Name change/no proof of address - afraid I cannot get tourist visa!!!
giripriya
India > Visa and Passport Questions > India Travel Basics > India Travel > For Citizens of Other Countries - Visa and PIO/OCI Questions
#1
| Senior Member

Name change/no proof of address - afraid I cannot get tourist visa!!!

I am looking to go to India in 2 months and was looking at the new India visa site - apparently now you need a proof of address for a tourist visa???:confused:

This is a big problem for me. I changed my name legally 7 years ago and my state ID (which is acceptable as proof of address) is in my new legal name. The problem is that my passport is in my birth name. I looked into changing it however the State Dept. requires a copy of a utility bill in my new name, which I cannot produce since I am living with a roommate and everything is in his name. So I cannot change my ID to match my passport. I am really at a loss at what to do and afraid this means I can no longer travel to India - I was ready to buy my ticket tomorrow through Orbitz....[cry]

No other country has this crazy requirement - why India, why now???
Q: Ke garne?

A: Dal bhat khanne, maaya garne, sutne!

:yahoo: :yahoo: :yahoo:

24 Replies

#2
| formerly PIO, now OCI
Have you called, visited or otherwise contacted the State Dept? You can't be the first person who can't come up with a utility bill...
“She was not quite what you would call refined. She was not quite what you would call unrefined. She was the kind of person that keeps a parrot.” – Mark Twain
#3
| gauri firangi ladki
... No other country requires that your passport be in your legal name? :confused:

As Curt said, lots of people change their names and don't necessarily have a utility bill. People getting married, for instance. Surely there is a way to get your passport updated, or to apply for a new one in your new name.
#4
| Member
If the burden of proof is only a utility bill, perhaps a bank statement sent to your address or some other sort of official correspondence will suffice.
Do you feel more like you do now, than you did when you first got here? ~Grace Slick
#5
| Loud Noisy Bird

Originally posted by: giripriya View Post

No other country has this crazy requirement - why India, why now???
Oh, rubbish! Just try being a foreigner visiting your own country; it might teach you a thing or two about "crazy" visa requirements.

Rant over ;). Hope you manage to get your visa sorted out :)
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
.
#6
| Structural Member

Originally posted by: giripriya View Post

The problem is that my passport is in my birth name. I looked into changing it however the State Dept. requires a copy of a utility bill in my new name, which I cannot produce since I am living with a roommate and everything is in his name.
So get one of the minor bills put into your name.

*shrug*

It's no big deal, you can change it back once you have some paperwork with your new name and address on it.
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#7
| Loud Noisy Bird
It's no big deal ...
There might be deposits to pay? No idea how this is done in USA. Anyway, having got the new name on the account, she has to wait for the next billing cycle to get a bill in her name.

If she changed her name by legal procedure, surely the state dept would accept the name-change documentation? As someone said; it has to be worth checking out alternatives with them --- although we don't know that Giripriya hasn't already done so.
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
.
#8
| Senior Member

Originally posted by: Nick-H View Post

Oh, rubbish! Just try being a foreigner visiting your own country; it might teach you a thing or two about "crazy" visa requirements.

Rant over ;). Hope you manage to get your visa sorted out :)


I brought my Nepali husband to the US on an IR-1 family visa - we were separated for over 1 year waiting - I do believe I know something about the US crazy visa requirements. As for other countries where I have traveled since name change (China, Nepal, Thailand and India before visa rule changes) as long as your passport name matches the name on your ticket, how do they know if it is your legal name? Different agencies (local and federal) have different rules.

When I brought my husband over I supplied the USCIS a notarized letter explaining the difference in name between my passport and tax forms, etc. as well as a copy of the court order (name change) and it was good enough for them as well as the US consulate in Kathmandu- apparently not for the Indian gov't though. I could get my passport amended but I don't think there is enough time now - wanted to travel in late May-June before the monsoon gets into full swing
Q: Ke garne?

A: Dal bhat khanne, maaya garne, sutne!

:yahoo: :yahoo: :yahoo:
#9
| Senior Member

Originally posted by: skidmark View Post

If the burden of proof is only a utility bill, perhaps a bank statement sent to your address or some other sort of official correspondence will suffice.


The website of the outsourcing co. that handles the Indian visas now specifically says that bank statements or minor bills like mobile phone etc. don't count as proof of address - it has to be either state ID/DL or electric/gas bill.

https://www.indian-visa.com/guidelines?id=1

"Proof of Address: Applicants must submit a photocopy with proof of residence/address that matches the address on the visa application exactly. Photocopy of state issued ID (Driver License or ID), or major utility bill (Water, Gas, Electric, Sewage) must be submitted. If you don't bring a copy, we will make a photocopy for you for $2.00.

The following items are not accepted: cell phone bill, credit card statement, bank statement or lease. The address cannot include a P.O. box. "

I have not been able to get my Paypal account changed to my new legal name for the same reason.
Q: Ke garne?

