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Disgusting bureaucracy

Without further ado, I share with you this letter I sent to my professor today for information. My colleague is Colombian and thus treated as a criminal even in Europe, having to have a visa for every time he crosses the border. Those visas are then usually only valid for a few weeks. For your information, 3 CHF \~= 2 € \~= $2.50 US.

We are trying hard to get a visa for [my colleague] to go to Illmenau. The embassies seem to make that purposely difficult, requiring you to call a 0900 number (CHF 3/Minute) to make an appointment to apply for a visa. That's so overly bureaucratic, and also a rip off!

I tried to make the call today on behalf of [my colleague], only to find out that the university does not allow me to call 0900 numbers. Even through the receptionist, or from [the secretary's] phone, it was impossible to get a line. I understand the troubles and abuse issues with these numbers, but I think it is not okay for the university to block them without making any exceptions.

I had to call the embassy from my cell phone now, which for a 12:24 minute call (most of which was waiting for someone to pick up the phone), thus cost me CHF 39,00 plus the additional charge my cell phone provider imposes for the call. I am going to request the money back from the university, of course. Nevertheless, I think the issue is ridiculous and should probably brought to the attention of [the head of the department] or higher entities in the university.

To complete the story: the next available appointment for a visa application is in December. She said that there was no way to expedite the handling. Even if other people cancel their appointments, there is no waiting list, so if you need to get a visa, you are basically left to calling them seven times a day, to find out if someone cancelled. I find this utterly disgusting, since those people who are required to have visas are generally not those that can afford to spend CHF 39 for a single phone call just to be told off.

What kind of world is this in which we are living. I am disgusted, for the second time today.