How Not To Get An Indian Visa

How Not To Get An Indian Visa

By |2016-07-21T23:47:07-04:00October 18th, 2012|"How To" Travel Guides, Everything Else, India|80 Comments

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This post is being written from gate A28 at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport in Texas. And while it is true that only two days ago I traveled from Bucharest to Florida, a state which is a significant distance away from Texas, I had no choice but to head back to the airport again today.

The reason?

I had to travel to Houston in order to get an Indian visa for my upcoming trip to India, a trip which happens to start in only eight days from now.

Why did I have to travel all the way to Houston for my Indian visa?

Here’s the story…

Foolishly, over the past few months, I had assumed that the Indian Embassy in Bucharest, Romania would gladly issue me the standard 6-month multiple entry tourist visa that US citizens are able to obtain. However, when I finally went to the Embassy in Bucharest a mere three weeks ago, I was informed that I could only obtain a 3-month single entry visa. And because the validity of Indian visas begin the day your visa is issued (not the day you arrive in India), a 3-month visa would not have been sufficient for my trip.

Okay, no problem. After some quick research, I figured out that all I needed to do was apply for my Indian visa via overnight mail once I arrived back in the US. Too easy…except for the fact that, last week, after I randomly decided to call the visa outsourcing company that handles Indian visas in the US, I discovered that the visa processing time for applications sent via mail is 7-9 business days. And I was only going to be in Florida for 6 business days.

There just wasn’t enough time for me to get a visa…UNLESS…I dropped off my application in person. By dropping off the application in person, the processing time is reduced to only 1-3 business days.

While that also seems easy enough to do, the problem was that the only place I could apply in person was Houston, Texas because the Indian Consulate in Houston has jurisdiction over Florida, which is the state where I maintain an address.

And there you go. Two days after flying back from Europe, I woke up at 3:30am, took a 6:00am flight from Florida to Houston, arrived at 7:50am, jumped into a Super Shuttle van for the one hour ride to the visa office, waited an hour for my appointment, walked inside the office, handed over my paperwork, paid the fee and less than one minute after arriving, walked back out of the office, having officially applied for my visa. One more hour of waiting later and I was once again in a Super Shuttle van on my way back to Houston’s Bush International Airport where I boarded my flight to Dallas.

Now I’m in Dallas with a two four hour layover (my flight has been delayed) before catching a flight back to Florida where I shall arrive at 10:45pm.

So, let me break down the consequences of waiting until the last minute to apply for my Indian visa. The visa fee itself was $153 USD (in the end I opted for a 5-year visa instead of the 6-month visa) plus a $13 processing fee and a $24 charge to send my passport back to me using overnight mail. Add on my return flight from Florida to Houston and I paid a total of $553 USD. Tack on the $54 I paid for the round-trip Super Shuttle van service and I ended up paying $607 USD to get an Indian visa that should have cost me $153 bucks.

And interestingly enough, this visa screw up of mine occurred almost two exact years after I screwed up my Syrian visa. That was when I had assumed there was a Syrian Consulate in New York City when such a Consulate didn’t actually exist!

The lessons learned from these visa screw ups of mine?

  • Research – It’s a very simple concept, I know, but if you don’t take the time to find out the visa rules, find out where you can apply, make phone calls, send emails and learn all of the details so that you are aware of your options, you could be in trouble (this applies to any country you may be visiting!).
  • Don’t wait until the last minute – Absurdly simple once again, but it’s worth mentioning as you certainly don’t want to end up running around (or flying around like me) one week before your trip, especially when you already have your flights booked and can’t change your plans.

Sounds silly that I’m even mentioning these two lessons, right? However, keep in mind that even after thirteen years of travel and applying for dozens and dozens of visas, I apparently still have some things to learn myself. So hopefully this post will help us all avoid committing any visa screw ups in the future.

And here’s some resources to help you find out the visa requirements for every country in the world:

US citizens:
UK citizens:
Canadian citizens: Wikipedia Visa page
Australian citizens:
New Zealand citizens: Wikipedia Visa page
All others nationalities:

Any visa screw up stories to share? Or do you have any questions about obtaining visas?

