“Describe your moustache”: a poll reveals the 10 most unlikely questions and demands heard during the visa application process
No matter how fine the moustache, travellers may be left scratching their whiskers in wonder if asked to describe it during a visa application.
The question has been judged one of the strangest asked of those attempting to enter a new country in a recent study.
Other unexpected queries included: “how many wives do you intend to bring?”, “what side of the bed does your wife sleep on?” and “have you been to a farm in the past six weeks?”.
A poll conducted for the website IXPVisas.com asked 1,452 travellers to report on the strangest entry requirements they had ever encountered.
The top 10 oddest questions were:
1. “Describe your moustache/beard” — one respondent claimed to have found this on a Mexican visa application form, with the options of scanty, bushy or clipped to choose from.
2. “Have you been to a farm in the past six weeks?” — in order to enter Australia.
3. “How many wives do you intend to bring?” — apparently asked of a travelling businessman on a Middle Eastern visa application.
4. “What side of the bed does your wife sleep on?” — two respondents were asked this by US authorities.
5. In China, one traveller said the visa form request for “Reasons for visiting” listed “Visit” as an option; which they promptly selected.
6. Two people said the India visa application form asked you to state your religion but that you could not select ‘None’ as a response. You have to select ‘Other’ and then write ‘None’.
7. “Foreigners please sing in the box” — a typo seen on a Mexican immigration form.
8. “In times of either peace or war has the applicant ever been involved, or suspected of involvement, in war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide?” Asked of overseas students entering the UK.
9. “Has the applicant ever been involved in, supported or encouraged terrorist activities in any country?” — variations of this question were asked by both UK and US authorities according to a number of those surveyed.
10. “Name three things about…” — according to seven people polled, this is asked of potential students to make sure they are knowledgeable about the subject they claim they will be studying.
“Some of these questions may seem a bit ridiculous to those looking to enter another country, but this often just helps to highlight cultural differences,” explained Liam Clifford of IXPVisas.com.
“If you try to make a joke on a visa form or while being questioned by immigration officials it almost certainly won’t go down well. The biggest rule of travelling is respecting other cultures, so although some requirements might seem strange to you, the bottom line is the fact that they’re requirements.”
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