5 year tourist visa from Canada

#1 Jul 19th, 2008, 09:05
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  • canadiantraveller is offline
#1
When I applied back in March I thought only 6 months tourist visa is the only one available for Canadians. Now I check the website and there is a 5 year visa listed in the web site. Is this new one? If so that is good, we don't have to reapply for 5 years.

http://www.cgitoronto.ca/visasvr/visasvrvisafee.htm
#2 Jul 19th, 2008, 09:45
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First of all, unless it is an exceptional case, you have to be Indian or of Indian origin and there are additional screening hoops to jump through before it's cleared by the High Comish. - but if you qualify and/or would like to give it a try then go for it. I tried for my business visa and as soon as the officer saw I was non-Indian he just said 'No!' and the meeting was over before it even started.

The following documentation I pulled from one of their websites:

Long Term Visa: for stay up to five years - This visa is granted to persons of Indian origin for the purpose of regular visits to India, holiday, permanent settlement, studies or to set up any business. It is also granted to travel agents of foreign travel agencies as well as foreign tourists visiting India frequently. Letter detailing reasons for long-term visa and financial guarantee may also be required to be submitted. Long-term visa holders are also required to comply with the regulations regarding Registration (at Foreigners Regional Registration Offices at Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai and District Superintendent of Police at all other districts), Income Tax Clearance, AIDS Test, etc. Multiple Entry.

Fee: C $ 200/- up to five years.

NOTE:

(1) The grant of five-year visa shall be decided by the High Commission of India/Consulate General of India and no discussion on telephone or in writing shall be entertained in case of refusal of this visa.
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#3 Jul 19th, 2008, 10:34
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The AIDS test was done away with in (I think) 2003.

Not very up-to-date, these people!
#4 Jul 19th, 2008, 11:00
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That Toronto Indian Embassy website is really badly designed and uninformative!
#5 Jul 20th, 2008, 09:10
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#5
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Originally Posted by dzibead View Post That Toronto Indian Embassy website is really badly designed and uninformative!
The consulate in Vancouver has an excellent website,
http://www.cgivancouver.com/
#6 Jul 20th, 2008, 09:13
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#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeakXV View Post First of all, unless it is an exceptional case, you have to be Indian or of Indian origin and there are additional screening hoops to jump through before it's cleared by the High Comish. - but if you qualify and/or would like to give it a try then go for it.
I have been informed by someone in the know that you no longer have to be of Indian origin to get a 5 year tourist visa.
#7 Jul 20th, 2008, 09:27
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#7
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I have been informed by someone in the know that you no longer have to be of Indian origin to get a 5 year tourist visa.
I don't know why they wouldn't slack off the screening a bit. Although back then I was going twice a year - it was probably in their best financial interests not to grant it to me. Now with a trip every couple of years or so - I wouldn't think that it would make too much sense(cents) to opt for it.
#8 Jul 20th, 2008, 23:22
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Aye, but Peak, this does raise long term residency possibilities, no?
#9 Jul 20th, 2008, 23:28
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#9
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Originally Posted by edwardseco View Post Aye, but Peak, this does raise long term residency possibilities, no?
It would, but only if it is announced as a general change of policy rather than it being an occasional "lapse", and only if it can be relied on to continue.

I would not hold my breath on either of those.
#10 Jul 21st, 2008, 01:43
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So I shouldn't change my citizenship yet? Ah well..
#11 Jul 21st, 2008, 12:59
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#11
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Originally Posted by edwardseco View Post Aye, but Peak, this does raise long term residency possibilities, no?
Why? It's still only a tourist visa, so I assume one would still have to leave every 180 days, since that's the maximum stay allowed on all other tourist visas issued by the GOI. And since you're not supposed to stay in India for a purpose that's inconsistent with the purpose for which the visa was issued, you couldn't use the tourist visa as a basis for establishing long-term resident status since tourist visas are not issued for that purpose. After all, U.S. citizens who can get ten-year tourist visas can't used them to stay long-term or become "residents". You know that, ed!
#12 Jul 21st, 2008, 21:50
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#12
Yes, as I remember, when applying for it - the 180 day rule was/is 'non-negotiable'. It only saves you the time taken for the subsequent application processes and if four or more trips were taken in that 5-year period - some money as well.
#13 Aug 30th, 2008, 11:32
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#13
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Originally Posted by GoanCanuck View Post I have been informed by someone in the know that you no longer have to be of Indian origin to get a 5 year tourist visa.
Hi All,
Ok, so I'm a newbie - but I've been all over this site as well as over all of the Canadian Indian Consulate sites (Vancouver/Toronto/Ottawa) - not a single one of them mentions ANY restrictions on applying for a 5 yr tourist visa. Nothing about being an Indian national/NRI/dual citizen etc; nothing about having family connections etc.....
Now, I don't really fancy emailing each consulate because I wouldn't hold my breath at getting a logical response (jumped through many hoops with Saudi and UAE embassies before now, to no avail - the only sense prevailing with 'baksheesh').
Does anyone know anyone, non-Indian, in Canada, with a Canadian passport, who has obtained a tourist visa for more than the "rumoured" 6 months? i.e. 1 yr-5 yrs?
Surely there must be someone?

Also, what would happen if one were to apply and pay the full $200 for a 5 year visa, only to find out that only 6 month visa's were granted? Would you get a refund? Would they simply return your application?
Had many nightmares and headaches in the past when dealing with consulates (the one in Abu Dhabi even 'lost' my passport one time!...but they found it quickly enough when the Canadian Consul called them).
Arrggh!! S'getting frustrating and not going for another 6 months! LOL!
#14 Aug 30th, 2008, 18:34
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#14
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Originally Posted by synthette View Post not a single one of them mentions ANY restrictions on applying for a 5 yr tourist visa. Nothing about being an Indian national/NRI/dual citizen etc; nothing about having family connections etc.....
No, nor do the websites of the VFS (outsourcing company) or the Indian High Commission give this information for visa applications from the UK. Nevertheless, the restrictions do apply here.

The bottom line is do not rely on their websites to tell you what you actually need to know...
#15 Aug 31st, 2008, 00:08
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#15
This could well be a recent change as the CGI Vancouver website shows the fee information (which includes the 5 year tourist visa @$200) dated July 1, 2008 -- it also states that only a bank draft or money order will now be accepted as payment for visas (i.e. not cash) so it would be useful to know before getting in line whether eligibility for a 5 year visa is actually available to a non NRI or PIO.

It would be good to have some actual up-to-date experience:

Has any Canadian been to a CGI office since July 1 and requested a 5 year tourist visa? (and the result)
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