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  1. Friendly Nomad September 20, 2016 at 5:38 am - Reply

    I think India needs to get with the program in modernizing its requirements. The e tourist visa is a good step forward, and would have eased your pain here (if it was around in 2012) but still has many restrictions. India needs to move to a truly efficient electronic travel authority model. I just got the e tourist visa – and while less hassle than a paper application – it was far from seamless. The payment gateway was a pain and the whole thing was clunky.

    • Fred Williams October 4, 2016 at 3:54 pm - Reply

      Applied for and paid for e-tourist visa for two people going to India. Problem … we need multiple entry as we are spending 4 days in Nepal. Today is 4 Oct 2016 and we are leaving on 20 Oct 2016. E-tourist visa cost total of $256 for two. The multiple visa cost $310. We are just praying that we receive passports and visas by 18 Oct 2016. No guarantees, but told it should not be a problem. Just two weeks of blood pressure problems.

  2. randi March 24, 2015 at 1:44 am - Reply

    I live in the us for 40 years and have a canadien passport how do I get an emergency visa in San Francisco? I went to canada and they said you have to do it in America any thoughts

  3. Zaki De Luca March 5, 2015 at 5:09 pm - Reply

    I have an italian passport, and my permanent resident card expired in Feb.2 2015, the immigration gave me an extension, to travel just today through the Italian passport.

    Therefore, the extension date is on the passport.

    Another question, Can I have the 3 month Indian Visa with the passport I received which contains the extension for the green card.

    Can you please reply with the exact proper details of what I need to receive the indian Visa? Thank you so much

  4. Beau James January 18, 2015 at 6:40 pm - Reply

    Hey Earl,

    Just wondering…do you know if it is at all possible for a US citizen who is abroad currently, to apply for the 5-10 year visa? Could I still apply through mail from abroad? would I have to have it mailed to family and then have them mail to me? Thanks so much for any advice. What a bummer that I cant get it from other countries.

    • Wandering Earl January 19, 2015 at 9:37 am - Reply

      Hey Beau – It is not possible unless you mail in your passport to the appropriate consulate in the US. You cannot get that visa from an Indian Embassy or Consulate abroad unfortunately. And yes, you would have to mail it to someone in the US, that would be the safest method in my opinion.

  5. Marcy Landry November 12, 2014 at 8:46 pm - Reply

    Sorry but not anymore. My houston office informed me yesterday that I had to apply in Nepal. I am currently here for month and wanted to renew my indian visa to go back. After all the filling out of paperwork and paying for shipping my passport etc. there, they say sorry sending it to your home in Louisiana and you must have it shipped to Nepal and try applying there. This is all a maybe that they may be able to do it here.

    • Wandering Earl November 15, 2014 at 6:57 am - Reply

      Hey Marcy – I’m not too sure what you are referring to but you can definitely get Indian visas in Houston at the moment.

  6. Traveller April 24, 2014 at 8:06 am - Reply

    Sorry Earl, was meant for Preston>>

    (I am also travelling to India tonight with no fucking clue of how to get there but I am going. Also with very little money… close to nothing I might add… but I am going. I contacted a travel agent and he is helping me out. He could help you out to. Check out If you want I can give you his mobile. The company is Ugandan based and I can vouch for their authenticity. Kindly email me and I will send it to you. I will be in New Dehli so ya it is a fuckin’ real treat for me.

    Best of luck though!)

    • Preston Nix April 25, 2014 at 4:15 am - Reply

      I appreciate the reply, and I had to just go ahead and cancel my flight. The Indian Consulate in Uganda said that they wouldn’t issue me a visa because I lived in the Congo, and not Uganda (even though Kinshasa is ridiculously expensive to get to and far from where I am).

      I had read that India will give you a transit visa if you can prove that you are flying out of India within three days, but couldn’t confirm. Also, when you’re in Africa they don’t exactly talk to one another, and I was afraid they wouldn’t let me on the flight =/

      Best of luck! I’ll just have to go in October when they allow visa upon arrivals.

