Saturday, May 19, 2007

Lankan passport? Back of the queue.

So can you believe, that my visa trouble has created a rather interesting situation: we are not sure how we are going to get back to London. As hilariously crafty as that might seem to you - it is not some ploy to remain beach bums for the rest of our lives, what with all the shells and beads I continue to purchase and wear Lee will probably DHL me back anyway.

In the past month or so, we have discovered that it is going to be impossible for me to apply for visas to Central American countries from Rio or Salvador as the application process for a Sri Lankan Passport holder, will take up to 5 working weeks for example as the Panamanian consulate informed us. They need to send the application back to the country I am applying to and research me before they can allow approval. Plus the other consulates have been so unhelpful saying I need to go back to Sri Lanka or UK to apply. So we decided that instead of losing sleep over it, we would leave Central America for another time and adventure.

This in a way - is awesome because it means we would spend 6-7 solid months in South America seeing more of Brasil and more time in Venezuela and the surrounding islands. But what we didnt bargain for is that our flight out of Mexico to London would be jeopardized too. Turns out that the info I was given by the Mexican consulate in the UK was wrong and I cannot apply in other countries, only in the one I am resident in. Which means I cannot get a visa to visit Mexico. Damn. So how about just flying into Mex and taking our flight out? No, I need a transit visa. Why? because the diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Mexico are such that this is the rule. And can I apply for a Mexican transit visa while in Brasil or Venezuela? No, because I am a non resident and need to go back to the UK to apply. Uh hmm.

So either we spend roughly USD$2000 (that we do not have) and buy new tickets back home or we ask the embassies again. It has been one of the most frustrating and eye opening experiences in terms of being a 3rd world country passport holder, trying to see the world. I need visas for all these countries, and yet - they do not make it easy for me to get them. I suppose they rarely have people from Asia, especially our neck of the woods, visiting them. Anyway, we are in the middle of trying to work it all out...anyone got a private jet they are willing to lend us?

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