Single Entry Visa Definition? - Cruise Vacation To India

#1 Mar 10th, 2009, 01:06
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#1
I have a question about the definition of "Single Entry" as it relates to Indian Visas. I am travelling on a cruise to India in May 2009. The cruise originates in Singapore and has three consecutivestops in India in Cochin, Goa and Mumbai. I will be in India for a total of 4 consecutive days, however, because I am travelling by ship, I will be entering 3 different ports over those 4 days.

I am a Canadian Citizen who is a US permanant resident (living in Phoenix, Arizona), however, I was born in Karachi. Because of this, I was issued a 6-month SingleEntry Tourist Visa instead of a 6-month Multiple Entry Tourist Visa.

My question is, will my 6-Month Single Entry visa suffice since I am entering 3 different ports of entry? When I spoke to the Indian Consulate in the US, they indicated that this would not be a problem, however, when I spoke to the cruiseline, they indicated that I would need a multiple entry visa.

So, the real question here is this considered a "Single Entry" or "Multiple Entry"?

I am a little nervous about this situation since I don't want to arrive in India only to find out that I cannot enter all three ports. I have really been looking forward to this trip as it is my first visit to India.

Appreciate any comments or advice!
#2 Mar 10th, 2009, 08:16
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The cruise line will know best, as this will be a common point of clarification.

Logically, three consecutive ports would indicate that the ship (and all crew and passengers) is cleared inwards at the first port, and cleared outwards at the last port, as far as customs and immigration are concerned. This is certainly true for cargo ships coming to India, unless rules have changed recently.

However, countries have weird rules for passengers (and India, for Pakistani origin ones), so, once again, I would go with the cruise line.

Since the Karachi thing has meant a single entry visa, maybe you should get the Indian embassy to give you something in writing which says that single entry is ok.

Sorry can't be of greater help. This can be situational.
#3 Mar 10th, 2009, 10:03
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Originally Posted by capt_mahajan View Post Logically, three consecutive ports would indicate that the ship (and all crew and passengers) is cleared inwards at the first port, and cleared outwards at the last port, as far as customs and immigration are concerned.
Just a thought, I am wondering whether those on passenger ships are given entry and exit stamps at each port because they are more subject to changes in itinerary?

If a single entry visa is not enough to arrive and exit at each port, and IF this is only one section of a far longer cruise, one option would be to disembark at Cochin and enjoy a backwater cruise for a few days, then take the short flight from Cochin to Mumbai and pick up the cruise again there.
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#4 Mar 10th, 2009, 15:41
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I am wondering whether those on passenger ships are given entry and exit stamps at each port because they are more subject to changes in itinerary?
Not really. In fact, cargo ships would change itinerary more often these days.

Thing is, before terrorism these things were settled and predicatable. Nowadays all countries come up with weird rules.
#5 Mar 10th, 2009, 17:13
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The Channel Islands are part of the British Isles, and (although airlines these days probably require "photo identity") there is no need to even have a passport to fly there from England. Same applies to going there by ferry.

If you sail there by yacht, however --- passports required, and also clearing customs at first visit to each of the islands.

Anomalies!



(Of course, if you arive by small boat, there is nothing to say that you came from within UK, you could have come from anywhere, so it is not as unreasonable as it looks. And, this information last checked in 1980-something! Don't rely on it for your holiday in Jersey this year, by air or sea!)
#6 Mar 11th, 2009, 00:27
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Thanks for the replies

Thanks for the replies. This is helpful. I did speak with the Visa Office at the Indian Embassy in Washington today. They advised that the Single Entry Visa would be sufficient as the ship should be cleared at the first point of entry in India (in the case Cochin) as capt_mahajan advised. I asked if I could get this in writing but, they were not willing to do so. However, based on the fact that the Indian Consulate in San Francisco also gave me the same information, I am feeling a little bit more comfortable about this. It does "sound" logical but, who knows if logic will prevail.

If anyone can provide any additional clarity about this single entry issue, that would be great.

I also contacted the cruiseline and they are researching this further as the requirements they have state that a multiple entry visa is required. I'm trying to get confirmation from them that I will be able to board the ship since they will be checking that everyone has the required visas before we board.

Thanks again for the quick responses.

By the way, since I was granted a single entry visa for this trip, do you think I would have any problems applying for another tourist visa in the future if I want to go back to Goa? I guess I was a little naive not realizing that I would have any problems getting a visa. Although I was born in Karachi, all of my grandparents and ancestors are from Goa and I consider myself to be of Indian origin although technically I am of Pakistani origin.
#7 Mar 11th, 2009, 01:12
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I would suspect that you'll get the same again.

Same sort of surprise happened to a friend of mine, brought up in UK, born in Africa --- to Sri Lankan parents. She can only get 3-month visas, but she has had several.
#8 Mar 11th, 2009, 08:39
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Although I was born in Karachi, all of my grandparents and ancestors are from Goa and I consider myself to be of Indian origin although technically I am of Pakistani origin.
Unfortunately, future visa rules (or directives) are difficult to predict given your place of birth. The Indian government, again unfortunately, is unlikely to share your view.

Not just them. As long back as four years ago, innocent Pakistani crewmembers on ships were being discriminated against in Europe: including being confined to the ship and unable to fly home from some European countries. No formal rules, just 'directives'. And don't even get me started on what the US informally does. Indiamike would be up in arms.


Good luck.

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