Change to tourist visa rules re multiple entries - 60-day-out rule scrapped

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#31 Dec 3rd, 2009, 23:28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycank View Post Tour Groups, when organized by registered and renowned tour operators make sure that the members in their group get appropriate visas, and in fact sometimes visitors in a group get generous visas
Whether or not that turns out that there is a new rule or not, this is not a discussion about applying for new back to back visas, it's about people who have multiple entry long term visas, and you can't get more generous than that!

Quote:
If you have a multiple entry visa, and as long as it is not expired; you can enter.
But what is being reported by this member, and what has just been posted on the Australian VFS site is that even people who have long term multiple entry visas will not be permitted to reenter India within two months of leaving India.

It will be interesting to know what happens with this one...
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#32 Dec 4th, 2009, 15:42
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#32

Thumbs down On the ground report from Mumbai

Background: I am an American citizen with a ten-year Indian tourist visa issued in 2002. I live in Thailand so it is practical for me to visit India perhaps three to four times per year. My stays are usually two weeks or less, sometimes just a few days if I happen to be stopping in India while en route to some other destination. I recently stopped in Mumbai for two days (30/31 October) while en route to Europe and the US. My last prior visit to India was in June for a total of four days.

The present: I'm currently on my way back to Thailand from the US. I arrived Mumbai last night at around midnight on the Northwest flight from Detroit/Amsterdam. Present the immigrations official with my passport and filled-in entry form. He flips thru the passport, noticed my exit stamp from 31 October and gets all worked up because... There is apparently now an official policy that folks with a long-term visa like mine must stay out of India for two months between visits. He wanders off to the immigrations office with my passport, comes back with my visa stamped with a wordy, mostly illegible marking stating this new policy. He allowed me to enter India this time so I can abuse the Indian hospitality for another three days.

The future: I was scheduled to return for New Year's in Cochin and take a quick trip to Goa in February. Looks like I'm gonna eat those tickets.
#33 Dec 4th, 2009, 16:01
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#33
So I wasn't so confused: two months between visits, even if the visits are only for a few days!

I wonder what the hell the Government intends to achieve with this, apart from pissing people off (which has never mattered to governments, unless the pissed-off people have a vote). Hey ho... I expect it is going to wipe out terrorism. Or something. Hah, bloody hah.
#34 Dec 4th, 2009, 16:14
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#34
It is on the US website now as well.

http://www.indianembassy.org/newsite/visa.asp



New rule - long term tourist visas(5 / 10 years )

‘There should be a gap of at least 2 months between two visits to the country on a Tourist Visa. In case of requirement to visit the country within 2 months, permission should be sought from the Head of Mission concerned. In such cases, registration would be required within 14 days of arrival.’ It's not as if they are here illegally or without seeking the proper channels!

And there is, of course, overman's example. just after implementing visa on arrivals to encourage tourism, India does this? Shooting themselves in the foot, I'll say!

What the heck is a "head of Mission"? And I'll be you they're not advising people of this as they're leaving the country!

P.S. Privilege or not, it is ridiculous to change the rules with no notice whatsoever to visa holders, other than a tiny notice on the embassy website. Many people are here legitimately on tourist visa long term as there is no other option for people here who aren't getting paid & aren't students (e.g. research, language learning, volunteering, etc). I have friends who were TOLD to get a tourist visa by immigration as that is "for people who aren't making money."
Last edited by *jyoti*; Dec 4th, 2009 at 16:30.. Reason: P.S.
#35 Dec 4th, 2009, 16:18
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I assume that this is a rather ham-fisted attempt by the Indian government to crackdown on long stayers, but I really have to wonder how many such people there are doing long stays using long-term visas. If that's the official intention then surely some arrangement where "tourists" can only stay in India 180 days (or whatever number) in a calendar year would be more to the point. And I really question how much of a "problem" long stayers actually represent (we deal with the same issues in Thailand) but I suppose that's another topic for another thread.

The irony is that I'm stamped in and here. I could stay until early June if so desired. But I cannot leave India tomorrow and return on New Year's Eve for a week's stay (already possessing a valid visa). Go figure...
#36 Dec 4th, 2009, 16:22
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#36
Quote:
Originally Posted by *jyoti* View Post And I'll be you they're not advising people of this as they're leaving the country!
When I arrived last night, the immigrations guys arrogantly acted like this was some long-standing immigrations policy that I should be well aware of and that I was trying to pull a fast one on them by seeking entry to India "so soon". A little bit of questioning revealed that this all came into effect (in their words) "last week".
#37 Dec 4th, 2009, 16:27
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The way I read it it wouldn't mean that if you have a multiple-entry tourist visa and you use that for re-entries within the 180-days period, this should be a problem.

However, the two-month interval would then seem to be meant for those on tourist visas that exceed those 180 days (so the 1/5/10-year tourist visas available to just a few nationalities, the US and I think some Brits for instance among them).*

I'm afraid what Ovenman is running into now (as with that recent business visa mix-up that's been much-reported on here) is the officials involved not knowing what to make of it either, and so taking it to the one or the other extreme.