  7. Preston Nix April 21, 2014 at 4:49 am - Reply

    Hi Earl,

    I live/work in a remote part of the Congo and thought I would visit India on my way home in two weeks. Much like you I did not do my research and did not know that you need a visa before arrival.

    How should I get my visa if I am in the DRC (no consulate here), and while I am traveling through Uganda which does have a consulate, I won’t be there for the three days of processing.

    I am only going to be in India for 4 days, but I don’t know if they’ll even let me leave the airport!


    • Wandering Earl April 21, 2014 at 9:16 pm - Reply

      Hey Preston – You definitely need the visa ahead of time or they won’t let you out of the transit area at all. You can’t enter the country without a proper visa. You’ll have to get it in Uganda or they might not let you on the plane if you don’t have an immediate connection out of India.

  8. Greg Chen March 3, 2014 at 3:46 pm - Reply

    Hi Earl, I wanted to know if you can help me out with an issue with my current India visa. I was approved for a journalist visa but will not be practicing any journalism while I’m there. (I’ve signed a document and everything, which doesn’t make too much sense to me but thats for another time.) I’m going with a group that will also be going to Nepal for a few days. We will be coming back to India to fly back home. The problem is the visa that was approved was for a single entry visa. Now I’m pretty sure thats not going to fly when I want to get back into India from Nepal. I would need a multiple entry visa right? Would you happen to know what to do in this situation? I’ve contacted BLS, India Consulate but with no avail. Let me know your thoughts.

    • Wandering Earl March 9, 2014 at 3:04 am - Reply

      Hey Greg – That’s a tricky one, although, sometimes they do allow a visit to Nepal on a single-entry visa. I’ve heard of people being allowed to do that, but at the same time, I’ve heard of people who have not been allowed to do so. You might be able to go to the immigration office in India once you arrive to receive a permit that will allow you to enter again from Nepal but again, that’s not 100% certain. Sorry I couldn’t be of more assistance!

  9. Marian February 13, 2014 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    Hi Earl, My name is Marian. I just applied for a 10yr India tourist visa through mail. I didn’t go through travisa though. I’m located in Michigan so my jurisdiction is Chicago. I applies through BLS International. My question to you is, Do you know anything about BLS and how reliable they are? Also, the 5yr and 10yr visa cost the same amount so I just went for the 10yr. Is there any chance/reasons why I would be denied a visa? This is my first tome ever applying for a visa.

    • Wandering Earl February 14, 2014 at 4:00 am - Reply

      Hey Marian – I just replied to your FB message.

  10. daljit singh February 11, 2014 at 2:35 am - Reply

    hey i m daljit singh,from punjab,india.currently i m working in US army base.i wanna go o US.but unfortunetly you guys it is very hard from inida to get a US vissa.there is only way is if someone just sponsor you.i m really feeling bad.the thing is wanna go but i can’t,because it is india.i hope one day someone will help out.thanks guys,i just want to share my feelings.

  11. Monnish January 26, 2014 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    Hey Wandering Earl,

    Forgive the late response. I have to admit that I have not read the majority of the comments on this page. However, I would like to inquire about your actual visit to India. Did you enjoy yourself? And what cities did you visit?

    Thank you for your post.


  12. Michelle December 29, 2013 at 8:00 am - Reply

    Hi Earl,
    I reside in PA and the NYC office has jurisdiction over my state. I want to get a 10 year visa, as it is the exact same price as the 5 year, but for some reason the info online is saying NYC is the only USA office not issuing the 10 year.? I am home from Asia just for the holidays, and will be returning to Bangkok within the next 2 weeks…. Do you know if it is possible to get a 10 year visa as a US citizen in BKK? Are the prices the same when applying in BKK? I have also heard India will be starting a VOA for 40 countries that was suppose to begin end of 2013 (though there have been no updates since October and I don’t want to take my chances with this). Thanks for any help/advice

    • Wandering Earl December 30, 2013 at 9:22 am - Reply

      Hey Michelle – It is weird but the NYC office does that from time to time. The problem is that you can generally only get the 5 or 10 year visa from an Embassy or Consulate in the US. Outside the US, the maximum you can get is 6 months. And the prices are usually a little more expensive when applying outside of the country, such as in BKK.

