By visa, I do not mean the plastic cards that will suck your money out before you realize it. But the single sheet of paper that will cost you both money, $50-$200, and tons of paperwork headache just to enter a country. I know I’m ranting now but I couldn’t help condemning all the artificial barriers that’ll dwarf Mountain Everest.
For example, we’d like to follow this route as a beginning: Vietnam, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Chile and Brazil.
- To enter Singapore, you’d enjoy 96-hour “pass through visa” if you hold an airline ticket to Australia or New Zealand. Wow, awesome. So let me apply for Australia first.
- To enter Australia, you’ll have to provide your employer’s written permission. What about an artist or author or a software engineer works on GPL projects who don’t need an employer? If I am allowed to push one step further, why the hell should everyone on this planet have an employer? Oh, there is a small line of text saying that a New Zealand visa will be very helpful. Well, ok, I’m flexible. So let’s try NZ first.
- To enter New Zealand, you have to provide the departure date and paid flight ticket as a proof of “intention of leaving“. This means that we’ll have to buy a flight ticket to Chile before we could even apply for NZ’s visa. Great, let’s see what Mr. Chile has to say.
- To enter Chile, you MUST provide the original “physical” copy of ‘invitation letter’ from Chile. Physical! Even better, the invitation letter has to be approved by Chile government first. What if we don’t know someone in Chile? What if we just want to see the famous Magellan Telescope in Las Serena? Fine, let’s fly from NZ direct to Brazil then.
- To enter Brazil, baby, you’ll have to pay a travel agency to do it for you. Individuals can not apply directly. Period.
Great! Perfect!! What a carefully designed chain of visa application. If Julius Caesar lives today, he’ll have to say “visa veni vidi”.
“Before you come and see, Mr. Caesar, may I take a look at your visa first?”