what kind of visa?
linwei66
India > Moving to India? > India Expat Area > Community Forums > Moving to Kolkata
#1
| Member

what kind of visa?

Hi there. I mentioned before in some posts that I'm coming to Kolkata this september. My sole purpose for coming is to study Bengali. However, I plan to study with tutors and part-time at (probably) Ramakrishna Mission. Does anyone know if I should apply for a tourist visa or for a student visa? I'm guessing Ramakrishna Mission wouldn't be able to help me get a student visa because it's not a university?

If I try to apply for a tourist visa, what do I put on the application as my purpose of journey? I will be staying in Kolkata for 6 months to a year. Looks a little shady if I say I'm just touring Kolkata for a year doesn't it?

Finally, if I do get a tourist visa, will I have any trouble renting a flat?

Thanks so much for any suggestions!
Lyndsey

24 Replies

#2
| Loud Noisy Bird
You can get a student visa if you are studying at a 'givernment approved institution', not necessarily a university.

The Ramakrishna people should be able to advise you on this.




* sorry about the typo there, now corrected
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
.
#3
| Maha Guru Member
If it's not a "registered" educational institution, you are unlikely to get a student visa.

That being said, apply for the tourist visa. When you put West Bengal as the destination (rather than Kolkata), no one is likely to bat an eye.

Keep in mind, if your visa is only valid for 6 months (which it may be), you will have to leave the country and apply for another one in another place (eg. Bangladesh; Nepal; Thailand).

Unsure about renting a flat with a tourist visa. Only guessing but if you have the money and, you have a visa, no one is likely to be worried.

Cheers
Zoltan
#4
| If You Shit, You Are Materialistic
Ni Hao Lyndsey! Welcome to IM!
You can take a look at the visa section of this forum. From my experience, I can say that quite a few friends have stayed in Calcutta for 6 months or more on tourist visa. As long as you stay away from formal university courses, I think you will be fine. If you do intend to go for proper university courses, then you'll need a students' visa.
So, with a normal tourist visa, IMHO, you can:
  • Learn Bengali at RK Mission
  • Take/give private tuitions
  • Rent an apartment

Also, since you are searching for apartments, RK Mission provides decent accommodation at their Golpark centre. I don't have any idea about the criteria, but you can talk to them.
[maryjane] Bhole Baba Paar Karega!!
#5
| Member
Thanks a lot for the replies! Communication with RK mission has not exactly been easy.The principal keeps telling me to contact the secretary about housing but I've emailed the secretary multiple times and have gotten no replies. I'll keep calling and emailing. Persistence ought to work eventually!
#6
| If You Shit, You Are Materialistic

Originally posted by: linwei66 View Post

Communication with RK mission has not exactly been easy.


Welcome to India ... heh heh heh :naughty:
Don't worry about that. I'll try see if I can talk to RKM over the weekend, and post the details here.
[maryjane] Bhole Baba Paar Karega!!
#7
| Member

Originally posted by: stungan View Post

Welcome to India ... heh heh heh :naughty:
Don't worry about that. I'll try see if I can talk to RKM over the weekend, and post the details here.



Thanks a lot. I appreciate the help!
#8
| If You Shit, You Are Materialistic
Had a little chat with the RKM officials today. Their accommodation rules are simple:
If you are looking at short-term stays [say up to 20 days] you simply have to email/fax them your request.
In case you want to stay a bit more [a few months], then you first need to talk to their secretary, who's usually a senior monk of the order.
The telephone number is +91 33 2466 1235. Best time to call:
1300hrs-1430hrs [China time] or after 1830hrs [China time].

The room rates [per day] are:
INR 800 [non-AC; single]
INR 900 [AC; single]
INR 1200 [AC; double]

Rates include all meal.
[maryjane] Bhole Baba Paar Karega!!
#9
| Structural Member

Originally posted by: Nick-H View Post

You can get a tourist visa if you are studying at a 'givernment approved institution', not necessarily a university.
Do you mean student visa?
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#10
| Loud Noisy Bird
Well spotted, yes, of course I do, [Blush]

I'll edit that post [Blush] [Blush]
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Life gets aadhar every day.
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#11
| Loud Noisy Bird

Originally posted by: stungan View Post

Ni Hao Lyndsey! Welcome to IM!
You can take a look at the visa section of this forum. From my experience, I can say that quite a few friends have stayed in Calcutta for 6 months or more on tourist visa. As long as you stay away from formal university courses, I think you will be fine. If you do intend to go for proper university courses, then you'll need a students' visa.
So, with a normal tourist visa, IMHO, you can:
  • Learn Bengali at RK Mission
  • Take/give private tuitions
  • Rent an apartment

Also, since you are searching for apartments, RK Mission provides decent accommodation at their Golpark centre. I don't have any idea about the criteria, but you can talk to them.


A tourist visa will not entitle you to stay for more than six months. Doing so may result in your being arrested when you try to leave the country, and it may also result in your not being given a visa to visit India again in the future

Do not take liberties with immigration law.
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
.
#12
| If You Shit, You Are Materialistic

Originally posted by: stungan View Post

From my experience, I can say that quite a few friends have stayed in Calcutta for 6 months or more on tourist visa.



Okay, a clarification here:
What I meant was all my friends who stayed for more than 6 months on a tourist visa usually slipped into Nepal or other countries to renew their visa.
They did not overstay their limit. However, those who had rented apartments paid the rent in advance and didn't face any problem when they came back.

Thanks Nick for spotting that [Blush]
[maryjane] Bhole Baba Paar Karega!!
#13
| Loud Noisy Bird
OK, so yes... they stayed for less than six months and got a new visa from Nepal. Your earlier post gave the impression that it was OK just to overstay, even though that was not what you meant.

That 'visa run' is something that has, indeed, been the normal way of getting to spend longer periods in the area. However, judging by reports from others, it is no longer the rubber-stamp job that it was: people are being refused, or given shorter-period visas.
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
.
#14
| Member

Originally posted by: stungan View Post



The room rates are:
INR 800 [non-AC; single]
INR 900 [AC; single]
INR 1200 [AC; double]

Rates include all meal.


Stungan, thanks a lot for your help. Are those rates per month?day? I"m hoping its per month. Really appreciate the info!
#15
| Maha Guru Member
I think you'll find the rates are not monthly but daily.