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Hurray, mission completed!

May 4, 2011

After 4 weeks and five trips to the Indian Embassy, I finally have my VISA. Hurray!  Every travel to India involves the same time (and money) consuming procedure. Well, now I know which papers and documents are needed, so these can easily be prepared but there are still so many small things which are causing delays…

This would be my story from this time:

First trip: the embassy was unexpectedly closed

Second trip: my application was refused because I had not printed my flight ticket. Actually, it was the first time they asked me for flight ticket, and I think it was only because there was another person evaluating my papers, because when I returned with my ticket printed, I was informed it was not needed… hmmm.

Third trip: Normally, I apply for the VISA and come back with my passport on an agreed date, now apparently this habit is not possible any longer but I didn’t know so also the third trip was for nothing (except learning this new rule) as I couldn’t leave them my passport at that moment (I needed it for another trip).

Forth trip: Last week I could finally hand in everything

Fifth trip: Today my visa was ready!

Do I have to tell that I’m happy that from now on I can again better focus on actual project activities instead of such bureaucratic hassle??

If I have to mention good things with going to the Embassy would be that the lady at the counter is very friendly and we even know each other by now 🙂 and another good thing would be that I can stop at a nice restaurant to bring food for lunch on the way back… but still…

Not complaining for complaining but…

The point of writing this is of course not just to complain publically but I’m convinced that administrative barriers such as VISA application is a real hinder for international scientific cooperation.  My case is always smooth, being Swedish (yes, unfortunately country of origin still matter in such process) having big well-known partners in the host countries. But I have heard so many stories of people missing meetings and conferences due to problems obtaining a VISA in time. I know some people have longer lasting VISA with multiple entry (I also had such VISA once), but it all seems like a lottery who gets what when…

After discussing this topic with many people, I think the conclusion is clear; we need simplified visa application procedure for European projects; why not a VISA for the duration of the project with unlimited entries. What do you think?


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