You pinned all the places you wanted to go, you watch a few different documentaries, and the Ghandi film. That’s it you have to go to India! It’s a romantic idea, hopping on a plan, then landing in India and traveling your lil heart away. Whats not romantic is getting questioned by security and being sent back to your homeland… on another 14 hour flight because you didn’t have your India Tourist Visa.
Lets be honest, that wouldn’t even happen because TSA will not allow you to fly unless you have a India Tourist Visa and a ticket out of there. I didn’t have a flight out of India so you can use my trick if you don’t know how long you are coming for but more on that later.
Firstly there are two different Visas you can come on, a regular tourist visa or a 60 day E visa. This post about a regular tourist visa, which yours truly is on. Please notice the beautiful picture I created just for you see the differences visually.
If you want a 60 day E visa please click here. I have not used this service but I have read other bloggers saying that they like this site for visas as well. You cannot get a 60 day visa through the outsourced visa company that grants regular India tourist visas. The Indian government does not grant visas, they outsource to Cox and Kings Global Services (CKGS).
To apply for a visa
Your Current US / Foreign Passport should be valid for minimum 6 months from date of application and must have at least 2 blank pages
They will return your passport with no visa if you do not meet the above requirements.
The CKGS website has the best ‘how to apply’ page. It clearly has been revamped since I got my visa. Go here and read the before and after process of getting a Visa.
After reading the whole page you will be directed to fill out this form. This is the first part of the form, after you click processed you will enter into CKGS’s other server. This can only be accessed by those applying for a visa, and you can only access the visa you are submitting.
In this other server, you will find the list of documents you need to include in your package. Which you will gather along with taking a photo of yourself for your visa. You will pay the amount online or at one of their centers.
When you fill out the form it should direct you to what Center you will be sending the package to. Make sure you are sending it to the correct location. If you are unsure of what location you need to send it to, email them. Here is the FAQ’s page which has information about emailing them.
You can deliver your package in person, which you will need to schedule an appointment for, or you can mail it in. I paid for express shipping, in 2015 it was about $30 from CO to TX. I mailed in everything and got my India tourist visa in 1 week! They were rather speedy I must say.
Here is my trusty trick to not buying a return ticket but making it look like I did. I only recommend this for places that have good diplomatic ties to your country. For example I would not do this with countries like Iran as my country (USA) does not have a great relationship with them. As well as the country must be considered stable, India may be third world but it is not in turmoil.
So when buying a ticket you will usually get an itinerary of the flight. Now a days that is changing all the time but here is what a basic itinerary looks like.
05 APRIL 17 - WEDNESDAY UNITED 2 COACH CLASS EQUIP 141 LV: LON/HEATHROW 905A NONSTOP MILES 3457 CONFIRMED AR: NYC/KENNEDY 1140A ELAPSED TIME- 7:35 DEPART TERMINAL-3 ARRIVAL TERMINAL-3
So look up returning flights around the time you plan to leave and then use the formula below with that flights details.
DATE - DAY AIRLINE BOARDING GROUP PLANE NUMBER LV (LEAVING): CITY/AIRPORT ____TIME DEPARTING (AM/PM IS A OR P) NONSTOP MILES-_____ CONFIRMED AR(ARRIVING): CITY/AIRPORT ____TIME ARRIVING A/P ELAPSED TIME- _____(FLIGHT DURATION) DEPART TERMINAL-_(TERMINAL THAT STATE/COUNTRY/ AIRLINE DEPARTS) ARRIVAL TERMINAL-_(TERMINAL STATE/COUNTRY/AIRLINE ARRIVES IN)
You may have to make up some details but I believe it is better to have most of the details correlated with a real flight.
You only need a flight out of the country when coming to India but other countries may require you go go back to your permanent residency. If you need two flights to get out of said country then separate the two flight details with either BREAKFAST, LUNCH, or DINNER.
I know this trick is brilliant. I learned it from our families lovely travel agent Kina.
I have no way to end this post besides I hope it helped you to get your India Tourist Visa as well as tricking TSA so you can get to the country. Do you have any other neat tips and tricks like me? Please comment them down below I would love to know them!