Passport or Visa?

#1 Jun 24th, 2008, 00:33
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  • xKRISHNACOREx is offline
#1
I am travelling to India for an undetermined amount of time. I hav one way tickets, will I need a visa in addition to my passport?

Thank you!
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#2 Jun 24th, 2008, 00:57
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  • FredW is offline
#2
Absolutely. Go to the webpage of the Indian consulate in San Francisco for information. It has jurisdiction over California.

www.cgisf.org
#3 Jun 24th, 2008, 01:26
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#3
You'll find that visa puts a very definate limit on your indeterminate stay too.
#4 Jun 24th, 2008, 01:49
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#4
Going by your earlier queries too, I really can't advise strongly enough to head out to your nearest library, take home a bunch of India travel guidebooks (they don't need to be recent, the basics don't change all that much), read up all you can, and perhaps pick a title that takes your fancy, then get their latest edition shortly before leaving to take along on your trip.

You'll find all of them that are worth half their salt will cover basic questions such as these, and many more. You can always use a forum like this to then go over the details of any of your plans.

Bottom line: There's no way you're gonna get in there without a visa no (if you're lucky you'll be stopped from departing even; otherwise you'll just be sent back), and they are indeed limited to definite periods, although Americans seem to have some favorable options in this regard, that you'd want to double-check the fine print of though. Lesson #1 in India travel, so to speak.
#5 Jun 24th, 2008, 01:56
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#5
I don't know how soon you're leaving, but a 10 year tourist visa through the Chicago counselate (through the new outsourcing group) took me 5 days via mail (non-expedited).
#6 Jun 24th, 2008, 02:09
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#6
If you get a visa lets say for 1 year, can you come back earlier than that one year, not later?
#7 Jun 24th, 2008, 02:23
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#7
You can only stay for 180 days at a time. After that, you have to leave. You can come right back, if your visa is still good. For example, I have a visa good for ten years. Every 180 days, I would have to leave India. I could return the next day however.
#8 Jun 24th, 2008, 02:24
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#8
<cross-posted with John>

? I'm probably getting the question all wrong, but of course the visa doesn't prevent you from returning home earlier if that's what you mean. That's just not what visas are for, nor how they work.

Other than that, it's not like you pick a visa duration (say a year or whatever) at your leisure. Most nationalities are limited to a six-month tourist visa (although there exist shorter ones, say for one or two months or so); US citizens apparently can get this 10-year tourist visa (but not, for example, say a 1- or 2-year one that I know of). Apparently it's still limited to 180-day stays in one row, however the difference (and a crucial one) is you can then get it stamped again abroad (anywhere but in India), and you're ready to go for another 180 days. Whereas again most other nationalities would have to go abroad to apply for an entirely new visa & cross their fingers.

Or so legend has it. I'm never quite clear on those precise US extended visa regulations. It's just a matter of some bilateral agreement between the two countries I think. Again, contact your Indian embassy about it by all means, their site was linked to just above.

Or if you meant the question still differently: Let's say a non-US citizen has a 6-month visa. Now it would matter if they had applied for a single- or multiple-entry visa (and this has to be done when applying, it can't be changed later. Multiple-entry seems to be the norm nowadays though, perhaps not for some nationalities.) If the latter, they could leave and re-enter the country within its total period of validity. That period doesn't get prolonged by your absence. So you could do this within those 180 days after you were issued the visa; if your last visit falls outside of this, you'd have to apply for a completely new visa. (And keep in mind the visa is valid from date of issue [at home or wherever you got it], not from date of entry [into India], or at least for the standard 6-month tourist visa again.)
#9 Jun 24th, 2008, 03:01
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#9
Alot of food for thought. This is all new to me

It seems quite ludacris how that works (If I understand it correctly that is), you tip toe to a neighboring country one day and that grants you more time in the other essentially?

I heard you can get a visa at the airport? Is this valid?
#10 Jun 24th, 2008, 03:05
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  • machadinha is offline
#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by xKRISHNACOREx View Post I heard you can get a visa at the airport? Is this valid?
No. Or if it would be, we would already have advised you so. It's being talked about but so far seems to be up in the air forever. So so far and for the immediately foreseeable future: No (it is not correct; you won't and can't get one).

I said already to go get a guidebook, but I'll repeat it one more time. This sort of basic info should be readily available to you. Or even on the web.

Can I ask you and unsarcastically what other travel backgrounds you have? And what put you onto India? One starts to seriously worry about how you'll cope with some of the less basic stuff. Again, it's not meant in any sarcastic way; I'd like to see our members get around well though, no matter what else I may or may not think of them. India is really not a difficult place to get around (much easier than many other places in fact), but it helps to have some basic awareness and perhaps a little street-wiseness.
#11 Jun 24th, 2008, 03:45
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#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by machadinha View Post I said already to go get a guidebook, but I'll repeat it one more time.

