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Are visas designed to make us cheat?

Since I am going to South America next month I have entered the wonderful world of visas again…. AARGGHH  – and it is driving me crazy!

Why do visas still exist in the first place? Isn’t it enough to have a checkpoint when you enter the country so that people know where you are and for how long you are staying? Why are there 5 million different visa types with an equal amount of paperwork to be filled in before applying for said visa? (OK – 5 million might be a slight exaggeration, but I am not far off…. ). Is it to discourage people from going to your country to do / work / entertain? (Oh – this person is coming over to bring knowledge to our IT Professionals so that our businesses run more efficiently and provide better value for money… oh no – we can’t have that! We need to place a hurdle in this person’s path…)

🙁  (sorry, I am feeling very frustrated at the moment – can you tell???)

OK – so here is the story: I am going to Brazil for 10 days to do some keynote presentations at a conference and to do a Train the trainer program for the trainers of our new reseller of Service Management programs in Brazil. This TTT is one of the compulsory requirement for any reseller we have so its not like I have never done this type of assignment before…

Normally I apply for a business visa for the country that I am going to as clearly I am not going to the country for leisure… And applying for a tourist visa would be cheating and lying and I prefer not to do that.

This time I am getting very close to it though.. as the Brazil visa system is driving me insane!
We applied for the business visa and within 24 hours received a very polite email  from the embassy in Sydney that since I will be training Brazilian residents I have to apply for… (wait for it…) A WORK PERMIT!!!

WHAT THE..?!!!

Oh, and to apply for the work permit the first phase has to be done in Brazil and the second phase in Australia. Oh yes,… and get this: it is TWICE the price of a normal busines visa… I am starting to get seriously annoyed by now. 

So – if I would have lied and said I was a tourist I would get a FREE visa for 90 days….(at least I think it is free – to be honest, I haven’t looked into it because it is not my intention to do this).
If I would have lied and told the embassy that I am attending a conference as a delegate and did some business meeting I would have been able to apply for a visa in Australia for $90 and a 5 day turnaround. But because I chose to tell the truth I am now penalised with a temporary work permit visa which costs approx. $160 (+ birth certificate copy + other formal documentation that I need to find somewhere and ‘certify the copy’ at an extra expense) oh – and it takes 30 – 60 days processing time!!!!

I honestly don’t understand the system – I can sell training courses online to Brazilian residents (who BTW live and work and study in Brazil) without a work permit but the moment I enter the country to do the EXACT same course face to face I need a work permit???

This is a system that is NOT from this day and age anymore… I’m sorry but I fail to see where the benefits are (except for the government who can pocket a nice revenue for each visa that they process…

And don’t think I am singling out Brazil… Australia is just as bad (or equal) and I can’t comment on the USA but I am sure there are plenty of stories about that country and its rules and regulations…

End of the story is that I might NOT be going to Brazil after all… it’s too short notice for the visa process to clear.
Would be a shame and a missed opportunity for the development Brazil’s IT industry.

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  1. Pingback: The visa story… part 2 « Ivanka Menken