Just how I imagine British, Schengen etc visa policy may appear to most of the world’s population:

There’s a bridge over a river. The other side seems to be a land of milk and honey compared to your shitty home. You want to pop over for a few week’s holiday, or even just for a day trip.

A guard at the bridge says you can’t, first you have to travel hundreds of miles away to a consulate – or sometimes a semi-outsourced processing centre – in a far-off city during normal working hours, get fingerprinted and interrogated, produce bank statements and miles of paperwork.

Then pay a fee that could easily be a month or months’ wages for a normal worker in your country – a fee they may keep even if your application fails. And leave your passport with the consulate to eventually materialise later after it’s been sent to an outsourced processing centre in yet another country you aren’t allowed to visit and back.

Then just maybe, you can cross the bridge. If your application fails, that will be added to a failure rate and used against future applicants from your country.

Even if there are men with guns or machetes behind you, or you’re starving, the guard at the bridge has the same answer. But a little down the river, there’s a smuggler who only wants a certain amount up front, but promises you can pay off the rest in labour once you’re on the other side…

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