Applying for another Indian tourist visa in Colombo, Sri Lanka

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#1 Jun 2nd, 2006, 14:18
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#1
Hi friends

Like i promised. Full report of my experiences in HCI

Monday 22nd of may i went to HCI in Colombo.
8:10 am i arrived, long que outside
around 8:30 am, people start going inside.
First you have to pass the security.
Than waiting in another que.
Around 9:00 am, we could go inside
Everyone gets a token.
I got number 68.
Personal interview was very short.
I asked for 6 months multiple entry.
The guy at the counter asked my why i need 6 months, i told him i go on pilgrimage. He said okay.
Then he asked why i need multiple entry. I told him, if its a problem, im okay with double entry also. Again he said okay.
Than i had to go to another counter and pay the visa fee. 4500 sl rupees.
The girl there told me to come back friday 26th 9:00 am

So on friday i went back.
Same formalities (2 ques + security). 9:30 am i gave my pasport to the guy in the enquiry counter. He told me to come back 4:30 pm. So 4:30 pm, the same day, i could collect my pasport with the 6 months double entry visa.

I took me 5 days to get it.

So it went very easy.

Ive heard from 2 people its quiet difficult in Kandy to get the 6 months visa, so i would advice everyone to go to colombo. Maybe the ques are much longer but one can get the 6 months visa easy there.

Anyone more questions, feel free to ask...

Best Regards
Jerry
#2 Jun 18th, 2006, 15:09
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  • Nick-H is offline
#2
Thanks for reporting your experiences
#3 Jun 19th, 2006, 14:00
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#3
Very Welcome
#4 Mar 22nd, 2009, 21:39
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#4

Applying for another Indian tourist visa in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Hey everyone, I figured I'd post this here because I sure could've used it when I had to make a decision.

My 6 month tourist visa which I'd obtained in the U.S. was up on March 10th. I'd happened to be in the South at the time and from my research it seemed like Nepal was a no go at the time so I found a cheap flight from Chennai to Colombo.

The website said the Indian Visa Processing Center (not the Embassy) was accepting applications starting at 9:30am, but coming there at 9am I found that plenty of people were inside already.

After a quick security check I was allowed in and told that I could get my pictures and copies done right inside. It may be better to just get them there as it's stamp size not passport size and they only charge you roughly 150 Sri Lankan Rupees, about $3 USD.

With the application filled out and copies of my passport in hand I got a waiting list number at the front desk. A short wait later and I was at the counter.

The friendly worker took all of my documents and my money, 7,663 Sri Lankan Rupees! He assured me that I would indeed get the visa but he wasn't sure which one. I'd requested for a 6 month multiple entry. Waiting time would be one week. I believe it's 5 business days but with weekends it becomes a week.

I'd walked out feeling happy that I'd definitely get it, but a bit stung by the hefty price and no guarantee of visa length. The whole process took roughly 1.5 hrs and was quite pleasant.

Fortunately, Hikkaduwa a great little beach town was just 2 hours by mini-bus away. Just about everyone there will tell you to escape Colombo and I found that to be best idea as well. In fact I saw a few foreigners from the Visa office down there.

I came back a week later. The guy had told me to come before 9am to drop off my passport and that it'd be ready before after 3pm. 8:15 I was there. Dropped off the passport and made a copy of my receipt. Told to come back after 2pm.

2:15 came back, jumped the already long line formed at the front and was given another token number and told to go upstairs this time. There I sat and listened as one after another foreigners argued with the guy at the window. Apparently, they'd all requested 6 month visas but gotten 3 and had flights booked, etc. etc.

Up I came, hoping for the best. 3 Month Single Entry. I asked the guy and he said they never give reasons that's just what they're giving out right now. Then, in a few occurrence, he asked me if I was "satisfied" with it. I smiled, said "No, but what can I do about it" and walked off.

Also, I'm quite sure the people before me (roughly 10) were of all different nationalities and all had gotten the 3 month Single Entry.

So that's my experience with Colombo. I hope that's helped someone. The Sri Lankans that worked there were quite pleasant and in general I find Sri Lankans to be full of smiles. The rest of the country is worth checking out and it's small enough that you can see a few places while you wait.
#5 Mar 22nd, 2009, 23:58
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#5
The only thing that surprises me about your post is that you only got a 6 month tourist Visa from the U.S. Unless you don't have a U.S. passport (you don't say), you could have gotten a 5 yr or 10 year multiple entry tourist Visa in the US and avoided all these hassles. The 5 yr. & 10 year cost the same, at least they did when I got my 10 yr. Visa.

Unfortunately, once you are in India with your 6 month visa, you are pretty much going to have some kind of hassles getting new visas--as you now know!

