Show me the visa …..

If you are unfortunate enough to hold an Indian passport (normally I dont think being an Indian is unfortunate.. I love everything about India except the Indian passport) you need to read this post very carefully. Reading does not guarantee a Visa. All the paperwork as detailed below plus oodles of luck may just get you your Visa.

Some basic steps before applying –
1. Make a list of all the countries you are visiting in South America – There is a separate procedure for each country. Detailed below.
2. Find out which country you are transiting through (Europe / South Africa / USA) – Ensure you have the Visa / Transit Visa for the same. If its USA, please check this website for Visa procedures – https://www.vfs-usa.co.in/Home.aspx
3. Find out when your passport expires – Your passport needs to be valid atleast for 6 months for you to apply. If your passport is nearing expiry, please account for a 1.5 months addition to your timeline for passport renewal.
4. Find out the number of blank pages in your passport – Most Visas require empty pages facing each other. Hence, if you need 5 Visas, you better have 10 blank pages.
5. 90 days is a key thing to remember. Visas are given normally for a period of 90 days. Also, Visas are issued only 90 days prior to entry. That means you have to enter the country 90 days within the issuance date and your visa is valid for 90 days from date of entry. So, you cant start applying 5 months in advance for your visas. Make an excel sheet with your itinerary and ensure that you do your applications depending on your date of entry.
6. Take passport photographs in all sizes possible. White background works best.
7. For application outside your city, get a reliable agent. One who is reachable on the phone and who will guard your passport with life.
8. Covering letter has to be credible. (Check link for sample – http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=ddvxdgts_8grgpnggk)
9. Leave letter from company has to be credible. (Check link for sample –http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=ddvxdgts_9ffxcsdgm)
10. Ensure you specify multiple entry if you are going for a long term.

The above points are extremely critical in applying, sequence of applying and date of applying. Unlike Europe, which has one Visa to enter many countries (Schengen Visa), South American countries require a separate Visa. Following are the countries in South America – Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, Venezuela, Uruguay, Paraguay, Suriname and Guyana. I must, at this juncture, thank Paraguay, the only country in the world, which does not require Indians to hold a visa to enter.

I have detailed below the Visa application procedure and requirements for the countries I plan to visit – Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Chile and Bolivia. All these details will be given to you by your agent. But, nothing like the power of knowledge in advance.

Brazil
Can apply in Mumbai
Visa fees – Rs 1000
#Unit # 113 & 114,
11th Floor, Free Press House Building,
Free Press Journal Marg, Nariman Point,
Mumbai – 400021
Ph: 022 – 2283 4469
Application submission – 9 30 am – 12 30 pm
Visa collection – Depends on what time the visa officer asks you to turn up

Remember not to carry your cell phone / bag / laptop when you are going to the Consulate. They don’t allow you inside with any electronic stuff or bags.

Requirements
Visa Application Forms (Filled)
Covering letter detailing the purpose of your travel
Original Passport + Photocopies of first and last page
Photocopies of original air tickets to Brazil (no itinerary from trave agent)
Financial proof documents (6 months Bank statement, 3 Years Tax returns, Credit Card copy)
Leave Letter from Organisation you work for

DD for Rs. 1000/- for Consulate General of Brazil (Rs 500 in cash if you dont go in person)
Marriage Certificate (Incase passport is in Maiden name)
Photocopies of Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate

Visa is given for a period of 90 days. Anything longer than 90 days is not possible from India. One has to apply for extension in Brazil. One has to enter Brazil within 90 days of issuance of Visa.

