I may be ‘stuck’ in southeast Asia

Anyone contemplating a visit in the next year should probably pay attention. There has been an official hiccup in visa rules, meaning I may need to leave the country for longer than planned this spring.

Essentially, after it was revealed that alleged terrorist conspirator David Headley had stayed in India long-term on a tourist visa, the Indian government has cracked down. Under previous rules, with the five-year tourist visa I currently hold, I could stay in the country for up to six months at a time and leave even for one day to “reset” my visa clock. Hence, my week booked in Thailand beginning March 31.

However, under the new rules, I have to leave for at least two months. This means that instead of returning to India from Thailand, and heading to Sikkim to teach English at a volunteer-supported school, I would be “stuck” in Thailand. And the Thai tourist visa is typically valid for 30 days, meaning I would need to move somewhere else.

Then, in theory, I wouldn’t be returning to India until at least June 1. However, if I’m elsewhere in the world, I might get the most for my money and stay out longer.

Now, all of this may become moot if I am granted Overseas Citizenship of India status, which gives me a lifelong entry and residency permit. But after now 60 days, my application remains in processing limbo with the Ministry of Home Affairs.

And since this involves international flights and visas and hotels and other travel arrangements, I’m planning now.

Which brings me to Vietnam. Or more specifically history and food in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and diving in Nha Trang.

Anyone interested?

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4 Responses to “I may be ‘stuck’ in southeast Asia”

  1. Elie Says:
    January 14th, 2010 at 12:10 am

    Hell yeah…if only I didn’t have this thing called a job…

  2. Adam Jadhav Says:
    January 14th, 2010 at 7:39 am

    Work schmork…

  3. Royal Says:
    January 15th, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    It’ll be expensive, but you’ll probably have an amazing trip. Maybe you should thank the Indian government for forcing you to do more overseas travel.

  4. Jan Says:
    January 20th, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Why not go to Nepal? Do some hiking? That would be beautful scenery and provide very intersting stories to write about. I can see it now…Adam at base camp of Mt. Everest.

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