We spent a month in Sri Lanka a couple of years ago and agree it's a nice place with lovely people. We spent some time in Hikkadua after coming back from Kandy, etc. and it was delightful. I'm happy to hear there are still tourists going there despite the recent problems in Colombo again. They were desperate for tourists to come back when we were there & that was during a lull in the 25 yr. civil war and the tsunami that killed so many people the year before (did you see the train they have parked in the Hikkadua train station next to the active tracks, that was hit by the tsunami? It seems like it was put there as a kind of memorial since most of the people on it were killed).
#6 Mar 23rd, 2009, 16:55
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#6
I do indeed have a U.S. passport but India was just a part of a much bigger trip that started in Europe and went on to Southeast Asia. I think, like many people, I didn't know what to expect from India.

I had no idea I would fall in love with it, so a 6 month would be sufficient. Ironically, I got it right before I'd left for my trip and ended it up wasting the first four months of it while traveling elsewhere.

Once there, I decided to take it slow rather than rush through and get another visa. Of course, in hindsight I'd get the 10 year, but alas this is the jam I'm in. No complaints though, I just want to pass information on to other people.
#7 Mar 23rd, 2009, 21:18
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#7
Both Kandy and Colombo seem to have switched to 3 month renewals now..
#8 Mar 24th, 2009, 03:12
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#8
dmitrokay, that's actually kind of nice to hear what happened concerning your visa & your India plans changing. One never knows with India! Just keep in mind that you can plan to come back another time, after you're back in the US awhile & then get the 10 yr. visa. Gives you lots of flexibility about making India plans while it runs!

One never knows how long they will issue the 10 yr. visas, so I would get one asap! They haven't always had them & I always had to get the 6 mo. type before they offered them.
#9 Mar 25th, 2009, 19:26
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#9
Righty, we have just come back from Sri Lanka and had exactly the same experience as you with one difference...
..applied for 6 months - granted 3
..applied for multiple entry - granted single
..stupidly I put the Andaman and Nicobar Islands on our visa application - ooops! This means it has come back to me saying 'Not Valid for Restricted Area' under the special endorsement section.
I need some advice on this.
As we have flights booked et al to Port Blair (next week) is it possible for me to get the permit (as regular folk do) on arrival there or can I not even contemplate going!?!?
And by single entry, does this mean that I can travel as much as I want in India (for the next 3 months until my visa expires) until I fly home and then not return until I have another visa?
Thanks so much. I am totally new to this forum and would really appreciate advice as mentioned, the flights are booked and buddies are coming over from other parts of the world to meet us there...
What I would say to anyone re-applying though is do it in your home country and don't put the Andamans on there as a destination. Even though my husband did, it seemed to have gone by unnoticed on his!!
Thanks again!
#10 Mar 25th, 2009, 20:46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnow View Post As we have flights booked et al to Port Blair (next week) is it possible for me to get the permit (as regular folk do) on arrival there or can I not even contemplate going!?!?
Sorry I can't help you on this one, and it's not a query I've seen on here before; unless someone on here reports having direct experience of having that endorsement on their visa I'd seek official advice if I were you.

Quote:
And by single entry, does this mean that I can travel as much as I want in India (for the next 3 months until my visa expires) until I fly home and then not return until I have another visa?
Yes, that is exactly what it means.
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#11 Mar 25th, 2009, 20:51
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#11
<Nonsense Deleted>

LATER...

I think I'm talking rubbish here! Please ignore
Last edited by Nick-H; Mar 26th, 2009 at 02:21..
#12 Mar 26th, 2009, 01:33
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Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post I think I'm talking rubbish here! Please ignore


Minnow was asking about the Inner Line Permit (ILP) that you need for visiting the Andamans, they're usually available free on arrival, but her visa has been endorsed with the words 'Not Valid for Restricted Area'.

I suspect that this only means that they are making it clear that an ILP is necessary, but if I had that in my visa I'd be wary of travelling to the Andamans without knowing for sure.
#13 Mar 26th, 2009, 02:22
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#13
Well! I really did not know one needed the permit for Andamans.

I've deleted my nonsense, just in case it should mislead someone at some time.
#14 Apr 9th, 2009, 04:21
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#14
Quote:
The Sri Lankans that worked there were quite pleasant and in general I find Sri Lankans to be full of smiles. The rest of the country is worth checking out and it's small enough that you can see a few places while you wait.
There is that little matter of the war . . .
#15 Apr 18th, 2009, 10:41
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#15
(I posted this elsewhere on indiamike.com but got no replies) Please Help!


Because of current unrest in Thailand I've now decided to head to Colombo instead of the previously planned Bangkok to apply for another Indian Visa.

Can someone recommend a budget ($10-12 US) guest house which is convenient to both the India Visa Centre on Galle Road and the India High Commission where the interview is held?

Thanks
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