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

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#916 Jan 30th, 2010, 05:08
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  • dzibead is offline
#916
Traveling Mac, it's too bad that you were given double entry rather than multiple entry, but at least your trip to Thailand might qualify under the exception to the two-month gap rule for people making brief side trips for "tourism" in nearby countries within the 6-month period of the visa. The rules are described in the Ministry of Home Affairs notice that's been discussed a lot, above: http://mha.nic.in/pdfs/FAQ-TVisa311209.pdf

The pertinent section of that notice says:

"Q.2 : Whether the gap of two months between two visits would apply irrespective of the duration of stay in India during the previous visit ?

Ans.: The intention behind the stipulation of a gap of two months between two visits on a Tourist Visa is to curb the abuse/misuse of the Tourist Visa. With a view to ensure that the genuine tourists are not affected by the recent guidelines, the following clarifications are furnished:

(I) Foreigners holding Tourist Visas, who after initial entry into India plan to visit another country largely on account of neighbourhood tourism related travel and re-enter India before finally exiting, may be permitted two or three entries, as the case may be (need based), by the Indian Missions/Posts subject to their submission of a detailed itinerary and supporting documentation (ticket bookings). If they are already outside of their country of origin, they can also get such an endorsement from the nearest Indian Mission/Post.

(II) The Immigration authorities in all the Immigration Check Posts may also allow such foreign nationals on Tourist Visas arriving in India without the specific authorization from the Indian Missions/Posts to make two or three entries into the country (need based) subject to production of an itinerary and supporting documentation (ticket bookings).

(III) The total period of stay in the country counted from the date of first entry into the country shall not exceed the stay stipulation period of 180 days or 90 days, as the case may be.

(IV) Once such a foreign national finally exits the country after availing the facility of two or three entries (within the stay stipulation period of 180 days or 90 days as the case may be), there should be a gap of at least 2 months before he/she can come again to the country."


Unfortunately, since you are being allowed only two entries, you won't be able to go to both Thailand and Nepal on this trip unless you entirely change the sequence of your itinerary. And do check out the other thread that Haylo has pointed out, for further discussions about the new rule and possible reasons for it.
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#917 Jan 30th, 2010, 10:39
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  • klaramarjara is offline
#917
Quote:
Originally Posted by dzibead View Post This has been discussed a lot and is also explained in the Ministry of Home Affairs links that were added to the end of the first post in the thread.
yeah sorry for being the annoying one not bothering to readthrough the thread before asking...
The reason for my confusion, however, is that the man in the embassy in Singapore told me that I could not apply again until 21st of March, that is two months after my visa expired, not two months since I left India.
#918 Jan 30th, 2010, 13:43
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#918
Quote:
Originally Posted by klaramarjara View Post yeah sorry for being the annoying one not bothering to readthrough the thread before asking...
The reason for my confusion, however, is that the man in the embassy in Singapore told me that I could not apply again until 21st of March, that is two months after my visa expired, not two months since I left India.
We've heard reports of a new policy (e.g., in Kathmandu) of requiring people to wait one month after expiration of a visa before they'll let you even apply for a new one, but the official you dealt with seems to have mixed up the two policies. We've heard other reports of this kind of thing, too -- people "on the ground" and supposedly responsible for implementing these new rules apparently not being quite sure exactly what the new rules are.

It seems as if this "one month wait before applying" policy is being implemented when people apply for a new visa in someplace other than their home country, but it appears that they aren't requiring the one-month delay when people are applying for a new visa from their home country (the two month gap between visits still applies, though). But there's still a lot of inconsistency and uncertainty, so it's not surprising that you're confused.
#919 Jan 30th, 2010, 14:19
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#919
I've got a 12 month multiple entry VISA from UK. I was hoping to do the quick visit to Buddhas birthplace in Nepal (Sunauli border crossing) on a free 3-day VISA and then return to India. Has anyone tried this or does anyone know if it will be possible? I have my flight ticket home and can give a reasonably detailed itinerary but I haven't booked hotels and transport ahead of time 'cause, well, this is India and plans can change!!
#920 Jan 30th, 2010, 14:21
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  • Traveling Mac is offline
#920
Tanks everybody for your help, this has been really helpful.
I do now feel I'm "ahead" of the situation, or know more what to do and say at the MHA/FRRO.

