Our India trip planning is in full swing! I think planning and looking forward to a big trip is half the fun! Although, everyone knows nothing ever goes according to plan… Interestingly enough, we have had several friends and family interested in coming along with us to India. At this point it looks like my parents and aunt will be joining us for part of the trip (they won’t be able to stay as long as we will). So one things that is of utmost importance is for everyone to secure a visa to enter India.
As I mentioned earlier, we applied for a PIO (Person of Indian Origin) Card for our baby, Miss A. When we got it back in the mail, I was surprised that it wasn’t a card or even stamped in her passport like a visa – but it looks just like a mini passport. The cover is a lighter color than regular Indian passports, and there are only a few pages inside, but it looks just like a passport. It is valid for 15 years. I’m sure she’ll just LOVE the cute little baby photo when she’s….oh, say 13 years old!
I am also planning to apply for my PIO card (I’m eligible since my husband is an Indian citizen). My current visa expires this year, so I may as well go ahead and get the PIO before they decide to change the rules or something! It is more expensive than a regular tourist visa, but because there is a chance we will move back to India at some point, it makes sense for me to go ahead and get it now. Check out this post if you are interested in learning more about PIO cards.
My family applied for 10 year tourist visas – they decided they might want to come to India again in the next 10 years (they’ve already been once before – but just had 6 month visas at that time). We learned the hard way don’t take for granted that you will get the visa duration that you apply for – my aunt and mom got 10 year visas, but my dad was only give a 6 month visa. You never know what you will get. Its too bad he will have to go through the whole application process again for the next trip.
Next step… buy tickets! We’re hoping to splurge a little and have a fun layover for a few days somewhere in Europe on the way back. We’re thinking Paris – can anyone say “Oh-la-la?”