Politicians acting like kids?

By | Category: Travel rumblings

© Dan Sperrin

India has a visa-on-arrival scheme at Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram. But the UK isn’t on the list of countries that can take advantage of this. In Europe it’s just Luxembourg and Finland.

About 800,000 Brits visit India. Or they did. After the exorbitant hike in visa fees last January when they jumped from £38 to £82, the number may have declined. Not only do we pay more but we can’t even collect a visa on arrival.

And if we have a European community, why are some members – Luxembourg and Finland – given a different treatment from all the other members?

India is trying hard to encourage us to visit the country. They tourist board is one that attends travel shows up and down GB and appears also in Dublin and Belfast at the Holiday World Shows each January. So why are they impeded by their government?

One reason might be because we don’t make it that easy for Indians to visit the UK. It was only last week that our Home Secretary announced that Indians wouldn’t necessarily have to lodge their passports with our offices there if they were applying for a visa to travel here. And she has dropped her thoughts on making each Indian visitor lodge a £3,000 bond. But we still charge 8,400 rupees for a visa which is about £83. Isn’t it a strange coincidence that that is about what we charge Indians for a visa to come here?

Some country’s nationals are only charged £2 for a visa for example Argentina, Jamaica and South Africa. EU nationals from any country other than the UK pay just £32.

Why do I have a cynical urge to say this is just politicians acting in a juvenile way by charging about the same? Tit-for-tat- government seems alive and well in Whitehall and Delhi. Who suffers as a result? – us. And we can’t even get on a list for visa on arrival!

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