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Friday, May 19, 2017

How to apply for Schengen VISA in VFS Delhi

With my daughter started going to school this year, eventually I got into the league of parents who can afford long family vacation  only during the summer holidays. Since, I wanted to beat the heat, my all research through various forums and especially besttimetovisit for a cooler place, boiled down to Europe.

My research started with - Where in Europe? Since I have always had a strong dislike for 1 country 1 day kinda packages, I decided for at the most 2 places only in Europe. After lot of research, I zeroed in on 2 countries - Italy and one more, where I chose Italy as port of entry for 2 reasons:
1. Flights were bit cheaper
2. I wanted to end my holidays on a note of Swiss Experience

This blog post is all about my learning on VISA process.

Reading this post should make it a piece of cake on how to apply for VISA by yourselves easily.



  • If you plan to go to Italy first followed by Switzerland and then France etc. you should apply for Schengen in VFS ITALY.
  • If your flight has a transit stopover in another European country, that is not valid in this context. For example, if you are travelling to Italy with a flight change in Greece, you should still apply your VISA for Italy
  • Ensure that you plan your flight tickets remembering this rule.


1. Get your flights and hotels booked
2. Plan for and start procuring all documents
3. Schedule Visa Appointment
4. Go and Submit papers
5. Collect your Passport 

All above steps are detailed below. 

1. Get your flights and hotels booked

Yes! You need to present your flights and hotel bookings to support your VISA application.

I know it's a bit odd. What if you don't get a VISA? Still, as this is needed, please ensure that you have booked your flights and hotels. Which essentially means you should have an itinerary planned. To minimize the risk of losing money, I highly recommend to book refundable flights and hotels. Many sites like (which I used mostly in my trip instead of all time favorite Agoda), it allows you to reserve without paying so you still have your card free.

Since most hotels have full refund until 7 days ago from the date of checkin, do file for VISA at least 30 days before such date. 

2. Plan for and start procuring all documents

I recommend:
a. To create a table in excel/googlesheets for all the applicants and mark all cells as either red OR grey.
b. Get a folder
c. As and when you put printout/original in that folder, mark cell as green.

3. Schedule Visa Appointment
  • Go to this link and select "New User" option.
  • Create your account
  • When scheduling for your family, opt for "Add Group" option. (It allows only 5 applicants in a group)
    Note: You might read on official website that each applicant must apply for separate appointment. It's a crap! You can apply your family as a group.
  • Add details of each applicant and select next
  • In schedule screen select a date and time slot
    Recommended: To take a slot before noon as its a bit less crowded 
  • Ensure to note the Appointment number.
    Note: They automatically email the appointment details to all the distinct emails mentioned in group
4. Go and Submit papers
VFS Global Services is located in lower floor of Shivaji Standium Metro Station which is on same road as PVR Rivoli towards Gol DakKhana near connaught place.
Q. Where to Park?
A few buildings before metro station (when you're coming from CP), there's a multi level car parking which charges 10/- per hour.

  • Once you get in, you'd reach to a counter (follow G Line for counter), where you'd get a token.
  • Once you have obtained token reach to Italy counter (#38) where you'd have sitting area and a screen displaying token numbers.
  • Once your number appears on screen, reach the counter. People their are very supportive and would guide you very nicely.
THEY DO NOT ACCEPT CREDIT CARDS. I had to walk even up to inner circle to obtain cash from ATM as all the ones near that building were cashless. They only accept cash or DemandDraft

You may opt for courier services (some 300 p.p.) OR register to collect passport yorselves.

I'll keep updating this for more.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Bulk Unfollow on Twitter for Spam Accounts

Likely, you would have been shocked like me when you logged into your Twitter account only to see that you've been following hundreds of account. Following is step-by-step to get rid of this in 5 minutes.

Most Important
Reset Your Password First

1. Using Chrome, login into Twitter account and click Following
= This will list all accounts you've been following.
2. Scroll down until Twitter stops loading any more Twitter Accounts
3. Press F12 to open developer tools and select Console Tab
4. Enter following in console window and hit Enter
5. It will take some time. Once you see undefined, refresh your screen.

var x = 1;

Replace 500 with Total Accounts You're Following - Count of your valid accounts since begininng.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Ionic Modal Not opening on Device

Recently I was trying to build a simple app that would list the tasks and allow adding one task via an ionic modal. While every thing work fine on emulator and browser, upon deploying the app on device, modal didn't work. I was sure that ionic is working fine as ng-repeat was able to run and display tasks.

