India - e-visas

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#41
near Washington D.C.
464 Posts
Joined May 2005
Originally posted by mjobtx
We are from the U.S. We had 4 ports in India last month. E-Visas were not an option and as some have said applying for an Indian visa can be complex and confusing. Even though the form has a check box for the 120 months multiple entry visa and you check that box, you may not get a 120 month visa. My wife got a 120 month visa. Mine was only good for 12 months. I met a couple of others on our ship that experienced the same thing. When I asked Visa Central about it, they simply said it is up to the person processing our visa to decide when your visa will expire. One thing for sure, it costs the same whether it is good for 10 years or only 1 year.
DW and I just had a good laugh! We live near Washington D.C. and handled (with ease) our multi-entry Indian Visas directly with the Embassy's agent in downtown D.C. When passports were returned, we found that she had gotten 10 year Visa while mine was for 12 months. We were mystified although I had filled out all the paperwork the same way - she went to the a different agent at the Visa counter.
#42
South Lancs, England
929 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by jannandjohn
I have an Indian friend who owns a tour company in Cochin
Lijo Jose... one of the top tour operators over there( if not the best !!)
we are going to India again next yr.. 7TH April on Celebrity Constellation
. .Lijo asked me to alert anyone going that the E visa does not allow people in who are going by sea.
it is for airports only....regardless of what the visa website says..
India has not perfected the e visa system for PORTS yet..
just last month LIJO had 40 people on the Majestic Princess have to cancel their tour for the day as they only had e visas and Indian customs caused severe dramas

I posted this on my rollcall



With all due respect, the above post is a bit contradictory.

On the one hand, your Indian friend states the E visa does not allow people in who are arriving by sea (even though the Indian Government website states that it DOES allow a maximum of two entries, namely via Cochin, Goa and Mangalore), and the messages you quoted clearly show that the E visa has been accepted on a cruise as the Indian immigration officials are bussing those with E visas for biometrics.

Granted, the E visa will cause a delay on the first port of call whilst the biometrics are taken, but I would suggest it is the tour operators or the cruise lines themselves who are causing the confusion over whether or not the E visa is sufficient purely because of the delays in picking up the tours in that first port of call.
#43
Plano, Texas, USA
376 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
We had four ports in India on our cruise this past April/May. We cruised on Oceania. We were explicitly told that e-Visas would not be acceptable and that we would be required to obtain a regular visa. Typically the regular visa is for 120 months. Several of us learned that the expiration date was merely a suggestion. The consular employee issuing the visa decided the term of the visa. Several of us wound up with 12 month visas. The cost was the same.

Michael
Plano, TX USA
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Michael
Plano, TX USA
#44
South Lancs, England
929 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by mjobtx
We had four ports in India on our cruise this past April/May. We cruised on Oceania. We were explicitly told that e-Visas would not be acceptable and that we would be required to obtain a regular visa. Typically the regular visa is for 120 months. Several of us learned that the expiration date was merely a suggestion. The consular employee issuing the visa decided the term of the visa. Several of us wound up with 12 month visas. The cost was the same.

Michael
Plano, TX USA
That's because an E-visa is only good for double entry, that is two ports of call out of the three valid ports (Cochin, Goa and Mangalore).

You had four entries therefore requiring a full tourist visa.
#45
Plano, Texas, USA
376 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
My apologies for sharing our experience. I had no idea that ships stopped at only one or two ports in India. My mistake.
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Michael
Plano, TX USA
#46
11 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
We just got an email from our cruise agent pretty much saying that eTourist Visas were causing a hold up and big delay for passengers going ashore in Cochin for our trip on QM2 next April.

However we have decided to cut short our cruise from Hong Kong to Dubai and disembark in Cochin due to work commitments. This means we will stay an extra night in India before flying home the following morning.

We really don't care if there is a delay disembarking because we will not really miss a lot. The full Visa will not only cost an extra £100 or so for two of us but it will also require a 250 mile round trip to a consulate and waste us a whole day doing so.

So do we go for an eTourist Visa or not?
#47
East Sussex
28 Posts
Joined May 2013
Hi Apial,
Check with your cruise company. We're on a Celebrity cruise next month, and have recently had an email from Celebrity telling us we must have a full tourist visa, otherwise we will not be permitted to board in Abu Dhabi. Technically you should be OK with an E-visa, but our experience of Indian beaurocracy is that things can change depending on the mood of the officials on the day!
#48
562 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
We just returned from a 3 week cruise with stops in India and I can only tell you that we were very glad we listened to the cruise line and and obtained a regular multi-entry visa.

The waits for those with an e-visa were horrendous. We breezed right through every where we went. We got our visas through the cox and kings website and sent them all our documents. We received the our passports back within the week.

