Jaisalmer - restricted area??? visa problems

#1 Nov 20th, 2003, 09:46
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#1
Hi there. I am Australian and have just sent off my passport with visa application for tourist visa India. They have just called me to say that they want a statutory declaration from stating that I will not be travelling to Jaisalmer. I was really looking forward to going to Jaisalmer and apparently all Australians have to say that they will not go there because it is a restricted area.

Does anyone have any information on this and does this mean I won't be able to go there? Can something be arranged when I am there?

Thankyou, I would be grateful for any information!!

#2 Nov 20th, 2003, 12:02
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#2
I've heard of this problem before and I'm not sure why they have this 'restriction'.

Maybe it became a restricted area at the time of high tensions between India & Pakistan a couple of years ago.

I travelled to Jaisalmer at that time and there were no checkpoints, no warnings and nothing said when I bought the tickets (and no problems encountered in Jaisalmer).

It would be interesting to know what an Australian medical insurance company have to say about your cover whilst in Jaisalmer.

The general feedback from a similar thread was to just sign the form and ignore it whilst in India.
#3 Nov 20th, 2003, 12:29
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ah very good point re insurance. I will have to read the fine print. Such a shame that I have to sign a goods stat dec...I can write it myself though so I may word it broadly to encompass if I obtain a permit whilst I am there or something....hmmm....

bugger though!
#4 Nov 20th, 2003, 14:14
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#4
My advice to you: Just don't mention ANY PLACES that are supposedly restricted - in your visa applciation.
I am SURPRISED to know that jaisalmer is now listed as restricted! I have people going every alternate day to Jaisalmer without any problems!

I think it is mainly the crazy guys at the embassy who come up with new rules every now and then to entertain themselves. Play safe, mention the usualy touristy places and once you are here - you can go anywhere you want to (almost!).
#5 Nov 20th, 2003, 14:16
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I know I am spewing!!!!It is too late now...I have already sent my visa application form in and they said that they ask every person who applies for a visa to state that they will not go to Jaisalmer....bummer...sure we can work a way around it though
#6 Nov 20th, 2003, 15:07
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I'm puzzled by this restriction on Australians who apply for Indian visas. I could understand if tension was high between India and Pakistan like it was a couple of years ago as this is a militarily sensitive area but things seem fairly peaceful at the moment. I haven't seen this restriction in any Indian visa application in UK.

Is Jaisalmer the only place off limits to Australians?

Have citizens of any other countries had to sign a similar declaration? If not, then it may be that the Australian government has asked for this restriction to be applied.
What a long strange trip it's been!
#7 Nov 20th, 2003, 15:25
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Ah you could be right there...The Australian government may have requested it to protect themselves after the Bali bombings etc.... I only had to prepare a stat dec for Jaisalmer and I asked the lady if it was because I had written it on my visa application form. She said no, all people applying for a visa had to do stat dec saying they wouldn't go to Jaisalmer...
#8 Nov 20th, 2003, 15:44
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That's what I was thinking.

It could be that Jaisalmer has been identified by the Australian government as a potential terrorist target. It's within easy reach of the Pakistan border. I think it's unlikely though - there are softer targets around the world.

You obviously travel there at your own risk and your insurance probably won't cover you.
#9 Nov 20th, 2003, 15:46
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Softer an more impressive targets I would have thought.... hopefully other Aussies may post some information up here about ways to get around it..... I was soooooo looking forward to Jaisalmer...I know we could still go but it is a risk considering medical insurance would most likely not cover etc.... will have to weigh up options after further consideration and research....
#10 Nov 24th, 2003, 05:32
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Ok...I have called the Indian Consulate in Australia again to find out exactly what is required for the statutory declaration as mentioned above.

The situation is, you have to prepare a statutory declaration stating that you will not visit any restricted areas IN Jaisalmer therefore you can visit Jaisalmer but not the RESTRICTED areas in Jaisalmer....

YAYAYAYAY!!!
#11 Nov 24th, 2003, 15:45
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Quote:
Originally posted by mjball
The situation is, you have to prepare a statutory declaration stating that you will not visit any restricted areas IN Jaisalmer therefore you can visit Jaisalmer but not the RESTRICTED areas in Jaisalmer....
This is puzzling. What are the restricted areas IN Jaisalmer? Have they told you which areas are restricted? If not, then how do you know where not to go?

Perhaps this is the re-imposition of the old 50 kilometer rule when foreign tourists were not allowed to move more than 50k's from Jaisalmer in the direction of the Pakistan border. But why does it only apply to Australians? Has anyone of any other nationality on the forum had to sign a statutory declaration about Jaisalmer?
#12 Nov 24th, 2003, 22:45
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I guess they are all a bit concerned after the bali attacks and recent terrorism in the Middle East & Turkey.

The Aussie consulate in Mumbai & Delhi has recently been warning Aussies about popular hangouts in Goa like Titos and some in Anjuna. They fear anoter Bali style attack as many western tourists frequest these places as well as Israelis.

I asked the guys at the American consul about this and they claimed that these places were "High Risk" areas around Christmas & New Years.

Bill
Too Many Gandus, Too Few Bullets.
#13 Nov 25th, 2003, 04:42
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#13
They didn't specify the restricted areas in Jaisalmer however the lady said that it would be obvious which areas were restricted as we would not be able to enter them....would be curious to know where they were....

Interesting re Aussie consulate. I think everyone is covering their butts really...
#14 Dec 3rd, 2003, 08:19
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Another Aussie here in the process of putting together a visa application. We are planning to spend New Years in Jaisalmer and I got the same response as you mj. I think I will take some advice from Alan D and look into what area's are 'restricted'.


A statutory declaration must also be filled out for travels to Dharamasala, basically stating that you will not enter or stay at any Tibetan refugee settlement....is this standard?

21 day's to go!

Last edited by Rae; Dec 3rd, 2003 at 12:51..
#15 Dec 3rd, 2003, 16:49
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#15
First Jaisalmer, now Dharamasala! If this is to do with a terrorist threat to Australian and other nationals they may as well add in Paharganj in Delhi (it has been bombed before) Goa and one or two places in Kerala.

oldhippie's post seems to confirm that certain areas have been defined as "high risk". That is, any area where a large number of foreigners, especially British, American and Australian are gathered.

I'm still puzzled by the Jaisalmer restrictions which seem totally vague - has anyone yet found out yet where you can't go?

Sorry, forgot about the Israelis - add Pushkar to the list.
Last edited by Alan D; Dec 3rd, 2003 at 19:17..

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