A: Dal bhat khanne, maaya garne, sutne!

:yahoo: :yahoo: :yahoo:
#10
| Clueless

Originally posted by: giripriya View Post

I brought my Nepali husband to the US

I could get my passport amended but I don't think there is enough time now - wanted to travel in late May-June before the monsoon gets into full swing


Supply the Utility bill with your husband's name on it; and attach a photocopy of a marriage certificate and a cover letter explaining that you do not have your name in the utility bill.
#11
| Loud Noisy Bird

Originally posted by: giripriya View Post

I brought my Nepali husband to the US on an IR-1 family visa - we were separated for over 1 year waiting - I do believe I know something about the US crazy visa requirements.
Anf that's me told off! [Blush] Point taken and conceded with apologies[Blush][Blush]

Originally posted by: giripriya View Post

The website of the outsourcing co. that handles the Indian visas now specifically says that bank statements or minor bills like mobile phone etc. don't count as proof of address - it has to be either state ID/DL or electric/gas bill.
Yes, it is crazy, I agree. I had a similar problem when we were getting a visa for my then wife-to-be to visit UK with me. VFS, the UK-visa outsourcing people, wanted utility bills to prove my London address. Who travels with a gas bill? I did happen to have a letter from the Inland Revenue, which they did not want to accept. What could be more "official" than the tax authority? I insisted they did accept it, being confident that the British Consular staff would recognise it. They did, and my wife got her visa.
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
.
#12
| Clueless
Try attaching a photocopy of the W2 form, given that Taxman cometh :D that will have your address.
#13
| Member
I think Nick was right about being a foreigner visiting your own country (India requires visas for anybody that leaves India, better yet, if your visa EXPIRES while you're in India, good luck leaving).

Anyways, in regards to your issue, I agree with what nycank said.
It says "proof of address", are both you and your husband going? I'm not sure of the rules for Nepali citizens, but I'm guessing he doesn't require a visa. YOu can provide the marriage cert., along with a copy of his passport. That gives you proof of residence as it's the same application.

Of course, apply for your visa in the same name as on the passport, not the new legal name. Paypal is a different story, there's a reason their "customer service" number is almost impossible to find.

Good luck :)

Originally posted by: giripriya View Post

The website of the outsourcing co. that handles the Indian visas now specifically says that bank statements or minor bills like mobile phone etc. don't count as proof of address - it has to be either state ID/DL or electric/gas bill.

https://www.indian-visa.com/guidelines?id=1

"Proof of Address: Applicants must submit a photocopy with proof of residence/address that matches the address on the visa application exactly. Photocopy of state issued ID (Driver License or ID), or major utility bill (Water, Gas, Electric, Sewage) must be submitted. If you don't bring a copy, we will make a photocopy for you for $2.00.

The following items are not accepted: cell phone bill, credit card statement, bank statement or lease. The address cannot include a P.O. box. "

I have not been able to get my Paypal account changed to my new legal name for the same reason.
#14
| Member
We had similar situations twice for my wife in US - needed utility bills in her name for something while everything was in my name.

I spoke with the utility company and in both the cases they were kind enough to add her name to the bill in addition to me. i.e. now the bill comes to an address marked
--------------------------------
baburai
Mrs. baburai

--------------------------------

No documentation or credit check was required in any of these two instances since I was already authorized and all that.

On top of that - the utlity companies (in both cases) agreed to mail out a letter (with both of our names mentioned) which will act as an address proof jsut so that I dont have to wait for the bill to arrive in its own sweet time. I forgot what exactly they stated in that letter - but it was pretty much just verifing our addresses.

One of these two instances was with a utility company in NY metro area.

Maybe you can have your room-mate call your utility company. They usually don't have the brightest bulbs working in their CS department and it takes a little while (and a bit of persistence plus may be a couple of trips through the supervisor and his manager) to explain what you need and why. That said, I have usually found them to be very cooperative once they figure out what exactly it is that I need and also that I am not up to any shady business.
#15
| Maha Guru Member
I am pretty sure your US passport is not valid if it does not have your current legal name. I know my wife changed her name on her passport (maiden name to married name) after she married

Originally posted by: giripriya View Post

I am looking to go to India in 2 months and was looking at the new India visa site - apparently now you need a proof of address for a tourist visa???:confused:

This is a big problem for me. I changed my name legally 7 years ago and my state ID (which is acceptable as proof of address) is in my new legal name. The problem is that my passport is in my birth name. I looked into changing it however the State Dept. requires a copy of a utility bill in my new name, which I cannot produce since I am living with a roommate and everything is in his name. So I cannot change my ID to match my passport. I am really at a loss at what to do and afraid this means I can no longer travel to India - I was ready to buy my ticket tomorrow through Orbitz....[cry]

No other country has this crazy requirement - why India, why now???