* And only should one exceed this 180-day period you'd think, but then that's probably where confusion with the officials regarding this new rule now slips in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by *jyoti* View Post What the heck is a "head of Mission"?
The head of the embassy/consulate; the latter are also known as missions abroad (overseas missions, whatever).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ovenman View Post I really have to wonder how many such people there are doing long stays using long-term visas.
Of those who do long stays, and going by what flies about on forums such as these, quite a few you'd think.

It's the same issue as in e.g. Thailand yes; which has likewise been cracking down on it over the past years as far as I know.
#38 Dec 4th, 2009, 16:33
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#38
Quote:
Originally Posted by machadinha View Post The way I read it it wouldn't mean that if you have a multiple-entry tourist visa and you use that for re-entries within the 180-days period, this should be a problem.

However, the two-month interval would then seem to be meant for those on tourist visas that exceed those 180 days (so the 1/5/10-year tourist visas available to just a few nationalities, the US and I think some Brits for instance among them).

I'm afraid what Ovenman is running into now (as with that recent business visa mix-up that's been much-reported on here) is the officials involved not knowing what to make of it either, and so taking it to the one or the other extreme.
That would make sense if that's what it meant, but that's not what the notice says. It says only that two visits cannot be within two months of each other with absolutely no reference to how long those visits are.
#39 Dec 4th, 2009, 19:07
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#39
Quote:
Originally Posted by *jyoti* View Post It is on the US website now as well.

http://www.indianembassy.org/newsite/visa.asp
And on the Travisa site too...

https://indiavisa.travisaoutsourcing...uidelines?id=1
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#40 Dec 4th, 2009, 21:06
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#40
I liked this bit: "In case of a requirement to visit the country within 2 months, permission should be sought from the Head of Mission concerned. The application must highlight the urgency of the visit and the purpose of the visit must be for recreation/sight seeing, casual visit to meet friends and relatives/others (to be specified)."

I'm trying to reconcile the sense of urgency that one is supposed to impress upon the Head of Mission with the allowed purposes of recreation/sight seeing and/or a casual visit to meet friends.

Another thing - Do the Indian authorities expect that airline check-in staff who are now responsible for checking whether a traveler has a current Indian visa will also be responsible for scrutinizing passports for all Indian departure stamps to determine whether that passenger left India in the past two months?
#41 Dec 4th, 2009, 21:09
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#41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ovenman View Post I'm trying to reconcile the sense of urgency that one is supposed to impress upon the Head of Mission with the allowed purposes of recreation/sight seeing and/or a casual visit to meet friends.

Another thing - Do the Indian authorities expect that airline check-in staff who are now responsible for checking whether a traveler has a current Indian visa will also be responsible for scrutinizing passports for all Indian departure stamps?
So you've never had a sudden, burning & urgent need to have a meetup with friends at Qutub Minar?

Well!
#42 Dec 4th, 2009, 23:09
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#42
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Originally Posted by ovenman View Post I'm trying to reconcile the sense of urgency that one is supposed to impress upon the Head of Mission with the allowed purposes of recreation/sight seeing and/or a casual visit to meet friends.
An example could be making friends during one trip to India, and being invited back to their wedding.

On the whole though, apart from the case of making a side trip to a nearby country during a longer stay in India instead of at the end, it will be difficult to justify why you need another holiday in India so soon after your last one. That, I suspect, is the whole point.

Personally, I have several times visited India within a couple of months of my previous visit, but that was because I was visiting my partner who had been posted there; as we're not married I did not qualify for an entry visa. However most genuine tourists and even travellers are happy to have one or two visits a year and even with these new restrictions, the available tourist visas will still be more than adequate for most people's tourism to India.

I can see it being a bit of a nuisance though!
#43 Dec 4th, 2009, 23:11
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#43
On the website of the Indian Embassy in Berlin, Germany, it reads:

'Persons wishing to visit India as tourists, or for meeting friends and relatives, will be given six months tourist visas. Tourist visas are non-extendable and non-convertible. Travel agents who have to visit India frequently are, however, eligible for tourist visas of a longer duration. A minimum gap of 2 months is mandatory between visits as tourists to India.'

This seems to imply that the new policy does not only refer to 5-year tourist visas, which are not available to most people anyway, but to all tourist visas. (10-year visas are not available to Germans at all.)
#44 Dec 4th, 2009, 23:26
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#44
I have always found it easy to justify a holiday, however recent the last one was!
#45 Dec 4th, 2009, 23:37
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#45
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Originally Posted by Wildhorse View Post This seems to imply that the new policy does not only refer to 5-year tourist visas, which are not available to most people anyway, but to all tourist visas.
I agree; there's nothing on the UK site yet, but this is all sounding conclusive.

It seems that from now on, anyone leaving India on a multiple entry tourist visa will not be allowed to reenter until two months have passed.

As this doesn't apply to entry visas, it may be a factor which people going to India for voluntary work, research or short courses will consider; they should have entry visas but many choose to apply for a tourist visa because it's a simpler process.
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