages to make it one.
    – However, if you have multiple passports, please PIN all them together. It always helps and keeps your passports away from theft, loss.
  3. Bring all your documents inside a folder. Helps you manage your documents and also good for their security.
  4. Bring around 3,500 BDT for each application. Means, 7,000 BDT for two applications.
  5. The application center opens at 8:30 AM in the morning and you can submit applications till 1:00 PM in the afternoon pm Sunday to Thursday except Government holidays. Find the address of VISA application center below in Notes section.
  6. Reach your designated VFS office (Dhaka, Chittagong or Sylhet) before 12;30 PM (to be on safe side). Take a token and they will do the security check.
  7. Please note that, your bags will be left at the first counter (where you get the token). So, it is better for you not to carry anything precious that will remain inside the bag. Lighters or any other dangerous objects are not allowed either.
  8. Once you enter the premises of VFS, they will call applicants one by one. Most of the applicants you will see there will be the agents (that we call “Dalal”).
  9. Once your time comes, reach the designated counter.
  10. Most of the VISA officers there are really friendly and helpful.
  11. The officer will check all your documents, pick the necessary ones and return you the rest. She/he will PIN/stick your photos as well.
  12. Then she/he will give you a slip and ask you to do the payment to the bank that is located in the same room.
  13. You go, do the payment and collect the slips from the bank.
  14. Return these slips to the VISA officer.
  15. He will check the payment, do necessary jobs and will return you one long slip.
  16. This is the one you will need to collect your passport.
  17. Please note that, your passports will be kept to VFS.
  18. That’s it, return home and pray that your application turns out successful.

Additional Notes:

  1. VFS Global Website: http://www.vfsglobal.com/Thailand/Bangladesh
  2. Addresses of VFS Global offices in Bangladesh: http://www.vfsglobal.com/Thailand/Bangladesh/contact_us.html
  3. Public holidays of VFS Global in Bangladesh: http://www.vfsglobal.com/Thailand/Bangladesh/Public_holidays.html
  4. Tracking your VISA application: http://www.vfsglobal.com/Thailand/Bangladesh/after_submission.html
  5. Sample VISA application letter: Thailand Visa Application.
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আপনার বাচ্চা ঠিক জিনিসটা শিখছে তো?

দোকানে এখন ১ টাকার বদলে ক্যান্ডি ধরিয়ে দেওয়া হয়। এমন ভাবেই সেইদিন একটা ম্যাঙ্গো ক্যান্ডি পেলাম আর ওটা পকেটে ছিল। বাসায় ফিরলাম। ত্রিশূল (আমার ছেলে) দুষ্টামি করছিল আর আমি ওর হাতে ধরিয়ে দিলাম ক্যান্ডিটা। ও এখনো বোঝে না এটা খাওয়ার জিনিস, আমরা বুঝতেও দেইনা, শিখাই ও না (বাচ্চাদের জন্যে এইসব খাবার এক্কেবারেই ভালোনা, আর তাছাড়াও কোথায় কিভাবে বানানো হয়েছে তাও জানি না)। কিন্তু, ও নতুন কিছু দেখলেই প্রশ্ন করে “এটা কি? এটা কি? এটা কি? এটা কি?”। এই ভাবে বার বার বলতেই থাকে আর আমরাও বার বার উত্তর দেই আর ওকে শিখাই।

যাই হোক, যেহেতু সে জানতে চাইছিল ওটা কি, আমার পরিবারের একজন সদস্য বললো “এটা চকলেট”। এর পর আমার সাথে তার কিছু তর্ক বিতর্ক হলো। ওটাই নিচে তুলে ধরলাম।

