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Coming Soon: India Visas on Arrival?

April 12th, 2014

Heading to India? Indian visa regulations are changing.  Here’s what you need to know to plan your trip:

New Indian Visa Rules

Last month, the Indian government announced that they plan to expand the country’s visa-on-arrival program. Currently, only citizens of 11 lucky countries are eligible for visas on arrival. Those countries are: Japan, Singapore, Finland, Luxembourg, New Zealand , Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, the Philippines, Myanmar and Indonesia.

One country missing from that list: The United States.  US citizens are required to apply in advance for an Indian visa, even for short tourist stays. However, times are changing and the Indian government is trying to make it easier for tourists to visit.

Indian Visa On Arrival Details

Once the new rules are in effect, US citizens planning to visit India as tourists will be able to obtain a visa on arrival when they fly into one of the following nine airports:

  • Delhi
  • Mumbai
  • Kolkata
  • Chennai
  • Cochin
  • Hyderabad
  • Goa
  • Trivandrum

To save time at the airport, tourists will also have the option of filling out the paperwork and paying the fee online before their trip, and then picking up the visa when they arrive in India.

According to the Times of India, Indian visas on arrival will be single-entry and valid for 30 days.

But don’t pack your bags without a visa in hand yet…this change won’t happen overnight. Planning minister Rajiv Shukla told the Times of India:

“We have decided to extend visa-on-arrival to tourists from 180 nations. It will take 5-6 months to put the infrastructure in place. We hope to implement this from the next tourist session beginning October.”

Who Still Needs to Apply in Advance?

Not everyone traveling to India will be able to take advantage of visas on arrival. If you’re going for reasons other than simply tourism or you plan to stay for extended amounts of time, you may still need to apply in advance.   A visa expediter can review your itinerary and make sure you have all the documents you need before you depart.

The details of India’s visa on arrival program may change as we get closer to October, so be sure to check back for updates and the most current information!

Get a Cambodian Visa to Visit Banteay Srei

March 18th, 2011

If Angkor Wat is the symbol of Cambodia, Banteay Srei is its hidden jewel. Though it’s located off the beaten path, it’s still fairly easy to get to from Siem Reap.

This tiny temple was built in the 10th century AD. Built of red sandstone, it is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.

Part of the attraction of Angkor Wat is its scale: there’s something sublime walking through the immense ruins, half reclaimed by the jungle. But Banteay Srei is proof that good things can come in small packages, too. Asia for Visitors calls Banteay Srei “perhaps the most intricately carved and beautiful of the temples.” Gods and goddesses adorn the temple’s red sandstone walls, all rendered in exquisitely detailed relief.

Tourism of Cambodia gives this rather fanciful description of the site:

“Banteay Srei is an exquisite miniature; a fairy palace in the heart of an immense and mysterious forest; the very thing that Grimm delighted to imagine, and that every child’s heart has yearned after, but which mature years has sadly proved too lovely to be true. And here it is, in the Cambodian forest at Banteay Srei, carved not out of the stuff that dreams are made of, but of solid sandstone.”

To enter Cambodia and see the temple, you’ll need a passport valid for at least 6 months after the date you arrive. Check the expiration date and apply for a passport renewal if necessary.

You’ll also need a Cambodian visa. You can apply for your visa online, at the Cambodian Embassy in Washington, DC or get one when you arrive. For more information on what you’ll need, see Cambodian Visa Requirements for Tourists.

If you decide you want to get your visa in advance, RushMyTravelVisa can help. We’ll research your itinerary to make sure you know exactly what you need for your journey. Then, we’ll help you with the paperwork and expedite your visa for the fastest possible processing.

Get your Cambodian visa today!

Yellow Fever Vaccinations and Travel Visas

December 4th, 2010

If you’re traveling overseas to a country that requires visas for US citizens, you may need to make a doctor’s appointment before applying for your travel visa. That’s because some countries require that you submit proof you’ve been vaccinated for yellow fever along with your visa application. In the US, we don’t routinely get vaccinated for yellow fever, so unless you’ve already been to a country that requires visitors to be vaccinated, you are highly unlikely to have had the shot.

What is yellow fever, anyway? Found in the tropics, it’s a hemorrhagic fever spread by mosquitoes.  The virus basically causes flu-like symptoms (fever, nausea, vomiting and pain), and if you’re lucky, that’s all you’ll experience. If you’re not lucky, however, instead of shaking it off you’ll enter the “toxic” stage of the disease, which can result in liver failure and, in about 20% of cases, death.

