Tourist visas for Indian travellers

This is a page citing some tourist visa info useful for travellers coming from India with Indian passports. Some info may be valid for other passport holders as well.

Tourist Visas
Schengen Zone-  link- A Schengen visa has to be issued in advance to travel within the Schengen zone. A visa thus issued is valid for the whole zone, and not just for the country which issued it. Therefore, if your visa says "valid for 15 days", you can spend 15 days in the whole Schengen zone. You should apply form the embassy of a country which is your main destination (where you will spend the maximum amount of time as per your itinerary). In the absence of a main destination, you should apply from the country of first entry.

So, for example, if you are travelling to France for 5 days and Italy for 3 days, you should apply at the French consulate.

Visa shopping, that is creating an itinerary just to apply at a 'favorable' consulate, is fraud and if found out, is grounds for annulment of the visa.

The validity length of a Schengen visa depends on your itinerary.

For people applying in a French embassy look here.
For people applying in a German embassy look here.
For people applying in an Italian embassy look here.
For people applying in an Austrian embassy look here .

And so on...

UK- Indian passport holders must apply for a UK visa in advance. Look here.

USA- Indian passport holders must apply for a USA visa in advance. Look here. My experience with my latest US tourism/business (B1/B2) visa:

9/10 Feb 2013: Made an account at the website mentioned above. Filled the DS 160 application form. Paid fees.

11 Feb 2013: Got confirmation of payment.

12 Feb 2013: Made appointment for OFC and consulate (Chennai), for 4/5 Mar 2013, respectively.

Meanwhile, we prepared for supporting documents- school letter, company letter, bank statements, flight tickets, hotel reservations, photos and printed the documents required to enter the OFC/consulate: application confirmation, appointment letter, payment confirmation, photo etc.

04 Mar 2013: went to Chennai OFC. There is no queue per se, they will call as per appointment time. So, if you're early, you can just hang about, but as your time approaches, just get to the front, where the batch is accumulating. No worries. Went to the OFC where fingerprints and a digital photo were taken. Hassle free process.

05 Mar 2013: Went for interview at consulate. Queuing pattern as for OFC. There is a counter to deposit mobile phones (INR 10) but keep your headphones, CDs, pen drives etc at home. First, your fingerprints will be verified, then you'll be sent through, you'll have to wait though, for your interview with the consul officer. Your status will be told: whether your visa has been approved, rejected or needs administrative processing. Mine was approved. I had a 9 am appointment; was out by 10:30. Later that evening, passport status : "Your passport is still with the post."

 06/07 Mar 2013: Status changed to "Origination Scan."

08 Mar 2013: Status changed to "Ready for pick up."

11 Mar 2013 Went to Prestige Atrium, Bangalore to pick up passport. The pick up is in the same office as  the application centres for Australia, Canada, Thailand and Malaysia visas so expect a small queue, waiting. Got it and visa details were correct.

Other countries:

Hong Kong- Indian citizens travelling to Hong Kong need to pre-register online before their trip. At HK immigration, they will get a stamp allowing them to stay for 14 days in Hong Kong. An arrival form must be filled out while entering Hong Kong.

Indonesia- Indians can avail of Visa-on-Arrival (VOA) for a period of 30 days at designated airports (and seaports), which include some of the main ones such as Jakarta and Bali. Check the fee before travelling- it could be USD 25 or USD 35 per application and needs to be paid in cash (preferably in USD). Documents required include flight tickets, proof of sufficient funds and hotel reservation. No photos or application forms.
Process at Soekarno-Hatta Airport, Jakarta, June 2014
Follow the signs to Visa-on-Arrival. Go to the left-most counter to pay and get a voucher. Then go to the next counter who will actually stamp the visa. Although there is an official list of documents required, no documents were checked. Just make sure your passport is valid for more than 6 months from date of expected departure from Indonesia. Then you're out, you don't join other immigration queue. An arrival form must be filled while entering Indonesia.
Note a departure tax of 200,000 rupiah needs to paid while exiting Indonesia. Must be paid in Rupiah, cash.

Macau- Indian citizens travelling to Macau don't need a visa in advance. At Macau immigration, they will get a stamp allowing them to stay for 30 days in Macau.

Mexico- If you have a valid US visa, you can travel to Mexico without a visa for tourism. You'll need to fill a form while flying to Mexico and the immigration officer will determine how long you can stay - the typical is the maximum of 180 days.

Singapore- Now all visa applicants must apply through recognised travel agents, a list of which can be found on the website for your respective Consulate. Documents required may vary according to consulate, but in general, you need airline tickets to/from Singapore, photos, passport with minimum 6 month validity from date of expected exit, proof of sufficient funds and hotel reservations.
Time taken could be anything from 5 to 10 days in clear cases. Applying too early may delay your application. Applying 2-3 weeks before travelling should be fine. The visa may be valid from anything between 1 month and 2 years. Processing fees vary by travel embassy, generally Rs 2500-3000 per application. Depending on travel agency, you may be able to bargain, particularly for a whole family.An arrival form must be filled while entering Singapore.

Thailand- Check for a pre-issued visa here. You can also get the visa on arrival (VOA) at certain airports and checkpoints. A VOA is valid for 15 days and is only single-entry. You will need to show photos (4X6 cm), proof of sufficient funds and an airline ticket out of Thailand within 15 days of entry. Here is the process of obtaining VOA at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok:
Upon arrival, follow signs for Visa On Arrival. Outside the door leading to the room of VOA, collect your VOA form and fill it out at the nearby table. Fill out your arrival card and keep your documents handy. You can then join either the Fast-track service or Documents-check. If you use the latter, you will stand in a queue and then once you reach the counter, you will show your documents. If they're all fine, the person will give you a slip with a number- this is your wait number. You can then sit in the room and wait for your turn. This would give you the VOA and passport control at the same time and will open up to the baggage carousels.

Turkey- If you have a visa from some countries, such as US, UK, Schengen etc, you are eligible to get a hassle-free e-visa before you travel. Print your e-visa to show to immigration officers.

UAE- Good news for Indians flying Emirates, entering and leaving UAE from Dubai. They can apply for their UAE visa here. Others will have to find a sponsor. Hotels can do this job.

(Please cross-check information with official sources before travelling.)
This website is not responsible for any liability arising from its use.

3 comments:

Shiv Sharma said...

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John06 said...

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