Indian Visa

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Gitcher Visa So They Don't Toss Ye Out On Yer Ear

Aw fiddlesticks, not another country like Australia what makes ye get a visa before ye get there!*sigh*

In theory, before you're meant to book tickets to India or hotel reservations, you're meant to get permission to be *in* India in the first place. We don't know anyone that wouldn't observe the sanctity of an International Border, do we? Of course not.

In reality, they ask you for an Indian reference and this is usually the concierge or hotel manager where you're staying, which you clearly need a time machine for.

VPM, Thane will provide you with a invitation letter. Contact kmkale ( kmkale at anantcorp dot com ) if you need one..

What to do?

Ensure that your lodging is refundable.

Really? I'm meant to get me visa through this seemingly sketchy outsourcing agency?

Yes. For reals. If you're a fretting Reference Librarian, you can verify this by visiting the State Department Website, booting on over to the Indian Embassy's site from there, then gettin' to Travisa.

If you're emotionally attached to your Passport as if it were your tiny child, like me, or, if you're traveling soon,


You'll notice that they tell you _not_ to do that on their website. Stuff it, go there anyway. It will shave a fortnight off of the processing time, so you'll feel better quicker.

This might be hard or just not an option if you're not in DC, NYC, San Fran, Sweet Home Chicago, or Houston. If this sounds like you, be sure to pad in at least another two weeks so that you have your baby back in your hot little hands in time to catch that plane.

Hang on, there's more!

Before you invade the sanctity of their bureaucracy, ensure that you bring the proper shtuff with you. If you're going in person, figure on it taking about an hour to drop off if you've filled nothing out in advance, and mebbe 30 minutes if you have. Truth be told, it's a little like the DMV. There *were* computer terminals at the DC agency that they let you use if you were naughty and didn't do your paperwork in advance.

Shtuff You Need:

2 Passport pictures. (No foolies. Don't know why. Mine are horrific. Somewhere someone is cringing.) Mine were taken right there, at the processing place, that way they couldn't whing about the size. Jo said they're meant to be larger than actual passport pictures, so again GO THERE DON'T MAIL IT IN.

Your Bloody American Passport (Make sure it's good for 6 months after KohaCon or whenever you're leaving India. Why does everyone do this now? No clue.)

Proof of Residence (If you think about the junk you take for a Library Card, this is along the same lines. Just like getting a Patron card, actual proof of residence is correlated to the level of familiarity you display with Judith Martin's tenets. Some things that you can bring to be as overprepared as the average barrister include: Current Lease, Current Driver's Licence, Locally Issued photo ID, Electric bill, Cable Bill, mebbe a Library Card. They were fine with me Driver's Licence.)

$76ish for Yanks. (In theory they *could* charge you for photos, uh photocopies, em, miscellaneous things, mebbe postal fees, mebbe some doughnuts. Who knows? It's at bare minimum $76, unless you're one of Hill's warriors, in which case it is free. It's good to be a diplomat. For the rest of us, yes, plastic is cool.)

If you have a whelp, your whelp will need their parent's passport junk and a birth cert. If one is deceased, one needs the death certificate. Ouch. Indeed.

A donation for Te Takere. (Not really, but it's nice, yes?)

Knowledge of where you've strayed for the last decade. I am serious here. They wanna know where you've been.

The phone number of an emergency contact person that *doesn't* live with you.

What for the who now?

You want a multi entry tourist visa. Let me repeat that

Do not say or write "conference." You mean "sightseeing." Merely whispering the word "conference" may put you in the business pile and result in loss of down, a 25 yard penalty, and like 3 reams of extra paperwork that you may or may not end up actually being able to get.

Get it? Got it? Good.

At this point, things are out of your hands, and eventually you will either get accepted (hooray!) or rejected (booooooo!) Mine only took a day to go through, though some lucky ducks get theirs in a few hours on non busy days, and some poor sots have to wait several days. That said, they really do email you every step of the way, so that's kind of nice. So circle your email like a hawk, and when the good (or bad, though let's hope not) news arrives, just go on over and pick up your beloved Passport again.

There did appear to be people jumping hoops for others, so it is theoretically possible to make the butler go do it for you, but you need him for tea.

That's Expensive! Is it at least pretty?

Yes. Yes it is. The soddin' thing takes up an ENTIRE page in me passbook. It is quite fetching.

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