  • “এটা চকলেট”।
  • আমিঃ “এটা চকলেট না। এটা ক্যান্ডি। ম্যাঙ্গো ক্যান্ডি। চকলেট একটা ফ্লেভার, ভ্যানিলা বা স্ট্রবেরী এর মতন। আর এই ক্যান্ডিটা ম্যাঙ্গো ফ্লেভারের”।
  • “আপনি যখন ছোট ছিলেন ত্রিশূলের মতন, আপনিও তো চকলেটই বলতেন”।
  • আমিঃ “বলতাম, তুমিও বলতে। আমি, তুমি আমরা ভুলটা শিখেছি কারন আমাদের কেউ ঠিক করে দেয়নি। তুমি তো এখন জানো এটা চকলেট না, তাহলে ওকে ভুলটা শেখাচ্ছো কেন”?
  • “বাচ্চারা এইভাবেই কথা বলে। ও যদি কোথাও যায় এটা দেখে, তাহলে তো ও চকলেট ই বলবে তাই না”?
  • আমিঃ “কেন চকলেট বলবে? ও যদি জেনেই থাকে এটা ক্যান্ডি, তাহলে ক্যান্ডিই বলবে। আর তাছাড়াও ভাবো, এক যায়গায় ১০ টা বাচ্চা, সবাই চকলেট বলছে আর ত্রিশূল ঠিক ভাবে ক্যান্ডি বলছে, তাতে কি কোন সমস্যা হবে? বরং ওকে অনেক স্মার্ট একটা বাচ্চা মনে হবে”।

যার সাথে তর্ক হচ্ছিল, সে তার পরও হাড় মানেনি, কিন্তু আর তর্কও করেনি। আমি বাজে বকছি এমন একটা ভাব করে ক্ষ্যান্ত দিল রণে।

আমার স্বল্প বুদ্ধি থেকে সবার জন্যে দুটো খোলা উপদেশঃ

  • ভুল করলে ভুলটা স্বীকার করুন। অযথা এটা ওটা বলে নিজেকে আরো লজ্জায় ফেলবেন না।
  • বাচ্চারা বাচ্চা আর তারা কিছু বোঝে না আর আপনার সব কথাই তাদের কাছে সত্যি, তাই বলে তাদের ভুলভাল শেখাবেন না। কখনো কখনো বাচ্চারাও আপনার ভুল শুধরে দিতে পারে। ব্যাপারটাকে অপমান হিসাবে না নিয়ে, নিজেকে শুধরানোর একটা সুযোগ হিসেবে নিন।

শেখার কোন শেষ নেই, কোন বয়স নেই। নিজে শিখুন, বাচ্চাদেরও ঠিক জিনিসটাই শেখান।

 

 

Prepare your C# project to write a test with Selenium WebDriver, xUnit, ChromeDriver and SpecFlow

How to include Selenium Webdriver, Selenium Support and SpecFlow in your C#project:

  • Create a new project or open your existing project in Visual Studio.
  • Open “Tools” > “Library Package Manager” > “Package Manager Console”
  • In the loaded console type Install-Package Selenium.WebDriver and hit enter.
  • Then type Install-Package Selenium.Support and hit enter.
  • Then type Install-Package SpecFlow.xUnit and hit enter.
  • Then type Install-Package Selenium.WebDriver.ChromeDriver and hit enter.
  • These commands are case sensitive and type it as it is mentioned above. Btw, it will require your computer to be connected to internet in order to download the packages.

 

If you want to use the configuration manager (which I do in all my projects):

  • Open your project.
  • From Solution Explorer right click on “References” > Click “Add Reference”
  • List of assemblies will appear.
  • Select System.Configuration here and click “OK”
  • You are done.

