Indian embassy draws critics

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India’s embassy in Oslo has been the target of massive criticism lately, over its allegedly difficult and slow procedures for issuing visas.

Newspaper Aftenposten wrote about the problems last week and since has received a flood of reaction from frustrated travelers whose planned trips to India were ruined by the embassy’s failure or refusal to issue visas.

One Aftenposten reader ridiculed the country’s official travel motto, “Incredible India,” saying it now had taken on an entirely new meaning.

Would-be travelers to India have complained that the embassy’s web site is outdated, that it’s difficult to get correct information about documentation required for a visa, that telephone calls and e-mail inquiries go unanswered and that visa applications are disregarded.

“I can understand that there’s a lot to do at the embassy, and that some individuals are overworked, but it must be possible to handle clients in a better and nicer way,” wrote one frustrated visa seeker, Monica Kaur-Andreassen.

Another traveler, a teacher and British citizen residing in Norway, claimed he had bought a ticket to India and applied for a visa well before the trip was to be made. The visa was never issued, with no explanation, and his ticket was rendered worthless.

An embassy spokesman admitted to Aftenposten that a “storm” of visa applications this winter led to delays and made it difficult to contact embassy personnel. The staff didn’t manage to handle the pressure but the spokesman contended the situation is better now, and that the embassy was hiring in extra help to handle visa applications.

Views and News staff