Hemsworth, United Kingdom

November 12th 2010

When we first started planning for America, visa applications were simple. You filled a form out on line and hey presto, you had a visa. It has changed a little since we first applied. There is a charge now but the process is the same and even the charge isn't that large to put you off going.

India however, doesn't make it easy to apply and it certainly isn't cheap. £30 for our visa, £9 for administration charges and on top of that you need to send your passport off (recorded of course for security and safety) and also supply a recorded delivery envelope to recieve your passport(s) once they have had the visa attached to the pages. The site lets you fill in the details on line then you have to print out the  forms and sign and date them. Then nominate an office, just in case you are required to attend interview then send your passports to the main managing agent nominated by the India Consulate in London.

To avoid yourself all the hassle previously mentioned it is possible to have an independent visa agent take control of your application for a stress free service- Average price £60 per passport! We have always looked at doing things ourselves so usuing an agent wasn't a vaild option. It took 8 working days with 2 weekend days in the middle to complete the whole process. I would strongly advise anyone wishing to go to India to apply for their own visas. It is a little scary at first being confronted with ambiguous questions and scared of answering incorrectly or  missing out vital imformation but the steps and processs are quite logical and the money is better in your pocket than in someone elses.

We will be flying out from Manchester (where else?) 3rd December and returning 30th December.

One of the greatest decisions I have to make is what to wear? We are leaving in the freezing cold of northern England to arrive in the Indian heat! I know Diane will rib me about this, but it is on my mind... and what do you pack for when you return to the icy cold of an English winter? One half of my mind is telling my backpack is too big and the other tells me that there isn't enough room as I will have to carry winter clothes around to wear when we come back!

It all seemed so simple when we thought we would be able to sell the house and not return....