India visa's

Seeking individuals that have gone thru the process of getting a visa for India. I'd like to know what it's like if you do it yourself without using Tauck's recommendation.


    edited August 2015
    My wife and I got visas on our own without trouble. This year, India introduced a new, 30 day, single entry, tourist e-visa-on-arrival. We passed on that, wanting to have a visa in hand before departure and also fearing it might make extra trouble on arrival at Delhi airport, when we are sure to feel exhausted and unnerved.

    Instead for very few dollars more we applied for the only other option, a multiple entry tourist visa good for 10 years. Indian consulates have outsourced visa processing to Cox and Kings. You fill out an application available on the Cox and Kings web-site, pay on line, print everything out, and send it with your passport to the Cox & Kings office serving the consulate in your area. The application takes a bit of time, but it was a lot simpler than the one we filled out to visit Russia last year!

    Because it was easy for us to visit the Cox and Kings office in San Francisco in person, we hand delivered the application, having phoned a day or two earlier for an appointment. (No, I misremembered. We made the appointment on line too.) It took Cox and Kings and India's SF consulate less than a week to process it.

    The only cock-up was learning that Cox & Kings had suddenly decided they would no longer return passports at their office but instead now returned them exclusively via Fed Ex. Ours arrived with very little warning while we were out of town. Since the front gate was locked, the Fed Ex driver left our passports hanging on the gate-post out in the street! (After a frantic phone-call our daughter recovered them for us.) The best laid plans.

    Hope to meet you on the tour.
  • In the process of getting a Visa for the Spotlight on India tour in Nov. Was very disappointed to see all the paperwork to get a Visa!!! When I called the Tauck Visa specialist, she was not informative at all and suggested I call VisaCentral direct. I tried this, but could not get a person. Very displeased!! Help!!
  • edited August 2016
    Sorting the visa paperwork for India a few years ago was an absolute pain in the ass, my husband got so frustrated he almost cancelled the tour. I think Tauck used a different Visa company then. We have used visa central for another country's visa and it worked fine. It is not really the fault of any Tauck person or Visa company, it is India itself and it's very complicated visa paperwork. When you fill it out on line, once you print it out, it looks nothing like the form you think will come out of your printer, very odd. Good luck, keep at it, India is unmissable!
  • I have written a detailed account of how to obtain an ETV (electronic visa) in another post. You will save A LOT of money doing it yourself rather than having a service do it. In fact, from what I saw, the service has you fill out the same info and are charging a boatload of money to boot! The post is under "General Discussion" and then look under "Portrait of India." I posted it on July 11th. I'm not sure how it ended up there, but I just responded to someone who asked about how to do it. There is an address from the Trip Advisor Forum which gives a question by question guide, and when I ran into a snag in the process, a post and response on Trip Advisor sent me on my way. Another benefit of the electronic visa, for us, was that the line at customs was MUCH shorter, and at 1:30 AM, that is a biggie!
  • Hang on, everyone.............this thread was raised on 29 August 2 0 1 5 so I am not sure why it has reared its head again with a response now..... or did someone just see AUGUST and assume it was this year. We have not reached 29th yet this year - not in England at least.
    That said, when we did this trip 3 years ago we applied for our visa on the internet in England and it came through very quickly indeed.
  • edited August 2016
    If you read back four posts, you will see that British and I were responding to Mustang's post from August 18, 2016!!! 2 0 1 6 !! Believe me, we can read, too! Sometimes people tag on to an older post rather than creating a new thread...
  • Let's not be so hard on each other. I noticed that but it was still a relevant thread. Richard, I'm with you. You post some great stuff.
  • Sorry I spoke - just thought I could avoid confusion and maybe help someone or even maybe save wasted input. At least I have learned an important lesson that there are others on the forum who can read too.
  • I am going on the Spotlight on India tour this December and was wondering if anyone who has recently gone on this tour has found the visa process any easier to navigate. I've read earlier posts which made it sound like a nightmare. Will I need to take a valium before starting it in a few months??
  • We went last Nov and used Visa Central. They made it a whole lot easier.
  • Thanks Delawaretraveler and British- I have used Visa Central for Tauck trips in the past and agree, they simplify the process....but will be prepared with the Valium and perhaps an adult beverage! Have had this trip on my bucket list for a long time. Looking forward to it.
  • Traveling teacher- I forgot to mention that India uses metric sizes. We bought A4 paper (210 x 244mm) because using our paper cut off some of the bottom. We didn't want to take a chance with it being rejected.
  • Thanks- darn those metric countries (most of the world)!! I agree, better to be safe than sorry. Can't say I'm looking forward to the process, but I am sure it will all be worth it and Visa Central does make it simpler. I have had good customer service from them in the past.... Need to refresh an inoculation in a few months, about I feel about taking more malaria pills, but again, better safe than sorry. I never chance doing or eating anything to ruin a Tauck vacation (or any trip)! Too many people lose tour time when they get Delhi Belly, and I don't plan on being a statistic either. Hope you weren't. What was the highlight of your time in India?
  • Every city was so different! It is a great mix of crowded city and safari and We really liked Nepal. Everyday we'd say "it can't get better than this" and then of course it did! Of course staying at the Agra Oberoi and seeing the Taj Mahal was wonderful. No one on our trip got sick. We took one of those water purifying pens with us but never used it. All of the hotels provided bottled water and Tauck always had water on the buses. Tauck takes great pains to only take you to restaurants that have been checked out and safe. We did need our face masks in Delhi- the smog was so bad schools were closed. We're going to China with Tauck in September and are just starting our Visa process with Visa Central. Not as bad as India & Russia but daunting all the same.
  • Thank you Delawaretraveler- I will definitely pack a face mask. And I agree with you about Tauck taking great care to provide not only water, but safe places to eat. I am taking a Tauck riverboat cruise in August before the December trip to India. Luckily, nothing is needed for that. Safe travels.

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