Foreign Tourist Quota (FTQ) - A Basic Guide

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#16 Apr 4th, 2013, 02:28
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#16
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Originally Posted by JagguDada View Post My bad.....I started this with the OCI stuff....I have no more questions about FTQ.
Don't worry about it.

We all know that Golghar is the guilty party here.
#17 Apr 4th, 2013, 12:14
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#17
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Originally Posted by Dave W View Post We all know that Golghar is the guilty party here.
mea magna culpa

Dave has been citing statutes, I just mentioned a precedent.

In fact I was unaware of the fact that I was entitled to a berth on the FTQ when I was informed at the Sahara Airways (remember them?) check-in counter at Dumdum that the flight I was booked on might not touch down at Patna because of fog and that I would risk being carried on to Lucknow. There used to be a railway reservation counter at Dumdum airport then and they booked me a berth on the FTQ. I just had to show that I had changed foreign exchange into Rupees.
#18 Apr 4th, 2013, 12:53
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#18
Excellent post @Dave. Really useful.

From what I know, the FTQ is only available to short term visitors to India, and that includes Foreigners mostly on Tourist and other short term visas and Indian NRI's. Whether FTQ is available to long term visa holders and Residents like those on E/X visas or PIO/OCI, I would think it is not available to them.
#19 Apr 4th, 2013, 15:25
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#19

FTQ counters etc.

A quick brain-scan recalls places like Pune, Abu Road, Siliguri/New Jalpaiguri, Jalandhar, Sealdah, Darjeeling, Gangtok, Mathura (pretty sure), Madurai (extremely helpful and friendly) etc.

One puzzling feature of this scheme is the fact that the number of berths available at a station seems to depend upon its status amongst other stations as if they were competitors.
This is, the bigger a sttion the higher FTQ could be; but beware of logic, this is India.
Therefore it may be worthwhile trying at smaller stations as well if those are less frequented by would-be applicants.
If in doubt ask for the chief ticket collector or even the station headmaster.
The higher ranking the more helpful to foreigners, at least at less frequented stations. I have experienced all kinds of help, even phone calls to other stations asking to allot a quota in my favour.
And there is always the possibility of applying for EMERGENCY QUOTA. Sometimes this is bound to turn into extra hassle: Issuing another form you have to produce at a different office (try this at e.g. Pune and you get a free idea of how spaceous IR plots can be and how hideously inventive bureaucrats can be in inventing offices, thus creating jobs!) Plus you have to work out a befitting reason for applying - be inventive.
If at ease those tasks can even be fun but as always in India things can take more serious dimensions within no time if you are under pressure let be physically impaired...

HAPPY BOOKING!
#20 Apr 4th, 2013, 23:19
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#20
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Originally Posted by JagguDada View Post Excellent Dave......I have a few questions.

2. Where are these FTQ berths located? Are they the INSIDE berths or are they only the SIDE berths? The reason I ask is because a tall person may request an INSIDE berth.

Thanks.
I have booked a few FTQ tickets with friends, and these are the allocations I received:

Hospet - Madgaon, Link Express, 2AC (2 berths available in FTQ) = got berths 37 and 38 (Lower and Upper) in coach A2

Hospet - Madgaon, Link Express, Sleeper (2 berths available in FTQ) = got berth 20 (Lower) in coach S10

Madgaon - Mumbai, Konkan Kanya Express, 3AC (2 berths available in FTQ) = got berth 18 (Middle) in coach B1

Madgaon - Mumbai, Train #12134, 3AC (2 berths available in FTQ) = got berths 25 and 26 (Lower and Middle) in coach B1

Udaipur - Delhi, Mewar Express, 3AC (4 berths available in FTQ) = got berths 33 and 34 (Lower and Middle) in coach B1

Jodhpur - Jaisalmer, Jaisalmer Overnight Express, 3AC (4 berths available in FTQ) = got berth 33 (Lower) in B1

Jaisalmer - Jodhpur, Jodhpur Express, 3AC (4 berths available in FTQ) = got berth 25 (Lower) in B1

Two other trains I remember, Marudhar Express and Devagiri Express, where I can't recall the exact berth numbers allotted, but do remember that they were inner berths.

It would seem that FTQ berths are usually the inner ones, but keep in mind this definitely can vary by train.
#21 Apr 7th, 2013, 11:21
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#21
DO not do as I do (You can book FTQ with a US passport card)
DO as I say (Have handy evidence of your departure from the country in near future i.e not a long term resident and OCI sticker in the passport)
#22 Apr 7th, 2013, 19:22
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#22
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Originally Posted by nycank View Post DO not do as I do (You can book FTQ with a US passport card)
DO as I say (Have handy evidence of your departure from the country in near future i.e not a long term resident and OCI sticker in the passport)
Call me slow on the uptake but I do not understand this post.
#23 Apr 7th, 2013, 21:49
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#23
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Originally Posted by Dave W View Post Call me slow on the uptake but I do not understand this post.

