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Do I need a visa? Just changing planes.

Do I need a visa? Just changing planes.

Old Mar 8, 09, 3:54 am
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Do I need a visa? Just changing planes.

I'm looking at an unusual routing from Bangkok on Air India.

Bangkok-Bangalore-Mumbai-Frankfurt-Chicago

If I'm just changing planes I wouldn't need a visa would I? Never been through India.
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Old Mar 8, 09, 4:11 am
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I suspect you need a transit visa, since the BLR-BOM segment is presumably domestic. It might depend on your nationality. Always check with the Indian embassy or consulate.
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Old Mar 8, 09, 5:15 am
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Please continue this discussion in the India forum. Thanks for your understanding.

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Old Mar 8, 09, 7:34 am
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Originally Posted by The Thumbs Up Guy View Post
I'm looking at an unusual routing from Bangkok on Air India.

Bangkok-Bangalore-Mumbai-Frankfurt-Chicago

If I'm just changing planes I wouldn't need a visa would I? Never been through India.
Most visitors to India require a visa to exit the International transit area of the airport, and these must be obtained in advance as they are not available on arrival in India.

It is most likely that you would need to pass through Indian Immigration at BLR to catch your domestic BLR-BOM flight, and then pass through Immigration again at BOM to exit India for your FRA flight, in which case you would need a visa (depending on your nationality).

However Air India does (or did) operate a few special flights domestically within India that actually leave and arrive from the international side of the airports enabling passengers to stay in the International transit area.

I've no idea if your BLR-BOM flight would classify as one of these though. It is probably safer to assume its not, unless you can find out for sure.

A transit visa is the cheapest to obtain. These are quite restricted though, and I think they are only valid for 15 days from issue. It might be worth looking at getting a tourist visa as these are usually valid for much longer.

It is usually quite a hassle to obtain Indian visas in most countries, so its worth being sure that transiting via India is worth the potential extra complication.

Last edited by abfab; Mar 8, 09 at 7:42 am
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Old Mar 8, 09, 8:58 am
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Get a transit visa. You likely need one for the domestic segment. And arriving in India without a visa, even if doing immiediate international to international transit, can be time consuming anyway. Do the Visa.
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Old Mar 12, 09, 3:49 pm
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Originally Posted by abfab View Post
It is usually quite a hassle to obtain Indian visas in most countries, so its worth being sure that transiting via India is worth the potential extra complication.
I'll disagree with this statement, at least in the US. Since the Indian consulate outsourced the visa service to a private company, it's actually very easy. You go online, enter all your info, get an appointment and pay by credit card. On the morning of the appointment you bring in the docs (the queues are relatively short), and come back any afternoon to pick it up, also with no queues. US citizens can pick up same afternoon, others usually 1-3 days. I believe it can also be done by mail.
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Old Mar 12, 09, 5:19 pm
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Originally Posted by ExpAAt05 View Post
I'll disagree with this statement, at least in the US. Since the Indian consulate outsourced the visa service to a private company, it's actually very easy. You go online, enter all your info, get an appointment and pay by credit card. On the morning of the appointment you bring in the docs (the queues are relatively short), and come back any afternoon to pick it up, also with no queues. US citizens can pick up same afternoon, others usually 1-3 days. I believe it can also be done by mail.
Well, the above being 'very easy' does depend firstly on you being able to take the day off work easily, and secondly, on actually living in or near a city where there is an Indian Visa processing centre (which I think a lot of people don't).

It is also surprising how many people seem to get turned away and have return another time because they have inadvertently brought the wrong/insufficient paperwork or made some other error in their paperwork (their own fault though I guess).

I'll admit though, it does feel a bit like a walk in the park compared to how it used to be before they outsourced the process.
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Old Mar 12, 09, 9:45 pm
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Originally Posted by abfab View Post
Well, the above being 'very easy' does depend firstly on you being able to take the day off work easily, and secondly, on actually living in or near a city where there is an Indian Visa processing centre (which I think a lot of people don't).
I'm pretty sure you can do it by mail. Just need to give it a few extra days.

