People who travelled hundreds of miles to the Indian Consulate office in Birmingham were left furious as a row over visas erupted.
Families yesterday massed outside the Consulate General of India in Augusta Street at the department's decision to drastically reduce the number of visas it would issue.
Tempers flared outside the Jewellery Quarter building until a throng of people barged through the doors and into the foyer.
About 200 people were told that they would have to come back today, even though some had been queuing from as early as 5am.
Mary Thomas, from Little Dorley in Shropshire, said: "It's disgusting, we're being treated like animals. They say they published information about this on their website but I looked at the London website and there was nothing about it there."
Roy Dhillon, aged 64, from Rothes, in Scotland, drove 510 miles to come to the consulate only to be turned away.
He said: "I've driven through the night to be here. I have to be in India on Friday for a wedding but they're telling me that I have to go back to Scotland and drive back tomorrow to come for another visa."
Until Monday the consulate would see up to 200 people a day and could issue as many as 700 visas in a day.
But from Monday this number was reduced to 50 and people queuing yesterday said they had been given little or no notice of this.
The consulate has named 12 travel agents and charities which will issue the visas but people queuing said they had been charged as much as £38 on top of the usual £30 for the service. Consul General Narayan Sharma said he had contacted all the organisations and recommended that a fee of between £7 and £10 should be charged.
But phone calls to two of the travel agents, found their charges varied from between £12 and up to £30 for a business visa.
He said the change to the service had been made because of issues raised by the fire service and local businesses about the safety of large numbers of people queuing up outside the consulate.
"This is not a monopoly," he added. "People can choose which of these services they use, why would they go to the one that charges £25 when they can go to one that is much cheaper?''
Mr Sharma also said the consulate's 24-hour emergency visa system could still be contacted by calling 0121 212 3217.