My India Journey Part Two: The Visa Hurdle

For the past couple of weeks I have been desperately trying to sort out my Visa ready for my trip to Unique Home for Girls next month. This has been tricky to say the least as I have been determined to handle it all myself without needing to call upon the services of a specialist visa agency. “How hard can it be”? I thought to myself. It turns out the answer is, well, pretty hard.

The Online Application

I sat down around 2 weeks ago and confidently clicked on the link to the Indian Visa Application Centre. It all seemed pretty straight forward to begin with; fill in the form, print it out, send-off along with passports and other necessary documents, so I clicked the link to begin filling in the application form online.

I got to a point where a question came up that I didn’t immediately have the answer to so I saved the form and received a code to be able to come back later and carry on from where I left off. After getting the bit of info I needed, I returned to the site and quickly realised that the code I had oh so carefully jotted down was “invalid”. My first pang of frustration.

I presumed I must have made an error writing it down, so I admitted defeat and started the process again. I got a little further on and came to a point where a photo needed uploading. The photo required is a 5cmx5cm photo (not a standard passport photo) which I hadn’t got, so I saved the form again, checked the code given around 177 times then left the application to return to it later.

At this point, I thought I had better just check I could get back into the form so I entered the code to make sure. Invalid. INVALID??!! Now, I’m afraid to say at this point I was a little more than just frustrated and a bad word may have escaped.

I spoke to my very helpful travel agent who booked the flight for me and she explained it was probably just a glitch on the site and to try back again after the weekend. Which I did. Invalid. Not anger this time but instead a few tears.

Admitting Defeat

Crying over a visa application is not the way I wanted to spend my Monday evening and by Tuesday I was panicked; just over a month until my trip and not the sniff of a visa. After a rather rambled and flustered call to the travel agent I relented and called upon the services of a visa agency who sent me through the application pack within minutes.
For the sake of a service fee I have retained my sanity as they will handle the entire process. All that remains is to send off the completed pack with an appropriately sized photo of my mug, my passport and a couple of other supporting documents and fingers crossed my visa will be with me in 15 days.

As I say, fingers crossed.