Got Visa?

More and more visas are available only by applying online now, including extensions and other adjustments, which is fine, as it allows you to keep your passport in your pocket for a much longer time, rather than floating around some office in some weird country for many days, during which you might really need it, that and/or the freedom of movement that it allows. The problem is that many of these online applications still require paper submissions, which requires a printer in that same weird country, this is an age when cyber cafes are increasingly rare, and smart-phones can’t even interface with them, not directly.

Or even if you’ve got a cyber-cafe, you still can’t save the document to the hard disk, and they may or may not let you attach a flash drive. In short: digitized systems are great; hybrid ones are not. Make up your mind, one way or the other. If it’s digital, then it’s digital—no paper. If it’s paper, then provide the forms. Travel should be becoming easier, not harder. And don’t even get me started on ‘reciprocal visa charges’…