Actor Orlando Bloom deported from Delhi
British actor Orlando Bloom’s plans to spend Christmas in India began badly. The actor arrived in New Delhi from London on Saturday by the 1.30 am British Airways flight, only to learn that the e-Visa he had applied for on November 30 had been rejected.
The Foreigner Regional Registration Offices (FRRO) officer followed protocol and Bloom was deported back to the UK by the 4am British Airways flight. “Orlando requested the officer to allow him some time to sort out the issue since he also had a stomach bug. The doctor on duty was summoned to attend to him but soon after, he was asked to leave. The officers also threatened that the flight wouldn’t leave unless he was on it,” said Sheetal Talwar, who has recently produced the British film Romans, a drama on childhood sexual abuse which stars Bloom. While the reason for the rejection is yet to be established, Sushma Swaraj intervened and a fresh visa was issued in London in the next few hours. He will be flying back and arriving in Delhi at 10 am. Ironically, Bloom was invited to the country as a state guest to promote tourism, at the invitation of Uttar Pradesh CM, Akhilesh Yadav. Upset about the turn of events, Singh said, “Orlando’s office was never informed that the visa has been rejected for whatever technical fault.” Singh clarified that he isn’t criticising the government and its policy for prompt action, but he wasn’t happy about the manner in which it happened. “The officer in charge of immigration, a certain Mr Prabhakar, was extremely rude to Orlando who was actually unwell but he didn’t pay any heed to that,” Singh added, while thanking Swaraj for her intervention.
Vikas Swarup, official spokesperson and joint secretary of the ministry of external affairs, said, “When one applies for an electronic visa, one receives a mail saying whether the visa has been issued or rejected. I think he 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.”