British actor Orlando Bloom was deported from New Delhi airport following the revelation that the e-Visa he had applied for on November 30 had been rejected.
The actor who planned to spend Christmas in India, arrived in New Delhi from London on Saturday via British Airways around 1:30am. However, the Foreigner Regional Registration Offices (FRRO) officer followed procedure 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,” said Sheetal Talwar, who has produced the recent British film Romans, a drama on childhood sexual abuse which stars Bloom.
Although the reason for the rejection is yet to surface, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj intervened and a fresh visa was issued to Bloom in London within the next few hours. He will be flying back and arriving in Delhi.
Bloom was invited to the country as a state guest to promote tourism, at the invitation of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. He was to visit the Taj Mahal along with Talwar and Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh.
Upset about the turn of events, Singh said, “Orlando’s office was never informed that the visa had been rejected for whatever technical fault.” Singh said he wasn’t criticising the government but wasn’t happy over the manner in which things unfolded.
However, 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 had 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.”