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India Visa - Does TRAVISA handle dealing with BLS International?

India Visa - Does TRAVISA handle dealing with BLS International?

Nov 6th, 2013, 05:37 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 240
India Visa - Does TRAVISA handle dealing with BLS International?

Never before in my life have I ever encountered such an absolute nightmare as the BLS site. It is misleading, confusing, frustrating, and so maddening that if there is no intermediary that I can contract with to interface with BLS to get our visas, I am cancelling the India component of our trip. Thank God I found I'm not the only one who is blindsided, befuddled, and confused by this company's purely maniacal approach to trying to frustrate tourists to the point where you just simply don't want to go through their crap.

I got onto TRAVIS's site and on the one hand you think they can't help you with BLS but then some commentators say they're using TRAVISA for the process. So, what's the scoop? Can I use TRAVISA? If not, I'll extend our stay in Nepal and return to the USA from there instead of India.
CapriAnniversary is offline  
Nov 6th, 2013, 06:13 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 8,606
You may have seen this already on another BLS thread that's been running for a while.

manusinghbakshi on Nov 4, 13 at 7:06am
Use TRAVISA and let them handle your case. I used TRAVISA - mailed the application to them, you can call and email TRAVISA. TRAVISA in turn will take the application to BLS and get it processed for you. It took 2 weeks but atleast I got it done. Additional cost for travisa is $ 60 -- but worth it.

MmePerdu is offline  
Nov 6th, 2013, 06:58 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 240
Thank you. Yes, I did see that but I can't discern if this is related to a time before BLS took total control of the process. Perhaps someone has very recently attempted to use TRAVISA.
CapriAnniversary is offline  
Nov 6th, 2013, 06:59 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 240
Funny thing. I think signing up for Obamacare is simpler than getting a visa processed through BLS.
CapriAnniversary is offline  
Nov 6th, 2013, 08:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 8,606
This seemed to me to be a recent solution because BLS itself is recent. Ask Travisa. I know from personal experience they've been reliable in the past. I got my first Indian visa through them, the second, a 10 year, I got directly from the SFO consulate. So, with the unfortunate current situation I think if you ask Travisa and they say they can do it I'd use them.
MmePerdu is offline  
Nov 7th, 2013, 06:46 PM
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 7
I know one person that used Travisa in September this year to get their visa, even though BLS took control earlier in the summer. BLS is the cheapest option on the surface, but the extra $60 that Travisa charges is well worth you not having the headache of dealing with BLS. My friend said Travisa takes care of everything, always answers the phone and tells you everything step by step. She loved the service.
Bigboy1967 is offline  
Nov 12th, 2013, 09:01 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,657
We are going to India in February, and I have been reading all the visa postings with trepidation. We will be traveling to the DC area in December, and I think we will set aside a day to visit the BLS location there...bringing along all the stuff we've downloaded from the website. Still there is something we are required to file on-line in order to make an appointment. Oh, it gives me headaches just to attack that task, but I am going to try to accomplish that this week.

It looks to me as if their worst problems are dealing with naturalized US citizens of Indian descent. In fact, on one of the forms just for a tourist visa, it is hard to find the box to check for someone who is a US citizen by birth -- not a naturalized citizen falling into that category. Over the years, I've had many friends who fall into the naturalized citizen category...and they like to go "home" to visit their families every two years for about a month (or more). I can see why they would want to get a 10-year visa. But us? We just want to go for a bit over 3 weeks. We are both over age 60. I don't think we'll be going back. The 6 month visa is perfectly fine for us. Already, even before learning there IS an organization named BLS, we have violated one of their warnings: We purchased our airline tickets before applying for our visa.

It seems the Indian government has discovered they are losing out on international tourism, and will (eventually) be instituting the on-arrival visa for tourists from the US (and other countries). However, there isn't a published estimated date when that will happen so it looks like we will have to suck it up and deal with BLS.
uhoh_busted is offline  
Nov 20th, 2013, 02:21 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 100
The simple answer to this question is YES! Our travel companions submitted their applications to Travisa in Atlanta for a 6 month tourist visa on November 4 and had their passports and visas back on November 13. We submitted ours to Travisa San Francisco on Nov 8 and had our passports and visas back on November 18 - painless except for the extra $60 per person - but well worth the expense to avoid the anxiety and frustrations we have read about. Thanks Travisa!
jeep61 is offline  
Nov 30th, 2013, 07:06 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 24,451
Don't be silly. Travisa had the visa concession from the Indian government before it was given to BLS. (Working with Travisa was easy, can't imagine why the Indian government changed providers.) If Travisa can smooth the apparently mind-blowing experience of dealing with BLS because of their prior experience, more power to them.
thursdaysd is offline  
Dec 4th, 2013, 06:39 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,657
It took about two weeks to get our simple 6-month tourist visas. It need not have been so confusing, but just read everything, and follow their sometimes conflicting instructions. Maybe in the meantime, BLS will take some of the criticism they have received to heart not be so antagonistic when you call with a question. The young woman who called me with a request for an additional form (which thankfully, could be scanned and emailed to her directly) was polite and helpful. But now we can just enjoy the holidays and our final plans for our trip.
uhoh_busted is offline  
Feb 10th, 2014, 02:33 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 3
I have used both of these services in Houston where they are located, and they are both disorganized. Travisa kept us guessing until the day before we were to leave 30 days later before they confirmed the visa. We finally had to go to the consulate to get action. Another time, the visas were completed in 5 days. BSL had a schedule that you signed up for at 10 minute intervals to leave the information. However, the schedule wasn't adhered to and we waited more than 45 minutes past the allotted time before we say anyone. Picking up the visa from 4-6 PM also was disappointing. My wife was there at 4:15 PM with about 20 customers in the room. She checked in with a receptionist where she handed in the receipts and took a number (9). Over the next hour, no numbers were called. The only activity was couriers picking up batches of documents. This is much worse than the previous system!
fbh is offline  

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