They are very helpful on the phone if you have questions.
#49
South Australia
217 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
Originally posted by joandian
We are in Australia and only have the option of 1 year visas for basically the same price you in the US pay for a 10 year or the new e-visa, which say on them they can be used in both Cochin and Goa ports. We also have to travel to either Canberra or Sydney to apply in person and that is quite some distance from where we live.

Having said all that, we are prepared to do this if it reduces the risk of missing the private tour to the Taj Mahal we have set up.


....We're going in Nov and our cruise line made it very clear that we would need a multiple entry visa. I know it's more detailed to get but I prefer not to be surprised when I get there! ....

Agreed! If you think of it, would you mind posting of your experience going through immigration at the ports. please? I would like to hear first hand how quickly you get through with the regular paper visas. Thanks!
Hi there, are you able to give us any feedback re the India visa, ther are so many different reports it's just confusing.
Any help is much appreciated.
#51
Phoenix, AZ
599 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Here is something else to add to the confusion re: India e-Visas for cruisers.

http://indianexpress.com/article/cit...ships-4774814/


By my reading, you can just get an e-Visa if you are on a cruise ship instead of the other type of visa. However, I would check with your particular cruise line.


Bill
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#52
England
2,096 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
As of last month Celebrity were still advising that a full tourist visa is required and reinforced this by email to all UK TAs mid December. On the 7th December Constellation sailing approximately 10% of pax arrived at check in with only evisas, they were eventually allowed to board and had to attend separate interviews on board in addition to the face to face meeting all pax did with the Indian Immigration officials who travelled with the ship from Abu Dhabi. Those pax with evisas also had a further immigration process to go through at temporary booths on the dockside at our first port in Goa before they could go on ship or private tours. Some missed private tours, and those with ship tours earlier than 1030 that hadn't rearranged them also missed their's.

People reading the above article should bear in mind it is 6 months old and talks of proposals which may or may not have happened, also the unpredictability of India Immigration Service officials on the day.

In all cases be guided by what your cruise line requires, otherwise you could be refused boarding and have no recourse to refund or claim for your lost holiday

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#53
South Lancs, England
929 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Some very good news, and a bit more confusion to the e-visa saga, here is the latest information from India Government:

Jan 2nd 2018 : Cruise tourists with e-visas exempted from biometric enrolment


"Most of the current cruise passengers are expected to arrive on e-visa, and biometric enrolment of all these passengers would slow down immigration clearance, the statement said.

The simplified immigration clearance procedure is part of a series of steps to attract and enhance cruise passenger experience at the major ports. "



#54
England
2,096 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Originally posted by icsys
Some very good news, and a bit more confusion to the e-visa saga, here is the latest information from India Government:

Jan 2nd 2018 : Cruise tourists with e-visas exempted from biometric enrolment


"Most of the current cruise passengers are expected to arrive on e-visa, and biometric enrolment of all these passengers would slow down immigration clearance, the statement said.

The simplified immigration clearance procedure is part of a series of steps to attract and enhance cruise passenger experience at the major ports. "



Your link is incomplete, doesn't work.

And irrespective of your information, until the cruise lines get it and advise accordingly, whatever they (the cruise lines) require, is what we have to comply with...

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#55
South Lancs, England
929 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Cruise-tourists-with-e-visa-exempted-from-biometric-enrolment

There you go...
... and here's another link:

India waives biometric capture for arriving cruise tourists

"The new ruling was rubber-stamped just a week after the issue of the lengthy immigration process at Indian ports was aired by several cruise line executives during a panel discussion looking at India’s cruising aspirations during the Seatrade Middle East Cruise Forum in Dubai."

Cruise lines represented at the forum included: AIDA Cruises; Carnival UK; Crystal Cruises; Cunard; Cruise & Maritime Voyages; Marella Cruises, TUI Group; MSC Cruises; P&O Cruises; Pullmantur Cruises; Royal Caribbean Cruise Ltd; TUI Cruises; Star Clippers; Windstar Cruises; Virgin Voyages.

The above extract suggests that some cruise lines have already 'got it'. What they choose to do with it is the question.
#56
England
2,096 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Thanks for the news story links, anything in writing from an official Indian Government source yet though?

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#57
Brisbane, Australia
914 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Doesn’t really matter whether the cruise lines have “got it”,it’s the Indian govt officials you need to be concerned about. We obtained full multiple entry visas, just seemed easier. The process was very straight forward.


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#58
South Lancs, England
929 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by harz99
Thanks for the news story links, anything in writing from an official Indian Government source yet though?

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On the Indian Government website news feed it is currently the third topic.

Here's the direct link to the Government of India Press Information Bureau statement.
#59
England
2,096 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Your direct link goes to an error message, still looking for an official statement rather than a news item.

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#60
25 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Just received official word from Princess on my cruise personalizer for my cruise with an Indian port that an e-visa is now ok since biometrics will not be needed.


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