Visa Hassles for The Indian Backpacker - A Solution
Replies: 365 - Last Post: May 18, 2013 9:39 AM Last Post By: ipilot777
Mar 15, 2012 4:23 PM
195@sm105 - Thanks for sharing your info here! You seem to have gone to a lot of countries that aren't listed in this thread. However, I don't think a common person like me can match up to the way you arrive (lungi+private jet)! Well I can do the lungi bit but the other part is difficult to organise. You seem like a major business traveler!
One thing you didn't mention is if you're a resident of India or resident abroad. This does help especially when applying for a visa in another country. Do please tell!
Mar 15, 2012 11:35 PM
196Sorry if I wasn't clear.
"Lungi" is the name of the airport in Freetown, Sierra Leone (and NOT a reference to the dress code!).
Officially (as per passport) I am still resident in India but in reality I don't spend enough time in any single country to be a "resident" there. No fancy US Green Card or similar. Last few passports have been issued in Mumbai, New York, London, Toronto and Accra.
I never said anything about "private jet" either, just "unscheduled flights". That can be anything from a private jet to a dodgy one engine prop to technical stops on scheduled flights to hitching a ride on a cargo plane. Definitely not a big businessman - just a resourceful guy who figures out how to get the job done by whatever means.
Mar 16, 2012 2:44 AM
and wow! We have all seen and heard some visa stories on this forum, but yours certainly walks away with the cake! Loved your stories, especially West African "gifts" and your matter-of-fact acceptance of "dashing" them after the job is done ( I was not familiar with the term & so had to look it up:)
3 /dæʃ/ Spelled dash (in West Africa)
1.a tip, bribe, or recompense.2.bribery.verb (used with object)3.to give a tip or bribe to (especially a government employee).Origin:1780–1790; perhaps first recorded in Dutch as dache, dasche (1602); origin uncertain, but often alleged to be < Portuguese das (you) give (2nd singular present indicative of dar to give)
Thank you for sharing your rich experiences here on this thread.
Mar 19, 2012 11:26 PM
198I have an Indian passport. I am in Cambodia now, Can I get 2 months Thai Visa (Travel) here in Phnom Pehn, Cambodia at the Thai embassy? What are the documents required ? How much is the Visa-Fee ?
How about land crossing from Cambodia to Thailand for VoA for 15 Days Travel Visa, is it possible ?
Your quick reply is highly appreciated!
Mar 25, 2012 7:34 PM
Got second VoA within 15 days. I arrived from Port Vila, Vanuatu and got visa for 4 months even though I mentioned my departure date from Fiji (i.e. Nadi - Hong Kong) as only after 5 days.
Fiji is the major transit hub in SP due to Air Pacific - Fiji's international airline. So travels to countries like Tuvalu and Niue are in the pipeline but after few months. Hope Tuvalu remains above water :) ........ forever.
Mar 29, 2012 7:05 PM
200Hong Kong - SAR of China
Got VoA for 14 days even though I showed my outward ticket which was after 5 days. Indian passport holders are allowed for 14 days maximum.
Since in arrival card 'purpose of visit' column does not exit I was expecting the question. Replied - as a tourist and then the Immigration officer asked funds (I had US $ 2000 cash) and checked air ticket and accommodation booking print out.
Mar 29, 2012 7:40 PM
As Thai visa is available on arrival for Indian citizens,Thai Embassy in Pnom Penh wont entertain any visa requests.For a different purpose I approached the same Embassy few years back, and they simply turned my request down. If you are keen you can try,and if you are fortunate to be through just let us know.
I have not crossed Cambodia-Thai border recently,so no idea.
Apr 2, 2012 1:36 PM
202Gents and ladies ,
Could use some help here. I live in Switzerland and am planning a last minute 10 day trip to Iran starting this Friday. Called up the Iranian embassy here to check on the Visa on Arrival for Indian citizens and the gentleman on the other side of the phone flat out said as an Indian citizen I would need to apply for a visa which will take a month to process.
Now, I have RTFF and did a lot of research online and from what I understand, VOA should not be a problem for Indian citizens as long as the trip is <14 days. Would any of you good folk here who have travelled to Iran recently confirm this? Also, fwiw, I will be travelling by Pegasus airlines and was wondering if I would face any issues without an Iranian visa in my passport or a "confirmation code" from the Iranian embassy?
Finally, I swear I am almost done with my questions, I am also planning a stopover in Istanbul and was wanting to take advantage of the VOA there as well. Is this working well? Should there be anything I should pay particular attention to?
Many thanks in advance for the replies. I am glad to have found this forum.
Apr 3, 2012 2:00 AM
203Well Indians are eligible for a VoA on arrival only at the Tehran airport.. though i haven't used it myself. I did travel to Iran for a month (overland from Turkey) so had to go through the whole visa process through an iranian agency, which though length was quite simple enough. But from the time of submission of documents, receiving the code etc it would take 2 weeks minimum to have the visa if not more.
You could contact one of the agencies eg. iranianvisa.com via email asking them about the VoA.