After I ran android with logging option, I came across warning that 

The moment I fixed it, Modal started working on device. I fixed it by adding following meta tag on the index.html page.

<meta http-equiv="Content-Security-Policy" content="default-src *; style-src 'self' 'unsafe-inline'; script-src 'self' 'unsafe-inline' 'unsafe-eval'">


Monday, August 3, 2015

Visual Studio 2015 Community direct iso link

You may download Visual Studio 2015  Community Version directly from

Thursday, July 2, 2015

LocalStorage v/s SessionStorage v/s Cookie

Comparison of different options to save data locally on browser

Local Storage
SqlLite DB
Not checked yet
Session Storage
Cookie (No expiration set)
Domain (no expiry)

Domain and window
Domain and expiry
Max Payload Size (per domain)
IE10 - 4.7MB

IE10 - 4.7MB
Available across tabs (same domain)?

Available on Page Refresh?

Across windows (same domain)

New Incognito Window (same domain)

Available on close/open same browser?

No (if no expiry)
Goes to server on every request?

Compatible on mobile browser?

iOS, Android - Yes
Windows - Max 20
BB - Per user
Browser compatibility
Most modern browsers

Most modern browsers
Almost all support
Accessible across site?

Can expiry be set?
No. Doesn't expire auto

No. Auto expire on window close

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The 'ffi' native gem requires installed build tools

For Windows people who've never had experience with Ruby, Gems etc.

Recently on a windows box, I had a need to install compass fresh. Not because I wanted to create a gem but just to use features like sass etc. I did following steps:

1. Installed Ruby from
2. checked version
C:\ruby --version
which returned
ruby 2.2.1p85 (2015-02-26 revision 49769) [x64-mingw32]
indicating successful ruby installation
3. executed gem update --system so that all gems are up-to-date
4. gem install -compass  it failed with following error:
C:\Users\deepak.aggarwal>gem install compass
ERROR:  Error installing compass:
        The 'ffi' native gem requires installed build tools.

Please update your PATH to include build tools or download the DevKit
from '' and follow the instructions
at ''

After re-installing many times and then installing devkit from download page (which initself is a big list of task) I realized I didn't need any of that....

All I had to do execute in command prompt was:
gem install ffi

And then gem install compass worked fine

1. You'll also see similar error if you already have a component installed. Always execute following command to double check that the component you're trying is not already there
gem list --local
2. You don't need to install or do anything with devkit (unless you want to create native gems)
3. Following is my result of listing.. You can compare missing ones and install everything as-is by explicitly specifying versions
bigdecimal (1.2.6)
chunky_png (1.3.4)
compass (1.0.3)
compass-core (1.0.3)
compass-import-once (1.0.5)
ffi (1.9.8 x64-mingw32)
io-console (0.4.3)
json (1.8.1)
minitest (5.4.3)
multi_json (1.11.1)
power_assert (0.2.2)
psych (2.0.8)
rake (10.4.2)
rb-fsevent (0.9.5)
rb-inotify (0.9.5)
rdoc (4.2.0)
rubygems-update (2.4.8)
sass (3.4.13)
test-unit (3.0.8)
toolkit (2.9.0)
You do so by using v switch. Like
gem install compass -v 1.0.3

Big thanks to my colleague Gaurav Mehra whose installed gems I referred to find that ffi culprit

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Downloading PDF from

I tried to download PDF from but the download button did nothing. I signed up and logged in, but still nothing happened on pressing Download.

Finally I find a hack ;)

1. Instead of pressing download, check the tool box
2. Select Print
3. Print opens a new window with PDF
4. Opt for Save WebPage from Browser. This will save the file on your disk (but without pdf extension)
5. Rename the file on disk by adding .pdf suffix.
You've the PDF on disk!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

CryptographicException - Key not valid for use in specified state

Recently, I was caught with frustrating exception
"CryptographicException “Key not valid for use in specified state.” while attempting to generate pass using passbook generator using C#. The fix for me was to install the certificate NOT by installing the certificate by opening the cert installer but instead installing it from the MMC console.

1. Open MMC
2. If you don't see certificates, in Files selectAdd remove snap In
2a. Select Certificate options and add it to right followed by your certificates needs
3. Once you have the certificate snap-in and opt for Import from context menu, locate your pfx or pk12 and complete wizard.

Ensure to select "Mark this key as exportable" in wizard step where you punch in password