Living in India on a regular tourist visa

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#1 Jul 13th, 2018, 17:12
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#1
Planning to move to India for a few years with my partner who will be on an Employment Visa. Since we are not married, I don't qualify for an Entry Visa and the only option is a Tourist visa for me. From what I have read it seems that I could just exit, reapply for another 6-month visa and keep going until we leave India. Anyone has similar experience and can share any words of encouragement or warning? My country doesn't qualify for visas longer than 6 months. Thanks
#2 Jul 13th, 2018, 20:25
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India does not want people living there, while masquerading as tourists, much the same as most other nations.
In the past, leaving to Nepal or Sri Lanka towards the visa end, and applying afresh was one option, but it seems they are tightening up this option.

I am a mature tourist, visited for a month or two maximum for the last few years, even I was quized as to why I wanted to visit again after a gap of 1 year away!

My feeling is that if you can exit for a longer period, behave like a tourist, maybe arrive at different entry airports, then that might work in your favour.

There is no firm answer, you may be lucky and have things easy to re-enter, or you may be refused entry at any time, "nobody knows" is the harsh answer.

Good luck!

Ed.
#3 Jul 16th, 2018, 15:45
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Thanks Ed. I had the feeling that it might be difficult too but thanks for tour thoughts. I donít want or intend to pretend to be a tourist because I will be living there and no, unfortunately, leaving for a longer period of time isnít an option - we are moving to India with my partner so the intention is to make it our temporary home for a few years. My support letter from my partnerís company should actually state that I am with him so hoping for an exception of sorts and get a tourist visa for the same period of time his employment visa will be for. Now I am wondering.. letís say I do have a 2,3-year visa and carry the support letter on flights in and out, which we will do quite often.. is my understanding correct that they can still refuse entry to me at any time?
#4 Jul 16th, 2018, 16:02
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#4

Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by nnn_omad View Post . is my understanding correct that they can still refuse entry to me at any time?
As others have stated here, having any valid visa is no guarantee that the Bureau of Immigration will admit you to the country. That said, I believe that if you are travelling in and out of the country as a tourist for a few years while your partner is here on a work visa, it is unlikely you will be hassled. Keep your paperwork up to date, refrain from doing anything that can be construed as employment (and otherwise adhere to the terms of your visa), and you should have no trouble.
My personal experience has been that the more effort I make to look presentable, friendly, patient, harmless, and attentive, the more the officials just wave me through the border with a cursory glance at my papers.
Kathy
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#5 Jul 16th, 2018, 16:11
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Living in India on a regular tourist visa

... Crossposted. Agree with Kathill completely.

What is the "standard issue" visa in your country? Do you get a year or two or more?

This is my just-my-hunch thinking...

Tourist visas for India are routinely issued. They need a red flag of some kind in the application to make them think twice about it.

Do not go waving red flags in their face! Letters from your partner's employer might be red flag. Don't make them think, right from the start, that you intend to "live" here: you won't get the visa.

Similarly, tourists get almost-rubber-stamped into India. Again, do not wave red flags!

Whatever the rights and wrongs, people are still regularly doing quick visa runs. You are in better position than them, as you mention that you have to leave India regularly, rather than on day 179 every time. My just-a-theory is that that makes you less of a suspicious target to the immigration officer. You are not making token exits just to achieve 99.9% life in India.

In your own mind, think like this... You are a tourist. A lucky tourist with a partner (or even a "friend." I doubt that anyone is going to ask intimate questions!) working here with whom you can stay whenever you like. And you are making the best of that to visit this wonderful country often! That would probably be my line, should I need one, with immigration.

Happy Tourism!

PS... Your friend/partner should probably fill in the registration form for you with each visit. I don't know anything about that one.
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#6 Jul 16th, 2018, 16:15
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That sounds very encouraging. Thank you, kathill, for your thoughts. It still feels like thereís too much chance involved. And do you know what are the consequences of being refused entry?
#7 Jul 16th, 2018, 16:34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post ... Crossposted. Agree with Kathill completely.

What is the "standard issue" visa in your country? Do you get a year or two or more?

This is my just-my-hunch thinking...

Tourist visas for India are routinely issued. They need a red flag of some kind in the application to make them think twice about it.

Do not go waving red flags in their face! Letters from your partner's employer might be red flag. Don't make them think, right from the start, that you intend to "live" here: you won't get the visa.

Similarly, tourists get almost-rubber-stamped into India. Again, do not wave red flags!

