Just when you think you’ve got it cracked, It all goes wrong.
Our problem with getting the Indian Visa was about the size of the file.
When I scanned my passport at the default setting of 76 pixels my finished J. Peg image came out at 90 KB which was within the parameters set by the Indian Embassy.
However, the same process with Jaki’s came out at almost 5 times that (at the same default setting) so was too big a file.
I reduced it in size, changed it to a PDF (which is what they need) & sent it off with her application and she received almost immediately confirmation that the application had been successful and an official looking form (that appeared to be her entry visa ready to print out).
Then an hour or so later she got an email saying the image of her passport was “Un-readable” and could she send another image which they could read. So she took a picture of her passport and sent it back. This image though was J.Peg so we guessed it wouldn’t be suitable and sure enough they emailed saying they couldn’t accept it, and could she send a PDF image.
So this morning I increased the resolution, re scanned her passport and created a 3KB file which we sent back. We are now waiting to see if the new file (which is readable) is deemed too big, in which case, we will need to scan yet another image and try again.
In the mean time, my visa with my original passport image at 90KB has been accepted and I have this morning printed out my Indian Visa.
What we didn’t know and Trailfinders didn’t tell us at the time of booking (which i think they should) is that you can only stay in Thailand for 30 day without applying for a Visa. As our trip see’s us in Thailand for 62 days we fall foul.
Now you might think its easy enough to just get a visa, after all it’s only £20 each but it’s not that easy.
As well as filling in a form, providing passport Photos and paying the fee you have to present this at The Thai Embassy in London before 12-mid day (there are strict opening times, info available on their web site) and you will be granted a receipt within 30 minutes.
Then, you have to go back the NEXT DAY to collect the visa. This means a trip to London and an over night stay.
There is no postal or on line application available.
Trailfinders will do this for you for a charge of £45 (don’t know if this is per application) but that makes it an expensive item.
So, the solution is to leave Thailand before the 30 days is up and re-enter, ensuring that we don’t stay longer than 30 days on re -entry. But in order to be allowed entry Thailand in the first instance, we have to have PROOF that we are intending to leave again before the 30 day’s are up.
This requires proof of a Flight or Train ticket out of the country.
Which means, we need to purchase and pay for it in advance. The down side to this is, we have to set a definite date some where in the middle of the trip and if we failed to use it (for what ever reason) we would have lost that money.
Were thinking we might buy a flight from Bangkok to Hanoi (which we intended to visit anyway) which is about £27 each (cheapest price we’ve found using Skyscanner).
Or we could buy a ticket to Siem Reap in Cambodia which is £35, either of which will work out cheaper than paying Trail finders to collect a Visa for us (total £60).
The only down side is that we need to make that decision now rather than when we get there and once its done, were committed.
Very much the same procedure but at least the Laos visa application can be made by post, thus avoiding a trip to London. There is a cost of sending passports recorded delivery but the cost of the application is only £35. Or, as suggested by our resident back packer, you get this at the boarder.
This seems to be very straight forward (though we haven’t tried it yet) as it looks like it can be done on line and is relatively Cheap at $37 .
So, the moral of the story appears to be, don’t underestimate the issues around getting visas to enter any of these countries and ensure your Travel agent has given you all the fact before you make a payment.
With Hind sight, we would not have stopped in India for just 8 days, if your gonna do it, make it a month.
We would also have flown into Thailand and out of some where else (Singapore) and then avoided the need for a Thai Visa.