Wednesday, 13 July 2022

Visa issues for thee

 On of the difficulties at the start of recent chess olympiads is having all the registered players turn up. The main cause for no shows is visa difficulties, as for a lot of countries getting a visa is a very difficult process. A lot of small Pacific nations do not have an embassy or consulate of the host country and have to send passports and forms to Australia or the Philippines months in advance.

On the other hand European countries rarely have this difficulty, as they either have free movement in the countries hosting the Olympiad, or the EU has reciprocal arrangements, making visa applications pretty straightforward.

Interestingly enough, India has an online application process, which makes applying for a visa pretty straightforward (although I had attempt it twice as a chose the wrong visa type first time round, an experience I recounted in a previous post). When I did get it right, it took less than 48 hours for the visa to be approved. And this has been the case with almost all countries, except one. Players traveling on a UK passport still have to apply in person, at a registered agent. This process takes quite a long time, as there is a long waiting list for face to face interviews (a requirement apparently). And a few people I know have left it to the last minute to get the ball rolling, so there is a risk that the no-shows won't be from countries that have usually had issues, but from a post-Brexit UK!

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