Singapore E-Visa

Some friends and I visited Singapore as a tourist recently in July 2019. We applied for an e-visa before going. We had taken printouts of the visa with us, but the immigration officers at Singapore didn’t even look at the printouts – I guess our details were on their computers. Though the Indian immigration officers and airline staff usually do want to see a physical visa before they let you leave the country, so you do need to take a printout.

Documents submitted via our travel agent were as follows:

  • Passport copy
  • Photograph
  • Cover letter
  • Filled out application form
  • Bank Statement of 6 months
  • Travel bookings

Easy process. Took about 4 business days to get the visa. We were issued a 1 month multiple entry visa.

Malaysia Business E-Visa

I went to Kuala Lumpur in June 2019 along with 2 colleagues on Business. The visa process was straight forward and handled by our travel agent. We were issued electronic visas (in PDF form). All our documents, including passport, were also submitted in electronic form.

Below documents were submitted:

  • Passport scan copy
  • Three photos (were send to the embassy by travel agent)
  • Air ticket
  • Covering letter stating intention of visit
  • Invitation letter from client

Straightforward process. Took 4-5 days to complete.

Indonesia Visa on Arrival – Jakarta

I went to Jakarta in June 2019 along with 2 colleagues for a business trip. My wife also went along as a tourist.

For business visa on arrival, we followed the below process:

  1. Shortly after leaving the plane, in the terminal there was a Visa on Arrival counter.
  2. At counter 1 we paid US $15 per visa for a business visa
  3. At counter 2, the officer pasted the visas in our passport and stamped us in
  4. We were then allowed to bypass the immigration counters and go straight to baggage claim.

For tourist visa on arrival, my wife followed the below process:

  1. She went direct to the immigration counter
  2. No questions asked, no money charged
  3. Visa stamped in passport and she was waved in

As simple as that.

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.

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.

Maxing out the Schengen Visa in the Balkans

We travelled to a number of non-schengen countries in the Balkans recently, using our multiple entry Schengen visa issued by Slovenia. Some details are below.

  • Serbia. Technically Indian passport holders don’t need a visa. But the immigration authorities at Belgrade airport and at the Mali Dvornik road border crossing both checked and scanned our Schengen visa. At road border they also checked our car papers for car insurance documents.
  • Croatia. We entered Croatia at a number of road border crossings. Each time they checked our Schengen visa. They never checked car documents. Ours was a Serbia registered rental car.
  • Bosnia-i-Hercegovina. They also checked our Schengen visa and let us in (at two different border crossings including one between Montenegro and Bosnia). They also checked car insurance papers.
  • Montenegro. They also checked our Schengen visa and let us in . They also checked car insurance papers.

Overall the Schengen visa was very useful in the Balkans! And these countries are a pleasure to drive in. I found Bosnia to be especially beautiful.

Russia – 3 Day Transit Visa

We flew to Europe via Moscow a few weeks back. We decided to stay 2 nights in Moscow. For this we were able to get a “Transit” visa rather than a full Tourist Visa. The Transit Visa is much easier to get. Key requirements are listed below:

Documents Needed:

  • Hotel bookings in Moscow
  • Flight bookings showing arrival and departure from Moscow
  • Filled Application form
  • Passport sized photos
  • Approx INR 2500 per person application fee

The visa took around 10 working days to process. We applied at the Russia Visa application centre at Barakhamba Road. Had to go there with an appointment after filling the application form online.

Restriction on this visa is that your stay can’t be more than 3 days. But it saves the hassle of finding a local sponsor etc.

Moscow is one the most beautiful and friendly cities I have seen. Well worth the hassle of getting a visa.