      And yes, India is supposedly starting with the VOA but no news yet as to when it will actually be implemented.

  13. Jewel September 28, 2013 at 1:25 am - Reply

    Dear Sir,

    My Name is jewel, I am from Bangladesh. I applied for an indian visa (Tourist) including my dad and son and we get the visa one year ago (26-12-2012) but didn’t go there (India) for family problem. Now we again apply for tourist visa in this month (This will be our 1st timve visit India). Is there any chance to refuse indian visa? Cause we didn’t go there after getting 3 month Visa. Do i need any application for apply new one?


    • Wandering Earl September 28, 2013 at 12:42 pm - Reply

      Hey Jewel – Unfortunately I don’t know the answer to that question.

  14. Zara @ Backpack ME May 12, 2013 at 12:39 am - Reply

    Dealing with visas is, hands down, THE WORST part of traveling!

    Portuguese here, married to an Indian citizen. We’re currently traveling in the USA and I just tried applying for my tourist visa. Although I had 5 tourist visas for India before, as a tourist, now that I am actually married to an Indian, they’re refusing my visa saying that I need to apply in my country of origin or residence. My country of origin would be Portugal (which happens to be a very expensive and long distance away from the US) but as we travel full-time, I have residence nowhere! As a tourist, I can visit India. As a married woman to an Indian guy, I can’t!! This visa services are sh*t!
    So after US we will have to go to Thailand to apply for my visa as the consulate there confirmed they can do it – and this is more or less nearby India and cheaper than traveling to Europe. But still doesn’t make much sense!..

    Did I mention I hate visas and people who normally work dealing with visas? Oh yeah, I do!

    • Wandering Earl May 13, 2013 at 6:39 am - Reply

      Hey Zara – I don’t think you were refused a visa because you’re married to an India. The Indian government changed their visa rules recently and as a result, in certain countries, including the USA, they are now only allowed to give Indian visas to citizens of their own country. Even for me, as a US citizen, I have to get my Indian visa in the US from the consulate in Houston because that consulate has jurisdiction over where my home address is. I would not be able to get an Indian visa in NYC for example. But luckily, some countries don’t have these rules, such as Thailand, so at least you still have some options 🙂

      • Noor April 29, 2015 at 7:02 am - Reply

        It is a terribly illogical rule.

        It is also the same rule applied by the US and Portuguese governments to Indian citizens.

        I hope now you should be able to get visa on arrival as the regime has been considerably liberalised.

        Indians on the other hand have to continue suffering.

  15. Ricky Dearman February 20, 2013 at 12:32 am - Reply

    Hi Earl,

    thanks for the quick response.

    Here is what it says on this url…

    Short Term Visa Holders: Applicants who are not citizens/residents of the USA and hold a tourist or other short-term visa for the USA should apply for Indian visas in the country of their permanent residence. In case of emergency or special circumstance, an application could be made at the Indian Embassy in Washington DC or Consulates General of India in the USA. In addition to the relevant visa fee there is a reference fee of $20.00 for reference to be made to the country of their original residence. Such cases have a minimum processing time of one to two weeks, and some cases may take longer. (Non US Citizens – Short Term Visa Holders Only)

    But what determines, “In case of emergency or special circumstance”?

    I mean, i find it hard to believe one cannot get an Indian visa here in the US, if you are British?

    Your Thoughts?

    Best Regards


  16. Ricky Dearman February 19, 2013 at 11:57 pm - Reply

    Hi Earl,

    a quick question;

    I am British (British passport) staying in LA, USA for about 4 months now, looking to fly out to India Goa from LAX via Bangkok, to visit my sister who lives there with her Indian husband, Savio. I am looking to fly towards the end of March and go for about 1 month but how does one go about getting a visa for India if one is British staying in LA?

    Can i get the visa from the USA without the hassle of getting/going to the UK?

