Visa Hassles for The Indian Backpacker - A Solution
Replies: 476 - Last Post: Nov 28, 2013 9:15 AM Last Post By: hunter009
Mar 30, 2011 2:47 AM
90guys...i just love this post. so i was living in colombia for 2 years, went to teach english there for sometime and then i decided to backpack through south america. i got brazilian visa easily for 30 days and an extension for 2 months in rio. was rejected the argentinian visa in rio and then in sao paulo and hence i went to bolivia, got a 2 months visa in sao paulo for bolivia and then in bolivia applied for a peruvian visa, the embassy in cochabamba,bolivia rejected my visa application but the embassy of peru in la paz accepted my application as i had a flight leaving from lima. the people are nice, i guess the trick is as ganesh wrote keep on trying in differnt consulate through out the country of application. i am planning to do a africa trip, probably by bus or may be get a friend to ride his motorbike , and share it . we indians can't be restricted because some of us just immigrate to work ,but the new breed is full of crazy travelllers. i am printing out the information about africa writtten down here by you guys and once i start my experience i will let you know how it goes for a single indian lady :)
p.s. before i forget, went to ecuador, no visa needed for indians. border crossing from colombia into ecuador by road, and they just gave it to me....
Edited by: mjain
Mar 30, 2011 3:20 AM
91@jayan : Yeah, i think the reports are not right about Tbilisi. I think one reporter made the error and all the rest copied. Normally, the country wouldn't make an announcement unless the process is already in place. Did you call the embassy or consulate and ask ?
@mjain : that is cool. I was looking for confirmation about Ecuador. Here it is! I have posted all my Africa visa experiences here, but you are more than welcome to ask for further details.
Mar 30, 2011 6:52 AM
Apr 7, 2011 8:49 AM
93Minor updates to my South American visas from South Africa:
Uruguay : I had called after 7 days, and the visa had not yet been approved. They warned me that it could take upto 3 weeks. But next day they called me to say it has been approved! They gave me a 60-day (from date of issue) valid, 90-day stay, single-entry visa. It is free for Indians. I just wish they were more friendly here. But I have the visa at least.
Paraguay: went today to check on the progress. They were again extremely courteous, even apologizing multiple times for the delay. The consul took a call at home even though he is on leave! He said it could still take 2 more weeks, but they will email me when it is approved, and I can collect the visa at the nearest embassy to where I am (most likely I will be in Buenos Aires then). Very flexible. I have asked for a 6-month valid, multiple-entry visa. If approved it would cost $100.
Bolivia: I did apply for a Bolivian visa a week ago just because I was waiting for other visas, and I couldnt lose anything. This embassy is a pain to deal with. There is only one officer and she is usually not there. So you have to deal with the maid (!) who knows nothing about visas. I submitted my application with all the documents as specified in the requirements. Even gave my local contact to call if something is wrong. I called them after 4 days to check the status, and the officer said that i had not paid the visa fee & left the passport there. I had given a copy of the passport pages since leaving the passport there for 8-10 days didnt make sense. And in a lot of cases the visa fees are paid only after approval. When i asked her about this on the phone, she just disconnected. Oh well, I will apply in Argentina or get it at the border. Bolivia does give visa on arrival to Indians, but I want a multiple-entry visa.
Apr 15, 2011 7:05 AM
I just wanted to know people's experiences of Jordanian VOA for Indian Passport Holders . I live in the UK and hope they are not going to ask if I am carrying $1000 cash ( as it says on timaticweb) - Is it a pain or relatively quick and easy?
Apr 15, 2011 9:18 AM
95About Jordan VOA : i got my visa in advance, but going by my other experiences where proof of cash is stated as a requirement, it is completely upto the immigration official you meet that day and his or her mood. In many cases they dont ask for it. Also when they do ask, a credit card is sufficient. In only the rarest case do they insist on bank statement etc.
Apr 15, 2011 9:26 AM
96A most unexpected update on my Bolivian visa application in South Africa. After that rude call I mentioned in post #102, I decided not to bother further since I assumed the lady wouldn't be forwarding my application for approval.
On the night before I was to fly from Cape Town to Argentina, I get a text message - at 9:45 pm! - from the Bolivian embassy that my visa had been approved, and that I could come and collect it (at the Johannesburg embassy!). She even apologized for the delay. I couldn't possibly go back to Johannesburg, and Cape Town didnt have a consulate, so i wrote back asking if with the same approval I can just collect my visa in Buenos Aires or some other embassy. She said no. So the whole thing went down the drain. She also said in the reply that without my payment & passport it was hard for them to get approval for my visa, but they managed somehow! If only she had bothered to tell me earlier that she would even be forwarding it. I will be applying for my visa here in Buenos Aires, but will show the text message since it could make it faster. More updates in a few weeks.
In Argentina now, and will be in South & Central america for a few months.
Apr 26, 2011 2:24 AM
97By the way , I just contacted the embassy of El Salvador in London and got the following reply for Indian Passport Holders. Any feedback is more than welcome
Dear Mr. Singh,
If you hold a passport from India, you do not need a visa to travel to El Salvador. If you require any additional information, do not hesitate to contact us.
With warm regards, I remain,
On 5 April 2011 10:59, Singh wrote .
Do Indian Passport holders need visa to travel to El Salvador?
Apr 28, 2011 8:44 AM
I normally refer to this page - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visa_requirements_for_Indian_citizens - for details for Indian passport, but they dont seem to have been updated. As per this page, Nicaragua & Guatemala are the only ones in central america that don't need visa or give on arrival to Indians.
