UK Lets You in With a Bitter Taste in Your Mouth

Letters to the Editor | May 2, 2006, Tuesday // 00:00

There are two sides to the coin and I have experienced both. I am an Australian national and I have experienced the English and the Bulgarian bureucracy. If any English person thinks they are getting a raw deal then its a 1000 times worse for any Bulgarian. What the Bulgarian authorities ask in return is no worse than what the British authorities ask of the Bulgarians.

Indeed the treatment of honest Bulgarian citizens who need to travel to the UK can be rather insulting for them. Last year we were invited to take my small team of inline skaters to Manchester for a competition and I needed visas for 2 of my inline skaters and my wife. I submitted a nice encyclopaedia worth of documents and information, bank statements, invitation letters and guarantees. Myself and my two guys spent a whole day at the British embassy and when we finally had our interview at almost the end of the day (hard cases hour) I was under the impression the officer in charge of our case had not read anything. We did get our short term visas; although I paid the full amount for a short stay visa for my guys they were given a one week visa instead, in essence we were ripped off- we paid for 6months and get 1 week.

Arriving in England we had to go through another interview. I thought having an Australian passport would make my life easier it did not! After the nice interrogation we were allowed into the country. We did what we had to do and left England. Yes we were allowed in but somehow it left a little bitter taste in my mouth.

Marco Jara

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