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joandian

India - e-visas

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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.:)

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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

 

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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.

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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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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.

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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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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?

Edited by Apial

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Here is something else to add to the confusion re: India e-Visas for cruisers.

 

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/e-visas-from-november-for-tourists-on-cruise-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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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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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. "

 

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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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Posted (edited)

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.

Edited by icsys

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Thanks for the news story links, anything in writing from an official Indian Government source yet though?

 

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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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Posted (edited)
Thanks for the news story links, anything in writing from an official Indian Government source yet though?

 

Sent from my GT-I9300 using Forums mobile app

 

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.

Edited by icsys

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Your direct link goes to an error message, still looking for an official statement rather than a news item.

 

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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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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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Looks like acceptance has started, which port is that please?

 

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Cochin. My cruise only has one stop in India and Cochin is that port.

 

 

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Prior to this Princess said we needed the tourist visa for India even thought we just had one Indian port of call, but just updated our requirements to e-visa.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
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.

 

That just adds credibility to my belief it was all down to delays collecting biometrics at the first port of call, and the impact it had on their shore excursions, as being the reason cruise lines have been insisting that only full paper visas will be accepted.

Even when the e-visa has been perfectly acceptable since April 2017 for itineraries with two ports of call at the three designated sea ports.

.

Edited by icsys

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You may well have a point about the delays as they both impact the cruise line's bottom line and generate complaints and bad pr. However the main problem has always been the Port of Mumbai, which pretty much all cruises visiting India call at, and was never one of the designated seaports for evisa entry.

 

It really doesn't matter what you or I believe though, we have to comply with the various cruise lines policies which we agree to do when wr agree to the cruise contract for that voyage. Of course for those of us that do as instructed, it is really frustrating to then see the cruise line backtrack on their insistence and allow pax with evisas to board, as Celebrity did with their recent Constellation sailings of 7th and 19th December!

 

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We are flying to India early to do a two week tour of the country. A lot of other pax are doing the Taj tour beforehand. We are flying into Delhi. I was planning on obtaining an e-Visa online for entry, which is perfectly acceptable. HOWEVER, my TA informed me today that, per Oceania's visa department, we must obtain a "full" Indian visa in order to be able to board the ship in Mumbai (Nautica - April 29). I do not see the reason or purpose of obtaining a full visa if you have no intention of returning in the next ten years, which applies to us, and you are leaving, not entering, India. An e-visa is fine according to what I have read.

 

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

 

I am wondering what others plan to do. I don't want to be denied boarding in Mumbai. If anyone has any different information, please share on this board. Obtaining a full visa takes several weeks while an e-Visa is pretty straight forward.

 

Let us, that is everyone, know if you have other information.

 

Thanks, Bill

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Although the latest statement from the Indian Government says the designated sea ports are now Mumbai, Goa, New Mangalore, Cochin and Chennai, the official e-visa website still says there are only three designated sea ports, Goa, New Mangalore, Cochin which have been the only ports since April 2017.

 

official India Gov e-visa website

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We are flying to India early to do a two week tour of the country. A lot of other pax are doing the Taj tour beforehand. We are flying into Delhi. I was planning on obtaining an e-Visa online for entry, which is perfectly acceptable. HOWEVER, my TA informed me today that, per Oceania's visa department, we must obtain a "full" Indian visa in order to be able to board the ship in Mumbai (Nautica - April 29). I do not see the reason or purpose of obtaining a full visa if you have no intention of returning in the next ten years, which applies to us, and you are leaving, not entering, India. An e-visa is fine according to what I have read.

 

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

 

I am wondering what others plan to do. I don't want to be denied boarding in Mumbai. If anyone has any different information, please share on this board. Obtaining a full visa takes several weeks while an e-Visa is pretty straight forward.

 

Let us, that is everyone, know if you have other information.

 

Thanks, Bill

You could try calling Oceania as a prospective customer, ask whether evisa is now acceptable in light of recent changes. However as I said in an earlier post, it doesn't matter what you, I, or for that matter others on these boards think, we all have to comply with the respective cruise lines requirements or risk being denied boarding.

 

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You could try calling Oceania as a prospective customer, ask whether evisa is now acceptable in light of recent changes. However as I said in an earlier post, it doesn't matter what you, I, or for that matter others on these boards think, we all have to comply with the respective cruise lines requirements or risk being denied boarding.

