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Hassles with BLS International getting indian visa

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I'm an Australian visiting the US and I live in Kathmandu Nepal, i thought that I would apply for an India visa whilst i was here. Applying for Indian visa in Nepal is now a real problem because they never grant more than single entry. I always want multiple entry for 6 months which is impossible in Nepal.

Ive lived in India and Nepal for 8 years now, and my instinct was that applying for visa for India in the US wasn't a good idea. However several people told me they called BLS and were told that an Australian tourist in the US could apply for the Indian tourist visa.

Well you cannot apply for a tourist visa, if you are here in the US as a tourist on a tourist visa.

I sent the application, money, passport, return pre-paid envelope. the application was received quickly and i could check my status after 3-4 days. The status has been stuck saying that the application has been put on hold awaiting documents that prove I am a resident of the US.

When i saw this I called the helpline number 888 683 7832 and spoke to someone there who told me that the application has been stopped waiting for the documents. I explained that I am a tourist here in the US and then they explained that I cannot apply for a visa here in the US. This is when the problems started.

The phone line was terrible every time i have called, bad noise, static, massive delay and echo on the call. many many drop outs.

When you call the helpline, everyone tells you something different. I have been told the application is denied and being sent back, another person told me the application is processing at the embassy after the others all told me the application is not possible. Everyone has been telling me to wait and then check the status.

The status has never changed since the first time the application was accepted, called BLS help line more than 20 times, 8 different people, everyone told me different, incorrect, conflicting information.

In summary, i have been told that in my situation the application is given 10 days for me to send the missing documents to BLS they require. This is the first time I have heard this clearly from someone at BLS.

They told me their process takes 10 days to wait for the documents, if they do not receive the documents in 10 days, they cancel the application and send it back to you. Thats what I have been waiting for all this time, which took 20+ calls to figure out. I asked them to send a note to cancel the application and send it back to me ASAP, they say they can do this, so lets see.

Hopefully, if your trying to apply for a visa and YOU ARE NOT A US citizen you can read this post and save yourself a horrible time.

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    Dear BLS international services inc,

    I have to say you have taught me a lot about patience. My husband and I did receive our tourist visas a little over four weeks after we applied. Thank you very much for that, we are really excited to go to India. However, I do have some suggestions on how you could make your service more accommodating...

    We applied via post because we live 12 hours drive from the nearest Canadian BLS office. (vancouver or surrey)

    -When we used your online postal fee calculator on your website, it told us an amount that was $60 higher than what we needed to pay. We 100% for sure entered all our information in properly, because we did it multiple times to confirm the price. When BLS received our applications, they wrote us an email informing us we had over paid. We either needed to cancel this bank note and send them a new one (while they held our passports) or give them permission to absorb the extra money. We were more concerned with a smooth visa process than the extra $60 so we told them they could keep the money. My suggestion would be to update your calculator so there is no more room for error.

    -We were 100% in the dark throughout the entire process. Their tracking system on their website kept saying our confirmation numbers didn't exist and whenever i would call the BLS employees would tell me they had no record of our passport numbers on file. I would like to say thank you to BLS for always answering the phone and speaking kindly to me. I received no confirmation that they received my email indicating that they could absorb the extra money from the bank notes. I called multiple times to make sure they knew it was okay to do so, in the hopes that our applications weren't on hold or anything but no one knew anything. I emailed called and when i inquired about possibly faxing them my request for confirmation of receipt i was laughed at, and told if BLS wont reply to your email they will surely never reply by fax. Everyone told me it is just that the application process was difficult and they were very busy, too busy in fact, to even update their own computer systems. I was told multiple times that BLS would send the Indian embassy a request for status on my application and that I would get a phone call within the next 24 hours. This clearly never happened. I do feel though most of the BLS employees I dealt with were quite friendly on the service, I do understand what everyone is complaining about relative to their apathy. No one ever empathized with my worries of a potentially lost passport, and no one ever offered to do anything to help me find answers. I ultimately had to except that the worst case scenario would be that my passport was lost and that I would not be able to fly to India. Which fortunately, because I live in Canada, I have a safe, healthy, and secure home that I am not trying to escape or anything. So staying put is disappointing, but not the end of the world. I would suggest to BLS that they hire more support staff so they have the resources to keep their applicants informed.

    If I were to apply for an Indian Visa ever again I would physically make my way to the BLS office (I believe BLS is the only company you can go through now) and just pay for a rush visa service. This way I could receive my visa within two working days and I would save myself the grief of being in the dark. If this is not an option for you, apply for a 6 month tourist visa, and get it in the mail as many months in advance as you can.

  • Report Abuse

    Dear BLS international services inc,

    I have to say you have taught me a lot about patience. My husband and I did receive our tourist visas a little over four weeks after we applied. Thank you very much for that, we are really excited to go to India. However, I do have some suggestions on how you could make your service more accommodating...

    We applied via post because we live 12 hours drive from the nearest Canadian BLS office. (vancouver or surrey)

    -When we used your online postal fee calculator on your website, it told us an amount that was $60 higher than what we needed to pay. We 100% for sure entered all our information in properly, because we did it multiple times to confirm the price. When BLS received our applications, they wrote us an email informing us we had over paid. We either needed to cancel this bank note and send them a new one (while they held our passports) or give them permission to absorb the extra money. We were more concerned with a smooth visa process than the extra $60 so we told them they could keep the money. My suggestion would be to update your calculator so there is no more room for error.

    -We were 100% in the dark throughout the entire process. Their tracking system on their website kept saying our confirmation numbers didn't exist and whenever i would call the BLS employees would tell me they had no record of our passport numbers on file. I would like to say thank you to BLS for always answering the phone and speaking kindly to me. I received no confirmation that they received my email indicating that they could absorb the extra money from the bank notes. I called multiple times to make sure they knew it was okay to do so, in the hopes that our applications weren't on hold or anything but no one knew anything. I emailed called and when i inquired about possibly faxing them my request for confirmation of receipt i was laughed at, and told if BLS wont reply to your email they will surely never reply by fax. Everyone told me it is just that the application process was difficult and they were very busy, too busy in fact, to even update their own computer systems. I was told multiple times that BLS would send the Indian embassy a request for status on my application and that I would get a phone call within the next 24 hours. This clearly never happened. I do feel though most of the BLS employees I dealt with were quite friendly on the service, I do understand what everyone is complaining about relative to their apathy. No one ever empathized with my worries of a potentially lost passport, and no one ever offered to do anything to help me find answers. I ultimately had to except that the worst case scenario would be that my passport was lost and that I would not be able to fly to India. Which fortunately, because I live in Canada, I have a safe, healthy, and secure home that I am not trying to escape or anything. So staying put is disappointing, but not the end of the world. I would suggest to BLS that they hire more support staff so they have the resources to keep their applicants informed.

    If I were to apply for an Indian Visa ever again I would physically make my way to the BLS office (I believe BLS is the only company you can go through now) and just pay for a rush visa service. This way I could receive my visa within two working days and I would save myself the grief of being in the dark. If this is not an option for you, apply for a 6 month tourist visa, and get it in the mail as many months in advance as you can.

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