    Best Regards


    • Wandering Earl February 20, 2013 at 12:02 am - Reply

      Hey Ricky – You should be able to get the visa but you would have to check the individual websites of the Indian Embassy & Consulates in the USA. The closest Indian Consulate to LA is in San Francisco I believe. So I would look for their website and it should tell you whether or not they issue visas to non-US citizens.

  17. Daniel Dickey December 6, 2012 at 9:48 am - Reply


  18. Daniel Dickey December 6, 2012 at 9:48 am - Reply

    I’m currently going through the same ordeal. I think I’m just going to fly to Nepal instead of Huston.

    • Wandering Earl December 8, 2012 at 5:26 am - Reply

      Hey Daniel – That works as well, although you should contact the Indian Embassy in Nepal first as sometimes you will get a shorter visa if you don’t apply from your home country.

  19. Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey November 15, 2012 at 9:21 am - Reply

    It is amazing how many of us long-timers still make mistakes like this. It always seems to have something to do with ASSUMING….We recently assumed that information we were told about El Salvador’s adherence to CA-4 visa requirements was correct. It was not. Not even close. This mistake didn’t cost us $500 though (ouch). Just a night spent in our truck in no-man’s-land and a few alarming spikes in blood pressure. By the way, if you’re planning on entering El Salvador overland, learn from our mistakes and don’t assume anything about the tricky CA-4 visa regulations.

  20. […] in this incredible country.And in between all of the flying over the last seven days, in between my visa run to Houston and trying to get as much work done as possible, and in between the hundreds upon hundreds of […]

  21. Kieran Daly October 26, 2012 at 7:21 am - Reply

    Ah, Indian visas – always fun. My work colleague based with me in Madrid applied for an Indian visa at the Madrid embassy. An alarming amount of time passed with no contact and eventually he turned up and demanded action. The clerk eventually agreed that clearly something had gone badly wrong and went off to investigate. He returned saying “it’s OK, it got lost, but now everything’s fine – here it is”. He then handed to my 50 year-old male British colleague a passport with a photo-visa for him in it. Only trouble was that the passport was that of an elderly Dutch woman. (Love the blog Earl. Great advice on dealing with taxi drivers a while back – that was what made me subscribe.)

    • Earl October 27, 2012 at 2:46 pm - Reply

      Hey Kieran – That’s quite a funny visa story and it makes me wonder what other amusing visa stories are out there! And thanks so much for subscribing to the site and following along 🙂

  22. Philip Tellis October 23, 2012 at 4:38 pm - Reply

    As an Indian citizen, this is pretty much what I have to go through every time I want to travel. It makes it very hard for me to visit more than one country at a time because they each want me to apply for a visa in my home country, and they each take between 1 and 3 weeks to issue a visa.

    There are a few countries where I can get a visa on entry, but for the majority of them, this is what I have to do.

    I’ve written about some of it here: but there’s more.

  23. Lyuda October 23, 2012 at 4:27 pm - Reply

    Funny Story. Basically the biggest reason I opted out of going on the India trip with you was because I thought that applying for a visa about a month before the trip would be too late. (or too close of a call). But apparently thats not the case at all. 🙂

    • Earl October 27, 2012 at 2:02 pm - Reply

      Hey Lyuda – It actually only takes one day if you can apply in person 🙂 There’s always next year!

  24. Preeti October 23, 2012 at 2:30 am - Reply

    I did basically the same thing 3 years. I’m Indian but raised in the US & a US citizen. Which obviously means I need a visa to go to India. Three years ago my cousin was getting married & my parents were supposed to go to India. Something came up with the business so randomly I got told to go. Thing is, it was 11 days before my flight was scheduled to leave & I didn’t have a Indian passport. Ended up driving to San Francisco from Portland (Or) dropping my paperwork off & then waiting in San Fran the rest of the day to get my visa and driving back home. 3 days after I got my visa, I was at SeaTac heading to India. It was a crazy experience though thank God I have a 10 year visa so don’t have to do it again till 2019.

