They say, we travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us.
I say, I travel to live the life. After all, the world offers so much more than what the human imagination can come up with, and there is no better way to fully maximize one’s existence than experience as much as possible of the Earth’s every nook and cranny.
2016 is the year my age left the official Gregorian world monthly calendar. With the wish to travel constantly gnawing the soles of my feet and my practical circumstances persistently scratching reality back into my head, I have watched each month and year pass by without going to any of the places I so long to see. Then 2016 happened and India happened.
Yes, I conquered Incredible India. Well, not all parts of it but 2 states at least.
To start off, I hold a passport that requires a visit visa in order to enter the said country. Though I have not had the chance to apply for a lot of other countries’ visas yet, I think Indian visit visa is one of the easiest to apply for and acquire simply because of how simple and straightforward, not to mention the ease and speed of approval, the process is.
Applications for an Indian visit visa can be applied for online. I actually found the Indian Visa Online website very user-friendly. It highlights the different visa categories offered by the Government of India. The most relevant for my visit to the country is using the Tourist Visa as I am planning to see friends and the sights. For the visas that have been made available through online application, there is no option to submit paper application. For individuals who are interested to visit the country for sightseeing purposes, the e-Tourist Visa or eTV is definitely the best option to go with.
All relevant information to prepare for before submitting the visa application application is actually carefully laid out across the website. It has a separate page for the requirements and each specific, even providing one full page to clearly define the specifications for the photograph required and another page designation for the visa fee. However, the Regular Visa Application tab on the homepage is in reference to all other regular visas. For me specifically, I chose to go with e-Tourist Visa, which proved to be really smart of me (praising oneself eh!). The online application form looks like this.
I filled out the details required to initiate the application then I got directed to a more detailed form and was assigned a Temporary Application ID in case I do not finish the application in the same time I started it out. It is important to note that the arrival date should be 4 days from the application date until 30 days from that 4th day. So, for an application posted on 6th March 2017, the expected date of arrival should be from 10th March 2017 until 9th April 2017. The good thing about the system though is the fast approval, so planning the visit dates does not get so complicated.
The next page is a more detailed form requiring further information about the visa applicant. The only thing I had an issue with is the visible birth mark as I struggled to describe the location of the only visible yet still small facial mole I have been blessed with.
After filling out the second form, you are directed to the third form which is all about the visa applicant’s address, family details and professional/occupation information. For the third portion, there is a limited list of occupation, so to avoid any confusion and complications, I chose others and provided the designation indicated in my current work visa in the UAE.
The next page is all about the visit details including the places one intends to visit, expected arrival date and entry/exit points (referring to the airports). The last portion of the page is with reference to the contact person in India as well as for a contact person from the applicant’s home country in case of emergency. This is a requirement for those who are visiting the country for tourism purposes especially if you specified to visit friends.
Following the forms is the photo requirement as per below page.
After the appropriate photograph (according to the requirements specified) has been uploaded accordingly, the applicant will be directed to the payment page. During my own application, my leave details were still under approval at work, so I had to pause prior to making the payment. At that point, the application has been partially submitted and waiting for the application fee before it could be process. I was also notified in the email regarding this status for my reference. When I was ready to make the payment, I just went ahead to the Pay Visa Fee page, entered the Application ID and my birthdate to proceed and complete the payment. I successfully lodged and paid for the application at 5:53pm on a Monday and viola, the visa was approved at 8:39am on the following day. I was a very happy kid!
I had to carry only this piece of paper with me when I entered India along with my passport (of course!). More on that experience in the next entry. Ciao for now!