Argentina
Apply in Delhi
Visa fees – Nil
B-8/9 Vasant Vihar, Paschimi Marg,
New Delhi 110 057
Tel: +91 11 4166 1982
Fax: +91 11 4166 1988
Apply through Travel agent – Recommending Riya Travels, Delhi

Requirements
1 Form
2 Photos
Original Covering letter to be attested by notary Exchange
Return Ticket
Onward Visa if any
Hotel Confirmation
Day to day itinerary dully notarized
Financial proof documents (6 months Bank statement, 3 Years Tax returns, Credit Card copy) – The Bank statement must have the name of the Bank Officer issuing the bank statement, with complete contact details of bank including the phone number. Embassy would call the bank to verify this account.
Authority letter on the letter head autorising Travel agent from Riya Travels and should be notarized.

Visa is given for a period of 90 days. Anything longer than 90 days is not possible from India. One has to apply for extension in Argentina. One has to enter Argentina within 1 year of issuance of Visa.

Peru
Apply in Delhi
Visa fees – Rs 1450
C-1/24, Vasant Vihar
New Delhi 110057
Phone: +91-11-2614-1154
Fax: +91-11-2631-2557
www.embaperuindia.com
Apply through Travel agent – Recommending Riya Travels, Delhi

Requirements
3 Forms

4 Photos white background latest within 06 months (should not be scanned)
Detailed Covering letter
Financial proof documents (6 months Bank statement, 3 Years Tax returns, Credit Card copy)
Return confirmed ticket
Hotel Confirmation
NOC from the Employer

Visa is given for a period of 90 days. Anything longer than 90 days is not possible from India. One has to apply for extension in Peru. One has to enter Peru within 90 days of issuance of Visa.

Chile
Apply in Delhi
Visa fees – Rs. 1950
146, Jor Bagh,
New Delhi 110003
Ph: +91-11-24617123
http://www.echileindia.com/
Apply through Travel agent – Recommending Riya Travels, Delhi

Requirements
1 Form (to be typed)

4 Photos white background latest within 06 months (should not be scanned)
Leave Letter from the Employer
Detailed Covering letter from the applicant
Financial proof documents (6 months Bank statement, 3 Years Tax returns, Credit Card copy)
Return confirm ticket
Hotel confirmation or Letter of Invitation
AUTHORITY LETTER for outstation applicant should be on a Rs. 50/- stamp paper duly notarised by notary. Should authorise travel agent, who will apply on behalf of applicant. Stamp paper should have the photograph of pax. stamped by the Notary and signed by the applicant. Left hand thumb impression of the pax next to the signature is also required.

Visa is given for a period of 90 days. Anything longer than 90 days is not possible from India. One has to apply for extension in Chile. One has to enter Chile within 90 days of issuance of Visa.

Bolivia
There is no embassy / consulate for Bolivia in India.
One has to apply from any of the other South American countries.
Prepare yourself with documentation similar to what is mentioned above and then apply.

Getting the Visa is the biggest milestone ever. Then, there is no turning back. Only 3 things more have to be done before you board the flight –
1. Scan the Visas and mail them to yourself
2. Send a thank you card to your agent and visa officers (if you know them) – Helps when you apply again
3. Celebrate like crazy !

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5 thoughts on “Show me the visa …..

  1. damn the Indian passport… I so much want an US/EU passport just for how much easier it would be to trot around the globe. But great going Ninja!!! You have proved tht if u want then it can be done.Keep traveling and share ur stories 🙂

  2. The links to google documents don’t work. Check again. You should have “View?id” instead of “Doc?id” in the address. B/w interesting blog, and I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read. Road on!

  3. Forget a blog, or random articles. Between you and Neesha you can do a book on your return. Talk to Penguin. This is so unusual and miles ahead from the sad-sack Indian fiction they promote. These practical pointers thatyou do so efficiently, as well as the actual experiences can go hand-in-hand. From “Almost A Writer” you can go on to being a full fledged author.

  4. Hey Apu…fantastic as always!:-)Though, your Yellow fever post was just too good, couldnt stop laughing! I know how you must be feeling after getting your visas – I had a similar heady feeling after getting Schengen visas for Preeti & myself, its like you’ve passed an exam that you had no guarantee of clearing no matter how hard you prepared!!!

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