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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, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during today’s “Djembe and Vuvuzela,” a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of today’s round table discussion on “Interaction with Trade Unions” being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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