Saturday, June 23, 2007

So, what's a tourist visa?

Evidently, it's not for sightseeing.

It seems that a number of people (although the precise number isn't given) have been turned down for tourist visas to visit the UK.

The reason?

They only plan to sightsee during their visit. Entry clearance officers are turning down visa requests and give, quite frankly, some silly reasons.
  • "You have never previously undertaken any foreign travel before and I can see little reason for this trip."
  • One applicant who had previously traveled abroad was refused entry because the countries were "nowhere near the UK".
Though the precise number isn't given, the article says that 86% of refusals were reasonable. That means 14% of refusals were unreasonable.

It gives an interesting twist to the lead article at - You've never seen London like this!

(As a side note, when I drove to Toronto a few years ago, I got puzzled looks from the Canadian border guards when they asked why I was visiting Canada and I answered that I was sightseeing. Possibly it hasn't occurred to some of these people that, quite often, "sightseeing" encompasses "spending money" and "contributing to the local economy".)

Here's the article.

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