Touring India? Securing a tourist visa

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Foreigners visiting India need to have a passport with a valid visa. The visa can be taken from any Indian Mission or Post. The signed application form should be completed and subsequently, submitted to the nearest Indian Visa Application Center.

There is another way, however – the e-Tourist Visa. The process of obtaining an Indian e-Tourist Visa is entirely online. As convenient as this may seem, the applicant is still highly recommended to exercise caution when giving his or her personal details over the internet.

The process itself in applying for an e-Tourist visa is straightforward. There are four steps: applying online by uploading a photo and a passport page, paying the visa fee online via a credit or debit card, receiving an e-Tourist visa online (email), and printing the e-Tourist visa to bring along during the trip.

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As for Indian tourist visa eligibility, here are the parameters applicants need to remember:

• All foreign visitors who want to visit India can have the following reasons for touring the country: to go sight-seeing, to visit friends or relatives, to undergo a short-term medical procedure, or to attend a casual business meeting.

• Passports should be valid for at least six months — from the time the passport owner touches down in India.

• Immigration Officers will need to stamp on the passport. There should be two pages in the passport for this.

• Foreign visitors should have either return or onward journey tickets to show at immigration, and enough cash to sustain them during their stay in the country.

Cox & Kings Global Services is a specialist business process outsource agency established to serve consular sections of diplomatic missions. Learn more about what CKGS has to offer by visiting its official website.

Acing the interview: Some tips to get that visa to India

Securing any of the several visas to India would require an interview or a series of interviews at the consulate. Here are a few tips to increase your chances of success.

Don’t be late.

Embassy officers are strict with time. Not coming on time for your appointment might be taken as a sign that you are not seriously committed to visiting India. Respect for time is a very effective way to signify how you intend to behave once you actually reach the country.

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Dress appropriately.

The way you dress is also connected with how much regard you have regarding the opportunity that securing your visa grants you. You should not dress in a way that would be inclined too vulgar. You should dress professionally and in a way wherein the interviewer will see you as an equal.

Be courteous but confident.

Be courteous and well-mannered, but take care that you do not do it to the point that you appear to be rather artificial. Interviewers are trained to identify genuine behavior and the kind that is sincere. Be comfortable in your own skin and be confident about yourself in a manner that would be impressive to your interviewer.

Bring complete documents.

Chances are, you will be required to show your documents. If you have one item missing or if you don’t have them with you at all, you can be sure that your visa will be denied. Embassy officers will not take you seriously if you fail to bring a complete set of requirements.

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Cox & Kings Global Services is an agency that serves consular sections of diplomatic missions. The organization is well-placed to address the needs of diplomatic missions worldwide, as it focuses on addressing concerns regarding security, integrity, speed, and efficacy on the outsourced solution of the business. To learn more about its services, visit its website.

Passport maintenance: Small details which can invalidate your passport

Traveling to India, whether for business or pleasure, is one of the most worthwhile decisions that you can make. However, it is not unheard of for this exciting prospect to be taken away by utterly minor details that have to do with your passport:

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1. Physical wear is a common culprit in your passport’s credibility. Torn pages or peeling lamination can be perceived as signs of fraud. Awkward crumpling and irregular folds can get in the way of the readability of critical passport information. Ink blotches and random stains can give the exact same effects, too.

2. Inconsistencies in personal information have been known to be quite a nuisance when they cast doubt on the minds of the immigration officers. If your appearance is drastically different from what is seen on your passport, this can cause a problem. If you sign a document that does not match fairly with the signature as shown in your passport, the same goes.

3. Validity can cause huge problems too, especially if your travel date is quite close to the date of your passport’s expiration. Often, it is prudent to have your passport valid for not less than the next months to your scheduled travel date.

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Bear in mind that a passport not only serves as your literal pass document once you enter another country’s port. It is expected to be your primary identification when you go around. This is the reason the passport is the most sacred travel document that you should have on your person at all times.

Cox and Kings Global Services is an agency that serves consular sections of diplomatic missions. The organization is well-placed to address the needs of diplomatic missions worldwide, as it focuses on addressing concerns regarding security, integrity, speed, and efficacy on the outsourced solution of the business. To learn more about its services, visit its website.

A newly-wed adventure: Perfect destinations in India for honeymooners

What’s the next thing that couples look forward to after having their dream wedding? The honeymoon, of course.

There is much to be excited about being married, which involves going to places and creating new adventures together, among the many firsts to be experienced as newly-weds. For the honeymoon, although there is the quintessential Parisian getaway or Caribbean escapade, couples may want to consider going to India for a dynamic journey to a land rich in history, culture, and aesthetics.

India is home not only to marvelous temples and palaces but also to beaches and gardens, among other breathtaking views and landscapes, making it an ideal place for honeymooners.

The smell of the beach

Kerala, located in Southern India, tops the list of the perfect destination for a romantic honeymoon getaway by the beach. Kovalam, a small coastal town in Kerala, is known as the state’s most developed resort. Lighthouse Beach is the front-runner in terms of beachfront properties – hotels and restaurants – that couples may consider, especially those who want to wake up to a breathtaking ocean view. If vacationing on a budget, some of the highly recommended hotels to book are Sagara Beach Resort, Hotel Thushara, and Hotel Golden Sands.

