My Trip To India And Australia: Part 1- Fun With Visas And Flights

Later this month, I am going to India and Australia on business for two weeks and I’ll be blogging about the technology challenges that I have on this trip. Now even before I do anything else, I need to make sure I can legally get into these countries. One thing that I always suggest is that you check the immigration website of whatever country you’re going to see if you need a visa, and how to apply for one. Since I am conducting business, I applied for business visas for each country. They last one year which is handy if I have to go back soon.

For Australia, it’s pretty simple:

  1. Go to https://www.eta.immi.gov.au/ETA/etas.jsp and read the section called “Applying Online.”
  2. If you fit the criteria, then just go through the process which is dead easy. Make sure you have your passport handy along with a credit card as this will cost you $20 Australian.
  3. Once done, print out the receipt and the confirmation form with the number. Now you don’t actually need it as it is tied to your passport, But I made a PDF of this stuff and saved it in my Dropbox account in case I ever did need it.
  4. Declare victory and have a beer.

Total time invested: Five Minutes.

However, for India, it’s an incredibly Byzantine process. Rather than list it all below, I will simply send you to this link [Warning: PDF] so that you can see what they want from you.  You fill out a form online and then you print everything out, get a photo, and go to the Indian Consulate. And then you wait. I’ve been told that 4 hour waits are not unusual. You then fork over all the documentation, your passport, $214.10 which includes a courier fee to ship your visa and your passport to your home.

Just a thought. Might I suggest that the India have a word with Australia and copy their system? I know I’d like that. I’m betting many others would too.

Total time invested: An hour to fill out the form. Ninety minutes to wait in line.

So, assuming I get my India visa, I will need flights. A tip if you’re booking flights online: Be sure to clear your web browser’s cookies and cache. This will make it appear to whatever site your going to that that it’s your first time visiting. And you’re likely to see much better prices for your next flight.

I booked the following flights for the 14 days that I will be away:

This will be the first time I’ve been on an Airbus A380 and I’m glad that I will be as I’ve heard that they make long haul flights like these easier. It will also be intersting to see what the diffences are between the Qantas A380 and the Emirates A380. Oh, for those who are wondering, I am flying economy. I try to be fair and not gouge my customers with business class travel.

Now I will have to pack my gear. Stay tuned for what gear that I take with me this time.

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