Thailand E-Visa on Arrival (Update)

We are currently in Phuket and got here on an “E-Visa on Arrival” using our Indian Passports. The process for getting this e-visa was as follows:

  1. No more than 30 days before travel, visit this link and fill in the application form: https://thailandevoa.vfsevisa.com/thailand/online/home/index
  2. Do online payment for regular service
  3. Visa is received via Email after 2-3 working days

I took printouts of this visa and arrived in Phuket.

At the Phuket Airport, I couldn’t go directly to the immigration counter. I had to first go to a separate E-Visa On Arrival counter (adjacent to the normal Visa on Arrival counter). I handed in the passports, arrival card and visa printout.

They took about 15 minutes to process the visa and stamp our passports. 2 or 3 flights had arrived at the same time (from India and China) – so the load on the E-Visa counter was high.

After getting the passport stamp, we had to go through immigration and follow the normal process.

Overall, it was a bit faster than getting a full visa on arrival, but still took some processing time upon arrival.

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Dubai on a US Tourist Visa

Earlier this year (2019) I visited the UAE on my US Tourist (B1/B2) Visa. Pretty seamless process. At checkin I wasn’t asked any questions about visa. Indian emigration saw my US visa and waved me through.

On arrival in Dubai, these are the steps:

  • Just before entering the immigration queue, there is a counter for Visa on Arrival.
  • You have to go there and purchase the visa on arrival – it cost me about AED 120.
  • If you go straight to the immigration counter, without purchasing the visa on arrival, they will send you back to purchase it.

Simple. No questions asked. And about half the cost of applying for the visa before traveling.

Indian Passport Application for 9 Month Old Baby

We have a new traveler in our group now. Our baby girl is 9 months old as of this month. We applied for her Indian Passport in Delhi last week (ITO Passport Seva Kendra). It was a fairly straightforward process. This was under the General Category (not Tatkaal).

Documents that were looked at by the officers:

  • Baby’s birth certificate (online black and white printout from South Delhi Municipal Corporation was acceptable).
  • Passports of Both Parents (photocopies of first 2 pages and last page were needed)
  • Our passports had spouse names endorsed – so that helped simplify things
  • Parents’ Aadhaar Cards for Address Proof (our passports had an older address from a different state).
  • Annexure D (Declaration of Parent/Guardian for Minor Passports) – make sure when you sign this, the signature matches that on your passport. Available at: http://passportindia.gov.in/AppOnlineProject/pdf/AnnexureD.pdf
  • 2 passport sized photographs (on white background) were needed — this was not listed on the passport website, but luckily a friend warned us. They don’t photograph the baby, but use the photos that you take with you.

They did take a fingerprint of the baby, with the ink-pad (not with the scanner machine).

That was it. We were given a fast track number, because baby was less than 4 years old. Our number was called very quickly at each counter, and we were done in less than 1 hour. The passport is apparently in the mail now (6 days after applying).

Police Verification has been initiated on a post-issuance basis. This means that the passport will be issued, and police verification will happen afterwards.

UAE Visa & “OK To Board” – with Etihad for Abu Dhabi Trasit

We have a 14 hour transit coming up in Abu Dhabi, flying Etihad. That’s enough time to step out of the airport, see the town and probably even see a couple of other towns!

It was fairly straight forward to apply for the transit visa:

  1. Went to: https://www.ttsuaevisas.com/
  2. Started an individual online application for myself and a separate one for my wife
  3. Straightforward process – had to upload a bunch of documents in JPEG form only, including:
    1. Previous UAE visas
    2. Previous Schengen / USA / UK visas
    3. Air Tickets
    4. Hotel Bookings
    5. Passport Copies
  4. Only complication was the Hotel Bookings. Since we only have 14 hours during the day (not an overnight stop), we didn’t book any hotels. The system wouldn’t accept the transit visa application without a hotel booking. So I wrote a letter explaining why I don’t have a hotel booking and uploaded that in place of the hotel booking.
  5. Visa was processed and arrived via email in 2 working days.

One thing I didn’t know as it was not mentioned in any official communication – we need Etihad to do an “OK to Board” endorsement on our booking PNR. Luckily our travel agent (The Travel Partner) knew about this and told us on time. Process was simple – I sent an email to OTBUAEVisa@etihad.ae with visa and ticket copies for both me and my wife. They responded within 24 hours and did the OTB (OK to Board) as they call it.

Hong Kong & Macau

My wife and I recently visited both Hong Kong and Macau on our Indian passports. Our passports were brand new with new previous visas from any country. We were issued visas on arrival and allowed entry into both HK and Macau with no questions asked, no visa fees or any other complication. We got 14-day stay permissions. Both regions no longer stamp visitor passports, but instead give you a small paper slip with details of how long you can stay – try not to loose this slip.