Hundreds of Russian citizens are unable to get a refund for their thwarted vacations in the UK because of visa problems created by the new British visa center, the Russian Union of Travel Industry (RUTI) reported on Tuesday.
Following the appointment of a new managing company of UK visa centers in late March, many tourists were issued their passports later than the departure date. In some cases passports were issued with a delay of 2.5-3 months.
In addition, tour operators were unable to monitor the processing of visa applications online and to learn the possible date of the passport issue from the visa center with the purpose of deferring a trip.
RUTI said the same problem was experienced by all Russian regions hosting British visa centers. Tour operators often had to pay extra for the urgent issue of a visa, but even urgent visa applications were processed within at least seven days instead of the regular three.
At the same time, the visa issue date in tourists' passports is presumable, not actual, RUTI noted. The visa center does not issue confirmations of the passport issue dates and tourists are unable to prove that they received their documents later than expected. Hence, insurance companies refuse to pay the cancellation coverage benefit.
RUTI sent a letter to the British Embassy visa service head requesting that it restore confirmations of the date of passport issue by the visa center. The union also requested a written confirmation of earlier dates of the late issue of passports.
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