I’ve had some terrible experiences getting Indian visas. Now that it’s privatized, the process is a lot better. The policy is a lot more stupid (have to wait two months between visits), but the process is much faster, more efficient, and less offensive to God and man.
This is how to apply for your Indian Visa (these instructions are for tourists, but there are other categories).
- Read the info at the Indian Visa application online. For me this was dodgy on anything but Firefox.
- Once completed, print out the PDF this process produces
- Take your application and passport to the Indian Visa Application Center. In Colombo this is on Galle Road, Kollupitiya, past Alfred House Gardens, before Durdans and McDonalds. It’s next to the TNT center, which I always thought was an odd name for a shipping company.
- You can get your photos and photocopies there. You need copies of any other passports (Canadian in my case).
- I wonder if a list is the best way to present this.
- Wait for your number, which is not so bad, and hand the stuff over. You get a receipt.
- After about 5 working days (four in my case)you can track your passport online
- When you know it’s ready, come back with the receipt (or they let you copy your ID and write a letter if you lost it).
- Collect the passport, hopefully with the visa.
And that’s basically how to get an Indian Visa from Sri Lanka. For me it costs like Rs. 1,200 for some reason, but I may be an outlier with the dual. All in all it’s worth for avoiding so much hassle and suffering. The old process involved leaving your phone and entering some terrible, disorganized line limbo.