For my upcoming trip, I’m in need of two visas, one for India and one for China. The process of obtaining a Visa can be a tricky one, especially if you need more than one. Some things to keep in mind regarding Visas:
1. They are time sensitive. Make sure you check how long they are valid for. There’s no sense in applying for one way in advance only to have it expire before you reach your destination. The India Visa I have now is good for 6 months, and I’m allowed multiple entries. However, the China one I need is single entry only lasting 90 days, so I need to time it carefully, especially since I’ll leave the country weeks before I actually make it to China.
2. You will need to surrender your passport until the Visa has been issued. This means if you need more than one, you’ll have to do each process separately. I decided to get my India Visa first, since it’s valid the longest. They only held my passport for a total of two days, so now that I have it back I’m free to go get the next one!
3. Make sure you read all the information needed to get a Visa. Basically, both require an application and passport pictures. I also had to make copies of my birth certificate, driver’s license, and itinerary (for China) to include with the application. Each process is a little different, so it’s a good idea to have everything together before mailing it out (if accepted by mail) or making a trip to an embassy/consulate.
For India, I went through Travisa Outsourcing, which was a very pleasant experience. I filled out an online application, got all my paperwork together, and sent it off with my fabulous cousin who was already on his way to NY (thanks Ry!). After making an appointment, he was able to drop everything off for me, and it was ready and shipped back the next day.
For China, I plan on going to the NY Consulate myself, since according to their website they don’t have the same mailing options. I’ll have to make two trips (one for drop off, another for pick up approximately 4 days later), but a NJ Transit ticket is just about the same amount as shipping.
Then I should be all set with the proper entrance requirements, and all I’ll have left to do is get to the airport on time!