Originally Posted by abfab View Post
I'll admit though, it does feel a bit like a walk in the park compared to how it used to be before they outsourced the process.
And compared to visas to most other countries
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Old Mar 15, 09, 2:12 am
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Originally Posted by abfab View Post
I've no idea if your BLR-BOM flight would classify as one of these though. It is probably safer to assume its not, unless you can find out for sure.
All AI flights within these two airports are domestic. Regardless he would still need a visa once he lands at BOM to transit from domestic to International.

You need a visa either way and will have to get it before you come or they won't let you board the flight in BKK.
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Old Mar 15, 09, 11:35 am
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Originally Posted by abfab View Post
I'll admit though, it does feel a bit like a walk in the park compared to how it used to be before they outsourced the process.
the only difference I noticed was the extra handling fee Travisa charged.
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Old Mar 15, 09, 9:47 pm
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Originally Posted by cj001f View Post
the only difference I noticed was the extra handling fee Travisa charged.
You've never been to the Visa department at the Indian High Commission in London then! I've seen grown men weep!

I feel almost nostalgic about it these days though
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Old Mar 15, 09, 10:15 pm
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Originally Posted by ExpAAt05 View Post
I'm pretty sure you can do it by mail. Just need to give it a few extra days.
It can, indeed, be done by courier or registered mail in the U.S. I just did it a few weeks ago and it's very easy - they give you a detailed checklist. You fill out the form online, it spits out a PDF, you print and sign, you ship the form with your passport and 2 passport-sized photos (and other documentation, if required) to the designated office, they process and ship back to you by FedEx (they quote 3-5 business days).

https://indiavisa.travisaoutsourcing.com/homepage

The processing and shipping fees are well worth it, IMO, based on what others have reported about spending a day at the consulate. Travisa says they prefer a Money Order, but I used my Credit Card and had no problems. I shipped 1/30, they received 2/2, visa was dated 2/3, I received it back by FedEx 2/5. I even made a mistake on the form, called to see if I needed to start over, got an agent right away, and was told just to make a note on the form and they'd correct it, which they did.

You can track your application online, too:

Code:
Order History
Date/Time		Action							
01/28/2009  7:21pm EST 	India visa application completed online
02/02/2009 11:25am EST 	Passport and supporting documents received, payment processed.
02/02/2009  4:24pm EST 	Documents prepared to go to Embassy.
02/03/2009  8:12am EST 	Documents dispatched from Travisa Outsourcing Office to Consulate
02/03/2009 12:36pm EST 	Documents received by Consulate
02/04/2009  8:41am EST 	Outsourcing office has verified the visa is processed correctly. Ready for pickup between 4:30pm and 6:00pm. If mail back, waiting for FedEx pick up and is likely to be mailed out tomorrow.
02/04/2009  9:43am EST 	Passport mailed out.

Last edited by dstan; Mar 15, 09 at 10:17 pm Reason: U.S. caveat
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Old Mar 16, 09, 1:40 pm
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Originally Posted by abfab View Post
You've never been to the Visa department at the Indian High Commission in London then! I've seen grown men weep!
When you had to get it at the Indian consulate in NYC it was.. how should I put it? it prepared you well for a day at a food market in India

Going through Travisa - either in person or by mail, as dstan reported - is infinitely better organized.
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Old Mar 26, 09, 1:17 pm
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Originally Posted by ExpAAt05 View Post
When you had to get it at the Indian consulate in NYC it was.. how should I put it? it prepared you well for a day at a food market in India

Going through Travisa - either in person or by mail, as dstan reported - is infinitely better organized.
I think all visa services in the uk are now outsourced so you no longer actually go to the consulate itself. my TA charged £60 inc visa costs for a 6 month indian visa.
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Old Apr 23, 09, 8:00 pm
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Get the visa. Better yet, get the multiple entry visa - it does not cost much more, you can use it for years (if the passport expires before the visa, you can actually transfer it to your new passport.) Iirc, mine is good for ten years? (I have used reliable visa services like TDS as well.)
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