Passport Racism

[This is a rant.]

I think there is a new type of racism creeping upon the world and that is passport racism. Did you know that if I hold an Indian passport then in all probability  a lot of trees will be cut before I am done gathering the documents needed for my visa submission? Well, you probably did.

Did you know that if I held a British or an American passport then I just pack my bags, pick up my passport and drive to the airport? I am pretty sure you didn’t stop to think of that!

I recently called up the Spanish embassy ( actually the VFS-Spain) to enquire about getting a visa to walk the Way of St. James. Here is was my plan :

  • Start walking early in the day.
  • When the light fades or when I feel tired check in to the nearest alburgue

Here is what the guy on the other side of the line told me:

  • If you hold an Indian passport then you need to show transportation and 
  • Accommodation

  —- wait for it……

For every single day that you are in the EU … oh and that’s not just it….

*Walking does not qualify as transportation for someone who holds an Indian passport!*

It’s no wonder that no one from India is urging students and young people to take a gap year and travel.  The entire year may be spent in securing a visa and by the time they board the plane they will not exactly belong to the ‘Youth’ category.

Billions of blue blistering barnacles!

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9 thoughts on “Passport Racism

  1. Hey Lisa!

    Couldn’t agree with you more on this.The scenario is pretty pathetic for Indians, unjustifiably so. I hold a New Zealand passport and while on the one hand I felt guilty at the time for giving up my Indian citizenship, the passport has definitely come in handy for my travels. I wrote something on similar lines a few months ago (before matador). I’d like you to read it (if you want that is.)

    http://roadiswheretheheartis.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/passport-and-the-power-of-it/

    Hope you find a way to pursue this soon:)

    Btw, such a co-incidence, just a couple of weeks ago I finished watching ‘THE WAY’, the movie based on this very walk of St James and right through it I was hoping to complete it myself one day.

    Best of Luck!
    Priyanka

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    • I was inspired by the movie THE WAY…. Its so beautiful… there is one dialogue that stays with me :

      ” When I was young I was too busy , now that I old I am too tired”.

      I know you will appreciate the story of how a solo traveler interacts with himself and his companions.

      Like

  2. Aye aye Captain Haddock! A very good rant:)

    I found out that Thailand allows visa-on-arrival, one of the few countries (maybe the only one?) where you can pick your bags and walk up to the airport.

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    • Thanks Pushkar. You can add Jamaica, Bhutan and Nepal to the list. But so can the rest of the world.
      My point is Why on earth would you NOT allow me to enter a country because of my nationality?? I don’t get it.
      Can they vouch for everyone they allow ( without any visa requirements )???

      Lisa

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  3. my aunt who has been a British resident for the past 30 yrs with Indian passport was stranded in us for a week when neither countries helped her simply cos of her passport. The only time I got a visa in a week was from Swedish embassy that was cos my bank, Lloyd’s TSB, sent a later claiming it was their fault I delayed in applying for visa!

    Like

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