Tourist Visa in London
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Dec 3, 2012 6:14 AM Last Post By: klaus5
Oct 23, 2012 6:12 AM
Tourist Visa in LondonI was turned away from the Birmingham consulate a few weeks ago and told tourist visas were only available from the main London embassy. The man in Birmingham told me I'd need a letter from work and photos. He did not mention LOI and I did not have chance to ask if it was essential, as he was very keen to move onto the next person. Has anyone had recent experience getting a visa in London without LOI?
Before I make my trip to London, I am now wondering if I should be completely honest about my travel plans: overland from Iran to India. Or should I say I am flying into Islamabad airport or something. Would that mean they are more likely to grant me a visa? Does the visa have entry/exit points specified on it?
In my original application I put my roughly planned route in the 'Places to be Visited' section (Taftan, Quetta, Multan, Lahore, Wagah), but now I am wondering if it would be beneficial to keep quiet about the Taftan>Quetta bit?
Obviously I want a visa that will be acceptable at the Taftan border crossing.
Thank you for any advice on these matters, or any other general tips about getting the visa in London.
Oct 23, 2012 7:30 AM
1I am traveling through Pakistan right now and can say that every overland traveler I've discussed this with is either part of an organized tour or has been "economical with the truth" at the very least. Consulates, it seems, are unlikely to take responsibility for a traveler wishing to cross Baluchistan, or even the relatively safe Northern Area, and may be likely to put you off rather than issue a downright refusal, as is the way of things in Pakistan.
In my own case, I outlined plans to fly to Pakistan and got a visa in Dublin with no problems or letters of introduction. The visa didn't specify a point of entry. However, some visas may be endorsed to ban travel to a particular province, presumably if you give them cause to suspect your intentions.
If you didn't actually submit an application in Birmingham you might be all right, though if it was me, I'd wait a month or two before trying elsewhere.
Oct 23, 2012 4:11 PM
2Luckily I have not actually submitted anything yet. I have to wait until I have my passport back from the Indian consulate before travelling to London to visit the Pakistan commission anyway.
I think bearing in mind your advice, I will submit an application stating port of arrival as Islamabad, and not mentioning Quetta. I am glad to hear that LOI is not as crucial as the PHC website would make it seem, though I will update this thread with my experience for the interest of others wishing to apply.
Thanks for your replies guys.
Any more info from other people would be gratefully welcomed.
Oct 24, 2012 12:35 AM
3I would simply apply for a India visa and shut your mouth.Your travel plans are undecided.
Oct 25, 2012 1:54 AM
4You have lot less chances to get visa if you mention that you re traveling overland specially through volatile Baluchistan province so better be dishonest & say that you re flying in to Islamabad.
Contact Lost Horizon if they ask you for LOI,they send it in 24 hrs for 50$.
Cross finger for your visa.
Oct 29, 2012 11:32 AM
5Bonjour from Islamabad,
Try your luck at Bradford, a better place for Pakistan visa.
LOI could be issued by any Pakistani outfitter in order to obtain the visa.
You can tell them that you're traveling overland and show your other visas, so that's not a problem.
It takes 14 to 16 hrs from Taftan to Quetta, safe in a public bus with locals.
Nov 2, 2012 4:26 AM
Do this, and also drop any mention of Multan to be certain. Say that you are flying into ISB and departing via Wagha. But also list enough days in Lahore and Islamabad to ensure you get more than enough days to get across the country.
Nov 27, 2012 10:51 AM
7I submitted my application on Monday 12th November to Gerrys Visa application center in Stratford, where all applications must now go. (You cant submit directly to PHC, http://www.phclondon.org/announcements/20121011_gerrysservices.asp).
I have not yet heard back from them. They say they will phone when its ready for collection. I phoned the premium rate number they list on their website (visadropbox.com) and was told to email the details on the reciept (tracking #, passport # etc), and in fairness they replied to that email at 6pm, a hour or so after I sent it. Anyway they said PHC were still processing.
I am getting a bit concerned as now its now 10 working days (taking into account PHC closure this friday for religious holiday).
Can anyone settle my mind as to why this is taking so long? How long has it taken for other people? Anyone else used Gerrys service yet?
There is an additional cost that Gerry's add for processing, so the total cost for the visa is £140, and a invitation letter is now mandatory, so its turning into a very expensive visa, about £170. I also had a itinerary made up by Lost Horizon who have been very helpful, if not a little slower at answering emails/processing etc than I had been led to believe by the "within 24 hours" reviews Ive seen floating around. Still I would recommend their service.
Nov 30, 2012 5:18 AM
Dec 3, 2012 6:14 AM
9Perhaps I wasnt very careful with my wording. I have absolutely no complaint with Lost Horizon's service and would recommend it to others. The thing about taking less than 24 hours is not (as far as I am aware) a claim made by Lost Horizons, simply something I have seen people say when they recommend them. In my experience the email replies and sending of invoice and documents was pretty speedy (within 48 hours), and I found them to be helpful and accommodating of my needs.
Its been 3 weeks now since I submitted my application and still no word. I tried to phone the PHC in London today at about 2pm but all of the numbers on their website make a monotonous beep beep beep noise instead of the ringing sound you would expect, and when you just wait it out, after about a minute or so it makes a slightly different beep and then cuts off! Has anyone had any luck phoning the PHC recently? Any particular time of day better to call?
I've emailed Gerrys this morning but not had a reply yet. No point ringing their expensive number for application status enquiry, as they just tell you to email them the details on your receipt.
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