A visa interview

An English dialogue between a visa clearance officer and a visa applicant.


A visa clearance officer is interviewing a visa applicant.

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Play Dialogue

Visa clearance officer, a woman: So what’s the purpose of your visit to Britain?
Visa applicant: My wife, granddaughter and I have been invited to a golden wedding of our English friends. Please find attached their invitations.
V. c. o.: Where and when did you first meet your English friends?
V. a.: That was in 1990 when they were invited to Moscow as British war veterans to take part in celebrations of the 45th anniversary of VE-Day. I am a war veteran myself and since I speak fluent English I was asked to take care of them.
V. c. o.: Just what do mean by “taking care of them”?
V. a.: Oh, I met them at the airport and took them to their hotel. The following day I called for them and brought them to our place. I introduced them to our family. After dinner, I took a taxi and showed them some sights of Moscow. Sightseeing took a few more days. Tire following year they invited my wife and me to come and stay with them in Christchurch. Then their youngest son came over and stayed with us for a while and so on.
V. c. o.: All right, I’ll grant visas to you and your wife, but not to you granddaughter.
V. a.: May I ask why?
V. c. o.: Because she has nothing to do with a golden wedding. She is eleven and belongs to a different generation altogether. What would she do at a golden wedding?
V. a.: Our friends like her and want her to meet their grandchildren, so that when we, veterans, are gone, the friendship between our families may continue.
V. c. o.: Nevertheless I deny her a visa.
V. a.: On what grounds?
V. c. o.: On the grounds that you want to leave her in Britain to live and go to school there.
V. a.: But if we really wanted to do that, we could arrange it officially, say, via the British Council. Besides, for a foreign pupil to attend school in Britain is a pretty expensive thing. We could not possibly afford it. Nor can our English friends. They are both old age pensioners.
V. c. o.: And yet I’m not convinced that you’re not going to leave her there illegally V. a.: So what can I do to convince you? Give you my word of honour that everything is aboveboard?
V. c. o.: And why should I take your word on that?
V. a.: Because I’m in my seventies. At that age people usually don’t lie. It’s dangerous. Then because I’m a second world war veteran and hence quite respectable. And, finally, because I’m a professor. Professors, as a rule, are not given to lying either.
V. c. o.: (grudgingly) All right, I’ll give her a visa. But if you’re deceiving me, I’ll take it out on as many applicants as I can.