    I’m going to be in India in December this year & can’t wait. You’ll have the most amazing time there. There is really no place like India (though I might be a little biased)

    • Philip Tellis October 23, 2012 at 6:04 pm - Reply

      Preeti, I think you can get a PIO or OCI card

      • Preeti October 24, 2012 at 1:14 am - Reply

        What are those?

        Sorry the traveling bug is just starting to hit me, so there is a ton I still don’t know.

        • Philip Tellis October 24, 2012 at 1:33 am - Reply

          If you’re Indian by descent (ie, your Grand parents were Indian), then you can either get a Person of Indian Origin card or an Overseas Citizen of India card (depending on whether you were born American or changed citizenship later).

    • Earl October 26, 2012 at 12:42 pm - Reply

      Hey Preeti – Believe me, I know how amazing India can be…this will be my 9th visit!

  25. Russell Mease October 22, 2012 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    Hello Earl,

    I just applied for a 6 month multi-entry visa to China. I was given the option of a 3 months single-entry, 6 month double-entry, or 6 months multi-entry. I chose the later so my options are open for traveling to other asian countries, but I wonder what criteria the consulate uses to award a visa of different lengths. My dad works in Beijing and is married to a chinese woman – and they required an invitation letter from a chinese individual, so I was covered. In your experience, have you ever been denied a multi-entry visa and instead received a single/double-entry visa? What was the reason given for the downgrade? Thanks and I enjoy your blog.

    Russ (Morrissey) Mease
    PCT Thru-Hiker 2012

    • Earl October 26, 2012 at 12:29 pm - Reply

      Hey Russ – I’ve never had that happen and have always received multiple entry whenever I’ve applied for one. But I have heard of it happening to others and when it does, there usually is not an explanation with it. The Embassy always reserves the right to issue whatever visa they want to issue regardless of what you request. Hope the Chinese visa works out for you!

  26. Elvira October 22, 2012 at 6:07 am - Reply

    Had a very similar experience with obtaining an Indian visa, since I didn’t do my research in time and before actually going to India I was gonna spend 1 week skiing, then 1 week in Bolivia and then straight afterwards 2 weeks in Nepal before finally stopping New Delhi on the way back to Sweden (where I live). So the number of days left before I was leaving Sweden was not sufficient for the processing time. I had to go to Stockholm twice to hand in the application in person and later obtain the visa, after endless calling and e-mailing to the company that was supposed to provide the “service” but was impossible to get hold of. The other thing is that they are very strict about the application, lots of info has to be provided and if anything was filled out wrong, the application was to be rejected, and a new application had to be made. Til the last day I wasn’t sure I would get my visa, but then all of a sudden it was done, I went back to my hometown and flew out the morning after. Pheeew. So yeah, research and planning is very good advice =)

  27. Daniela October 22, 2012 at 4:14 am - Reply

    Hey Earl, any chance you or anybody else reading this, has any experience with the ‘previous visa information’ section of the application? I lived in India for a year back in 06/07 but the passport that had the student visa in it has been lost for years now. The application is asking me for the visa number and date of issue, neither of which I remember. Any clues as to what I should do? Thanks!

    • Earl October 26, 2012 at 12:12 pm - Reply

      Hey Daniela – I had that same situation once and I just left that section blank. But you can always call Travisa Outsourcing and ask them directly just to be certain!

  28. mike October 21, 2012 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    What a crazy story! Visas have to be the supreme representation of bureaucracy!

  29. ZEKE owen October 20, 2012 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    Well Earl, you had some of us on the edge of our seats .It was a lot simpler 30 or forty years ago. Lately I have been refused by foreighn counter “help” at the check’in.They said “thats not you in the foto on you passport.” in the airport. How ever upon showing my passport to the supervisor, a quick glance and smile and I was admitted. I enjoy ever second of your travels. I could hardly recognize the beaches at Pataya, thailand..Earl, great job. next?? gotta check out Cuba again,,yeah, I know, but I gotta get some of that ‘cuban’ spanish under my belt.

  30. Audrey October 19, 2012 at 9:13 pm - Reply

    Those Indian visas are tricky! What’s posted online isn’t always all that accurate…sigh. I messed mine up and had to redo the whole thing over mere weeks before flying out, yikes!

