Indian visa woesBack to Forum
You cannot by all rights apply at any country. You can apply to the country where you will first enter or the country where you intend to spend the most amount of time. They all expect you to have ‘proof’ of travel plans.
When I lived in the UK and my wife had a Thai passport (now an Australian citizen) we found the French were the easiest to apply for. Just book a Eurostar ticket for a weekend. First time she did it she got 6 month visa, every time after that a 12 month visa.15 Nov 2014
Been to India several times and know the hassle of getting a visa. However as the 2 month re entry rule has been changed and multiple entry is now permitted (reflected in the price increase of visa) having a visa all the time, i:e apply every 6 months whether needed or not, would eliminate this problem. Deff worth spending the extra money to save all the other problems.16 Nov 2014
I have been to India on business several times a year for YEARS. I am a director of two Indian companies. I am a UK citizen (not exactly flaky) and work for a major bank. And I’m a lawyer. Nothing there should scream high risk, far from it. So why on earth can’t I get a multiple-year visa for India? Literally half my passport is full of Indian visas and stamps, and I will have to renew my passport early (again) just because of this. And that is no longer easy (which admittedly is a UK problem not an Indian problem). It’s infuriating…
I am going back in a couple of weeks. I do have to say, after getting grumpy about Indian visas, that I am looking forward to seeing the new airport in Mumbai17 Nov 2014
I pity your perils for an Indian VISA but I being an Indian citizen face the same boat for a Schengen VISA..
I have 21 Schengen VISA from Germany, the first few were given for the exact date of travels as per the air-ticket. After my 6th VISA from the German Consulate they gave me a multi-entry 1 month VISA…
It took me another 8 visits to get a 6 months VISA from them and now after about 20 VISA on 3 passports I have managed to convince them to give me a 2 year Multi-Entry VISA..
I too am a Vice-President of a major Multi-National and have traveled extensively world-wide..
My business invests millions of $ in the countries I visit, BUT i still need to go through the pain of submitting all the documents every time..!!
I have given up and stopped complaining, I just live with it..
Having said that; the new Modi government has promised to ease VISA woes soon and I too am keeping a watch..
You will love the new Mumbai airport, make sure you Depart also from it..17 Nov 2014
I think the new Mumbai Airport terminal is terrific – a welcome change and huge leap ahead of the old terminal.
Mr. Modi’s government is already making some visa regimes more challenging (see brother Jim’s link above). It is not business friendly by far. It is even further to think that tourists would want to leap through these hoops to visit – they have plenty of other choices that are much easier to access.
Info pulled from the Los Angeles Times says: “A policy change that will enable U.S. and Chinese citizens to visit each other’s countries repeatedly for a decade — 10 times the length of a current visa — is expected to spur more of the tourism and investments from China that have mushroomed in recent years.
The change, announced by President Obama in a visit to China this week, means that Chinese tourists and business executives now holding one-year passes to enter and leave the U.S. can get multi-visit visas for as long as their passports are valid, up to 10 years.”
This is business/tourist friendly.
@Moadweeb – rather than regurgitate your challenges getting into Schengen, please put pressure on your government to make things easier. Perhaps then, Schengen and other countries will respond in kind.
I suggested BT take a closer look at this issue, but was disappointed by one of the staff who says that BT have covered it somewhere in the murky past. Oh well. I guess still needing to know about the Air France A380 (even though they’ve had it since 2009) is more critical.17 Nov 2014
Many of the visa restrictions are simply tit for tat responses to western governments for the hassle given to their citizens. I was amazed just how many Commonwealth countries allow visa free visits for fellow commonwealth members, except for those from the UK!17 Nov 2014
I can only echo the comments made by ‘LuganoPirate’ above. When applying for a European VISA always apply to countries such as Romania, Bulgaria or Poland and never to UK, Germany or France.
With regard to India I stopped bothering some months ago as the paperwork is simply not worth it, I usually now conduct meetings with Indian business contacts in the UAE – much easier for all concerned.17 Nov 2014
I get the general feeling, that for every one genuine Visa application in India there is one equally fraudulent. Hence as an India, the only way of getting past the hurdle is to grin and bear it. With a country of 1 billion is often hard to differentiate from the genuine and false, and hence err on the side of caution.
That said, I hear the the visa policy follows a ‘vice-versa’ process. So if countries make it hard for Indians to apply, India makes it hard for them too in reverse!
With the new govt and reforms I see the latter changing but the former has a long way to go for improvement…17 Nov 2014
“So if countries make it hard for Indians to apply, India makes it hard for them too in reverse! “
The only winners being the State financed civil servants while those who generate the income a country needs invest their money elsewhere. Utter madness.17 Nov 2014
India, definitely my favourite stop en route UK-Aussi but since the visa changes a non-starter for anyone based out of London.
Could still occasionally be worthwhile for entrepreneurs (not my scene) but, though marvellous for tourists (despite pathetic conservation will soon mean no tigers), is currently not worth the red tape.
VOA would make a huge difference for visitors to India (if it happens – ever). But, for indians coming to the UK, watch out: while Modi attempts improvement, the blest Teresa is moving the Home Office to a post-Raj Babu culture.17 Nov 2014
According to today’s timesofindia.com India will shortly announce that it will be offering online tourist visas to the nationals of 45 different countries.
The new facility will be announced on November 27, according to reports.22 Nov 2014
Ian. Similar to you, also a UK national, based in HK and travelling to India on a regular basis. You can get a multiple year Indian Visa, according to the rules, but needs special approval and takes weeks, just not viable. So, passport gets filled up. Normally, travel to Delhi where the new airport is not wearing well. Just returned from Mumbai and the new terminal is very impressive, especially the white pillars. Not great as a smoker though, one 8 person smoking room for the whole airport. Also, only appears to be one communal lounge for all airlines22 Nov 2014
I assume you are talking about Terminal 2 in Mumbai, David. There appear to be two lounges – the Clipper Lounge and the MALS (Mumbai Airport Lounge Services) Lounge. The latter has two parts – business class and first class. So that really seems to be three lounges (plus there is a pay-in lounge – the Pranaam GVK Lounge).
It does seem a shame, though, that they have not permitted airline-specific lounges (well, apart from the Air India lounges, of course!). One of the joyrs of starting the journey back home, for me, is the familiarity of a lounge in the signature style of the carrier. Although, in fairness, I have to say that the only airline-specific lounge I went to in the old airport – the BA lounge – was absolutely terrible!! I am sure the facilities in the new terminal (which I will see next week) must be an improvement! Before BA opened their own lounge, I used to stay at a burger bar rather than frequent the foetid dump that was the old Clipper Lounge!25 Nov 2014
Ian. Yes I was referring to the new Terminal 2. I must have missed the Clipper Lounge, was referring to the barn of a lounge available to most or all airlines. Despite its size, no tables available as each table seemed to be taken up by one person and their luggage!! Always view the first class lounge as the extension of one lounge rather than a separate lounge. Never get to use the first class lounge anyway. A lot more money seems to have been spent on the Mumbai terminal, as opposed to the one in Delhi, seems kind of plusher25 Nov 2014