Visa India

Old Apr 29th, 2012, 04:18 PM
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Visa India

Does anybody know how long and how hard it is to get a visa for India?

I want to go for 2 weeks to the South-anyone know of a decent hotel? safe etc?

I have heard that Goa is super touristy but am traveling alone and not sure where to begin?
thanks
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Old Apr 29th, 2012, 05:22 PM
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If you are in the US, the Indian embassy has outsourced visa processing to Travisa. See here:
www.indianembassy.org/visa.php use the link on this page to get to the right Travisa office. You must provide a lot of documentation to get the visa but we found the process fast and painless.

The south of India covers a LOT of territory. Asking for a "decent hotel" in southern India is like asking for a decent hotel on the east coast of the US.

Where to begin is by getting a guidebook and reading it. Also, go to the top of this page and choose India from the drop-down menu and you'll get a list of all posts about India. CHoose the ones that are trip reports and start reading. This will give you ideas, but is no substitute for a good guidebook.
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Old Apr 29th, 2012, 09:56 PM
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We just got a visa for my daughter. It took 12 days from the day I mailed it until the day it arrived back at our home in Hawaii.

When you go to the Travisa site, they have a video that explains the entire process. I highly recommend that you follow it. I've ordered a lot of visas including earlier ones for India, but this was the most complicated yet.

Not only do you have to scan and upload your phot and signature, but there are certain ways you need to answer questions on the actual application, and then you need to fill them out differently for the visa order sheet. Along with those two forms, you'll need to to enclose a copy of a gov't ID showing you live at the address that you are having it sent, a money order for the fees, and a return envelope with postage. They encourage you to use FedEx, but we used a padded envelope for the US postal service certified mail, with the postage and fees prepaid (keep your receipt so you can track it once they put it in the mail.)
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Old Apr 29th, 2012, 10:00 PM
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Ha Ha Kathie, i see you found the process, fast & painless. It took me over two hours to get the application ready for the envelope!
Once I mailed it, though, it was very fast and painles...!
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Old Apr 30th, 2012, 05:59 AM
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We did our before you had to scan - not as complicated as it is now. But I loved their internet tracking of the visa process. We got 10 year visas so it will be a long time before we have to do it again.
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Old Apr 30th, 2012, 10:11 AM
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When I got my 10-year, I just filled out a simple application by hand and mailed it in to the Consulate in San Francisco. At least I will be prepared when my passport expires in 2018...
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 04:53 AM
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If you are in the US and plan to use travisa, click on my name to read about how to avoid the error I nearly made in obtaining our visas. We too spent a little extra money and got the 10 year visa, and are so glad we did because we liked India enough that we plan to return. We had our visas in about a week.
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Old May 7th, 2012, 04:26 PM
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thanks for all the helpful advice
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Old May 21st, 2012, 11:13 AM
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Since we will be spending 2 nights in India this October before moving onto Bhutan, we decided to apply for the 10-year visa. We sent our passports out via UPS Ground last Monday and received them back via UPS Ground today (Monday - one week later).
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Old May 31st, 2012, 01:30 AM
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It seems the Indian authorities use a different company in the US to the rest of the world. In Australia getting a visa is a painful process.
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Old May 31st, 2012, 03:40 AM
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What is painful about it Rasputin1? I'll be applying for my visa in Australia soon!
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Old Jun 1st, 2012, 12:44 AM
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Hi Carobb. The Visa Centre in Melbourne is in Swanston Street. People start queueing in the small area between the door and the lifts about 1 - 1.5 hours before it opens. There is no orderly queue i.e first to get there gets in first. People, particularly Indians will worm their way closest to the door so that they are in before their actual turn. Then you have to requeue to get your ticket (as in the supermarket deli). Then you sit and wait your turn. Early in the morning there are usually only one or two booths open. Some of the staff are polite and helpful. Some of the older women still have the Indian mentality that is used in all beauratic Indian government offices, banks etc, i.e. you will await their pleasure and if they can make life difficult for you, they will.
The electronic numbering system does not always function correctly and your number could be forgotten until you get sick of waiting to be called and stomp up to the counter and demand to be attended to.
Then they will go through your documents and will always want some document that they did not want the last time you applied or the signature is in the wrong place or some other beaurocratic nonsense.
And this system is better than the one they had when they were located out in Docklands!
I grit my teeth every time I have to go there to get a visa for us or my mother because I know that I will want to reach over the counter and strangle the person on the other side.
Print out all the instructions you can find on the website and follow them to the letter. Take them with you so that if needed you can point out that you have followed the requirements on the website. Also make sure that you do this just before you go there as the instructions can change from one month to the next. Take all the documents you need including photographs signed in a particular way. Also note that the passport sized photographs you would have had for your Australian passport or for any other country's visa is not acceptable here. It has to be a particular size and in the past could not be done at the post office. Check with the post office that they can do the photograph in the format required or else use someone like Ted's Camera Stores who are already aware of the format and will provide you with the correct sized photographs for about $8. Several copies just in case you need them for SIM cards if you are taking unlocked phones or any other document you may need when you are in India.
Once they have sent them to Canberra you should get them back in a week. You can either return and collect them fromthe Swanston Street office or you can have them sent to you by registered post for a fee. The turnaround is fairly quick - 7 - 10 days.
Good luck.
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Old Jun 1st, 2012, 06:45 AM
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There is absolutly no need to go through this, carobb. I dunno what Rasputin is on about. Yup, I'm in Melbourne too - so this info is for AUSTRALIAN citizens.