 

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Forums mobile app

 

To avoid any problems in Mumbai with Oceania or Indian Customs/Immigration, we have decided to go ahead and obtain the full visa. A laborious process but I hope to get it done with a minimum of difficulty.

 

Thank you all for your input and advice.

 

Bill and Kathi

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I have been told unequivocally by Costa Cruise Lines that I must have a paper visa in my passport or I "could" be stopped from boarding the ship. This, they say, is according to the Indian government, despite the various changes noted by other cruise lines and in official press releases. I am trying to escalate at Costa to reach someone who can make a decision, but not getting anywhere.

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I have been told unequivocally by Costa Cruise Lines that I must have a paper visa in my passport or I "could" be stopped from boarding the ship. This, they say, is according to the Indian government, despite the various changes noted by other cruise lines and in official press releases. I am trying to escalate at Costa to reach someone who can make a decision, but not getting anywhere.

 

You will not get a decision form Costa, no matter how high you try to escalate, they will just quote what the Indian government tells them.

 

For me a multiple entry visa (paper) would cost me €100, an e-visa costs €75. I just don't understand people getting stressed out for what is isfact peanuts when compared to the cost of the cruise.

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I also just got the message from Princess that an e-visa is ok for our cruise. I am finding the visa website impenetrable; does anyone know how much they cost forAustralians and if kids are able to get evisas.”

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I also just got the message from Princess that an e-visa is ok for our cruise. I am finding the visa website impenetrable; does anyone know how much they cost forAustralians and if kids are able to get evisas.”

 

 

 

We used the VFS website for full visas, took under a week to obtain them. We did drop passports and forms into Brisbane office and collected from there. Easy process. Also check Indian govt website, it is a bit messy to navigate but worth persevering. Good luck.

 

 

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To avoid any problems in Mumbai with Oceania or Indian Customs/Immigration, we have decided to go ahead and obtain the full visa. A laborious process but I hope to get it done with a minimum of difficulty.

 

Thank you all for your input and advice.

 

Bill and Kathi

Good decision. We just got off an Azamara cruise last month (including 3 Indian ports) with a pre-cruise week in India. I researched the visas extensively for months and could never get a consistent answer. It wasn’t a risk I was willing to take so we got the full visa. I never spoke with anyone using the e-visa. Start early with visa process. The applications can get get returned to you if they’re not filled out completely or there is any question to your answers. We had ours returned once and it was an easy 1 week delay. Then go and enjoy! It’s a fascinating country.

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I also just got the message from Princess that an e-visa is ok for our cruise. I am finding the visa website impenetrable; does anyone know how much they cost forAustralians and if kids are able to get evisas.”

Hi, We have been granted our E-visa for India, we have been informed by Princess that this is acceptable for Cochin, our only port in India.

You do have to be very precise with your application, ensure that your photo is 5x5 and within the correct mb. Also the same applies to your passport page. The cost for Australians is $50 USD which cost us approx $69AUD, sorry didn't need to apply for kids but assume its the same price. It is a pretty easy process and we were granted the visa within 24 hours.

The official website is https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html

Hope this helps.

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I am travelling on QM2 which visits only one port in India - Cochin for a day. I have bought an e-visa and am concerned after reading all the documentation that it may be a problem for me to leave the ship. Does anyone have any experience with this.

marie2006

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I have just received my e-visa. It is just a printed sheet of paper which says my application has been granted with other information. It does not include my application or my photo. Am I missing something or is this sufficient?

marie2006

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Hi Everyone,

I think I have just clarified the e-visa for India issue with a great deal of difficulty. The confusion has arisen because the Indian government has been in the process of extending the e-visa over the past year or two. It can now be used for entry at the following ports: Cochin, Goa and Mangalore. The disadvantage of the e-visa is that you have to go through immigration at the terminal which may or may not have a long queue. Since most people are getting full visas it may not be too bad. However, if you have the full visa you can go straight from the ship which organises it and you don't have go through the immigration queue. This is obviously important if you have booked an early morning tour with the ship. QM2 has some tours leaving Cochin port at 12.30pm so that might work with an e-visa. I am going to try that and will post the outcome. Incidentally, you do not need any type of visa if you don't disembark. Marie2006

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Unfortunately that link doesn't help as for some reason it doesn't take me to anything except a home page, and searching hasn't given any information.

 

Notwithstanding that, my understanding is that the cruise lines are beginning to update their guidance on what is needed for the particular itinerary so as always be guided by your cruise line and it's latest advise.

 

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