O my word! Why is it so hard for some consulates to sort themselves out? I mean, how hard can it possibly be to have an actual person who can answer basic questions like:
- What are the visa requirements?
- What does a visa cost
- Can I down load the forms or complete them on-line?
It seems not!
Himself needs to go to Romania.
Himself still has a South African passport so travelling is still a bit tricky (he needs a visa for nearly every country under the sun). So he asked me to please just check out what their requirements would be for him etc.
No problem I thought I'll have it for you in no time...... NOT!
I google visa requirements for South Africans -> web page opens
Question - Nationality of applicant & country of residents
Answer - South Africa & Belgium
Requirement - Visa required
I click on the visa required link only to go back to the 1st page .... what ? So I do it again, same result. Then I scroll down to find a phone number. Mmm 3 phone numbers for the Romanian Consulate in Belgium, 2 in Brussels & 1 in Antwerp.
I call the 1st number ..... Wrong number.
I call the 2nd number .... WRONG NUMBER .... I call the 3rd number .... WRONG NUMBER but they give me a different number.I call the 4th number ..... This turns out to be a private cell phone number of a German speaking person WRONG NUMBER AGAIN!
Ok, I'll email them.
There are 2 email addresses so I send a quick mail to both, you know just to double my chances ..... DELIVERY FAILURE on both!
Then I decide to call the Embassy. Automated answering service ....
Press 2 for English.
Press 3 for Visa applications ......and this is what I'm told by the automated answering service:
- Visa applications can be filed in person, between 9 and 12 every day.
- To make an appointment to file your application please call between 5 & 6 on Monday's & Wednesdays.
- For more information check out this website ........ (information is only available in French & Romanian). But I check it out only to find that they only mention that Belgian citizens, like all other EU member state citizens do not require a visa to enter Romania. Duh I know this, I need to find out about South Africans.
This is when I decide to call the Romanian consulate in South Africa. And low & behold it's an actual person who answers the phone!
My excitement was short lived.......
Lady: 'Uuuh how can I elp you?'
Me: 'Hello I'm calling to find out what the visa requirements are for a South African passport holder, would you be able to help me to put me through to someone who could?'
Lady: 'Uuugh I can elp. What you need know?'
Me: 'Well I need to know what the requirements are?'
Lady: 'Uuugh email us to make appointment to ask, ok? Abe a nice day'
Click she puts the phone down.
Right please excuse me for now cause I need to find someone who will smuggle my husband in & out of Romania for a business meeting.