foreign tourist quota

#1 Aug 11th, 2008, 21:06
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#1
Hi

Has anyone here (who is indian origin) traveled on foreign tourist quota?

Are there any hassles or complications or caveats one should know about? Does TT ask for passport or proof of foreign nationality on the train?
#2 Aug 11th, 2008, 22:00
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Never needed a foreign tourist quota, never been asked for a passport. You do need to have the passport on you. Just in case.
Amrik
#3 Aug 11th, 2008, 23:18
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To use the foreign tourist quota, you need to (it may not always be asked for; may depend if you look obviously foreign I guess) pay for the ticket in foreign currency (the price will be the same if I remember correctly, or just a slight bit more), or in Rupees by showing proof that you've been changing money, and, in both cases, your passport. Proof here means a so-called "encashment certificate" that you should be handed by the bank when exchanging money (if not, ask for it), or presumably an ATM slip these days (I don't know that, but it would seem logical). You'll need at least a few of these as well to prove when leaving the country that you've been providing for yourself. This again may or may not be asked for, but hang on to at least a handful of them all the same.

I don't know but wouldn't be surprised if in India carrying an ID is mandatory, and in any case a tourist will normally want to have their passport on them, certainly when on the road. Anyway, I don't think the ticket inspector will ask for it, as again you're already supposed to have shown it when buying the ticket. I suppose he might if he suspects you've been dodging the system. (... And thinking now: Yes, I suppose I may have been asked to show it on trains sometimes. Perhaps just in case of being allotted a seat when there was none, I don't remember. Anyway and again, no big deal, you carry it on you anyway.)

How it works for PIO's and the likes I can't tell you, but I assume as long as you have a foreign passport, you should be eligible for the quota. If you're not eligible for it, you can't use it and I wouldn't try to, simple as that. Penalties are quite stiff as far as I know, rather more than any ticket would have cost you I believe.

ps I was reminded just now by a post by Steven_Ber that these tickets can only be obtained at certain stations, where they have a tourist counter to serve you. I seem to remember it would work at most but the tiniest places though, presumably those who have some connection to the main system -- and have the time or willingness to bother with you. Not sure, I may be confused with other types of tickets. You'll realize at those tiniest of places you'll normally be stuck to a ticket to the next major station where they can help you, and nothing much beyond that anyway. I.e., getting a reserved seat for a longer or connecting stretch or anything at such a place may likewise be impossible, although they could probably sell you an unreserved seat cross-country.
Last edited by machadinha; Aug 12th, 2008 at 10:06..
#4 Aug 12th, 2008, 07:48
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I think he also mentioned that the actual number was quite small so..
#5 Aug 12th, 2008, 08:24
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Yes; in a similar post to the above I described just recently how many people seem to be under the illusion that a) as a foreigner one must make use of this quota, and b) it will guarantee you a seat.

Neither is the case; you'll want to look for a normal ticket first, then apply for any applicable quotas only if and when those are full; and it's called a "quota" precisely because it refers (in this case) to a limited number of seats reserved only on certain major stretches for foreign tourists, presumably in an attempt to accommodate their difficulties in booking ahead (or before online booking i.e. till quite recently anyway). Once those are gone, the quota is gone.

However, if everything is booked up, it can never hurt to ask for this and any other quotas you can think of. (The VIP quota, which you aren't but it's worth a try; the ladies' quota if you happen to be a woman or several of those; the general "Help I'm a really dumb foreign tourist and sort of panicking right now" quota. No, kids, the latter doesn't exist, but it may help you along.) It just won't guarantee anything.
#6 Aug 12th, 2008, 09:43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j99r View Post Hi

Has anyone here (who is indian origin) traveled on foreign tourist quota?

Are there any hassles or complications or caveats one should know about? Does TT ask for passport or proof of foreign nationality on the train?
Of course they look at your passport when booking the ticket, and I have had them ask for my passport on the train.

And, as Mach says, you have to book this through a foreigners' booking office AND demonstrate to the reservations agent that you've cashed foreign currency, or taken it from the ATM, to qualify.

If you don't qualify for this and are trying to avoid scrutiny, don't do it!
The map is not the territory. --Alfred Korzybski
#7 Aug 12th, 2008, 09:48
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Quote:
the ladies' quota if you happen to be a woman or several of those; the general "Help I'm a really dumb foreign tourist and sort of panicking right now" quota.
I think these are the quotas I've qualified for by going to the station agent and looking helpless. Beiong able to keep a straight face while betel juice is dribbling down their chin is a prerequisite!
#8 Aug 12th, 2008, 10:18
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Ah, yes... If there's one unkind thought I left India with it must have been the next $%^ who shows me that %^& stupid red juicy grin will get his ^&* *(& !!

(Hey, I've chewed it myself, but there's a time and place for everything. Come to think of it, I have the same gut reaction here with people who can't put their $^% phone down for a minute whilst %^& talking to someone in the $%^ flesh.)

btw I wasn't kidding, VIP (which again you're obviously not) and ladies' quotas do exist. There's a list of them all here, good luck figuring it all out: http://www.indianrail.gov.in/quotas.html . nb Don't break your head over it, very few of these apply to tourists or even to regular Indian passengers.
#9 Aug 13th, 2008, 00:07
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With an IndRail pass, a traveller can get those VIP quota seats if any are available!
#10 Aug 13th, 2008, 01:29
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Ah! Now that you mention, that's a handy reminder.

The IndRail pass is quite a different subject again and I've never used it; it may be worth though pointing out here that one still needs to book one's seats using it. I.e., you can't just hop on a train with it.

There's a good description of it here tho' I can't say how entirely up-to-date it is (that entire page is a handy read for [prospective] train travelers, but note that it currently appears to have been last updated in 1999, it lists its dates of writing):
http://www.irfca.org/faq/faq-travel.html#indrail

Or, at the Railways site itself, I don't know how to deeplink to this, but to the left at their homepage, go >Tourist Information >Indrail Pass: http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/
#11 Aug 13th, 2008, 08:08
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Mach, I have used IndRail passes and they were quite miraculous; on one visit, I got all but two reservations with about one day notice -- and the two I didn't get were because of festivals.
#12 Aug 13th, 2008, 09:23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machadinha View Post To use the foreign tourist quota, you need to (it may not always be asked for; may depend if you look obviously foreign I guess) pay for the ticket in foreign currency (the price will be the same if I remember correctly, or just a slight bit more), or in Rupees by showing proof that you've been changing money, and, in both cases, your passport.
I was asked for a money changing receipt in Kolkata. I didn't have it anymore though, but they let it slide.



Mod Note : This thread is now closed. There is a more up to date thread on the subject here Foreign Tourist Quota (FTQ) - A Basic Guide
Last edited by Dave W; Jan 15th, 2014 at 22:38.. Reason: Thread closure

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