http://www.vfs-in-au.net/ will give you this week's visa guidelines. Fill in forms - carefully - sign, add money, post. Done.

If cashed up, use http://www.visalink.com.au/

I do. I'll pay to remove the stress.

Six visas later I have still to visit a visa office or go thru any of this bizarre runaround. I have the distinct feeling that Raputin, his wife or Mum may be Indian nationals. That's a whole different ball-game.
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Old Jun 1st, 2012, 10:34 AM
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Hey dogster! Good to see you posting again. I hope all is will. We will be on the Equinox Oct. 15th out of Rome should the cruise hankering call to you.

As for the Indian visa for us or more specifically for my wife who is a former Indian citizen it was a nightmare. It used to be easy. Just go to the consualte in Chicago in the morning, give them the papers and more importantly the $$ and come back inthe afternoon and its all done. Then as it turned out one of the fellows involved in the Mumbai attacks got his visa from the Chicago consulate and the name he gave was and alias so after that the proceedures changed drastically.

Rather than go thru the details suffice it to say it was laborious and all stemmed from completely contradictory information from Travisa. Several offices including the general office in Chicago, one in Texas and one in NY told us one thing but the office in Chicago specific for Indian visas only told us something completely different. Despite my wife having an old US passport WITH an Indian visa stamped in it we still had a very hard time. There was even a question on her application asking if she ever had any relatives from Pakistan. God knows what we would have had to you if she had.

We finally got it but actually hired a lawyer to go to the consulate with us the day we presented the papers to Travisa if things did not go well which sort of started that way as the recepionist basically told us without even looking up from her papers that we could not get a visa and asked us to leave!! Well I had already spoked to someone in the office, gave her that persons name "assertively" and finally got it done and got the visa the next day.

For me as a US citizen it was OK though its my understanding, at least then that if you were born outside the US and became a naturalized citizen you had to supply a translated copy of your original birth certificate. A US passport is not enough. I had to supply a copy of my BC as well.

The consulate requires that former Indian citizens give a copy of their naturalization certificate. OK. fine except that on that document it states its illegal to make a copy! My friend instead supplied the cert. number and they, the consulate, complied with that.

Others have had an easy time but we had it pretty rough. There such a thing as an OCI card for my wife which is basically a lifetime visa. We'll get that someday but after all this nonsense I'll gladly pay a lawyer to do this work.
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Old Jun 1st, 2012, 02:58 PM
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Thanks for this info! I prefer the "low stress (less expensive half the price) option" so I followed the link above to the VFS website which states "The Government of India now requires all applications to be completed online." Ok no problem... Selected Tourist Visa - Online Application - Apply Now...read the application procedure, ok I agree, click on the link to start online VISA appliation... "you are now being redirected to the Govt of India network", ok... Firefox tells me this is an untrusted connection but we make an exception and proceed anyway (supposed to be a secure site!) but it won't load the page. Internet Explorer won't load it either. Back to Firefox, it's now accepted my exception and loads the site! Click on 'online application" link, can't connect to server... copy link and paste into address bar, takes me back to original Govt of India page... maybe they don't want to grant me a visa? After several attempts online visa application page finally loads... there is a link at top of the page to install their security certificate... have bookmarked the page so I can return to it easily(?)in a few weeks time!

The visalink site does appear to be much more user friendly and may end up being worth the extra cost...

A couple of questions.... If I am reading correctly, we have to post them our actual passports and they also require a copy of our itinerary. Is that just a matter of providing a list of places, hotels and dates you will be staying?
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Old Jun 1st, 2012, 03:17 PM
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Typically, a list of places you are going, hotels and dates is just fine.

Visas do require that you send your passports in. So send them via a trackable method.
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Old Jun 1st, 2012, 08:49 PM
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This is not rocket science.
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Old Jun 1st, 2012, 08:51 PM
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Nope, but it was amusing at how dysfunctional that website was though....
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Old Jun 1st, 2012, 09:07 PM
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The website works fine for me.
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Old Jun 1st, 2012, 09:54 PM
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Welcome back, dogster.
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