Quote:
Unfortunately, since you are being allowed only two entries, you won't be able to go to both Thailand and Nepal on this trip unless you entirely change the sequence of your itinerary. And do check out the other thread that Haylo has pointed out, for further discussions about the new rule and possible reasons for it.
I also found this tread by dusterio;
Changing number of entries
http://www.indiamike.com/india/india...ntries-t94085/

"I got to Delhi, went to the Foreigners Division of MHA which is located near the India Gate (Mon Singh Road). You get an entry pass at the gate of the building, then go to the first floor and ask the guy at the reception for a form. Take the form, and put in "visa conversion" field - "from double entry to multiple entry" or whatever you need. Fill the rest of the form and give it back - they will call you when they are ready to talk to you. In my case, it took only around 10-15 minutes since my nationality is not that common and different nationalities are served by different officers."

"Some advices for people going to the Ministry/FRRO:
- Never wait for your turn ) It's possible that the officer will never call you. Just ask what is your counter/division, wait until the officer is free and approach him/her! Some people had to go to restricted areas of the building to get some attention! Otherwise you can spend the whole day without any result"

Does anybody have any thoughts if this matters for tourist visa as well, as the tread by dusterio concerns business visa?
Or can i skip the MHA, and go directly to FRRO?
#921 Jan 30th, 2010, 19:44
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  • *jyoti* is offline
#921
Quote:
Originally Posted by razorpig View Post I've got a 12 month multiple entry VISA from UK. I was hoping to do the quick visit to Buddhas birthplace in Nepal (Sunauli border crossing) on a free 3-day VISA and then return to India. Has anyone tried this or does anyone know if it will be possible? ...
First, unless I am mistaken, Nepal no longer offers the free 3 day visa. So you will have to apply for a longer visa & pay for it.

Secondly, if you leave India to any other country you must stay out of the country for 2 months or apply for permission to re-enter. If you want more specifics on how to do that, please read the previous information on the thread.

Land border crossings have been rumored to be less strict with the reentry, probably because of a delay in knowing the rules. I don't know about Sonauli specifically. Some people have gotten back across without problems, but you have to decide if it's worth the risk of your being stuck in Nepal for two months.
#922 Feb 1st, 2010, 11:06
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#922
I was at the Indian Embassy in Bangkok this morning and there was a long queue of tourists who had been caught by the changes to the Tourist Visa rule .... so the issue is still ongoing. I spoke to several of the (very frustrated) travellers and some had been given the multiple entry visa in January and had not been infomed of the new two month non-return rule at the time the visa was issued (and they had no stamp on the visa about the two month rule) Not surprisingly, people who believed they had a valid Multiple Entry Visa had not checked the web sites and so the changes came as a nasty shock at the airport.

One English couple had left all their luggage in Goa to take a short trip to Bangkok and then found they could not join their flight back to India. Of the 8 tourists I spoke to all said they would never return to India because of this issue. So when you consider how many embassies must have similar queues of annoyed tourists this must have an impact on the economy. But I guess the 450 Thai Baht (600 INR) fee for the visa letter must help replace the lost tourist income
#923 Feb 1st, 2010, 11:17
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#923
Just for info .... the process at the Indian Embassy in Bangkok was as follows:

1. Turn up before the Embassy opens at 9:00 to join the queue of annoyed tourists and swap tales about how you found out you were not going to get on your flight.

2. Enter the embassy, leaving your mobile phone with Security

3. Join a queue to get a form to apply for a Visa Letter

4. Find out you need a photocopy of your visa page and back page of passport so leave embassy and join a queue to get photocopies

5. Rejoin the queue to get back in the embassy and then wait to be called for interview by an official who's heard the same sorry tale 20 times already this morning

6. Explain to the apologetic Embassy Official why you'd like to go back to India so you can take your flight back home. He then signs your papers

7. Join another queue to hand over your papers and your money

8. Leave the embassy, forgetting your mobile phone on the way out

9. Join a queue to retrieve your mobile

10. Return to the embassy at 3:00 and join the queue to re-enter the building

11. Join the queue to collect your letter and passport

12. Leave the Embassy, this time with your mobile

13. Miss your flight ... again.

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#924 Feb 1st, 2010, 11:46
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  • kwistbeableandco is offline
#924
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haylo View Post I'm finding it hard to figure out exactly what trips you are doing, where they originate and finish and when.

