Bureaucracy is what it is, but the people at the Indian Visa office were very easy to deal with even if the process caused a glitch for me.
Having flown so often to South America, plus a trip to Mexico without needing a visa, I hadn’t thought about one for India until Tuesday afternoon — my flight was Thursday morning.
NOTES: (1) for U.S. citizens, it can take up to 72 hours to get your visa application processed, approved and delivered, so plan accordingly, (2) a tourist visa can be for as long as 6 months (with multiple entries in and out of the country) and a business visa up to a year, (3) you must apply ONLINE, and then print it and present it at the visa office on east 53rd Street.
After decamping to Argentina in 2004 I no longer had a permanent address in the states. However, after my six month stint in Mexico, during my visit in Colorado, I was able to use my sisters address, and also get a drivers license (had let mine lapse years ago and never got a new one).
Here was the glitch: even though I completed the Indian visa form listing New York as the mission office, they rejected it because my address was listed as Colorado, requiring me to apply via the San Francisco office. I now had and hour before that office closed: it was Tuesday night. I had to jump hoops to get the address on my bank account changed to a NY address, print it and race to complete and print the online form once again and get back to the visa office before they closed; I made it with minutes to spare.
While doing errands Wednesday I could only hope that my visa would be cleared and delivered by end of the day: I was to fly out Thursday in the morning. As it turned out, everything worked out.
What a way to start a journey!