X Visa in Sri Lanka

#1 May 18th, 2015, 06:45
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  • John22 is offline
#1
Hi folks,
I had written earlier on this forum about facing difficulty in Bangalore regarding registering our marriage under special marriage act (SMA). I am an Indian citizen and my (now) husband an American citizen. I have all my address proof related documents from kolkata and the Bangalore registrar's office gave me a lot of grief in spite of giving proof of residence in the city. We finally decided to go to Kolkata and get married, and it was done easily.

Now for the conversion of tourist visa to entry (X) visa: I did not want to apply in India for I spoke to a lot of people and everyone gave me an estimate of 3 months to even 9 months! I decided to try Sri Lanka only for I know of their speedy process in these matters. After marriage I wrote to IVS Lanka (infocolombo@ivsglobal.in) about getting my husband's X-visa from their Colombo office. They asked me to get my husband's name endorsed in my passport before applying. I got that done and it took about one month in Calcutta including application/interview/new passport. I was really impressed with the hassle free system of applying for renewal of passports.

Next I made an online application on Indian Visa page (https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/), got my husband's photos (2"x2") and booked a 10 day trip to Sri Lanka that also worked as a honeymoon Once in Colombo, I contacted the IVS Lanka again on email and they asked me to come and submit the application/documents etc at their office. No appointment needed, just needed to submit between 8.30am-2.00pm. I had heard that 8.30am the office remains crowded, so we went around 9.30am which was perfect. I gave my husband's application along with his passport at the ground floor desk for checking, where they pointed out a mistake ("present address" should be of Sri Lanka not present address in India. We needed to put our hotel address instead). Thankfully, there is a shop right opposite the visa office that helps you in filling/rectifying the application for 500 LKR (approx. 250 INR). The visa office has photocopying/printing facilities too though we didn't use them.

After rectifying the mistake in application (took about 10 minutes), we came back to the same desk and were given a token number for first floor office. First floor office is air-conditioned with adequate seating area. When our token was called, we went to the called counter, submitted the application along with 2 photo, one copy of reference form (download from http://ivsvisalanka.com/), one photocopy of marriage certificate, one photocopy of my Indian passport with husband's name endorsed and paid the visa fee. We were given a receipt and were asked to come exactly one week later between 8.30am-11.00am to submit my husband's passport. Took in total about one hour to do everything.

One week later we reached the visa office, and were told to go to a particular counter on first floor to submit the passport. Took 5 minutes. We were asked to come the next day between 4.00pm-5.00pm to collect the passport. Next day we were given a token at the ground floor desk and went up to first floor office. When the token was called, we were asked to produce the receipt and were given my husband's passport with X-visa stamped! Took again about 10 minutes.

It was the easiest process in our experience and everyone at the office was very friendly. There are plenty of cheap/mid-range hotels nearby, and the area is almost central to any sight-seeing spot. I especially wanted to write about it here, as most posts from years back talk about X-visa only being granted to Sri Lankans from Sri Lanka office. ANYONE can get x-visa from Sri Lanka, provided the documents are in place.

My experience is from May, 2015. If you are reading this at a much later date, please confirm the process from IVS Lanka before planning a trip. Thanks!
#2 May 18th, 2015, 12:48
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  • Nick-H is offline
#2
Great information, John, and how nice to hear of a visa office working efficiently and providing such a good service
#3 May 20th, 2015, 03:15
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  • kv4u is offline
#3
Yes that's absolutely correct and i heard this from the visa center as well. They are polite and they handle things very cleanly. Now my question is - what are all the documents they requested you to endorse your husband's name in your passport
#4 May 26th, 2015, 13:04
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  • John22 is offline
#4
Hi Kv4u, to endorse my husband's name in the passport (no other changes, I kept the address same too), you just need to take the marriage certificate with you, original as well as photocopy. I was carrying a photocopy of my husband's self-attested passport as well but they never asked for it. The official passport website asks you to carry an affidavit also, but that rule has been scrapped. There is a toll-free number for passport related questions: 18002581800. They are surprisingly helpful
#5 May 26th, 2015, 13:07
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  • John22 is offline
#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Great information, John, and how nice to hear of a visa office working efficiently and providing such a good service
True! If only India had the same hassle-free process. I am hoping to be pleasantly surprised when I go to the Bangalore FRRO. Fingers Crossed.

PS: I made an account in my husband's name, but he conveniently just reads, and lets me do the writing

*signed*
Nisha
#6 May 26th, 2015, 15:10
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  • Nick-H is offline
#6
Some people have a bad time with Indian FR[R]Os, some are more lucky. Some offices seem to be better than others, some officers seems to better than others.

However, visa conversion within India does seem to be a long-winded process, even if the officers are friendly. My experience: months, in India, with nothing happening (although I blame an agent that I was stupid enough to use): ten minutes, for a new visa, over the counter in London and I walked out with a new 12-month X visa in my passport.

(now it would take days, rather than minutes, due to outsourcing)
#7 Sep 2nd, 2015, 19:32
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  • patil.utkarsh is offline
#7

Duration of X Visa

Hi John,

Thanks a lot for the information. It's really very helpful.

I recently got married in India and my wife is Spanish citizen. We have already done court marriage in June then as per Hindu tradition on 16th August.
She is here on employment visa (valid till Dec 15th, 2015) and we need to convert it to X visa. The reason for change is that we don't want to leave the country for new visa again and again as it's a costly affair for us. (until she applies for OCI which is after 2 years of marriage and can start working again.)
So I would like to know what is the duration of X visa because I read that they can give it to you for only 1 year, which will be same as applying again and going to some country for new visa.

If its in our budget to go to Sri Lanka we will go or else we will have to do it via FRRO (Pune).

Neigh Sayer has helped me in other thread and was a great help.

Thanks.
#8 Sep 2nd, 2015, 19:33
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  • patil.utkarsh is offline
#8
Hi Nisha. I missed one comment so wrote John. I hope you can help us on this.

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