Whatever the rights and wrongs, people are still regularly doing quick visa runs. You are in better position than them, as you mention that you have to leave India regularly, rather than on day 179 every time. My just-a-theory is that that makes you less of a suspicious target to the immigration officer. You are not making token exits just to achieve 99.9% life in India.

In your own mind, think like this... You are a tourist. A lucky tourist with a partner (or even a "friend." I doubt that anyone is going to ask intimate questions!) working here with whom you can stay whenever you like. And you are making the best of that to visit this wonderful country often! That would probably be my line, should I need one, with immigration.

Happy Tourism!

PS... Your friend/partner should probably fill in the registration form for you with each visit. I don't know anything about that one.
Thanks a lot, Nick-H! Thankful for any "just-a-theory" I can get (big fan of brainstorming here ). Also a big fan of positive thinking but when it comes to sailing the bureaucratic seas of foreign countries and with chances that might lead to my partner having to quit his job because I have been refused to enter India at any point - prefer to stay on the safe side so my conclusion so far is I should try to stay away from the whole tourist visa thing altogether.. The standard issue for my country is 6 months - no special provisions there. Wondering if there are any exceptions but from all the research I have done - seems not. So now thinking - wonder if I try to go for Entry Visa based on his employment, I wonder what Indians regard as "proof of relationship"... time to do more research it seems...
#8 Jul 16th, 2018, 16:39
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I agree with Nick. Reconcile with your status as a tourist and behave accordingly, and it is unlikely there will be any problem. If you are on a Tourist visa, you ARE a tourist for bureaucratic purposes, and therefore have to act like one.
Should you be refused entry, you'll be put on a plane to wherever you came from. There are several threads about refusal of entry to peruse if you want to read the horror stories.
#9 Jul 16th, 2018, 16:43
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Found out that the Supreme Court of India has ruled that "unmarried couples who are living together will be presumed legally married". Now, wonder how it translates into their Visa policy...
#10 Jul 16th, 2018, 16:45
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If your partner has been listing you as a dependent for tax purposes, this might qualify you for an Entry visa. Any chance of getting married? Otherwise you have to be descended from Indian citizens, over which you have minimal control (any chance of getting adopted into an Indian family soon?). Entry visas have been getting tougher and tougher to get in recent years. I doubt you can get one given the circumstances you describe.
#11 Jul 16th, 2018, 16:46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathill View Post I agree with Nick. Reconcile with your status as a tourist and behave accordingly, and it is unlikely there will be any problem. If you are on a Tourist visa, you ARE a tourist for bureaucratic purposes, and therefore have to act like one.
Should you be refused entry, you'll be put on a plane to wherever you came from. There are several threads about refusal of entry to peruse if you want to read the horror stories.
oh no...i haven't been able to sleep imagining all the horrible consequences for weeks now because of this - so staying away from any horror stories on the topic. but if indeed the tourist visa is the only way to go - thank you for your advice
#12 Jul 16th, 2018, 16:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathill View Post If your partner has been listing you as a dependent for tax purposes, this might qualify you for an Entry visa. .
nope

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathill View Post Any chance of getting married?
not really in the amount of time we have. i am guessing if I get denied entry on a tourist visa that will be the only way to go... or is one "denial of entry" cause for denial of entry forever?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathill View Post (any chance of getting adopted into an Indian family soon?).
this is crazy but my Indian friend actually suggested it..

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathill View Post Entry visas have been getting tougher and tougher to get in recent years. I doubt you can get one given the circumstances you describe.
that's good to know! thank you!
#13 Jul 16th, 2018, 16:56
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#13

Living in India on a regular tourist visa

It's a pity you can't get more than 6 months tourist visa. This means that you just might have to justify applying for four or more consecutive ones. That always adds a little worry, because every application for a visa has just a little edge to the experience. Still, I am saying, don't worry; don't overthink; don't look for exemptions, etc, that don't exist. Just be a regular (but frequent) tourist! And enjoy!

I don't know, but I don't think that the Supreme Court nudging India towards a 21st-century view of modern relationships will have any effect on visa and immigration practice any time soon. Only marriage counts for an X visa.
#14 Jul 16th, 2018, 16:56
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#14
Quote:
Originally Posted by nnn_omad View Post Found out that the Supreme Court of India has ruled that "unmarried couples who are living together will be presumed legally married". Now, wonder how it translates into their Visa policy...
But you are required to submit documentation proving that... what do you have in mind?
#15 Jul 16th, 2018, 17:01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathill View Post But you are required to submit documentation proving that... what do you have in mind?
well the burden of proof lies on the embassy in this case actually.. ha! no i am not that naive i would expect this to work but legally it would be true.. if only all things would work that way...
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