Visa frustrations

If there’s anything that will put me off a holiday destination, it’s having to get a visa arranged up front in order to go there.

Mrs Saul and I are going to Goa for the Eid holiday, which requires an Indian visa to be applied for in advance. Frustrating*.

To be fair, the visa service was very efficient. I hired someone to hand in our passports on Sunday morning and they were delivered to me today, Tuesday, at 1030.

Whilst I am pleased with the speed at which everything was processed, the whole situation baffles me.

I asked for a one year multiple entry visa. I was given a six month multiple entry visa. Why? What’s the likelihood of my going twice in six months? What’s wrong with a yearly visa? Why do I have to fill my passport with pages of Indian visas, effectively one for each likely visit?

India wants people to visit on holiday – so why make the process difficult?

If an in depth security check were being done, it wouldn’t have taken a day to process our passports, so that can’t be the reason. Why not just charge for a visa on arrival? If the person applying looks dodgy, process them at the airport and deport them if need be.

If it’s about money, charge whatever you want.

This seems like a pointless piece of bureaucracy designed to put off the very tourists the country wants to encourage in the first place.

* Yes I know it can be a rigmarole to get a British visa. My understanding though is that the process is, at least, pretty efficient and that once you get a visa it is usually for a four year period. Feel free to correct me.

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5 Responses to “Visa frustrations”

  1. Adam, was in Dubai, now back in "sunny" UK Says:

    I’ve been travelling to India for about 18 years and the Visa process is a combination of :

    1. Revenue generation – although I think this is the lesser point
    2. Bureaucracy. This is the process we’ve always used; it’s got such-and-such an accreditation for “good practice” and .. well …. we’re really good at confusing bureacracy, it’s one of our great strengths.
    3. Pot Luck. Sometimes I’ve applied for a 1 year visa and got a 6 month; sometimes I’ve applied for 6 months and got 1 year; sometimes (but not often) I’ve got what I asked for. I have no idea why this is unless they have a daily allocation of annual visas and when they run out they simply issue 6 monthly ones.

  2. Henning Says:

    When applying for a UK visa you can say how long you want it for, and I got what I asked for. Took about 2 weeks to come back and cost a bloody fortune. There is a fast track option but god knows what that costs. So it’s smooth, but hardly painless.

  3. Jens Says:

    The english invented bureaucracy, the indians perfected it. :-))

  4. alex Thomas Says:

    The british visa costs about 200 pounds and the one that Claudia has is for single entry or at the most 90 days. We have to print out numerous documents to get it including my bank statements and pay slips for the last 6 months and letters from my parents saying that they will host Claudia while she is there. Its all very stressful. I would not call it easy.

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