India outsources visas to British firm

THE INDIAN HIGH COMMISSION has outsourced its visa applications to what seems to be a  British firm and confusion now  reigns.

A firm called VFS – you can find it here, now looks after all British visa applications. This is great. The firm has a two to three day turn round time, but appears to have mislaid a consultant’s  business application which he must have submitted three weeks ago on a promised two to three day turnround.

In the old days, you could just tip up to the Indian High Commission in the Strand, and they would issue you one provided you had all the documents and paid in cash. Plus ca change.

He called them on the premium line today. They said: “Don’t worry, we will find it.” What if this outsourced company has lost his passport?  He travels to India in early October. Does he then have to apply for a new British passport and a fresh Indian business visa so everything can be lost all over again?

In the meantime, readers of this bog may be unaware that you still need a liquor permit if you go to Gujarat. And they’re serious about it. How, otherwise, could this man have lost £500 for having a bottle of liquor on Ahmedabad station? He didn’t seem to get a receipt from the cops.

Yes. Perhaps the Indian High Commission should have outsourced it to Bangalore.  None of this cafuffle would have happened except that Lady Margaret Thatcher of Finchleyville insisted after a Khalsa rising in Amritsar  that Indian citizens needed visas before they could come to the UK. The Indian government retaliated by saying we need visas too. And now we’re in outsourcing paradise.  

3 responses to “India outsources visas to British firm

  1. What is really funny is that Brits only get 30 days in Sri Lanka visa free while Yanks get 90. I am outraged every time I visit!

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  2. A more recent nightmare…I was on my way to Delhi from Los Angeles on Sept 7, 2008. Arrived in London enroute to New Delhi. Realized at London Heathrow my visa had expired.

    Virgin refused to allow me to board the plane in London although if I had not gone out of the airport I would have been allowed to board since my bags were checked through to Delhi and I had a boarding pass for the LHR – DEL leg.

    Went to the Outsourced company in London to obtain a visa. Realizing what I had just gone through, they refused to promise a turnaround of less than 7 days! I was told they would only process on an emergency if it was a medical emergency or death in the family!!!

    I was forced to return to LA the next day and today I am attempting to secure a visa for India through the San Francisco consulate office.

    The outsourcing is not staffed by humans but by robots who follow the book verbatum without any consideration for exceptions that do occur.

    I had filled out the application as requested on their web site and even paid $100. Now I am being informed that once paid, the fees are non-refundable even if they did not accept my application.

    That is the ultimate rip-off!

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  3. Pingback: India’s visa system shows every sign of excellence « Mad Mike Magee’s Musings

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