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Showing posts from September, 2009

Visa Woes

Applying for travel visas is commonly a humiliating experience. Consulates and foreign missions, oddly, seem to work at cross purposes with their own tourist authorities and commercial sections. Typical of government bureaucracies, one arm spends resource encouraging foreign visitors and the other actively discourages it. Anglo-Saxon nations, such as the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are thankfully more prudent in their conduct. Schengen countries, on the other hand, set the benchmark on what constitutes unacceptable behaviour. The application process is cumbersome, time consuming and documentation requirements would surpass even stringent judicial investigation. Electricity and phone bills, invitation letters, pre-issued airline tickets and very confidential information such as bank statements are often followed by demands of personal interviews, even for frequent business travellers, with complete disregard to commonsense. It is a small wonder tha