Those applying for India visas should expect delays and act in advance to avoid unnecessary hassles.
Last year, the Indian government outsourced their visa services to a company called Cox & Kings, and while the company is doing their best to handle all of the India visa requests that they’re receiving, things are still slipping through the cracks. If you need a visa to India sometime in the next few months, we highly recommend that you put in your application as soon as possible. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while applying for India visas:
1. Only get a visa for as long as you need one.
India offers visas that are good for six months, one year, five years, or ten years. The five and ten year visas can be quite convenient if you’re planning on visiting India multiple times over the next few years. However, these visas are currently taking longer to process. If you only need a visa that’s good for six months or a year, don’t try to get a five year visa if you are pressed for time, because you may end up waiting for a long time.
2. Watch out for shortened visas.
Another reason not to opt for a five or ten year visa at this time is thatthe India Consulates are currently shorting some people on the length of their visas. We’ve heard stories of people applying for five year visas and receiving a visa that is valid for well under five years. The worst part is that these people aren’t getting any refunds for the period of time not covered by the visa. To help ensure that you get the visa you need, make sure that your invitation, letter of intent, and application all clearly state the reason for your visit and the duration of visa that you need.
3. Pay attention to the new rules.
With the switch over to Cox & Kings, some of the requirements for India visas have changed. For example, you’ll want to make sure that you include the new Additional Particulars Form as part of your visa application. The form asks questions about your nationality, your spouse’s nationality, and even the citizenship of your grandparents. This form is relatively simple, but not having it in your application materials will almost definitely prevent you from obtaining your visa.
4. Don’t put yourself in the position where you need to withdraw your passport from the consulate
Many people submit their India visa applications thinking that in the event another International trip comes up, they can just withdraw their passport and application and re-apply for the India visa at a later date. Withdrawing a passport from the Indian Consulate/Cox & Kings is actually a huge pain. Cox & Kings requires a full 72 hours to process such requests, but we have seen people wait 4-5 days to get their passport back after requesting a withdrawal.
As always, if you have any questions about the India visa process or need help obtaining your visa, give the team at Swift Passport Services a call today at (877) 917-9438. We can walk you through the process and ensure that you get your travel documents in order as soon as possible.
Rob Lee is co-founder of Swift Passport and Visa Services. Originally from Michigan, Rob is an avid fisherman and SCUBA diver who enjoys adventure travel.