Travel Tips

3 Weeks in Asia Trip Report: Applying an India Tourist Visa

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This could also be called Part 2:What NOT to Do When Planning a Trip to India. My 3 week adventure in Asia called for two separate stops in India which meant getting a tourist visa. In January when I was planning this, India had recently lifted restrictions to allow for multiple visits within 2 months for US citizens as well as tourist visas on arrival.

The only problem was because the rules had so recently changed that it wasn’t clear if you could do two tourist visas on arrival within 2 months of each other. And in my case it would be re-entry during the first visa’s 30 day period. Rather than wind up spending hours in no-man’s land at the end of my trip, I decided to play it safe and apply for a multi-entry visa in advance (As of April 15, 2015 all India visa for US passport holders are 10 year multi-entry at a fee of $100).

You can’t apply for an India Tourist visa until 30 days before your trip, but because I’d initially assumed I’d be doing a visa on arrival I rather waited too long. I didn’t finish filling out my application until a mere 15 days before my departure.

Fortunately I had Steve at Allied Passport handling my visa application. I was originally wondering if it was worth the $49 (or in my case $100 for expedited services) on top of the $120 Embassy fee, since I could take it to the Embassy myself, but it wound up being worth every penny!

He was able to guide me through some of the more confusing questions I was overthinking and when it turned out I didn’t have enough blank pages in my passport was able to give me detailed directions on how to fix it as soon as possible.

Most of all it was the peace of mind knowing that an expert had reviewed everything and guided it through the submission process so I wouldn’t get held up for stupid mistakes or staff oversight.

Lessons Learned:

  • If you need to apply for an India visa in advance, do so as early as possible, at the 30 day mark — don’t wait!
  • Check your passport to ensure you have sufficient blank pages.
  • Consider purchasing peace of mind/insurance by using a service like Allied Passport (and if you do place an order through my link you’ll get $5 off)



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