 

Tips to write effective emails

These are some tips to write more effective emails. Hope these will help you.

a.    ALWAYS REPLY TO THE EMAIL THAT WAS SENT TO YOU. Do not leave any email untreated. If the email said “thank you”, you should at least reply “you are welcome”. If a simple instruction was sent to you like “please keep this in your to-do list”, you should say “noted”. This single word reply will let your manager know that you actually read the email and kept it under your to-do list.

b.    ALWAYS TRY TO BE IN EXISTING EMAIL THREADS. Do not open new email threads unnecessarily. Even for internal tracking, pass your emails in existing thread. Means, client asked for a clarification and you are communicating internally within your organization. Even in that case, communicate within that email thread. Ohh yes, don’t forget to skip client team when emails are internal 😉

c.    OPEN EMAIL THREADS WITH PROPER SUBJECTS.  The standard convention could be “Project Name > Iteration > Topic”.

d.    WRITE NEAT EMAILS. This is very important. The information should be clearly readable, alignments should be perfect. Your documentation skills should be represented in your email. Below is a screenshot from a standard email:
example-of-neat-emailHaving a look at it you can tell it is written in a few paragraphs with some tabular data. This is easy to read and track.

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Project Communication & Coordination Scopes for a QA in a Project

As said a few times in my last post, project communication and coordination could be one fine way to turn yourself into a very dependable QA from just a software tester for your project. If you are just doing the testing for your project, you have no idea about many other places you can/should contribute into. Following are some tasks you may check out.

1.    FOLLOW ALL PROJECT COMMUNICATIONS REGARDLESS OF THE TECHNICAL DEPTH. If there is a communication going on between BD team and US team regarding different web services for dev, stg and production sites; we feel no necessity to follow it. But, if we did and if we knew that dev and staging has the same web service Url and production is different, we could easily know that if this fails in dev, it will fail in staging too. We will be able to notify the respective dev or the team.

2.    BE PROACTIVE. We should always remember that prevention is better than cure. Let’s say developer is developing task A. In the requirement we see something that has discrepancy (which was not found in requirement analysis phase somehow) and we have taken an internal decision (due to obvious reasons like spelling/grammar changes). We should not stop there correcting it. We should send it in a note to manager/US team to make sure they know whatever we are changing. Means, the implemented deviations from the spec should always be reported to product owners and that’s a QA’s job as an owner of the requirement.

Another good example of being proactive here: Suppose your manager has assigned you a task and the deadline is 3:00 PM; ideally you will deliver it within that time. But, if in case you can’t finish it by 3:00, you should not wait till 3:00 to fail delivering and then let your manager know about it. The worst case would be, your manager comes to you at 3:15 and you say “hey boss, I will need 5 minutes more”. The communication should always be like: you assess your task in a regular interval and try to have a forecast of what’s going to happen. If at 2:00 you already know that you cannot finish it by 3:00, let your manager know immediately. Give him an updated deadline and ask him if the deadline is alright. That will help your manager to plan accordingly.

You can do the same when you are asking for input from any DEV. But don’t hesitate to ask it in the last moment if it is urgent. That’s the place where your friendship with DEV will count. Think from your manager’s or team’s stand and see what they are looking for from you. Try to be/do that even before they ask for it.

4.    DON’T BE LATE SENDING DAILY EMAILS. Always remember our manager will need to review them before sending to US team. We should be reasonable to our managers and try to finish it early around 3:30 or 4:00.

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Software QA does not mean just testing the software

This post is to let you know you different possible scopes within your project as a QAE. You are doing just the testing? Take a breathe and let yourself know some other possible things you could for for your project.

Following are the different phases within SDLC. We will talk about your role in those phases:

Requirement Analysis:

a.   YOU MUST TAKE OWNERSHIP OF THE REQUIREMENT. Do necessary communications, take notes in meeting, gather them and email to team.

The more we become involved in the communication during this phase, the more we will be able to capture the requirement. One should try to make a requirement sound like “a tale” to himself which he will often tell his team mates in cases when they need them.

This is not a process that will end in this phase. We got to do this throughout the SDLC.

b.    REVIEW/READ THE SPEC CAREFULLY a few times, come up with questions. Does not matter how silly the questions are, always ask them. Questions should be discussed first with team and then managers and them US team.

If this is not the start of the project (it has previous iterations), always look at the requirements of previous iterations to check if any new requirement is violating an older one. Or may the new requirement be repeated which the system even does not need. A QA is the one who should come up with these types of findings. Let’s see an example below from a recent TVC:

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