Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Honduras immigration, I am so confused ...

Border Crossing: Nicaragua to Honduras
We checked the BNO official site and found Honduras is visa free to travel by BNO. We entered the country via Nicaragua crossing border through Canos Blanca and was able to enter the country just by paying some tax of Lp 60 each, with receipt.

Then we leave the country via Puerto Cortes to Belize by boat.  The staff at the Honduras immigration told us that we need a visa to enter Honduras (so why are we already here?) and he read us a table of requirement, proofing that the we need a visa.  The document is a list of visa requirements for various countries, that looked the same as the one we found from the Guatemala visa requirement page on their government official site earlier, (we found no such list on the Honduras official site!?).  The list is just a few page of printed paper, without headline.

Immigration Office at the Fishermen Market, Puerto Cortes, Honduras

We kept asking him if we need a visa to enter your country, how come we were already inside.  We showed him the tax we paid when we entered Hondorus and told him he should check with his colleagues on the other side of the border instead.  He made some calls and insisted that we need to pay US$30 each before leaving the country, otherwise, he will retrieve our passport and put us to jail! (this country don't have justice and order and will put people to jail right away!? -probably yes, they don't!)

Well, any country has the right to interpret and change their entry requirements, we have no choice but pay.

We are requested to photocopy our passport and the entrance form page (where on hell is the photocopier in the fish market?) but he asked the ferry staff to do that for us, no charge. We just waited in the office. Fine, as long as the boat was going to wait for us.

Then we asked for a receipt, the officer said we need to go to the bank to pay to get a receipt, we asked where, he said downtown, which is 20mins away! (and the boat is leaving any time!) We kept bugging him as said, if we pay here, we should get a receipt!  Then he said they could only issue receipt in downtown office if we insist. (Now what, Mister? Bank or office?)

Anyhow, he knew our boat was leaving any time and he gave every dumb reason in the world for not giving a receipt - that we all know why.

Well, we have no choice but to pay US$60 and the money went to the safest place right away - his shirt pocket.
Off we go, on a boat to Belize City

Then, we were set free!

Anyway, we are safe and sound now.

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