Visa on Arrival in Mauritius

Recently visited Mauritius with my family. All 3 of us on Indian Passports. Had no trouble getting entry with visa on arrival. It was totally worth it!

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.

Scan Travel Documents when Traveling Abroad

This is the document manager in my speaking. I find it incredibly useful to have scan copies of essential travel documents stored in the cloud when I travel. This way I am not worried about carrying photocopies – and if I lose anything I know I have a copy stored safely.

I usually use the following tools:
– Dropbox
– Google Drive

All the following documents are scanned and stored:
– Passport (ID page and Last page)
– Visas for the trip
– Hotel vouchers
– Airline vouchers
– Any other online bookings like Boats, Taxis, Theater Shows etc.

Recommend you start doing the same. In fact there is no real need to print Airline Vouchers and Hotel Vouchers any more. You can directly show these to relevant authorities on your smart-phone or tablet. Both Google Drive and Dropbox have good smartphone and tablet apps, that allow you to store documents offline.

Read more about my Document Management work at my company’s page.

9 Countries That Offer Visa on Arrival For Indians.

The Shooting Star

Itchy feet and an Indian passport are a deadly combination, but you already know that. If you’ve travelled, or intended to travel much out of india, you are only too familiar with toiling over lengthy visa applications and the sleepless nights before a visa gets approved. Not to mention, pre-planning a holiday to the smallest detail – where you’ll stay, how many days to each city or town, when you’ll fly back – can suck the excitement out of any trip, unless of course you love planning. I know I don’t; I’ve found my greatest adventures in the most impulsive of trips, and it may as well be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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The shortest flights in India and elsewhere

abn397

As we have seen in the previous article, there are many international flights which cover over 10,000 km non-stop. The ultimate aim would be to have an aircraft which has a range of about 20,000 km (being half the circumference of the earth) which could travel between any two points on the globe without stopping. It would, of course, be useful to have such a missile and probably the US, Russia and even North Korea must have done something towards this end.

Now we look at short flights in India at present. This would appear to be Mumbai-Pune, operated by a 737-800 of Jet Airways. The point-to point distance is 123 km but distance flown may be as much as 211 km (which can be seen from sites such as http://uk.flightaware.com/ ) Quite wasteful for a 737. Other flights under 200 km include Diu-Porbandar (167 km), and Kochi-Thiruvanthapuram (195 km…

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Seychelles – Visa on Arrival with Indian Passport

Wife and I landed at Mahe Airport in The Seychelles last month. Had to fill out an immigration form and a health declaration. The immigration officer asked us for our return tickets. Then stamped a permit on the passport and let us through. No trouble at all and super easy. The permit was set to expire on our date of departure as per the ticket – no grace period of any sort there.

There is no excuse to not go to Seychelles. No visa and its only a 5 hour direct flight from Mumbai. The photos below should inspire you further!

 
Cat Cocos Jetty - Praslin Island, Seychelles

Granite Boulders - Anse Georgette, Seychelles

More Anse Georgette, Seychelles

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.