Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean actor Orlando Bloom, invited to India by the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh (the head of government for the Northern Indian state), was deported on arrival from London.
He made the trip to India, arriving on Saturday to promote tourism, but discovered that his e-visa which was applied for November 30 had been rejected.
He was then deported back to the UK at 4am [2.5 hours after landing]. It was only after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj intervened that the actor was granted a visa. He flew back to India on Sunday morning and visited the Taj Mahal later in the day.
Apparently Bloom never received an e-visa rejection. His host explained that Blooms staff are “not used to the intricacies of the Indian system.”
The Ministry of External Affairs scolded Bloom for failing to navigate the Indian bureaucracy:
Vikas Swarup, spokesperson and joint secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs, told us, “I am not aware of the circumstances in which he (Orlando Bloom) landed and what actually followed.When one applies for an electronic visa, one receives a mail saying whether the visa has been issued or rejected. I think Bloom must have landed without the confirmation email or forgotten to check whether the visa has been granted or not. It takes a minimum of 72 hours and a maximum of four days for the visa to be processed, at the end of which, your visa is accepted or rejected. The traveller is supposed to carry it along to produce to the immigration officer for scanning.”
Bloom could have been given a Temporary Landing Permit for a stay up to 3 days at the discretion of immigration authorities in Delhi — and he did play the ‘Don’t You Know Who I Am?’ card — but British Airways hadn’t communicated ahead his celebrity status so they didn’t believe him that he was invited by the government for tourism promotion.
Apparently Bloom had a stomach bug (even before entering India) but wasn’t allowed treatment prior to deportation.
Street Food in India
Probably would have been worth using a Visa service even for India’s new e-visa process.