  31. Addison S. @ Visa Hunter October 19, 2012 at 2:57 pm - Reply

    Unless 100% certain it is always best to give yourself plenty of time. I’ve also found myself with unwanted layovers whilst waiting for paperwork to clear. When in the US, you can get a lot of help with the Indian visa from Travisa.

    • Earl October 22, 2012 at 1:58 am - Reply

      Hey Addison – Not only can you get help from Travisa, you pretty much need to use them in order to get a visa now!

  32. Matthew Cheyne October 19, 2012 at 12:50 pm - Reply

    Don’t be too hard on yourself Earl. This isn’t entirely your fault and there is some silver lining to it all. It’s not your fault that the Indian visa system is so convoluted, making you travel just to apply for the visa let alone get it. As for the silver lining, I think you did yourself a big favor by applying and getting the 5 year visa. You saved yourself countless hours of trips to the visa office to apply for 3 month visas. If you wanted to you could even base yourself out of India for quite a while. The monetary savings over the course of five years would far out way the inconvenience you’ve had to injure in order to get the visa in the first place.

    • Earl October 22, 2012 at 1:53 am - Reply

      Hey Matthew – That was my line of thinking as well…with the 5-year visa, all of the time/money spent becomes well worth it in the end. I’ll be sure to make the most out of this visa after this ordeal!

  33. […] How Not To Get An Indian Visa […]

  34. Talon October 19, 2012 at 10:54 am - Reply

    I’m going to have fun getting a visa for India since we won’t be back in the States. And I can’t believe you left my book out your list of places for visa information. So offended! 🙂

    • Earl October 22, 2012 at 1:51 am - Reply

      Hey Talon – Wait, I thought you were going to tell me when the book was available! I had no idea it was ready!

  35. Sarah Somewhere October 19, 2012 at 10:34 am - Reply

    Bummer Earl! Least you got it done! I think visa stuff-ups are unavoidable since the rules change wherever you go! I stressed about getting my Chinese visa, but after climbing a volcano in Lombok, almost not making my flight to KL then going straight to the visa center, it was pretty simple. Then I slept for 5 days 🙂 Have fun in India!

    • Earl October 22, 2012 at 1:49 am - Reply

      Hey Sarah – The sleeping for 5 days part sounds quite appealing to me right now. My relaxing trip home has been much more hectic than planned!

  36. Wade | October 18, 2012 at 10:45 pm - Reply

    Haha, yes, I know how this is. It’s almost too easy to get nonchalant about these things after traveling for a long time. I’ve been there.

    • Earl October 22, 2012 at 1:45 am - Reply

      Hey Wade – Yes it is too easy to get a little too relaxed and stop paying attention to such important items as visa rules. Oh well, it usually works out in the end and I did get my (expensive) visa a couple of days later. Hope you’re well!

  37. Jes October 18, 2012 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    You posted this at just the right moment for me to stop feeling so annoyed at my last minute Maine to Iowa trip for horse racing:) I hope you have a blast in India!

  38. Brian N October 18, 2012 at 9:47 pm - Reply

    Man, wish I had seen this post earlier. With your delayed flight and all I would have driven to the airport, bought you some coffee and racked your brain for a little while. I just stumbled on your site on Monday and have spend every free minute reading your previous blogs. I’m quite interested in this sort of lifestyle myself and am looking at starting out next year. Maybe, if I’m lucky, I’ll be able to be able to ask you questions in the future. Safe travels back to Fl!

    • Earl October 22, 2012 at 1:44 am - Reply

      Hey Brian – It would have been great to meet up! I’m sure it won’t be the last time I mess up a visa and randomly find myself at a Texas airport as a result 🙂

      And welcome to the site, it’s great to have you as a reader!

  39. Bessie October 18, 2012 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    Good advice! I had a few run-ins myself (almost missing a flight because my watch was on the wrong time zone, taking a bus into the wrong city, etc.) because I’d get lazy the longer I traveled. It’s much easier to coast into comfort “I move around a lot & have to get many visas” mode, and then you lose track of the basics.

