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US citizens applying for India visa--take care which website you use

US citizens applying for India visa--take care which website you use

Dec 23rd, 2011, 04:27 PM
  #1  
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US citizens applying for India visa--take care which website you use

I just finished a very, very frustrating process of applying online for a tourist visa to India. I'd been putzing around with the process all week and today decided I'd better complete the process and get these applications mailed off. As I was making one final check online to make sure I had every thing properly included, I noticed that I was supposed to also include this item:

"Global Reservation Form: This is Travisa's service order form, where you will select the visa processing needed and make your payment. You must print the completed form and send it to Travisa with all other supporting documents."

So, I clicked on the link and started to fill this out too. When I got to the end, it told me that for each visa I was appling for there was an additional $50 fee, and the total fee for each visa was $171 rather than the $166 I'd seen earlier for a 10 year tourist visa. So, suddently the cost for 2 visas was $110 more than I thought it was. And, I was now given the option of paying by credit card whereas originally I'd understood that my only payment option was a money order. Wondering what in the world my $50 was buying, I called the number on the travisa website and asked them for clarification on why I was paying one processing fee of $13 and an additional $50 service fee and why the price of the visa had also increased by $5.

Well, it turns out that the site I'd done all the application on was a 3rd party processing center--travisa-- that links to the regular travisa outsourcing agency which is the designated agency for Indian visas. The man at this agency was nice enough to explain all of this to me and to give me the number of the main travisa outsourcing agency. Confusing with nearly identical names! Right?

I called travisa outsourcing and found out that I'd inadvertently started the application process on the 3rd party website which also has the name travisa to make this more confusing. Because I'd used that website which then links into the regular travisa outsourcing site, the only way I could complete that application was to pay all of the fees for this agency to submit my paperwork. The real direct agency could see my completed applications online but couldn't convert them directly to their site. So, I would be stuck with all of the additional fees if I continued on with the process I'd started.

Or, I could go to the direct website travisaindia.co. and start the applications all over. So, I started the process of filling out the forms all over again, and was able to pay the $166 per visa fee I'd been expecting rather than the $221 it would have cost to go through the 3rd party processing agency. It was a hassle, but I did save around $100 for the 2 visas. And, the woman at the real, original travisa outsourcing agency told me I was better off making my own submission anyway. When the applications are submitted directly rather than through the 3rd party travisa agency the people at travisa outsourcing can more easily track the application and let me know where in the process things are.

So, a word of warning, you do not want to go to this website because it is the website of the 3rd party processor, and you willl pay a lot more.

http://india.travisa.com/TVSVisaInst...ID=TA&GLID=AUS

Instead, this is the website you want to use:

https://indiavisa.travisaoutsourcing.com/homepage

Hope this saves someone else the hassle I went through. And, it was just what I didn't need right before Christmas.
julies is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2011, 04:37 PM
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If you had gone to the Indian consulate website you could have used the link it gives for visas and saved yourself the trouble:
http://www.indianconsulate.com/6Indi...ndianVisa.html
Marija is online now  
Dec 23rd, 2011, 05:36 PM
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Thanks for the help and sorry for your loss. Have a nice trip to India.

Adding to the confusion, in Chicago there are two Travisas a few blocks apart. One does Indian visas and the other does something else entirely.
atravelynn is offline  
Dec 24th, 2011, 03:46 AM
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Great info many Visa scammer sites in Asia for me always best
to go direct to consular web sites for me and review travel.state.gov and insuremytrip.com prior to travel.
qwovadis is offline  
Dec 24th, 2011, 05:46 AM
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Yes, I could have started directly at the Indian counsulate website to save myself some grief. But, I didn't, and I assume many other people wouldn't either. I googled it as I am sure many other people would do. So, this is why I posted this warning.

And, to me, the biggest source of confusion is that the names of these 2 agencies are almost exactly the same, and they both have offices in Chicago for applications for India visas for residents of my area. And, since the travisa site (3rd party) links the applicant into the travisa outsourcing site (the agency that has the contract with the Indian government), the average consumer once she starts the process doesn't know the difference because the website process and form is identical once you've been directed to the real travisa outsourcing site. I am wondering if and thinking this is a bit of a scam on the part of travisa.
julies is offline  
Dec 24th, 2011, 03:28 PM
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Thank you for taking time out of your day to post this helpful warning, Julie S.

May i recommend that you post this also on Indiamike? There is currently a thread on 10 yr visas, but there are other threads on visa apps too. You will always find an appreciative audience there.
CaliNurse is offline  
Dec 30th, 2011, 06:21 AM
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Update on this--

We got incredible service on this (especially considering it is the week between Christmas and New Years when many places are basically inoperative)! Got an e-mail from travisa outsourcing on Wed. that they'd received our applications. Now, Friday morning, got another e-mail back from them saying our applications have been approved and our visas issued so the passports on their way back to us. So, definitely don't pay the additional 3rd party fee!

