Dear India, thank you for inviting me to stay here forever




After 89 mind-boggling, frustration-inducing, grey-hair-propagating, bureaucracy-cursing, confusion-rendering days of limbo over my application for a permanent residency and work permit in India, the central government here in Delhi— lithe, agile and efficient as it always is (heavy sarcasm) — showed me the meaning of unexpected haste.

Though I was expecting the process to take months or more to complete (if ever), at 4:23 p.m., Monday, February 1, 2010, I, Adam Franklin Jadhav, officially became an Overseas Citizen of India. For nearly all intents and purposes, I now have dual citizenship and am free to do almost entirely as I please.

Hallelujah.

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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.

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