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Visas - applying in countries that are not your own :S

Travel Forums Travel Gear Visas - applying in countries that are not your own :S

1. Posted by Buttfish (Respected Member 298 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

hey! (i hope i'm putting this in the right forum. it's kind of travel gear-ish, right?)

ok, so here goes.

see, i'm going to india in november for about a month (there's a chance i may stay a bit longer). i'm leaving for my backpacking trip on august 2nd (which is not november :) ). i was thinking to get my indian visa in serbia (cause i'll be visiting some family there for a month and a half in september, just before india). the indian embassy in serbia (belgrade, to be specific) - their website, actually - basically said that someone like me (a canadian!) can take out an indian visa there, but it'll take about three days, as opposed to two. i emailed them to check since i'm paranoid and this is my first trip out..but they haven't answered me (which sort of makes sense, cause i'm potentially too paranoid?).

if i take it out just before my trip, i won't be able to stay that extra month in india (which has a good chance of happening, in short words). that's why i was thinking of trying in serbia, since i have lots of time there. but i'm scared that i'll go there to take it out and they'll tell me something changed and i can't, because i'm canadian and have to do it on canadian soil - i mean, in canada. i'm serbian, too, but i don't have a serbian passport, so that won't work.

am i being too paranoid? in general, i would think you could take out a visa out of any embassy, since it's that country's soil at whereever you are. ...right?

yeah...a bit paranoid. pre-travel frights? can anyone share their experiences with visas? it's just that time's counting down (another 18 lovely days left) and this is slowly coming around to bite me in the ---. :S



2. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Do it as soon as possible, so an extra day or two won't matter, and if they have changed the rules, you still have plenty of time to try elsewhere. But by then you know. It does often take "foreign" passports longer to sort out, as they embassy needs to check with the "home" country (in your case Canada) that you are real and it is a real passport, and there are no other problems.

As to general, yes, most embassies will accept visa applications from non natives, BUT NOT ALL

Certain countries, for reasons of diplomatic reciprocity - one of my favourite subjects - insist that you get visa's in your own country: Eg Germans can only legally get Russian visas in Germany (and vice versa), for obscure technical and historical visas. Having said that, you can get Russian visas with a German passport in Hong Kong and Phnom Penh at the very least. Meanwhile, at the Russian embassy in Beijing, only Chinese passport holders, or those foreigners who can prove Chinese residency for longer than 6months, can get visas. This is down to a change in regulations a few years ago, which doubled the workload, so the Russians in Beijing basically said sod this! This does not, however, affect the Russian embassy in Shanghai which accepts all-comers (or, at least used to. I haven't check in the last year). Some other countries also insist that it is done in your home (resident) country, and in certain cases won't even accept people who have the passport for that country, but live overseas.

Basically, there is no fixed rule. In general, and with "safe" (eg. Western) passports, you can get your visas's in any embassy, though they might take a few days longer (Indian visa's in London used to take 5days for non GB passport holders), though it all depends on the specific visa you want, exactly where you want to get it, and in some cases, even who happens to be working in the embassy that day (I have twice been refused visas, yet gone back 2hours later or teh next day, talked to somebody else, and got them without problem....)

Not sure if any of that helps, but good luck!

3. Posted by Buttfish (Respected Member 298 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Thanks Gelli! It helps a little bit!!