Sunday, May 17, 2009

Vis-'a-vis a visa and the Green Mamba

The nightmare on Visa's continues ... When we decided to do our RTW trip in the summer of 2009, we were under the impression that by then we would have the same passport as Emily and it would be a breeze to travel. Well as it turns out, we are 6 weeks away from our trip and still aliens, and have to travel on a "green" passport, I have been told by my friend Mars that it is also called the "Green Mamba" it always comes up and bites you.

So chatting to the travel agent last week, she said to me to email our passports through and she will organise our Aussie Visas for us, but then came back to me the next day to say because we had a Green Mamba she couldn't do it and we had to go direct to the Aussie Embassy. However, it turns out that the Aussie Embassy in Oireland don't deal with Visa's and we have to go to London (well not physically thank the Lord, because we we need another visa to do that).

To try and phone a REAL LIVE person is an absolute NO NO when it comes to dealing with the Australian Embassy, unless of course you are prepared to pay 1 Pound a minute (from a BT Telephone line) so who knows what that equates to from an Eircom line. So we send them an email, and I must say that they were rather efficient in getting back to me the next day. Now Em is on an EU passport but even so because she is under age we need to apply for her Visa the same way as we apply for ours.

In order to apply for an Australian holiday Visa for the 15 days we will be in Australia, we need to send copies of:
  • Bank Account Statements for the last 3 months
  • Travel Insurance
  • Copies of Hotel Bookings
  • Copy of Air Tickets
  • A letter of invitation from an Australian Resident
  • A copy of our marriage certificate
  • Copies of Payslips for the last 3 months
  • A letter from the company you are employed with to say you are taking leave
  • Complete and sign an 8 page document, giving your life history
  • 100 Dollars per Visa
  • A self addressed envelope so they can return the passports.
  • A passport photograph
I can't even remember what else there was. So duly done, signed, sealed and sent registered mail on Friday, we can only hope that it gets back in time to apply for the other visa's. As soon as they come back we then have to go down to the French Embassy and apply for a French Polynesian Visa and take with us the following information:
  • 2 passport photographs
  • Only a 2 page document to be completed and signed
  • Bank Accounts statements for the Last 3 months
  • Credit Card statement
  • Travel Insurance
  • Fully paid for Travel Tickets
  • Fully paid for Hotel Bookings
  • Means of transportation while abroad i.e. copies of bookings of rental car
  • Copies of payslips for previous 3 months
  • A letter from your employer to state you are taking leave
  • 60 Euro each per visa
  • You have to appear in Person
The French Embassy are only open on Mon - Thurs from 2:00 pm till 4:00 pm to apply for Visas and on Friday between 2 and 3. To collect your passport with Visa they are open in the morning between 10 and 12.

THEN I find out ...

That as from the 1st of March if we travel to the UK on a Green Mamba we need a visa as well, and not only to visit but even if you are in transit. So in order to get to wherever we are going via London we need a British Visa, and the story starts again ... there is a 10 page document that needs to be completed, photographs, more money, more bank account statements, more more more ... after this little episode we will be broke!

Murphy's law as soon as we have a passport that we CAN travel on without having to get Visa's we probably won't go anywhere!


Fingers crossed that we get everything in time, else we ain't going no where!

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