Can I ask you and unsarcastically what other travel backgrounds you have? And what put you onto India? One starts to seriously worry about how you'll cope with some of the less basic stuff. Again, it's not meant in any sarcastic way; I'd like to see our members get around well though, no matter what else I may or may not think of them. India is really not a difficult place to get around (much easier than many other places in fact), but it helps to have some basic awareness and perhaps a little street-wiseness.
I am planning on getting a guidebook just as soon as I get out of work. Thank you.

This will be my first out of the country travel expirience. What put me onto india is my interest in the study of other cultures. The culture of India has fascinated me and I want to go expierience life there in all aspects. There is my explaination in a nutshell.

Thank you all for your input.
#12 Jun 24th, 2008, 03:46
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#12
The website for the Indian Consulate San Francisco provides the following instructions for visa applicants: http://www.cgisf.org/visa/visa_services.html

Please note that you no longer submit your visa application at the Consulate itself. As of October 2007, the processing of visa applications has been been outsourced to Travisa Outsourcing, located at 965 Mission Street, Suite 110, San Francisco, CA 94103 (see http://www.cgisf.org/visa/visa.html). Travisa’s website contains further information and instructions: http://indiavisa.travisaoutsourcing.com/

Although above people have mentioned the ten-year tourist visa that is available to U.S. citizens. I would recommend that you not bother with that, because it costs a lot more than a six-month or 1-year visa and since you’ve never even been to India before, you really can’t say that a ten-year visa will be of any use to you. You may get to India and hate it and never want to return. Or even if you don’t hate it, you might not get a chance to return often enough or soon enough to make a ten-year visa worthwhile. It’s up to you, however. If you want to spend the money on a ten-year visa, at least you have it and if you do want to return to India again and again, you’re all set up.

And I do say “return to India again and again” because even with a ten-year visa (or a 1-year visa), as others have pointed out already, you will not be permitted to stay in India for more than 180 days at a time. You must leave the country before the 180 days expire. You don’t necessarily have to return to the U.S. - you can go to Nepal, for example, or some other country (but make sure you check the visa regulations for entry to wherever you plan to go!), but you cannot stay continuously in India for the duration of your visa, even if you have a 1-year or ten-year visa. One-year and ten-year visas are multiple entry visas and you can come and go as often as you want during the visa period, but you are required to leave at leave the country at least once every 180 days. The advantage of having a 1-year or ten-year visa in this scenario is that you can immediately re-enter India without having to obtain a new visa, whereas if you have only a 6-month visa, you’ll have to apply for an entirely new visa to re-enter India, and particularly if you go someplace like Nepal to do it, rather than returning to the U.S., it will probably take at least a week to process the paperwork so you’ll have to hang around in the other country for a while, which is OK if you were planning to take a side trip anyway, but a pain in the neck if you really just want to get back to India.

Also note that, at least with a 6-month visa or 1-year visa, they start counting the 180-days from the date the visa is issued, not the date of your entry into India. So if you get a visa 30 days before you actually plan to travel to India, you will be able to stay in the country only 150 days before you have to leave. I’m not sure about this, but I think with a ten-year visa, they start counting the first 180-day period from the date of entry (but I could be wrong about this though.)

In any event, please take machadinha’s advice and get hold of some guidebooks and start reading. There’s a lot of very basic stuff you seem to be completely unaware of, and quite honestly, it’s a little alarming.
#13 Jun 24th, 2008, 03:49
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#13
xKRISHNACOREx...

Please check out this thread here for the basics. The exact visa availability and regulations that apply to you will be available on the website of your local Indian Consulate or Embassy.

There are lots of other threads in this section that discuss the principles and practice. It is covered in the first chapters of every major guide book.

There really is no need for another Visa-123-for-complete-beginners thread.

Its not that we mind you being a complete beginner; we were all there once, and you are welcome --- it's just: look around this site a little, and you won't have to ask these questions.

As you do seem to be a beginner (repeat: no shame there, in fact I think many of us would love to repeat our India First Time) you may find it very useful to check out the threads in the India Travel Basics forum. We even have a thread called India for Beginners.

You would be very well-advised to check out the Health and Well-Being in India forum too.
#14 Jun 24th, 2008, 03:58
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#14
I will definately check those threads and websites.

Thank you.
#15 Jun 24th, 2008, 19:39
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#15
The 10-year visa is also time definite. Time begins when issued not date of entry.


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