Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Difficulties with foreign visas

Heard that some people have had difficulty obtaining visas, especially from the UK. I know the UK has been tightening up on visas since the markets crashed last year but some of the stories I have heard have been pretty bad; of students being asked to show Rs.8-9m in their own bank accounts (not their parent's accounts), of a senior businessman who has traveled extensively in Europe and the US being denied a business visa until intervention by another business associate.

Does anyone have any stories to share? My purpose is to understand the difficulties early before wasting money on visa application fees.


pissu perera said...

a coworker was refused visa to go to the uk for an internship a few months ago, even though she was being sponsored from that end and had all the paperwork. they gave no reason for the denial.

Sachintha said...

I'm on the process of applying for one to USA, and seems it's the same there. It's just for a visit, but still it's immensly hard, apparently.

I've also been told that some of the foreign grad students studying in US were denied re-entry upon returning from a trip to Canada! For god's sake!

athula said...

Student visas to UK now comes under new Point Based system but the UK Boarder Agency has issued a revision to allow parents to show the funds in thier accounts rather than transfer the total required amounts to student's own account from 12th August 2009. This was done after several complains made by parents.

santhoshi said...

UK Visa is tough with the correct paper work also. As PP mentioned they are refusing many with no reason. Also it takes a long time for the processing. U have to really plan it out.

Anonymous said...

Having a Valid US visa applied for a UK visa to visit relatives regected. We were there last year wih no problems.

Very funny. Reason they gave is we may not return to Lanka!!!

This was not the first visit to UK we have been there several times.

At the age past sixty what can we do in UK? Who is going to employ us?

Sam said...

Even though it is true we (third world people) migrate to west where there grass is greener (as we human have been doing for past couple of million of years), current visa policies are base on new protectionism. It is not all about stopping migration and such; it is mostly about blocking opportunities to rising east. You see more and more visa entries are denied to capable, such as businessmen and certain university courses/subjects that have higher value or make the process utter difficult and expensive. At the same time, even a 20 year old European lad can travel anywhere in the world and see things, learn things and seek new opportunities to build up their future. Also west is losing up, if not totally eliminating visa difficulties between themselves. I guess this will be a quite a challenge for coming years and as we (east) develop further, we will implement more and more restrictions.

My personal experience, most probably they will deny visa, if your visit is not for their best interest (such as if your visit do not benefit their economy or their business, etc..).
When they ask “why you want to go to XXX?” I always used to say, “I absolutely don’t like to go, but my boss is forcing me to go there”. (Which is the truth). And one time they asked me a question related to my profession, that I talk nonstop at least good 5 minute like how an child may describe Disneyland. For me the easiest place to get visa was to S. Korea. What a beautiful place it was. I visited one university while I was there, they had a brand new BMW 7 series convertible for student to take a part and put it back together as part of their auto engineering course. Very impressive. I don’t know why our students really won’t look in to countries like Korea. May be we still have tendency to kiss west’s ass.

When it come to visa (and so many other things too), tiny bit of luck goes a far long than a ton of hard work and planning.

LazyOwl said...

I agree with Sam, The glory days of GB is over. I see, many of them are migrating to other parts of the world, while we are still think that Oxford is the best university of the world.

Jack Point said...

Shit, shit, shit.

Thanks a lot for all the info, shall be very careful before wasting my money on a visa.

The story on the street is that this is partly tit-for-tat; a reflection of the icy relationship with the West.

N said...

If you are GENUINE you always get your Visa. Its that simple, but establishing your credentials is quite a task. Personally i haven't had much trouble due to my dual citizenship, but i know it can be a nightmare especially if you aren't prepared with your paper work. This is why there is an industry around it, so called Visa experts , immigration lawyers and guides do exploit this situation. But honestly speaking one can't blame the west.. They have a right to screen the potential Visa seekers. You don't let every tom dick and harry enter your home, do you ? Similar logic applies. But yes i agree Srilankan passport is a liability than an asset !

Jack Point said...


that is what I thought, but the examples I cited were of genuine people. A businessman who has travelled extensively and lived a year in the UK being refused a UK visa?

Jerry said...

My cousin, who studied and now works in the US doesn't want to come back here for fear of not being let back in.

Jerry said...

And no, Indian.

A Virile Nagalingam said...

i'm not sure what kind of work/study you plan to do, but entry into the US on H1-B visa is different now:
1. there are plenty of visas left (high cap)
2. companies getting stimulus funds cannot hire non-citizens.

OTOH, a UK cousin was refused a touring artist-appropriate visa (he sings) on the grounds of insufficient income. And he's a fairly well-established carnatic singer with a good rep who doesn't really fall into the 'destitute' category.

good luck. Europe has been intermittently willing to throw the doors open to increased competition and i fear we are following suit in the US.

Anonymous said...

Jackass Jack Point why u want visa ?

Anonymous said...

hmm, I think they should be reminded that their lot came to our country and without visa and over stayed their welcome by a couple of hundred years.

Queen from Another Planet said...

I got my Permanent Residency visa to Canada this April, so if the paper work is in order, shouldn;t be a problem.

Student visa to UK is difficult because the UK immigration office (I believe) recently found that there was a high instance of people coming in to the UK as students and then never leaving - most of the institutions they claimed to be studying at were bogus as well!

This was mainly with Pakistanis, who registered educational institutes and then used it to get people into the country as students.

But obviously after something like that, it is only natural that they will tighten the process.

Jack Point said...

Thanks for the input Queen.

Graeme said...

Lets be honest, the basic reason is racism. The British government is playing to Daily Mail readers and dithering BNP voters.

What else do you expect from an unprincipled group of Stalin like control freaks like New Labour?

Of course, their plan to import white works from Poland instead of brown workers from India has backfired, as the racists do not like Poles any more than they like Indians.

As for the idea that they have a right to deny people entry, why? They did not have that right a hundred years ago, so why do they need it now?