Couples who are into more serene settings, but with tons of activities to offer, may opt to go to Lakshadweep, a northern extension of Maldives, boasting of marvelous flora and fauna.

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The sight of greenery

Couples who would rather behold the sight of greenery and appreciate nature at its finest may consider having their honeymoon in Nilgiris District, situated in Tamil Nadu. This part of India is known for its vast mountain range, combined with relaxing climate, which leaves travelers feeling rejuvenated.

Shimla, located in the Northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, is another option, being one of India’s most popular holiday tourist spot particularly during summer months. Within the same state, there’s also Manali, situated in the high-altitude of 6,726 ft, at the end of Kullu Valley. The place is distinguished for its mountain peaks, soothing weather, and lush greenery, which makes a beautiful and quixotic backdrop for a honeymoon.

Blues, greens, and everything in between

Couples who like a little bit of everything – a view of the lake, mountains, valleys, and even mosques – should head over to Srinagar, Kashmir. Also known as Heaven on the Earth, this place is the summer capital of Jammu, and is considered as one of the most romantic destinations in Asia.

Nainital is also an option. This place offers affordable honeymoon packages, while definitely not shortchanging on scenery, with lake, mountain backdrop and valleys to boot.

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Key considerations when applying for a visa to India

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Applying for a visa to India is not a complicated process but does require the traveler to consider certain things. As with most visa applications, individuals are expected to possess a valid passport and complete the necessary documentation and photo requirements before being accepted. There is also a fee that must be paid, depending on the area the traveler will stay.

Unique to India though are different consulate requirements. The country covers a massive land span. As such, different provinces are ruled by various government agencies and offices. The general rules remain the same nationwide, but there are nuances within each consular that are not listed online. For example, most visa applications to India are done online or through a third-party representative. This is usually done when the applicant is still in his or her home country. The process should take approximately two weeks. However, there are cases when the traveler is already in Asia or another country and decides to apply for a visa to India. He or she would naturally presume to go through the same process but suddenly hits a snag: a physical letter becomes necessary detailing the traveler’s profession and reasons for going to India. Online debating does nothing to further the applicant’s case.

This is a fairly common experience for international travelers to India. These types of cases are best handled by a third-party consular service focused on India visa and passport applications. Travelers are spared any surprise as they are informed beforehand what each province expects and their specific travel requirements.

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CKGS deals specifically with all forms of consular services required in visa and passport applications in various areas in India. For speedier and stress-free applications, visit this website.

Rise in plastic surgery cases triggers spate of new rules and passport renewals

Surgical Instruments

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Cases abound of passport holders needing to take new passport photos because of radical facial changes courtesy of plastic surgery. Typically, a passport holder needs to renew his or her passport once every few years, depending on citizenship and the country’s specific rules.

All nations around the world have adapted stricter security measures, including biometric facial and fingerprint examinations. This is to ensure the passport carrier’s safety as well as to reduce the risk of identity theft. During the renewal process of the passport, a person’s photograph is taken. Standard procedures require the hair to be kept out of the face, eyes facing the camera with no accessories such as eyeglasses, face to be relaxed, and a smile absent. This is so that the computer can accurately read unique characteristics in a person’s face.

Computers could register a negative match when plastic surgery significantly alters the features of the passport holder. This will lead to frustration on the part of both government agencies and passport carriers as it has to be proven, beyond doubt, that the person holding the passport and the one in the photographs in the records are one and the same.

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To avoid this, many countries are suggesting that dramatic facial surgery – particularly those that affect the cheeks, jaw, and nose – be followed by a visit to one’s local passport assistance office. If the associates there feel that biometrics in facial recognition could be compromised, a new passport photo might need to be taken, regardless of the validity of the passport at the time. This is to prevent the inconvenience of identification issues in airports.

Similarly, another recommendation is to have a certificate issued by the plastic surgeon validating the person’s identity. This method, however, is not fully recognized by all countries and it is best to know the exact rules regarding photo identifications.

CKGS is a leading global processing company dealing with all aspects of visa and passport applications. For more information about its services, please like this Facebook page.

Indian government pushes Digital India to make passport applications easier

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Passport applications in India are expected to become easier with the new Digital India program. This government initiative aims to improve the current set-up in terms of both processing speed and efficiency. Digital India extends to other forms of online applications such as driving licenses and pensions. According to Telecom and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, the program will operate on the focus of Pillar 5: eKranti, which basically means that government services will be available to citizens online through an integrated and interoperable system.

The program is still in its natal stage, and bugs are expected. When considering the scale of the country, Indian government officials forecast the program to reach full optimization in around five to six years. This is also because the ultimate goal of Digital India is to provide online services for all conceivable applications, even such services as utility payments, municipality records, public distribution systems, etc. Its initial iteration, however, places emphasis on passport records.

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This has no bearing on prevailing Indian passport regulations. The government is slowly launching the program, and many sectors will only be reached by the end of the year. Still, applicants should speak with their consular advisors and determine whether their passport application would be available soon. Take note that the transition period may include some challenges but government officials assure applicants that everything should be operational in the next few months.

CKGS offers superior support services for passport and visa applications for consulates applying in India. Learn more by liking this Facebook page.