Cali--If I can ever figure out how to get back into the India Mike site, I will post this. I made one post once, and the site just won't let me back in no matter what I try.
julies is offline  
Dec 30th, 2011, 07:08 AM
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Julie, isn't the travisa service great? I really loved the email updates letting me know where I was in the process!
Kathie is online now  
Dec 30th, 2011, 02:04 PM
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I got my ten yr visa yesterday. Yippee!!! Living just across the Bay from their San Francisco office, i had an easy time: drop off info in a.m., pick up visa in p.m.

In case anyone is wondering about a ten yr visa in a passport which will epxire in less than ten years--They said that when current passport expires, they have a way to transfer the visa into the new passport, but does require more paperwork at the time.

Kathie, yes, i love the email updates. That is new since the last time i applied two yrs ago. The ir customer service folks behind the counter are terrific. Travisa Outsourcing just keeps getting better. How many companies can one say that about?
CaliNurse is offline  
Dec 30th, 2011, 02:37 PM
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My passport expires in 2012 and travisa said they can transfer it to my new passport for a $25 charge. I'll be able to report back abut that later this year.

Cali, doesn't it feel great to have a 10 year visa in your passport?
Kathie is online now  
Dec 30th, 2011, 03:17 PM
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This morning's update was that they'd received the passports back with the visas. Later on this afternoon I got another e-mail saying they'd been sent out and with the Fed Ex tracking number. I too am impressed with this service, so really hope no one pays the extra unnecessary fee to the other 3rd party agency.

We decided to go for the 10 year, so here is hoping we really like India enough to go again.
julies is offline  
Dec 30th, 2011, 03:44 PM
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I liked Travisa so much that I used them to procure other visas.
Femi is offline  
Dec 30th, 2011, 05:06 PM
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Julie, this will be my third time to India in just over three yrs. (First time was in the"Pleistocene Era " i.e. 40 yrs ago). So i'm "even"in terms of the cost. I'll wager you will be like many of us here--one trip won't be enough. You were smart to put in for the ten yr this time--you won't have to go through this again.

Kathie, thanks for the info about the $25. I wonder if they remove it with some magic glue-dissolver, then re-paste into the new passport--or issue an entirely new one.

YES indeed , it feels great to have a ten yr visa! Now i'll just have to live long enough to get my money's worth Seriously, this makes hopping on a plane and just GOING seem much simpler. Kind of like buying on Amazon.com using "one-click"--it's almost TOO easy! (But my credit card companies are happy!)
CaliNurse is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2013, 01:33 PM
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Thank you so much for posting this! I was in the process of applying for my Indian 6 month visa and was alarmed to find that it was going to cost me $143. Because that didn't seem right, I simply inquired what a visa cost and your post came up. You saved me $70. Thank you again!!
Saglet24 is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2013, 05:36 PM
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The visa form is a bear to do, but after that the process is good. Being able to track the process and shipping is anxiety relieving.
Elainee is offline  
Apr 7th, 2013, 06:18 PM
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Ok, I am staring at the application now. They are asking for a reference in India as well as in the US. So what do I use for these? I don't have any India reference and since the same Travisa instruction says not to buy non-refundable airfare before getting the Visa, there is no place that confirms my itinerary.
nickn is offline  
Nov 14th, 2014, 05:08 PM
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both links in the main article end up in the same place. I have been charged 225 dollars for a single tourist visa which is quite exorbitant. and i did everything through
https://indiavisa.travisaoutsourcing.com/homepage
globaltraveller2014 is offline  
Nov 14th, 2014, 05:19 PM
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Globaltraveler, note that this is quite an old thread. The info here is out of date. The Indian Consulate in the US has now contracted with Castle and Kings to process all visas in the US.

Travisa was the old contractor, then BLS was the contractor - that was a total disaster - people's passport were stolen from the BLS office, just as an example. Had you asked here, you would have been directed to the current contractor, Castle and Kings.
Kathie is online now  
Nov 21st, 2014, 03:27 PM
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Kathie, I think you've got the wrong "King" company as the contractor for visa processing in the U.S.

The company is Cox and Kings Global Services (CKGS), and not Castle and Kings. The latter company is simply a travel agency for trips to India.

Cox and Kings:
http://www.in.ckgs.us/index.shtml
travel2165 is offline  
Nov 21st, 2014, 05:15 PM
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Travel, you are so right, Cox and Kings is the new contractor for India visas in the US. I apologize for my error and plead guilty to posting while jet lagged.
Kathie is online now  

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