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Applying for an Indian visa in London

January 06, 2005
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Being the owner of a Swedish passport, I have been quite spoiled with never having to issue any visas during all my travels around the world. Until today because all foreigners require a visa to visit India.

The place to get an Indian visa in London is India House, Aldwych, London WC2B 4NA. The operating hours are 08:30 to 12:30 but you're best to be there by 07:30...latest! The queue builds up very fast after that and you would spend the rest of the morning there if not being turned away due to too many applicants.

First you have to queue outside, in the freezing morning, to get a queuing coupon. The small window where they hand out the queuing coupons opens only at 08:30.

After that you are at least let inside and can purchase a warm drink. Inside you wait until your number comes up to hand over all the paperwork.

Make sure you have a pre-filled visa application form, your passport, two passport photos and cash enough for the fee (usually £ 30). If you require a business visa to India make sure to bring a letter both from your company and the Indian company, stating the purpose and duration of your stay. If you have been travelling recently in certain Yellow Fever endemic countries, bring proof of vaccination.

The last waiting exercise is to get back your passport. This process is less organised as the passports come back in batches of 30 and the numbers are shouted out.

All in all it wasn't an as stressed experienced as it might have been, had I arrived only 30 minutes later. There were even some jokes going on about certain embassy staff that were reading the morning paper and drinking tea in the middle of the chaos...



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Comments

  1. Troy Says:

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    Sounds better than my experience at Croydon trying to get my work visa sorted out. Sat there all day with a bunch of assylum seekers only to be told they couldn't find my work permit and couldn't help me. Even after asking to speak to a superior, I was told I needed to fly out of the country and back inso I could pick up my visa at the airport - even though it wasn't there when I first came through. Wankers!

  2. Akash Says:

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    I Know that Indian visa service is not as fast as like McDonalds. But still one has to appreciate them for giving the visas at cheaper rate. They don't have 090 numbers enquiry service unlike the USA, Germany, Italy and other countries. They charge just 10-30 GBP for the visa in comparison to UK visa fees which is about 150GBP(minimum -takes about 4 weeks to 13 weeks)-550GBP(same day UK visa ).So in total cost comparison the service you got from understaffed Indian embassy is still better than you expect from any EU country/USA. In case of USA ,Spain & other wealthy nations you have to even ring the 090 number for the visa application download from the internet. But here Indian embassy(Known as third world country in west) is allowing free download of applications from the www.hcilondon.net. More interestingly some richer nations has refused to pay the congestion charge in London but Indian embassy is not in the list of them!

    David says:

    With a Swedish passport I seldom have to get a visa in order to visit foreign countries as a tourist so thank you for sharing your experience!

  3. tommy Says:

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    I for the first time went to the Indian embassy in Aldwich near Holborn or Temple Station to get get a tourist visa, cost me £30.00 for 6 Months. I was told by a friend don't be there later then 7.30am in the morning he was right. The queues start to build up really fast after that, The doors open at 8.30am so you do have to stand in the queue for an hour, when the doors open you go pass a Ticket booth where you will be given a ticket per passport you bring to get a visa if you have more then 1 passport ask for more tickets which will have a number on it at the bottom, you then have to go through the door's and go downstairs through the doors into a big room not upstairs and keep a eye on the number coming up and the booth number you have to go to then you go and give the application form with the passport and fee, You then will be given a receipt and be told to go to number 6 booth to collect the passport once ready it took me 10 minute wait and my number was called, I was shocked, that's why i said the earlier you go the better for you to get the visa done. I was out of the passport office by 09.10am which is really good buy i heard the later you come the longer it will takes in the queue. One more thing before I go be patient with he staff because they can be rude and maybe delay your visa..

  4. Meraj Ahmad Says:

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    Hi I am Meraj Ahmad from India I want a job of Sales Executive if you have please send me details.

    David says:

    Hello Mr Ahmad, I have no jobs to offer.

    This page serves as information for people applying for an Indian visa in London.

  5. Mez Says:

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    I hold a British Passport and I am trying to get an Indian Tourist Visa and I am having major problems because my parents originate from Bangladesh but are British - anyone else had the same problem?? Please share your experience/advise with me.

    I queued for 7 hours on Monday and I then got a ticket to come back Friday (12th October 2007) – I told them that I fly on Sunday 14th 2007 and they said that this shouldn’t be a problem. But after reading a few blogs and speaking to a few of the private visa companies, they said that it take longer if your parents originate from either Bangladesh or Pakistan.

    Anyone know why this is and if there are any extra supporting documents that I can take to speed up the process. I’m hoping that after some serious grovelling (which I hopefully wont have to do, but I am prepared to), they will give it to me the same day.

  6. Fred Says:

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    I got my Indian visa on Friday, January 11, a rainy morning, at the India House in London.

    I queued up at 7:10 AM for the window that opened at 8:30 PM. I was number 93. I met a person inside that queued at 6:45 AM; he was #84. A colleague got there a bit later than me, 7:30 AM by her account. She was #231.

    The door opened promptly at 8:30, and the queue split into a right hand side for visas and left hand side for passports. Lots of line jumping during this moment of chaos.

    I got a white Q card and was sent downstairs, actually finding a seat. It was about 8:45 AM as I got in the door. My number came up and was passed by at 9:15 AM. I jumped to the next open window, showed my number, and passed all my paperwork in. Being from the US, I had to show residency. My UK visa was sufficient, but I had backup paperwork. It was also a business visa, and the accompanying letters I had worked.

    After turning in my paperwork, I waited very near window 7. There is a small speaker above the window, and the attendant calls out Q numbers. It is often hard to hear, but usually someone will shout it out for others in the back. Mine came up quite early (before any of the 80's and before almost all the 40-70's. Don't know why, but maybe it is due to being a business visa. It was 9:45 AM. I checked the visa, and was out the door a few minutes later, and at work by 10:15 AM.

    David says:

    Thank you for the update Fred. It sounds like it is even busier to get an Indian Visa now and the procedure is still just as chaotic (if not more).

    The main advice is still arrive _early_ (not much later than 7:00).

  7. Parag Shah Says:

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    i want to search for a job in London i want to find information about 2 years visa over there

  8. Hayden Says:

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    Hey Fred. Hope you can answer my question (or anyone else). I'm from New Zealand and heading to India for a week next month (from the 22nd of Feb) to visit my mate. Have seen the line at 7:00am and it is already huge, so was thinking about heading there on the first tube and lining up at about 6am. Unfortunately they have to send the application away to do immigration checks etc etc which takes a week or so. Just wondering if you think 6am is early enough, as was hoping to get to get close to the front and get in and out as quick as possible. Anyone's ideas or thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

  9. MANOJ Says:

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    dear sir, I Want the visa for UK. pls send me the details about visa process. Thanks MANOJ S. PUROHIT MOB:(9427803927)

  10. Mr. Dey Says:

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    Hi Manoj,
    You need to visit this link to get a proper idea about getting an Uk visa from india.
    servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/
    ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1089128067648">http://www.britishhighcommission.gov.uk/
    servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/
    ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1089128067648

    Thankx

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