Indian visas - does anyone have any expeience?(18 Posts)
DS1 has an application in for a business visa to India. He needs to be there ASAP for work but all the advice says don't book the flight until you have the visa. Is his visa likely to be delayed? It is a UK passport, the company has organised these visas lots of times without problems. Is it worth risking booking a flight?
You definately do require a visa; if he can get himself down to the embassy that would be the quickest option. Otherwise, use a visa company - Benmar for example (I don't work there!). It will take a couple of weeks and don't forget that he needs 2x2in photograhs x 2 and not the standard ones from a booth. HTH
Thanks, he does have his visa application in and was told 5 - 7 working days for it to be processed. So my question really is - is this realistic, or is it likely to take longer?
Longer! I work in a travel agency and we certainly allow longer than 5-7 working days. Mind you, we are oop North!
Ok thanks will probably put off flight booking if poss. This is 5 - 7 days from being handed in, in person to the office in Manchester - I'm assuming this could mean 2 weeks including weekends.
Indian visa's take longer than a week.
Tell him to ring the embassy and book an appointment to get the visa, then take a day off work and take war and peace with him and prepare to wait around a lot.
This is my experience of obtaining a domestic visa.
Indian visas certainly used to take longer than a week, I know but they have changed the system in the last couple of years - the guy from Trailfinders who I was discussing flights with was slightly sceptical of the timescales. I guess DS needs to contact the company to ask for their experience, as they have done this lots of times before.
It is usually fairly straightforward, have managed to get visas within a week in the past if all papers are ready but we are in London and go there is person.
The High Commission have contracted out visas to a private company but they do have a website with all the info - sorry I can't remember what it is called and you do have to download the form and fill it in before going
Go in person. It is a long boring wait and you have to arrive early early. I thought I was early but there were already people in the queue and by half six it was round the block. I managed to get mine on the day by paying extra (two days before my flight - wouldn't recommend leaving it that late!)
Forms were all filled in and checked in Manchester. I think they then send them off to the agency who will send the passport back via courier. The timescales DS was told were 5 - 7 working days, starting from the day after he handed in his passport, and I'm not sure how the courier works and whether that could add delays in delivery - but I don't think it would be any quicker to pick it up if the visa company sends it directly back here and not via the centre in Manchester.
If you need more info on this, post on the Indiamike forum. There is nothing that the folks on there don't know about travel to / in India and they are very helpful.
Indian visa applications are a PITA. OH travels to India regularly. The last application came back more quickly than expected, but I wouldn't bank on it. OH had to travel to Birmingham to collect his first one because he needed it quickly. The staff there were spectacularly unhelpful and uncaring. If you get one thing wrong on the form they reject it, and I ended up having to contact the company in India and get another letter emailed over. Obtaining the visa was very stressful. I shall save that link to my favourites in readiness for the next one.
Definitely don't book flights until you have the visa.
IMO the visa is just an excuse to extract money from visitors to their country.
Thanks for that link. Will put off booking flights if poss. Trailfinders will be sick of me (they already knew my name when I phoned!!). Very, very helpful though, would definately recommend.
Any chance you can get to Hayes in Middlesex? There is an indian visa office there. You can see the full details here. You go along with all the documentation, your passport, photo etc and they process it, however you need to go back in 2-3 days to collect your passport with visa inside it. You must fill in the form online first and take it with you.
There is an office in Birmingham as well and they process visas the same day. We got caught out by the letter from the company in India missing out some information. VFS Global list everything that needs to be included in the invitation letter.
i have had a slightlt differant experience to everyone else.
I have travelled to india on multiple occassions for both biz and leisure. (in hindsight, should have got a 5 year leisure visa!)
Each time i have booked the flights in advance (at least 1 week before travel)
I have then filled in all the paperwork, had the correct photos, and gone to the India Visa Application Center, 142-148 Goswell Road, London EC1V 7DU for 8am ish.
When the office opens at 8.30, have gone in, waited (less than 30 mins each time), and handed over the docs.
Have then gone back the next day at lunchtime and picked up my visa.
No problem. (its worth noting this is a very differant/efficient process, compared to what it was like for India house)
"I have then filled in all the paperwork, had the correct photos, and gone to the India Visa Application Center, 142-148 Goswell Road, London EC1V 7DU for 8am ish.2
That's all very well if you live in London, but most of the population in the UK don't.
Bunbaker - i dont live in London, funny how you made that assumption?
and ........... the OP hasnt said where they live, i was just trying to convey that its not always a bad experience and booking flights in advance (to try and get a better rate) is not that big a risk .....
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