    Hope that 5 year visa comes through with a cookie after a whopping $153. And that visa is one I hope to acquire myself one day.

    Happy America-ing, Earl.

    • Earl October 22, 2012 at 1:41 am - Reply

      Hey Bessie – A few run-ins, huh? At least you have Kyle as backup to make sure you don’t get too lazy 🙂 See you in India one day!

  40. Steve C October 18, 2012 at 3:47 pm - Reply

    Just pinning these lessons to obtaining a visa is somewhat short sighted. These two lessons are “LIFE LESSONS”, and can be applied to everything we do.

    This is a perfect example of: Murphy’s Law; Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

    Also, your assuming and waiting till the last minute and having it cost more is what happens to those in the fast lane. You know as well as I do that slow travel is the best and cheapest. If something takes a little longer, no problem. Life was much simpler back when you were just traveling. Now you’ve got a blog and you are doing tours and who knows what all. Your life is becoming more complicated. But, that’s OK. Go for it! If you sit back and try never to make mistakes, you never accomplish anything. At least in this case, you found a work-around that didn’t completely hold you up or empty your bank account.

    Earl, you know that I’m not trying to be a jerk and a know-it-all as I’ve got plenty of these stories from my own life on the road! And sometimes I think I’ll never learn. lol

    • Earl October 22, 2012 at 1:35 am - Reply

      Hey Steve – Don’t worry, there’s a few lessons out there that I have trouble learning as well no matter how many mistakes I make!

  41. Coco Marie October 18, 2012 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    VISA ISSUES ARRRRGGHHHHHHHH!!! I feel your pain. It is never simple, is it? Took me almost a year to get a year visa for France! However, the key is persistence (and well yes, research and not procrastinating help, too!). Good luck on our travels and I hope you can avoid visa issues in the future

  42. thetravelfool October 18, 2012 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    Wow, I hope your trip to India goes smoother than the prep for it.

  43. Mikaela October 18, 2012 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    Got a visa scare too once. Flying from Bali to Australia and assumed (as it is in Bali with visa on arrival) and having a passport from a country which often means getting a visa without applying. Realized the night before that an online application should have been days earlier because the visa could take some days in worst case. Therefore very relieved when the acceptance of the application came quite fast to my inbox the same night xD

  44. Adam Mayfield October 18, 2012 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    Visas have to be the biggest pain in the #@% ever. They can be too confusing and too convoluted. Glad you got what you needed though even if it did cost almost 4x what it should have.

    A 5 year visa for India? That’s awesome! Wish I could snag a 5 year visa for Thailand.

    • I'm Also Earl October 19, 2012 at 1:58 am - Reply

      You can stay in Thailand as long as you want. Simply enroll in a certified school and they’ll get you a student visa. The schools are about $800 a year, and usually have two 2-hour long classes each week. You have to show up for at least 70% of classes and check in with immigration every 3 months. You can study any subject for up to 5 years (eg. Thai language I), then, if you want to stay longer, just change subjects!

      • [email protected] universally October 19, 2012 at 8:14 am - Reply

        Wow .. I never thought this kind of way of getting the Student Visa. Just one question I would like to ask You Earl… Is the Thai language certification course would be helpful for us? Have you tried such way…thanks..

        • Earl October 22, 2012 at 1:49 am - Reply

          Hey Adrian – I’ve never used that method for staying long-term in Thailand but it does seem like a good option. Others manage to stay long-term by crossing borders, applying for 3-month visas and working the system a bit but taking classes would make life a lot easier!

      • Earl October 22, 2012 at 1:46 am - Reply

        @I’m Also Earl – Thanks for sharing that info and I’m sure some people will find it quite useful!

      • Adam Mayfield October 22, 2012 at 4:24 pm - Reply

        Great info! I’ll be tucking that one away for use later. Thanks again!

    • Earl October 22, 2012 at 1:34 am - Reply

      Hey Adam – Yeah, the 5 year visa is a good option…won’t have to worry about this visa stuff for a while now!

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