Sunday, May 20, 2007

A Question About The Visa

I have a question for someone who's gone through the process of applying for an Indian visa via an American-based consulate. Or, perhaps, for anyone who can understand this paragraph better than I can.

From the Chicago Indian consulate:

Receipt and Delivery of Passports:

BY MAIL: Depending on the seasonal rush, applications received by express mail will take up to three days to process. Passports sent through certified mail may take at least 2 weeks to be received back. Certified mail enquiries may be made only after 2 weeks from the date of mailing. Following additional return mail charges should be sent for return of serviced passports.

i) For certified mail $ 5.00 for one passport and US $ 1.00 for each additional passport. ii) For Express mail - $ 15.00 for one passport and US $ 1.00 for each additional passport.

Note: 1. Payment of return mailing charges through Credit Card is not acceptable.
Note: 2. Applicants may also send a self-addressed pre-paid return envelope with the application instead of mailing charges.

Does this mean that I should take my precious passport, wrap it up in an express mail envelope along with the visa application, on the understanding that they'll mail it back to me?

I have no problem doing that, if this is, in fact, what the paragraph means -- I just want to make sure that they're not meaning I should send a photocopy or anything like that.

Thanks in advance. ^__^


Shripriya said...

Yes, you have to send your passport in. Alternatively, you could probably walk it in and get it back the same day. The NY consulate will turn around a visa on a US passport the same day if you go in person.

Beth said...

Exactly. My Hindi tutor just got hers back within 5 days from the Chicago consulate. Just use certified mail!

Anonymous said...


yes, they do mean send in your passport. We decided to go to the consulate ourselves (Houston), instead of trusting to this mechanism (we were scared by the fact that we never could get hold of a human being on the phone!), and like Shripriya says, were able to get visas in a day.


ctrlalteredmind said...

Not sure about the visa process, but I did send in my about-to-expire Indian passport by mail to San Francisco, for a new one. It was a scary proposition (lost Indian passports are a bigger nightmare than lost US ones!), but I included the extra 15 bucks for express mail and received it back sooner than expected. applying in person would be a better choice, of course, if convenient.

elizabeth said...

Like Shripriya, I recommend an in-person visit, just to make sure everything is correct (they'd made a spelling mistake in my name, and were able to correct it on the spot, preventing any shenanigans upon arrival). But I did it in NYC, so am not sure if Chicago offers the one day service. And this was a couple of years ago anyway. Good luck!