If you lay it out a bit more clearly, we'll be able to give our opinions on whether or not your plans meet the regulations.
In my experience (from Europe)it is cheaper if you want to go to Sri Lanka to book a discounted flight to India (there is always an airline on offer) and go from there with a second ticket to Colombo.Sometimes there are 3 different flights from Chennai to Colombo in a 90 minutes span.But using Chennai or India in general as a hub, became very difficult since January. Did anyone try out Bangalore Transit zone?
Maybe you could start a seperate thread on Transit Zone possibilities in different airports in India.
#925 Feb 2nd, 2010, 03:17
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#925

Procedures for getting 2 month re-entry exemption once in India

This may have been covered somewhat in other threads(in particular, one from dusterio but still with gaps in the info), but thought it might be best to clarify. I will be in Jaipur/Delhi for two months mid Feb.-April. Need to visit Nepal for a week or so in March. What is the procedure for obtaining a Re-entry exemption permit once in India? I have a 10 year visa, spend not over 60 days a year in India total and have ticket back to BKK in hand. Is there a FRRO or MHA(what's dat?) in Jaipur and is that what I need? I cannot afford to wait until I show up at IGI, ticket to KTM in hand, to discuss re-entry w/ the immigration officers. Need something in my hand. Hopefully, there is a dedicated office somewhere in the Indian government madhouse that could simplify the proceedings. Any suggestions here are most appreciated. The more exact the instructions, the better.
#926 Feb 2nd, 2010, 03:46
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#926
Quote:
Originally Posted by pagibaru View Post What is the procedure for obtaining a Re-entry exemption permit once in India?
I am not aware of any procedure for applying for a reentry permit once you are in India, and would be very surprised if this is possible.

You can however apply for the permit before you leave the US.

Please see the Travisa link in post #1 of this thread, which explains all.
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#927 Feb 2nd, 2010, 06:43
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#927
nameste everybody,

ok, i just came home (jan 20th) from 2 months in india on a 3 month tourist visa, i bought a round trip ticket from india to canada and back to india (feb 24th). my options: apply 3/6 month visa (and probably get denied, extend the date of my ticket (mar 21) or apply transit visa and buy ticket from calcutta to bangkok ($100) any advice or help would be awesome i want to apply for transit visa ($15, i think) but i dont want to buy the ticket until i get accepted. shukria
#928 Feb 2nd, 2010, 11:36
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  • travelerindia is offline
#928
Quote:
Originally Posted by pagibaru View Post What is the procedure for obtaining a Re-entry exemption permit once in India? I have a 10 year visa, spend not over 60 days a year in India total and have ticket back to BKK in hand. Is there a FRRO or MHA(what's dat?) in Jaipur and is that what I need? ........... Hopefully, there is a dedicated office somewhere in the Indian government madhouse that could simplify the proceedings. Any suggestions here are most appreciated. The more exact the instructions, the better.
I tried to get an exemption in India but gave up. The FRRO office in Delhi clearly said they could not issue such an exemption, and that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) can. I approached the MHA (opp. Taj Mansingh hotel), found out that they had actually rejected 2 applications for exemption, and generally speaking, was given the run around typical of such government offices - no one was quite sure who was authorized to give such exemptions. My take on it is that MHA officials really don't know how to process such requests yet because there is a lot of ambiguity about the rules, and there is a conflict of sorts between the MHA and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on this particular issue.

I would second Haylo's suggestion to you - get the exemption before you get to India. They are issuing such exemptions at the Indian consulates abroad, but be prepared for the extra rush at the consulates because of the new rules.
#929 Feb 2nd, 2010, 17:15
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  • perfumes is offline
#929

Question

I DOWNLOADED A RECENT NEW VISA APPLICATION.JAN 2010 FOR FOR INDIA.I HAVE A UK PASSPORT BUT I LIVE OUTSIDE UK.IT STATES THAT I HAVE TO WRITEDOWN ALL THE COUNTRIES I HAVE VISITED IN THE LAST 10 YEARS.I THINKTHAT WOULD BE NEVER ENDING FOR MOST PEOPLE IN THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY LIKE MYSELF.IVE VISITED INDIA MANY TIMES BEFORE AND THIS WAS NEVER A REQUIREMENT..WILL THIS AFFECT MY VISA APPLICATION SINCE THES TEHRAN E RUSSIA ETC ETC
#930 Feb 2nd, 2010, 18:08
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  • kwistbeableandco is offline
#930
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiffinbox View Post nameste everybody,

ok, i just came home (jan 20th) from 2 months in india on a 3 month tourist visa, i bought a round trip ticket from india to canada and back to india (feb 24th). my options: apply 3/6 month visa (and probably get denied, extend the date of my ticket (mar 21) or apply transit visa and buy ticket from calcutta to bangkok ($100) any advice or help would be awesome i want to apply for transit visa ($15, i think) but i dont want to buy the ticket until i get accepted. shukria
To apply for a transit visa you need to show your booking (e-ticket)of an connecting or onward flight out of India again.
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