I'm surprised that the embassy said you'll have to apply for the visa though. Do check if the regulations have changed or not. As of Nov 2011, Indians were applicable for VoA only for 14days at Tehran. Also do call the airlines before hand to be safe!
About Turkey, Indian citizens are NOT eligible for VoA unless with a currently valid schengen/UK visa. Since you have a Switzerland residence permit this could apply to you but it helps to double check as Switzerland isn't part of the Schengen zone.
Well hope this helps, and good luck!
Apr 3, 2012 3:18 AM
Apr 4, 2012 11:37 PM
205About Turkey, Indian citizens are NOT eligible for VoA unless with a currently valid schengen/UK visa.
Just want to say that this is for Schengen,UK, and USA visa holders and does apply to holders of tourist visas as well.
Apr 5, 2012 12:21 AM
206I had posted in the middle of last year that I'd post my South America visa experiences, but never got around to doing that. So here's the update.
Brazil - Applied in Delhi. Took three and a half weeks! Partly my fault I think. I didn't provide a hotel reservation as it was not asked for on the embassy website. It takes a week for your documents to come up for insepction. Once they called and asked for the reservation, the process was reset. When I asked them why they didn't mention the hotel requirement on the website, they said that they've also mentioned that they can ask for any other document they want. Oh well. This delay ended up delaying my whole trip.
Argentina - took 2 working days. Simple, painless. Only tip is that they don't seem to have a website for the embassy and don't give info over the phone, so visit the embassy to get a list of docs...they'll give you a checklist. I believe the Mumbai consulate has a website, but don't refer to that...I think the requirements differed.
Chile - took 7 working days. I had quit my job to travel, and mentioned that I'm not employed in my application form. They actually asked for my relieving letter...Brazil and Argentina had not.
Peru - took 3 working days. They also asked for my relieving letter (this time I had gone prepared)
General list of docs needed....this is a comprehensive list across all the embassies...hotel reservation, flight details, bank statements, yellow fever certificate, credit card photocopy, letter from employer (in my case it was relieving letter)
Bolivia - Tried in Sao Paulo without success...I had mentioned that I will be travelling via bus...didn't work...they wanted flight details. Finally got it in Buenos Aires. It took 1 day. I did supply a dummy reservation! On VOA at La Paz airport...my suggestion is to take the visa in advance. Not everyone seems to know this provision exists and you may be denied entry. I called several Bolivian embassies before leaving (London, Berlin, Lima) and they cliamed that visa needs to be taken in advance. A friend of mine took the visa in Berlin and entered at La Paz airport. She was even asked for some paper that the embassy gives, besides looking at the actual stamp.
In terms of being rude/curt, didn't face any problems as such. Except maybe the Brazilian emabassy in Delhi and the Bolivian consulate in Sao Paulo. The Bolivian embassy in BA was super friendly and helpful...even showed me places to visit in BA on the map I was carrying while at the embassy.
Read some experiences regarding racism earlier in the thread...my experience was completely the opposite. Everyone was very friendly and helpful in these countries. In fact, I LOVED Argentina.
As a side note, I also visited Turkey before South America. The VOA for US, UK and Schengen visa holders works. Only issue is it depends on the people on duty...some are aware of this provision while others are not. Mine took 2 hours, though for some Indians I've heard it took just 10 minutes. In any case, I prefer the 2 hours rather than runnning around for a few weeks to the embassy.
Apr 5, 2012 3:52 AM
Thanks for the details info. I have covered whole SE Asia now I am preparing for South America in September 2012.Probably stay there for 8 months.I have an invitation from my friend from Argentina.So before going there should I apply for another tough country's visa like Brazil.... from India or apply from there. I quit my job long time ago for traveling .Neither I have any US or European visa stamped in my passport. what do you suggest?
Apr 5, 2012 8:18 PM
If you can get a multiple entry US Visa,that is the best,not only for South America,but Visa free travel to several central American countries.Brazil visa as such will have any effect on other SA visas,I doubt. Be prepared to answer certain,why ,where and How questions.Most of the time ,if you have sufficient time,it is easy to apply from reaching SA.,Very little hassles.
Apr 8, 2012 8:20 PM
209Bedouin, please apply for your Peru visa in New Delhi if possible. I'm currently in Ecuador and had no luck with the embassy in Quito. Tried earlier in Sao Paulo as well and was turned away. At this point I've been traveling for 6 months and yet they make the ridiculous request that I go back to India and apply for the Peruvian visa. (the Peru visa is only valid for 90 days from stamping I believe so this poses a problem for long term travel).
The Peruvian embassy in Guyaquil said they are willing to process the visa for me so lets see how that goes.. I'll update this thread with more info when I have some.
Also vm1981, I spoke to several Bolivian embassies and got the same info (visa is not issued on arrival). However, I called up La Paz airport and they said "Yeah, of-course we do VoA for Indians..". Well, conflicting info is always the worst, I guess in this case it's safest to get the visa beforehand like you said.
However, there are many times when embassies and airport immigration are not in sync. For example, the Turkish embassy told me I didn't need a visa for Turkey due to the the US visa and then at Sabiha airport no one had a clue. Took 2 hours and I finally got in, but that's an example of the embassy and airport immigration being out of sync :)
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