Indian visa woes

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This topic contains 38 replies, has 22 voices, and was last updated by  Tom Otley 27 Mar 2015
at 11:33

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 39 total)

  • Anonymous


    Just a cautionary tale for you all! If you have a business need to fly to India, over the last year they have changed all their rules and made it one of the hardest and most frustrating process’s to get a visa

    If you are in another country other than your country of birth and you are visiting without an official residency or work visa, you will have to return to your own country to get a visa!! Not necessarily an issue I hear you say, but if like many a need arises on a trip or plans change and you are asked to head to India for business then think again and make sure you plan ahead!! I am currently in Asia and have a need to head to India and I have to head back to the UK to get a visa … That aint gonna happen!!!

    I think it is only India and China now where this laborious task has to be done in person as now India has introduced biometric fingerprinting for all visas you have to present yourself at one of their visa centres! Add this to the 4 page on line document that has to be filled in, the 2×2′ photographs (yes 2×2), you don’t have that size you aint getting in, and the list of all countries you have visited in the last 10 years, makes India the number 1 pain in the rear for visiting..

    I hear and commiserate with Indian colleagues who say their ability to get visas to travel is laborious and painful maybe they need to tell their government as I am sure its just a tit of tat response to the difficulties mentioned above!

    Recently flew to Dhaka and even there you are allowed a VOE so that you can conduct business easily,


    I have enjoyed my recent visits to India (both business and leisure).

    However, I could not help but feel whilst there that India really was not that interested in having any inward investment from outside India. And the hassle to get visas was a manifestation of this feeling.

    I found this to be quite a shock since I am used to generally all countries being quite keen to be attractive to inward investment.

    It almost felt like being in a different World. Part of me felt that this was not at all a bad thing. India certainly seems to be going he own way.

    Although any google search will tell you that India intends to be Visa on arrival in 2015 (for tourists)

    In the meantime, I wont be returning due to all the hassle and the cost.


    To the contrary the new Modi government is moving as fast as possible to remove barriers to II including ownership restrictions, visa controls etc. That is why the economy is going through a bit of a resurgence.

    I think you have partly answered your own question though, the government is extending the VoA programme to include most European countries.


    I have recently used CIBT visas and they were brilliant. Photos were not a problem; the photo machine at the local station did Indian size photos. You do need to collect documentation, but my passport was out of my hands for a week on a 5 day service.


    Great if you are in the UK, not so good if you are in the middle of a business trip in Asia!! But thanks good information for when Im back!


    @k1ngston – I fully sympathise with you on your visa woes…it seems totally illogical to me to thwart someone mid-trip from obtaining a visa that could enrich a country through business development. Mr. Modi may be wishing to change the rule to include visa-on-arrival, but what has it cost them to date?

    I have spent plenty of money on both work and pleasure trips, and could easily have visited India more than the few times that I have. Each time it was pure hassle and bureaucracy. So I moved my meetings to Singapore, Hong Kong or the Gulf, where each visit life was simple and easy. Last year, I even had a regional meeting in Colombo, which was terrific. Most of these events could have been held in India, providing the economy with a boost to hotel, transportation, restaurant and even tourist businesses. But all of that went elsewhere because of the silly visa requirements.

    The UK is not exempt from this issue, either. I get many complaints from Chinese nationals who wish to come to London for meetings, only to be met with a very difficult visa regime. We often end up meeting in Paris, Frankfurt or Amsterdam, as the Schengen option is much easier and gives the traveller more choice.


    StephenLondon thank you for your reply and you are absolutely right, the money I would have spent on hotels, infrastructure, restaurants would have added to the economy and many I am sure like me! In response to your last point, the Chinese and Indians who have such a hard time obtaining visas for the UK are simply in response the same problems UK nationals have obtaining visa’s to their country!

    Instead of playing tit for tat, governments should realise that people travel and business is still done face to face however much the soothsayers say otherwise…

    In the meantime my Asian business trip continues and having just arrived at my 6th port of entry (PNH) where the visa on entry works perfectly (albeit slightly expensive) I will continue my quest for world domination LOL


    I also noticed that the Indian Embassy in the UK has shortened the length of time for multiple entries (for first time applicants I believe): Two of my staff recently applied for 12-months but only got approved for a 6-month visa.
    Another way for them to make more money in visa fees?



    This is something I had recently posted on another Travel Website ; this application was for a 5 day Tourist VISA for my daughter and Wife who already have multiple Schengen VISA and have traveled extensively..You be the judge on who has more pains to visit another country..The new MODI government will take some time to make the VISA process smoother considering the very new Central and State Governments in place..

    Pain For a Spain VISA: The number of documents that I have submitted for a Spanish VISA is unbelievable !! Here is a Short List :

    1. Forms in the same Pen Color ;- if my wife and I are submitting individual applications we need to make sure that the color of the signature matches..One signature cannot be in black color where as the other in Blue !! ..Why the signature color has to match is Mystery For Sherlock Holmes..

    2. Marriage Certificate In Original : As if we keep Fake Marriage certificates and it’s photocopies handy for VISA application..

    3.Original Birth Certificate for my daughter, same as above, why one would keep a fake anything for VISA application is a conundrum.

