Orlando Bloom Deported From India

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.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. “Not used to the intricacies of the Indian system.” I don’t think anyone is used to the intricacies of the Indian system in that there really is no system! Definitely one of the countries I used a Visa service for, and they handled everything with ease.

  2. 1. You apply for an e-Visa online.
    2. You get an email telling you if it was approved or rejected.
    3. If approved, you print the email and take it with you to present at the immigration desk for scanning.

    Do we need to dumb it down further? 😉

  3. This story really makes me want to vacation in India. If he hadn’t been deported, we would never have heard of his trip. What a brilliant public relations ploy.

  4. @Ram, what’s the need to take printout of email and take it to immigration officer for scanning?? Isn’t the email sent, after he has been ‘entered’ into the ‘system’ ? For a busy person, expecting them to go through each and every email and then take printout is ridiculous. We live in an age where electronic boarding pass is the norm.

    Clearly there is a need to make the e-visa system truly e-based …

  5. Unfortunately, this has viral internet written all over it. It could be the worst thing for Indian tourism since the Sepoy Mutiny.

  6. India is plagued with internal corruption and US financing of Pakistan Gov’t which in practical terms means the ISI and its associated terrorist groups. There is no workable system.

  7. This is not only happened in India. We all know recently that a group of Kpop singers and dancer got deported from US. And US customs allowed a terrorist using his fiance’s visa entering US. This is ridiculous. They can’t catch the bad people instead they just catch random regular people and pretend they are doing their jobs. I personally encountered a similar situation when I entered Canada few days ago. The immigration stopped me and wanted to further investigate me. I’m just a sudemt under F1 student visa and have two entries records in 2014. And this time they wanted to further question me. This is unbelievable! They need to hire some smart people and train employees more!

  8. The Indian “e-visa” that you apply for online is not a visa. It is an authority for the airport immigration officer to grant you a visa on arrival, which you apply for in advance online.

    If you don’t have your print out or confirmation number (which the website clearly states you are required to have), you will not be issued a visa, as visas are not issued on arrival without prior approval.

    Whatever madness there is in the system, the website is pretty clear. I just used it last month.

  9. Playing the ‘Don’t You Know Who I Am?’ card?
    Not exactly smart if his profession isn’t playing Cricket. 😉

  10. As an ESTA holder, I carry a photocopy with me, but the US immigration people have always said to not bother as they looked it up in their systems using my passport.
    India sells itself as an advanced IT hub but its Government has not read the memo/ email or maybe it was sent by telegram?
    ESTA came through in minutes not days.

  11. @Ram – you said it right.

    My family used evisa to visit India recently and the evisa application was approved in less than 24 hours. The procedure at the airport was also surprisingly quick for evisa applicants. Great improvement by the Indian government.

  12. People from the US and UK may be unused to needing a visa to enter a foreign country, but when required it is what it is. The traveler is responsible for knowing the rules and preparing the adequate documents. India’s e-Visa is not perfect and I have plenty to complain about it, but it is quite straightforward and easier than the traditional visa. Trying to enter a country without proper paperwork is like trying to get on a plane without a boarding pass… you really can’t blame the authorities for “giving you a hard time”…

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