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U.K. Visa Woes Plague Tourists, School Groups

Published: May 8, 2014 (Issue # 1809)



  • Significant delays are being experienced with the issuance of U.K. visas in St. Petersburg due to a change of vendor.
    Photo: Vedomosti

Recent problems with the issuance of tourist visas by the British Consulate General in St. Petersburg have been put down to technical issues, reports the ITAR-TASS news agency.

Tour operators have reported on problems with obtaining British visas including significant delays, which have led to the disruption or cancellation of entire tour and school group visits to the U.K. Agents have also complained about the difficulty of accessing reliable information on passport status online as well as problems with online payment systems.

An employee of the British consulate claimed that the issue had nothing to do with politics. According to the unidentified consular employee, the agent operating the consulate’s visa center was changed in late March. The employee characterized the situation as "bad" and "very difficult," but stated that the consulate has no control over the situation as the intermediary company was chosen by the British government and operates according to a worldwide contract.

The consulate was unable to say when the new operator would resume normal service. There have been no official comments on the situation by the embassy.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during today’s Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the center’s Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonight’s performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Center’s Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodina’s website for more details.



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