Sierra Leone

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From the United Kingdom

The service via postal mail at the Sierra Leone consulate in London is a little dicey. I had two weeks to get my visa and it took almost the entire time. But I lost a week because I did not call and check up on it. They just sat on it, or lost it, or forgot it, or whatever. The people I talked to were polite, but unhelpful. They insisted on taking my information and calling me back. But they never called back (4 repeats of the same thing). Finally I got someone who seemed a bit interested and found my passport wherever it was lost.

To pay your visa fee in the UK, you go to a Barclay's bank, and they deposit your money into an account and give you a tiny little stub of paper as a receipt. You send the receipt with your visa application and they match up the money on the other end. Keep a copy.

You should only send a passport with a tracked mail service. The consulate will only return your passport via a self-addressed, stamped envelope. The Royal Mail will sell you the right postage and tracking sticker. You have to write down the number for the inner envelope, and you'll get a receipt for the outer envelope. If you forget to get your return tracking number, the consulate will not helpfully e-mail it to you... not exactly that kind of service!

The visa was done neatly and correctly in the end, but it was stressful to push it through.


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