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Applying for an Indian Visa... What they don't tell you...

INDIA | Saturday, 18 January 2014 | Views [719] | Comments [1]

I booked my flight back in mid December for a flight to Delhi on 16th Jan.  I had to get my passport renewed on the 4th Jan so I did not really have enough time to send my passport off to get my visa.

I searched the Internet for answers on what would be the quickest way to obtain an Indian visa. Nothing seemed straight forward!

Of all the places I have visitied, getting a visa has been pretty simple. Either online, on arrival or within a day so I didnt think a visa to india would be any different... I WAS WRONG!!

I logged on to the website for 'The High commision of India' www.hcilondon.in to apply for my visa, I was then directed to M/S VF Services UK Ltd which is the company that The High Comission of India uses to apply for visa applications http://in.vfsglobal.co.uk

I clicked on the link for visa processing times but got nothing for 'in person' or for 'fast applications' so I decided to email them and ask what the quickest way was. I also explained that I was wishing to book an appointment for the 14th of Jan and would be flying out on the 16th.

The reply I got was general as I am sure they would have picked up on my timings had they bothered to give an individual reply.

I was told that appointments can be made online but these are purely optional. You have the choice to complete the online application and walk into the visa centre without an appointment.  I was also told that the quickest way is to submit the visa application in person for processing as postal applications need a minimum of 10-15 working days to be processed.


I therefore assumed it could be done within one day much like renwing a passport which can be done with one day.

There are two visa application centres in London:

  • Goswell Road, London, EC1V 1DE
  • Uxbridge Road, Hayes, UB4 OJN

I chose to make my way to the one in Hayes as didnt fancy getting lost in the city of London.  I had to travel by train. There was also no information on what train station I would need to get to or bus routes or anything!! 

The Hayes application centre is infact in Southall and you need to get to Southall train station if arriving by train.  This station is served by the Heathrow connect Service and only takes approximately 30 mins from London Paddington.

Once arriving at Southall I asked at the train station ticketing desk how I would get to the application centre. I was told it was too far to walk and to catch the 470 bus from the opposite side of the road which was a bus to Uxbridge.  I finally found a stop that the 470 used and got on the bus to be told that he would not accept my £10 note. i got off the bus and went to change my money in Gregs and the kind lady told me it was within 15 mins walking distance and so thats what I did.

On arriving at Southall Station you should turn right and head towards Uxbridge. You will need to cross the road and turn left onto Uxbride Road at the crossroads. The visa application centre is over the bridge and just before the Fiat car Garage.

Visa Applications MUST be submitted between 08:30 and 14:30 ONLY

Passports and Visa MUST be colleceted between 16:30 and 17:30 ONLY

The visa office was extremely busy on the day i arrived and I can only imagine it is like this most days so allow 1-2 hours to be there to submit your application and 30 mins to and hour to pick up your passport.

For the visa you MUST submit 2 photographs which need to be 50x50 mm (this is not the same as a passport photo) 

There is a photo booth to do these on the day and the cost is £10.00

When my number was called, I handed over my visa application (which I filled in online at http://in.vfsglobal.co.uk) I was asked if i wanted to receive my passport in the post or pick it up and was also told it would not be ready until Thursday....My flight was at 13:00 on Thursday!!!!!

So a long story short...

  • Fill in the online visa application
  • Take some 50x50 mm Photos
  • Decide on a walk in or postal application dependant on the time you have
  • Decide which visa application centre you want to submit to... both accepts walk in and postal apllications

Visas run from the date they were issued not the date of arrival!! I applied for a tourist visa and i got 6 months multiple entry but i understand that this is not always the case.

Good luck and hope this helps.


Peace and Love

Zoe x

Tags: advice, asia, delhi, goa, india, indian visa, mumbai, travel, visa



Don't hate me for saying this in my opinion you took it for granted and ASSUMED it would be easy. If you had a non European or American passport like me then you would know what real visa issues are. And as a fellow world traveller, before planning/booking any trip, I find out visa information first and foremost, especially when I do not have the luxury of visa on arrival or getting the day before as you do.

I have applied with a Non European passport at the VFS GLOBAL for an Indian visa in Paris (where I lived at the time else I could not apply there), it takes even longer as it's a non European passport. The website does specify all that is required for visa application, including photo size. I can tell you they answered ALL my questions as I had specific questions to ensure I had my visa on time too.

Moral of the story, don't ever expect them to tell you information or "assume", you ALWAYS ask what you need to know.

  MD Feb 27, 2014 5:01 AM

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