But the most authoritative source is generally the 'timaticweb' site. According to them, Indians dont need visa for upto 3 months stay in El Salvador. See http://www.timaticweb.com/cgi-bin/tim_website_client.cgi?SpecData=1&VISA=&page=visa&NA=IN&AR=00&PASSTYPES=PASS&DE=SV&user=DL&subuser=DELTAB2C
Apr 28, 2011 9:07 AM
99Hi dtathgur (post 103),
Re the Jordan VOA - I got it when I flew from Dubai to Amman over new years 2010/2011. It was a bit of a hassle but in the end significantly cheaper than what it would have cost me to get it via an agency in San Francisco.
The key point is that i was with my significant other who holds an Italian passport, so maybe because we were together the entire time of the process, the experience would have been different had I been traveling solo (but I think it would have been fine too).
So, they took us from one arrivals hall from the immigration desk to a room there where a guy behind a desk looked at our passports, asked us how long we were staying, where we lived, etc. and then had us escorted all the way across the terminal to another identical hall where we sat in an immigration officials' office while he invited us to sit down and asked us some similar questions (nothing about money) and then had our passports taken somewhere (I presume to photocopy) and then returned and had us escorted back to the immigration desk where we each paid USD 20 for the visa (I asked for a 8 days since we didn't need any longer, but I don't think they looked at our return flight details) and were on our way to look for our checked bags (which were basically left on the side somewhere, thankfully, and not missing - it would be better if you didn't have checked bags for this VOA process).
What I can tell you about the money requirement is that while we were in the office, there were three middle aged Indian guys coming from Dubai to do "business" in Jordan. These guys were scrutinized more I think, and were definitely asked about money they had in their possession - I think they reported having a few hundred bucks only (in AED). They were also given visas - so overall, I think it's very doable and manageable but some hassle is involved - like waiting for 30+ min and leaving your checked bags unattended. I think they are starting to be able to tell the difference between travellers/backpackers/tourists and business/other people trying to visit Jordan.
and btw it's worth it, Jordan is a very very beautiful country (we didn't have the best time in Amman), and the people extremely nice and friendly. They offer you tea constantly and say "hospitality" which is code for come join us and we don't want any money or anything from you. The one time I offered someone something in return they seemed put off and grudgingly accepted (because I think that it's even worse to refuse when someone offers you something).
I also have details on actually getting the Duabi visa that Emirates Airlines arranges for you (a bit convoluted), and transiting from terminal 2 to terminal 3 in Dubai airport without a Dubai visa, but I'll save that for later unless anyone needs that info sooner.
Apr 28, 2011 9:11 AM
Apr 28, 2011 5:09 PM
Apr 28, 2011 7:43 PM
A friend on mine recently traveled to Gorgia from Turkey and was given VOA at Tiblisi Airport.
So i presume it is doable
Apr 28, 2011 8:42 PM
103Looks like everyones having a good time traveling despite the visa hassles! Good to see the forum buzzing with new updates everyday!
A few from me from where I left off last (Post #89)
Contents: New Zealand and Australia (transit)
1. New Zealand
Currently mailing in from Tokyo. Flyin to NZ soon. I picked up my NZ (30day stay, multiple entry, valid for 6 months, USD 110) in Manila, Philippines. NZ and India seem to have a cordial relationship (we started offering Kiwis VOA at Indian airports - that has not been reciprocated yet) and the visa process was fairly ok.
I applied at a Visa processing Center (outsourced by the NZ Immigration) in Manila. So never got to meet the embassy official, but the processing center guys assured me it would be ok since I had so many stamps in my passport. I showed flights in and out, bank statement and a cover letter highlighting my travel history. The visa app form is an exhausting 40 page document that makes recount your your entire life story, past and present.
Anyways, they said it would take 4-6 weeks for processing, but I had my flight tickets to Japan from Manila in 10 days and I wrote another cover letter urging the embassy folks to expedite. I was told to expect a phone/email for an interview appointment.
The email was prompt. Came the next day asking if I could do a phone interview. I set up a time. The officer was curious (suspicious?) about every detail in the 40 page app. It was a bit annoying but she was cordial and I flirted on and off to make things bearable. More emails over the next 2 days with more questions - who is funding my travels, why am I not going to Australia, what will I do when I finish, where will I stay there etc....
I fired away the replies and added some soap-box moments there, for good measure. The visa was issued after 5 days and I picked it up at the Visa processing center.
2. Australia Transit visa.
Since we are such a special country and since Oz is so renowned for its goodwill towards us, we have to apply for a transit visa to Oz even if we are not leaving the airport and the only reason for being in the airport is to get a connecting flight with the same airlines (one ticket, baggage checked all the way through to NZ) within 3 hours.
So, I went to the Aussie embassy in Tokyo. The transit visa was free of charge. They wanted to see my Tokyo-NZ ticket (that had a 3 hr transit in Aus). Understandable. They also wanted to see my return ticket to India from NZ. That was b/s...I guess they were thinking I'd swim across from NZ to Oz one of these days....I declined and made a fuss. After a long drama I was issued a transit visa (single transit only) the same day.....Sweet as.
Apr 29, 2011 8:07 AM
104Arun, the checked-in luggage waiting for you is a headache at airports with VOA and when they take a long time. Unfortunately nothing one can do but pray & hope for the best.
Honduras & Georgia give VOA ? Those aren't covered in the Wikipedia page either I think.
Armenia started VOA recently for Indians. Wonder if they are only at airports.
As for Costa Rica, Panama & Mexico, I remember reading that it is not just any US visa, but a residence permit (green card).
About the Emirates sponsored Dubai visa, I had posted earlier in this thread. i also heard - not confirmed - that they have stopped it recently. Separately, Air Arabia & Oman Air had promotional offers for travelers from India where they sponsored the visa as well on buying a 2-way ticket.
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