Visa for pilgrimage

#1 Oct 5th, 2006, 20:20
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#1
Hi everybody.

My friends and I still cannot find a clue on whether there is a special pilgrimage visa. From what I've found on IM and elsewhere, it looks like there is not.

However, we were told by some folks that people who go to India for pilgrimage (for example, visiting and staying at ashram) should not be asked an accomodation reservation proof to get a visa.

The thing is we're going to ashram (Prasanthi Nilayam) as well. On the way there and back we want to visit some other places, too. Are we going to be considered 'tourists', as far as visa policy is concerned?

If so, how should we obtain an accomodation reservation proof?

If not, what type of visa should we apply for?

Thanks in advance.
#2 Oct 5th, 2006, 20:37
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#2
Hmm. I'm not sure if I get you right here. Others will be around hopefully.

You're going on a holiday anyway aren't you? In that case it doesn't matter I think.

I'm not sure right now if this was India or Thailand or someplace but there seem to be exceptions for long-time visitors being there for religious reasons yes. (And folks: don't even think about using this as an excuse for prolonged stays. You'll need to be serious about it and living a monk's life is no picknick.)

Again, I'm not even sure if this refers to India. Conversely and in your case, if you're on a tourist visa this shouldn't bar you from visiting some ashram I think. Maybe if it's in some volatile area but then you'd just need to look into a permit to visit that region, if you can at all.

Correct me folks.
Last edited by machadinha; Oct 5th, 2006 at 21:42..
#3 Oct 5th, 2006, 20:40
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Hm wait I see now

Quote:
should not be asked an accomodation reservation proof to get a visa.
If I understand the question now, you can leave the visa question as to your address of arrival open. This was confirmed on a recent thread.* There's no harm in discussing it with the embassy folks, they'll presumably ask you about it if there is a problem. In that case, just give the address of your first hotel of stay (even if you'll never stay there).

*A recent confirmation to an old thread, to be precise
Last edited by machadinha; Oct 6th, 2006 at 03:16..
#4 Oct 5th, 2006, 20:40
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#4
To the best of my knowledge there is no Pilgrim visa (missionary visa, maybe, but not pilgrim...). You will be treated as tourists and should apply for a tourist visa.

Requirements can differ from country to country and I don't know about Ukraine, but I have also never heard of proof of accomodation revervation being required. Many, many visitors to India (perhaps most IndiaMike members) do not book accomodation before arrival.

If there is any different requirement in The Ukraine the information should be available in your country's Indian Embassy or High Commision website.
~
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#5 Oct 5th, 2006, 20:47
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#5
We come on December 2, some of us leave on December 19, others on December 26. We expect to stay in ashram for 7 to 10 days.

Not in any way looking to find an excuse for prolonged stay or anything else illegal.

Just want to have a clue - if we are considered tourists and should obtain a tourist visa, how do we get accomodation reservation proof? Suppose, ashram does not provide one.

If we are not considered tourists, what type of visa we should apply for? Business, conference, whatever else?

#6 Oct 5th, 2006, 20:50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bednyy Not in any way looking to find an excuse for prolonged stay or anything else illegal.
Yes, no, this wasn't directed at you, just for general interest.

Again, I'm not sure if I get you right but nothing should bar you from visiting ashrams on a tourist visa.

* Ah look Nick just stepped in above The religious thing may well have been Thailand yes.
#7 Oct 5th, 2006, 20:58
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#7
nb Be careful not to confuse embassy folks with needless information. Unless you have urgent reasons to (being on business or something), a tourist is what you'll be and what you want to be. There's no reason to complicate matters.
#8 Oct 5th, 2006, 21:42
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#8
India does offer religious-oriented visas, but they are for missionaries, aid workers, church officials, etc., and they are difficult to get. You are not going to India on religious business, no matter how pious you feel in the ashram. You are a tourist.
#9 Oct 5th, 2006, 21:58
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#9
Also if your are studying long term under a particular Gure at an Ashram, like Merchant says not easy to get!!
#10 Oct 5th, 2006, 21:59
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#10
What is this about accomodation reservation proof?

I've never heard of it, and certainly never been asked to give it.
#11 Oct 5th, 2006, 22:01
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#11
Nick, my mum and dad made the mistake of phoning the embassy in Edinburgh about the references in India section!! (despite me telling them otherwise) they were told to provide the address of where they were staying instead!! Perhaps this is what the OP is referring to!!
#12 Oct 5th, 2006, 23:04
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H What is this about accomodation reservation proof?
It's just a little caption on the visa application form that gets people confused I think. What was that about the internet and information overload making things more complicated?

By all accounts, it's a formality and a moot point. See the thread that I linked to above.

(Come to think of it, a friend of mine was made to stand back at the end of the line and do it all over again by a none-too-friendly officer upon entering "Holland" not "the Netherlands" when entering the US. Just another pointless anecdote, and no nothing against the US, I loved it there.)
#13 Oct 21st, 2006, 02:30
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#13

Issue resolved

Thanks to all for participation.

The question of accomodation reservation proof arose because it is a requirement for obtaining a visa in Russia, which is Ukraine's neighbour. So it was a bit of a concern for us before applying for a visa.

As of us, we have applied for and already obrained , just as most of you said, tourist visas without any such proof.
#14 Oct 21st, 2006, 10:56
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#14
Thanks dor the feedback.

Have a good trip

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