There is no cure for yellow fever: treatment is based on easing symptoms. According to the World Health Organization, that means that “Vaccination is the single most important preventive measure against yellow fever. The vaccine is safe, affordable and highly effective, and appears to provide protection for 30–35 years or more. The vaccine provides effective immunity within one week for 95% of persons vaccinated.”

Because vaccination is the only real way to combat yellow fever, some countries require you to submit proof that you’ve been vaccinated before you can get a travel visa. Once you get your yellow fever vaccination, you’ll get a document called an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis. This is good for 10 years, and you may need to submit a copy with your visa paperwork, carry it with you when you enter, or both.

To see if you’ll need to turn yourself into a pincushion before you travel, look up the country you’ll be visiting on this handy list provided by the CDC.

For more travel visa help, contact RushMyTravelVisa.

Bolivian Visa Requirements to Walk With Mountain Lions

November 13th, 2010

Have you ever wanted to get up close and personal with a mountain lion? How about a jaguar? Volunteer at Bolivia’s Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi (CIWY), and you can make friends with monkeys, big cats, parrots and other exotic animals.

CIWY is an organization that rescues wild animals from the black market. Often, these animals have been abused or neglected. While many of the smaller animals are allowed to live free in one of the organizations 3 parks, the jaguars, pumas and ocelots cannot be released. Instead, CIWY keeps them caged when they are unsupervised, but allows them to spend most of the day walking through trails in the jungle, accompanied by volunteers. That’s where you come in.

As a volunteer, you’re usually assigned one specific animal to work with for the duration of your stay. If it’s a cat, you’ll spend most of the day holding one end of a long leash, walking it through the jungle, perhaps taking it for a swim in the river. Of course, there’s always a risk of serious injury, whether intentional or unintentional on the part of the cat. At the same time, it’s certainly an experience you’ll never forget. (h/t Trazzler).

To visit Bolivia, you’ll need a current US passport with at least 6 months remaining before the expiration date, and a Bolivian visa. You can get a visa before you leave the US, at the airport when you arrive or at official land border crossings.

Bolivian visas cost $135, and you must pay in cash if you decide to apply for one on arrival.

Here’s what you’ll need to apply for a Bolivian tourist visa:

  • One Bolivian visa application form.
  • Your passport
  • 1 passport-sized photo, 4 by 4 centimeters in size.
  • A hotel confirmation or letter of invitation from someone in Bolivia.
  • Your round-trip plane ticket. If you aren’t flying, include a written statement saying when you plan to enter and leave Bolivia instead.
  • A copy of a bank statement or credit card statement.
  • An International Certificate of Vaccination for yellow fever.

If you’d prefer to get the visa process out of the way before you leave, RushMyTravelVisa can help. We’ll assist you with the paperwork and expedite your visa for the fastest possible processing.

Apply for your Bolivian visa today!

    Get a Chinese Visa To Stay at Tibet’s Newest Luxury Resort

    October 1st, 2010

    Tibet isn’t really known for luxury travel, but that may be about to change when Starwood Hotels opens its new St. Regis Lhasa Resort in Lhasa, Tibet on November 15th. (via InTransit)

    According to AsiaTravelTips.com, the resort will overlook the historic and holy Potala Palace, where the Dalai Lama lived before fleeing into exile in India. Amenities will include an Iridium Spa with a gold-leaf immersion pool, ballroom, plasma TVs, a Meditation Garden and three restaurants. A butler will also be on hand to wait on guests, assist them with altitude sickness and act as a concierge.

    Qian Jin, Senior Vice President of Operations, China & Taiwan, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, told AsiaTravelTips.com:

    “Lhasa is truly one of the world’s most fascinating destinations; the rich culture and spiritual history make it quite captivating to our global St. Regis guests. The St. Regis Lhasa Resort will undoubtedly be heralded as one of the most extraordinary luxury resorts not only in Asia, but in the entire world.”

    To visit the new hotel, you’ll need a valid passport and the appropriate Chinese visa. If you’re traveling as a tourist, you’ll need a Chinese tourist visa, also known as an “L” visa. See Chinese Visa Requirements for Tourists for details.

    If you’re traveling as a business traveler, you’ll need a business visa. See Chinese Visa Requirements for a Business Trip for more information.

    You will definitely need to apply for your visa before you leave the US, as Chinese visas cannot be issued on arrival. The US Department of State notes that special permits are required to visit Tibet, and even then you will be restricted from visiting certain areas. As you’re planning your trip, it’s a good idea to contact the Chinese embassy for more details.

    RushMyTravelVisa can assist you with your Chinese visa application, as well as any other visas required for your journey. We walk you through the application process to save time and prevent frustration, and expedite your application for the fastest possible processing.

    Apply for your Chinese visa today!