Visa Applications Galore - India Version
An inescapable part of traveling is all the paperwork and research you have to do before you leave. I am hoping this trip to learn to relax a little more and not preplan everything like I did on my European cruise in 2012. I did however have to think ahead of time about visas. Some visas are tricky, you can only apply for them 90 days before you leave (Thailand) and you have to use them within a certain amount of time. I found out that India recently changed the company that issued their visas to Cox & Kings Global Services (CKGS). I couldn’t find this information anywhere when I first looked it up so I thought I would write a quick blog for anyone looking to get a visa for India.
You’re going to need to get a passport photo taken, but if you’ve got friends with Photoshop skills you can have them make one for you like I did for my friend here to print out anywhere that prints 4x6" photos for a few cents.
Because I don’t have my current address on my driver’s license, I had to provide proof of residency in the form of a utility bill with my name on it. It just so happens that my utilities are all in my roommate’s name because he lived here before I moved in. This meant I had to have my name added to the account and wait a month for the next bill to come in to get proof to send along with my visa. I mention this only to help you organize this portion of your application well in advance if necessary. It can not be a cell phone bill or something like that. Has to be a bonified utility bill or a signed copy of the lease.
• To fill out an Online Visa Application Registration here
• A CKGS Order Form
• An Additional Particular Form (even if you’re not applying for a PIO card)
• Proof of Address
• Your actual Passport
• Receipt for online visa payment if you prepaid
Payment There is a way to pay online for your visa. You don’t have to send a money order or cashier’s check. It isn’t very easy to find, but you take your application number (Located under the barcode on your application beginning with USA) and fill out the information located here. It said you’ll get an email receipt but I didn’t. It just downloaded to my “Downloads” folder without me knowing. I hope you’re able to find it quicker than I did with this little bit of information.
I opted to pay for the $15 courier service for them to ship my documents back to me. And that too is open for payment online with a credit card. It is a separate transaction from the visa fees. Here is a link. (EDIT: PLEASE READ UPDATE ON SHIPPING BELOW)
I hope this little blog of information helps you out in your visa preparations!
If you live in California you'll be sending your visa off to
540 Arguello Boulevard, San Francisco, CA 94118
Jurisdiction Include States: Alaska, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming
UPDATE: After waiting for a month to get my passport back I'm advising you NOT to use the courier service offered by CKGS. I had to send proof of my card being charged 6 times to them via email as well as make 9 phone calls. It was not a fun process. I highly suggest you print your own return fedex label and send it along with your Visa application.