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peerke 29 Dec 2004 21:08

Getting Indian visa in Islamabad

I applied for my Indian visa in Islamabad this morning, but it's not the nicest place to get it. You might want to try Ankara, if you're there for the Pakistan visa anyway. The Indian High Commission in Islamabad is very unfriendly, even to foreigners: a Nigerian in front of me was denied a transit visa, simply 'because he should have got one back home, goodbye, end of story'. He wasn't the only one who was bluntly told to leave... You're in the same queue as the business people and they only help about 20 people each day! Thank god you're not on the queue with the 200 Pakistanis, who have to bribe the police at the gate for 2000 to 3000 rupees to get only a CHANCE to get a 15 rupee visa...

If you do decide to get one in Islamabad, here are some tips:
- Get 2 forms for each person at the embassy, ask at the gate and don't queue for it. You can get them all day I think.
- Fill them out, glue 2 photo's to them and go back as early as possible. They'll tell they open only at 10 AM (true), but it's more or less first come first serve. First time I came at 9:45 but that was too late: they closed for the day at 11:45 (!) and I was the third on the queue by that time... 8:45 today did the trick.
- I wanted a 6 month multiple entry, but the guy would only give me a 3 month single entry!! I told him I wanted to go to Nepal and back and I got a double entry, but only 3 months.
- The application takes 7 days! 9 days for me because it's new year in a few days.
- They keep your passport, and give you a receipt which serves as your 'passport'. You can travel anywhere in Pakistan. But GET A PHOTO COPY of your passport AND you Pakistan visa first and keep it with you! I was refused in a hotel today because I forgot to copy my Pakistan visa...


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