(Do) Not as I do. Just because...(I never got sick eating chaat in the roadside in India/Got ten laptops and dozen ipads through Indian Customs/Got free upgrades/Had two bottles of Lagavulin/Bought a ticket under FTQ quota using a US Passport Card**) does not mean, that you go ahead and indulge in the same risky adventure.


Do as I say (Drink bottled water/(just kidding, bad advice to follow)/Buy your airplane tickets and take your assigned seats/Drink moderately/Show your valid passport with OCI sticker, and proof that you are on a short visit, and not a permanent resident; at the FTQ counter)


[** US Passport card is used by residents in border states such as New York, Maine, Vermont, and many in the West Coast and South to cross into Canada or Mexico and back on a regular basis.]
#24 Apr 7th, 2013, 21:53
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#24
I am indebted to your honour for that explanation. I had not heard of a US Passport Card before.

Can we therefore conclude that a holder of OCI does qualify as long as they can show that they are on a short visit?

How long is short?
#25 Apr 7th, 2013, 22:02
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#25
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Originally Posted by Dave W View Post How long is short?
I don't know !

I do know that I have never been more than 28(29) days per trip in India with or without an OCI. TMMV. This is based on just three visits to FTQ counters (while an OCI card holder or/ T visa)
#26 Apr 7th, 2013, 22:05
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#26
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Originally Posted by Dave W View Post I had not heard of a US Passport Card before.
The Passport Card.
#27 Apr 9th, 2013, 02:02
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#27
Wasn't there something on these lines in the UK once upon a time? I quote from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_passport
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A new simplified type, the British Visitor's Passport, was introduced in 1961. It was a single-page cardboard document valid for one year obtainable for many years from Employment Exchanges, as agents of the Passport Office, and then from a Post Office. It was accepted for travel by most West European countries (excluding surface travel to West Berlin), but was dropped in 1995 since it did not identify the holder's nationality or meet new security standards.
#28 Apr 9th, 2013, 02:34
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#28
February 2013 . . . We wanted to go south from Goa by train to connect with the hill railway to Ootacamund in the Niligri Hills. At the enquiry office in Vasco de Gama we were told the hill railway did not exist and we must go by bus. We asked for train tickets to as close to Niligri Hills as possible and were told they were only available at Madgoan station. At Madgoan station we went upstairs to reservation office, the window was closed and a notice said go to Special Needs window. This window had 20 people queueing at it and a sign saying it issued tickets for army personnel, war veterans and disabled people . .. . after one hour the queue had not moved as a constant stream of army personnel etc kept pushing in at the front. We gave up and went to Hampi instead, on the bus. In Hampi the guy who was changing my travellers check said why were we going by bus, the train is better and in his little travel office, right there, got us 2 FTQ tickets back to Goa on the Howrah-Vasco express, leaving in 2 days time . . . . . so, my impression from a three week visit is don't buy tickets at the station, go to a travel agent . . . . and my overall impression about getting railway tickets is that it is phenomenally complicated, you do not just go to a window and by them, you need expert help. The travel agent added about 200 rupees to the ticket price but it was worth it for a fantastic train ride back to Goa.
#29 Apr 9th, 2013, 02:47
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#29
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Originally Posted by its a worry View Post In Hampi the guy who was changing my travellers check said why were we going by bus, the train is better and in his little travel office, right there, got us 2 FTQ tickets back to Goa on the Howrah-Vasco express, leaving in 2 days time . . . . . so, my impression from a three week visit is don't buy tickets at the station, go to a travel agent
Are you sure that they were FTQ tickets? Agents are not allowed to deal in them.

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. . . and my overall impression about getting railway tickets is that it is phenomenally complicated, you do not just go to a window and by them, you need expert help.
Not complicated at all. You just need to get an on line account and book them.
#30 Apr 9th, 2013, 03:19
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#30
The travel agent in Hampi definitely said "foriegn tourist quota" . . . . i told him how we failed to get tickets at Madgaon and how four or five travel agents in Goa had said we needed to book at least 15 days in advance . . . . he went on his computer and in less than 5 minutes announced 27 berths were available on FTQ, i took note of this as nobody in Goa had mentioned it, the tickets worked fine, our names were on the carriage and we had 2 side berths . . . . . I suppose because my previous Indian experiences were before ticket buying was done online it hadn't occurred to me that i had to open an online account, i thought we just went to the station and made a reservation.
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