So ive booked my RTW trip with STA travel who have been great in advising my on any questions ive head ...
they explained to me that as im going to be in India for 1 month (november 2008) - im going to need a visa ... anyhoo they gave me a price which ive actually forgotten now as i know it will be cheaper if i cut ou the Middle Man (ie STA Travel) .... i done the same for my Australian Working Holiday Visa .... tho to be honest the India one is proving slightly more difficult!
Can someone explain why i need a visa for India - i dont plan to work there ... meerly travel through the country for a month! .... would it be the end of the world if i went for that month without a visa?
thanks for any advise
I haven't applied in the UK, but have in Australia so I would imagine like most things it isn't too much harder in the UK than in Australia. Seeing it is over 6 months away that you are wishing to travel to India, you will have to wait quite a while until you can apply for the visa. When I applied for mine, I just sent a copy of my round the world ticket itinerary (just the section that showed the flight before India and the flight after India), filled in the application, got the correct money order and sent it off in the mail registered post. Within a bit over a week I had received it back at my home, so it only actually took them about 2-3 days to process if you include the delivery time from me to them and them to me. The visa was valid for 6 months from the date is issue so in your case this would mean you would want to leave it within the last few months before you travel to apply. This would then allow you plenty of time just incase they have problems and will also mean that by the time you finish the expected 1 month in India you will still have plenty of validity on the visa incase you wanted to stay longer.
Why you need a visa for India when you don't wish to work - Well it is the same in a lot of 3rd world and some not third world countries. The UK government (and other developed countries governments) give India and most nationalities a painful experience before getting a visa if they eventually even get one. Often people who apply to travel to UK, Australia, US etc get the third degree (why are you travelling, where are you going, how long are you going to be there, where are you staying, do you plan to work, do you know anyone there) and that is just the beginning. I'm not from a Third world country and I even got the rediculous question of why did you get a passport when you did! I mean why else do you get a passport if you don't plan on travelling overseas So countries like India, Russia, Iran etc think to themselves if they give us a difficult time to get a visa and charge us a lot, then we are going to return the favour. Only major difference is that after all the formalities normally a UK passport holder, Australian passport holder and major economic powerhouse countries get the visa where as people in India (even Dr's) get refused the visa like one member on this forum experienced on the European forum a few months back.
A visa doesn't just mean a "working visa", it also can mean a "tourist visa". Many many countries in the world require tourists coming for even a single day to have tourist visa. Sometimes these can be arranged at the border for cheap, and some must be arranged in advance and are expensive.
In India's case it MUST be arranged before arriving in India. No, it won't be the end of the world if you try to go to India without one, but it will really suck for you because you won't even get on the plane without one. The airline will stop you before they even give you a boarding pass and will tell you to come back to the airport when you've arranged one.
The good news is that Indian visa's really aren't that hard to arrange. You have a couple options depending on your travel itinerary. Since the visa will be valid or 6 months from the day you apply for it, you need to make sure that you are planning on LEAVING India before the end of that 6 months. If this is ok, then applying at the Indian embassy at home is probably the easiest option. If however India is at the end of your 6 month trip, then that's probably not going to work. Luckily you can apply for a visa on the road at an Indian Embassy in whatever country you'll be in. There are of course countries that are probably easier than others if they are on your itinerary. Any western country, like Australia, NZ, US etc... will be no problem to get a visa. In other Asian countries, Indian embassies are pretty used to foreigners coming in looking for Visas. Bangkok is probably the most common place to arrange it, and it's about as hard as buying milk at a corner store.
Also consider where else you are going on your trip. You might find that other countries require visas as well.
yeah i was being a tad niave ... i shall be in Australia @ the point of me requiring one - i was getting alittle worried as im not sure how concrete my living situation would be @ the point of me applying - so internet application wouldnt work!
Indian Embassay in Australia it is then ... many thanks guys!
the forum has proved very helpfull so far!