Applying for an Indian Visa in the UK: Your Questions and Experiences

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#1 May 25th, 2008, 19:06
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#1
Hi Peoples,

Effective from 29th May 2008
Visa Applications will be outsourced to VFS Global.

Here is their website,
http://in.vfsglobal.co.uk/

It appears at first glance to be a much more proffesional set up than before....lets live in hope.
Applications can be done online.

For more info see the HCI London link below.
http://www.hcilondon.net/visa/visa-advisory-notice.html

Regards,
Remy
#2 May 25th, 2008, 19:47
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#2
I can't see how one could get much more professional than than the High Commission's handling of tourist visas: hand in form and cash, collect visa.

Ahhh...
Quote:
Service Charge

A VFS service charge of 8.10 ( 6.90 + 1.20 VAT ) is applicable per passport and is non-refundable. Bank charges of 0.94 (all inclusive) per passport will be additional, to be borne by applicants.
Pay out yet more money to an unneeded middle man, making your visa 30% more expensive. Perhaps that's what your mean by 'professional!

Now for the good points:

--- Two centres in London.

--- Flexible payment methods --- cash or postal orders (does anyone else still use postal orders?) was always a silly restriction.

--- online application. Well, semi-online: you can fill out the forms and pay online, but you have to print it all out and send it in, but then I guess they must physically process your passport anyway.

But here's the killer:
Quote:
1. Applications submitted in London and Birmingham are processed approximately within 48 hours.
Sheesh, and they used to do it in three or four.

More professional? No.

VFS in Chennai, by the way, used to process applications for UK tourist (non-settlement) visas in 24 hours. The British biometric gubbins seems to have extended that to a week, for which I don't suppose VHS can be blamed.
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#3 May 25th, 2008, 20:02
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#3
Making this thread sticky.

Lets keep all reports and information on this in the one place
#4 May 25th, 2008, 20:04
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#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post I can't see how one could get much more professional than than the High Commission's handling of tourist visas: hand in form and cash, collect visa.

Ahhh...Pay out yet more money to an unneeded middle man, making your visa 30% more expensive. Perhaps that's what your mean by 'professional!

Now for the good points:

--- Two centres in London.

--- Flexible payment methods --- cash or postal orders (does anyone else still use postal orders?) was always a silly restriction.

--- online application. Well, semi-online: you can fill out the forms and pay online, but you have to print it all out and send it in, but then I guess they must physically process your passport anyway.

But here's the killer:Sheesh, and they used to do it in three or four.

More professional? No.

VFS in Chennai, by the way, used to process applications for UK tourist (non-settlement) visas in 24 hours. The British biometric gubbins seems to have extended that to a week, for which I don't suppose VHS can be blamed.
Hi Nick,

I was referring to the visa fiasco last year when they outsourced it to various travel agents across the uk and stopped recieving postal applications themselves.
By their own admission it was a PR Disaster....thats what i was referring to. Long Queues, flared tempers and visas not being issued on the same days but people having to return days later and rejoinn massive queues which had gathered from as early as 4.30 am.

Regards,
Remy
#5 May 25th, 2008, 20:36
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#5
Yes, that was a disaster, but it is a shame to brand them with a bad reputation for those few weeks, after all the years of good service they have given, especially as they recovered from it once the postal service started again.

I'm sure that many, many people will miss those early-morning queues, and the whole process that felt like the beginning of one's next India adventure. I would, if I was still having to do the London visa thing!

I expect that the new system will have a character of its own.

Looking forward to people's reports, starting next week!
#6 May 25th, 2008, 22:02
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they are still doing the surgeries too dont forget which is just the same price as before.

(I love going to the surgeries you meet loads of interesting folk)
#7 May 25th, 2008, 22:53
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#7
Thanks for the info Irish. I will be very interested to keep an eye on this thread and hear about peoples experiences with this new and "improved" system !

I am just back from Kathmandu where I was peeved to find out I could only get a three month visa this time . This was apparently because I have previously been to Kathmandu for an Indian visa. The gentleman behind the glass, I use the term gentleman very loosely, was not even interested in my weak attempt at a bribe.

So I will be popping back to the UK in a few months to experience the new system for myself. I'm sure that after the whole Kathmandu consulate experience the UK system will be fine.
#8 May 25th, 2008, 23:12
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#8
Just wondering who will handle PIO applications. I'm presuming these will still have to go through Indian Embassy as I can't see a link on VFS website?
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#9 May 25th, 2008, 23:21
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#9
I thought the same, in passing: I didn't check out the HCL site for any changes to the PIO/OCI procedures.
#10 May 25th, 2008, 23:25
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#10
Quote:
The gentleman behind the glass, I use the term gentleman very loosely, was not even interested in my weak attempt at a bribe.
Ah. That makes sense.
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#11 May 25th, 2008, 23:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capt_mahajan View Post Ah. That makes sense.
Of course I am not assuming that all government officials are open to bribery but hey you have to try, no ?
#12 May 25th, 2008, 23:45
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#12
Possibly, if you do not want your attempt noted on the file, No!





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#13 May 25th, 2008, 23:56
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I'm not altogether sure that the efficiency of the Kathmandu consulate goes as far as making notes on an individuals file. Besides that I was very discreet.
#14 May 26th, 2008, 00:15
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#14
Maybe you were too discrete!

But I would doubt very much that Indian staff in an overseas mission would be open to accepting bribes, and certainly not from people unknown to them. If it happens, it will happen through agents who have contacts, behind the scenes, off the premises...
#15 May 26th, 2008, 00:55
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#15
Very true, possibly I was not wearing my thinking cap at the time. I am not one for commonly offering bribes but I felt compelled to try my luck.

I am quite settled here in India but like many people do not have the correct papers to remain here for any length of time. I manage to get by on less than 10,000 a month. On top of that is by far my biggest annual expense which is having to do the visa run every six months. It was when being faced with the prospect of an extra trip and expenses for a visa etc that put my mind into corruption mode.

Anyway you live and learn. And it's not all doom and gloom, I am happy at the prospect of being back in the UK during the summer which I have not seen for five years now.

I feel we have strayed off topic a touch. Is there a ##Corruption and it's Consequences## thread.
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