India is drawing near and I thought it would help me (and perhaps other future Mu Sigmans and others who need to get Indian business visas) to make a list of documents I needed and note some things that I was confused about.
- Actual passport
_ Need at least two (2) blank pages
_ Valid for six (6) months beyond stay in India; e.g. If you’re staying in India till March 2015, your passport needs to be valid till at least September (May + 6 months) 2015. For Mu Sigma, needs to be valid for at least 18 months since you will be applying for a 1-year, multiple-entry visa.
- TWO 2×2 passport photos
There was an option to upload it to the Global Service Order Form, but Mu Sigma wanted hard copies. (2″ ≈ 51mm)
_ No glasses
_ No visual shadows on face
_ Shows whole head (top of head not cut off)
_ Plain/default expression (no smiling, still.)
_ White background
_ Size: 2″ by 2″
_ Printed on photo paper
_ Two copies of photo
(There’s an extensive ‘list’ here! Very nicely explained, with pictures and everything.)*If you’re gonna take your own photo and print like I did, a couple more things to check:
_ 300 dpi
_ Size: at 300 dpi, 2″ by 2″ would be 600 pixels by 600 pixels
_ Save as .jpg/.jpeg on an SD card
Then you can take this to any drug store (I believe) and print.
- India Particular Form
_ Current employment status: Your job title at Mu Sigma (e.g. Junior Associate)
_ Full details of Employer: Mu Sigma Inc. and the Northbrook, IL address
Everything else is self-explanatory.
- TWO copies of the Business Visa Application
Go to the Indian Visa website [here] and click on ‘Regular Visa Application’
_ Indian Mission: Pick the one that’s closest to the address you put on the application. (e.g. My address was in NJ, so I picked the NY one.)
_ Port of exit: Where you’ll leave India (e.g. Bangalore)
_ Required details of business visa: Put Mu Sigma Business Solutions Ltd. instead of Mu Sigma Inc. (Need to put the name of the Indian entity instead of the US one.)
_ Both forms signed in the two spaces!
- Proof of Residence
I just sent a copy of my state ID, which has my address on it.
- Proof of Permanent Residency (if you’re a green card holder)
Front and back scans.
- Signed Offer Letter from Mu Sigma
If you have everything, call your HR exec who emailed you about the visa application so they can go through and make sure that everything is good. After you get the OK, print it all, make sure all the forms are signed in all the right places, and send!
Since you’re sending a very important document like your passport, I highly recommend you send it through USPS Registered Mail (which according to USPS gives you ‘maximum security’.) Personally, I mailed it using Certified Mail because I thought Certified Mail was Registered Mail. It got there fine, but there were a couple days in the middle when the mail failed to deliver and I was slightly freaking out because I thought my passport was ‘lost.’
So for your peace of mind, I suggest you pay a little extra to go with Registered Mail.
Apparently the processing time for business visas is 2-4 weeks and for non-US citizens, it might take longer. Will update on how long mine took.