Why is nothing straightforward

A visa run (*) to Sri Lanka.

What could possibly go wrong?

1 flight bookings were made from Mysore to Chennai, then Chennai to Colombo in Sri Lanka. Return in 36 hours or so we thought. Sugar. The return flights we’re booked for the following month! Erm and quickly changed 🙃

2 the day before I’m due to fly the immigration Police inform me I’ll not be let back in on my visa. 😩

3 I apply for an e tourist visa so I can at least get back in. It’ll take 72 hours so I’ll have to miss the rebooked return flights, assuming I get a new visa🤪

4 hotel arranges taxi pick-up at the airport. All goes smoothly until we arrive at the hotel at about 4 am. There is no room at the Inn. How did they manage to book the taxi but not reserve the room? I sleep on the sofa in the dining area. 😮

Thanks booking.com

5 this hotel is a fair distance from Colombo so I check out Airbnb options and find what looks a very promising place to stay in Colombo. I can’t book it. Our AirBnB entry is now in Manjula’s name because of our Mysore Bed and Breakfast listing. 😕

5 there are no micro breweries in Colombo😩

So what could go right?

6 I tramp the streets. Find a cool boutique hotel with sea view, get a basic orientation of the city while creating a list of things to do. Meet some lovely people and do some shopping 😋

6 the e-visa arrives (within 48 hours) on the first night so I can leave on the booked flights. 🤩

7 they let me in at Chennai🤫

8 flights go great and it’s a dinky affair in Mysore 🙄

9 I can surprise my beautiful wife who was a little worried that i might not get back in 😘

A visa run * an extra trip out of the country is sometimes necessary so as not to overstay one’s welcome, usually beyond 180 days.

Its well and truly in…

Manjula (53 Saris) Vellada, in her latest stunning blue outfit is seen out in the BIG city (Bangalore) with the accessory of THE season: a fetching green plastic folder complete with one hundred and sixty-five pages of documents to try and prove she lives in India and wants and has to return here after her holiday in the UK. Please note the smallest detail. That is the Indian passport for which blood, sweat and tears have been lost in an earlier ten episodes of this story.

 

Yes, the second application for a visa is now complete. The online from was submitted almost two weeks ago and the starting gun officially sounded on the 6th when Manjula went back for an appointment at the visa processing plant (assistants not allowed in, of course) in Bangalore (eight hour round trip with three hour processing).

Everything is crossed and we’re told we should probably know within fifteen working days if she’s successful. That sort of takes us to the 26th June and if we get it, we fly out on the 29th. Close eh?

We’re used to living close to the edge 😉  and remember those flowers?

Brahmakamla

we are seriously invoking the Gods for their assistance in the matter of the visa. We’ve already reported on the astonishing display of these ‘one-night-only’ flowers that first came when we completed the online form and that kept coming out with more of these aromatic beauties for three nights. Here are some of the photos to show what an exceptional thing this is!

Each are probably larger than two of my clenched fists. (there is no significance in the chosen analogy) We counted a total of fifteen when mostly you’ll be lucky to get one!

So here in hope!

pip pip

all she wished for was a holiday

Manjula doesn’t wish to move there, or rip of the NHS, become an illegal immigrant, apply for refugee status or go underground and try not to return to the UK.

Manjula is a really honest, straightforward, easy-going person that wouldn’t wish to play a trick or be dishonest.

Manjula’s home is here with me in Mysore, we have an established business that has bookings through to March 2017

Manjula has responsibilities here such as looking after her mother and doesn’t intend to move away and neglect her.

Manjula doesn’t need any money to go on holiday to the UK. I’d cover everything and many friends including plenty who have visited Mysore Bed and Breakfast have kindly agreed to provide accommodation

Manjula is an innocent

The visa system involves completing a form online and submitting supporting documents to an office in Bangalore. The form, bio data and info is then passed on. The decision is made without any dialogue or any form of two-way communication by someone at the High Commission. There is no opportunity for questions or providing additional information in case anything is missing, one has to second guess what’s required and get it right, the first time. There is no discussion, debate or opportunity to tease out the nuances of the bland guidance notes.

They’ve rejected her on the grounds that she might not return to India after the holiday.

The amateur, yes that’s me, who completed the form for Manjula thought that by  agreeing to be her sponsor for the trip and demonstrating that we had a thriving business and established life in Mysore to which we needed to return to, would be sufficient. Obviously it wasn’t!

so what to do!?

who wants a holiday in the UK?

Well Manjula does obviously! I’ll be in the UK on one of my three trips per annum in July and plans are in place to take Manj.

An application for a tourist visa has therefore been submitted to the British Government.

We used the opportunity, in yet another trip to Bangalore, to see the sites and grab some food. No micro-brewery as I’m off alcohol, partly to reduce the flab!

I’ve pretty much done all the work on the visa application. I’m not quite sure that Manjula completely understands about the process and rules. I’m not sure that I do myself. Does anyone?

I’ve explained, in the application, I hope, that Manjula as my fiancée, really is my dependent so I’ll be financing the whole trip. We have an established business here in Mysore and Manj has her mum to care for, so we will be returning. I think there are two main areas of concern they will have: that there is enough money available and that she has an established life here and will definitely be returning.

The excitement is palpable and I’m trying to tone it down a bit, explaining that we might fail and why the UK Govt might not give it.

Anyway it was submitted two weeks ago. We now await the result and we expect it VERY soon.