    4. Foreign Travel Insurance Valid for 15 days after you have left Spain..Huh ??

    5. Bank Statements With a Bank Stamp for the past 6 months..

    And Many More documents..

    Wow !! Do so many Indians stay back in Spain that the Spanish consulate has to demand such irrelevant papers..??

    I thought India was a Paper Tiger ..

    These documents are for applicants who already have multiple EU VISA ( Schengen )


    K1ngston, the UK more or less requires the same thing! Be resident in the country where applying, and need to visit the Embassy/High Commission/Consulate for biometic processing and a zillion orginal documents.

    Though of course it only applies to nationals of certain countries.

    Simon, think you will find the rules have only JUST changed or about to change. Below is a link from Australian Business traveller covering the very issue of Indian visas.


    My recent experience. I am a Hong Kong resident and have a US green card. Married to a UK citizen and have a 10 year UK visa and a two-year Singapore visa. I go to the UK multiple times a year to see family. As I have a big anniversary coming up in December my husband wanted to take me to Paris/Milan. I much rather go to an Asian beach resort because I know what a pain Schengen visas can be. I went through the whole Spanish palaver in 2008 when I had to attend a cousins wedding in Palma. It put me off. I lived in NYC at that time why would I want to stay back in Spain??
    Even then I told my spouse I would try . I had a huge file of relevant documents including a notorized marriage certificate. The consular officer recognised me and said he lived in my apartment block and proceeded to text my husband to say I was in his office.
    Then he looked at my application and documents amd said my marriage certificate needed to certified by an EU state and could not be accepted. The same marriage certificate has been accepted by the US and UK but is not good enough for the EU!!!!! So I just picked up my stuff and walked out. I have no desire to visit
    I rather visit the 56 countries who welcome Indians or the countries in Asia who easily give Indians visas.
    I came home and called the UK consulate who said they could not certify the marriage certificate as the wedding hadn’t taken place in the UK then I tried the Indian consulate. They said since my husband was a foreign national they could not certify the document.

    The funny thing is if I were to invest 500,000 Euros and buy an apartment in Portugal or Malta etc I would be entitled to a long term Schengen visa and even residency and citizenship!!!!


    Let us put things in perspective. The complaint is aboiut the requirement to apply for your Indian visa in your home country unless you have a residency or work visa for the country you are in currently when your requirement for a “sudden” business visit crops up.. Now this is hardly earth shaking except to a minority.

    I havent read anywhere Indian embassies do not give multiple entry business visas, so either apply for one beforehand or send one of your colleagues who is in your home country instead of you or if neither is possible and you cannot go back to your home country, just grin and bear it . Because a few are affected by the rule and not going to make it to India does not mean Indian economy is going to collapse.

    Now if I start writing about the visa woes I face as an Indian national every time I try to get an UK visa, I will fill up about 5 pages. That does not mean that I curse and look at UK with jaundiced eyes. I love UK, enjoyed my time there (have spent more than an year accross visits) and would love to to go back again if an occasion presents itself .

    Also someone mentioned about Vsa on Arrival coming soon for UK Nationals (some EU nationals already have the facility). Now I do not see that going to happen to Indian nationals for UK even during my great grand childrens life time.

    Do I moan and weep about it? No, I just consider it as the home country’s privilege to frame rules as they deem fit, however unjust it may seem and get on with life.

    Nothing more,


    Immigration is such an issue these days that I would anticipate more of this no less.

    @Moadweeb – in relation to what you say.

    1. Forms in the same Pen Color ;- if my wife and I are submitting individual applications we need to make sure that the color of the signature matches..One signature cannot be in black color where as the other in Blue !! ..Why the signature color has to match is Mystery For Sherlock Holmes..

    Bit silly but probably because the forms are batched and the scanner goes funny if different colours used. In the past countries often accepted black only.

    2. Marriage Certificate In Original : As if we keep Fake Marriage certificates and it’s photocopies handy for VISA application..

    Plenty of people apply around the world using fake documents from India, Nigeria etc. Some of the documentaries on TV show what a problem this is.

    3.Original Birth Certificate for my daughter, same as above, why one would keep a fake anything for VISA application is a conundrum.\

    As above

    4. Foreign Travel Insurance Valid for 15 days after you have left Spain..Huh ??

    Because each year hundreds of thousands of visitors turn up in Europe and mysteriously require urgent medical attention a few days after arrival. Needless to say they can’t pay and the tax payer is left to foot the bill. Hence the need for insurance. Not unreasonable in my view.

    5. Bank Statements With a Bank Stamp for the past 6 months..

    Not unreasonable to expect some evidence that you can support yourself, surely? The 6 months required because it avoids someone just transferring in cash for a couple of days to create a balance for the visa app.

    I am sure you personally are 100% genuine and just an innocent bystander in this process. However there are hundreds of thousands of fraudulent applications each year and the visa officers can’t be expected to know intimately who is a genuine business person or not.

    In an ideal world there would be none of this hassle and free movement of people. However the reality is that if the regulations were relaxed immigration in many countries would be substantially worse than the already problematic situation which various governments are trying to clear up.


    Simon +1

    If applying for a Schengen visa there are 27 countries I think that you can apply to. Apply to Romania, apparently much easier as they desperately welcome foreign investment.

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