How to Get An Indian Visa in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

How to Get An Indian Visa in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

How to Get An Indian Visa in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

It’s a funny world and I’m surprising myself with this article as I was convinced I would never ever visit India, nor want to. Before, I backpacked through Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, China and Myanmar which either border India or have some history/overlap with Indian culture in some way. Possibly due to my love for China, which was the first ever Asian country I visited, I kind of forgot India existed. India was never ever on my list but a culmination of crazy events influenced my visit there and off I went.

No way Pedro? Jonny Blair in India!

No way Pedro? Jonny Blair in India!

At one point I admitted I’d rather visit all 29 Provinces of China and never have visited India, then even just one visit to India. I also said even if I did visit over 200 real countries on this planet, I had decided that India would be on the home run, one of the last ones on the never ending list. But that has changed now, and here are some influences which changed my mind:

  • Being based in Central Asia for 4 months, direct flights to India, closest base I’ve ever had to India.
  • I enjoyed my visit to Bangladesh last year suddenly gave me more of a reason to visit India.
  • Everyday while based in Bishkek, I walked past the Indian Embassy
  • A few friends were heading to India
  • I won a blogging competition to tour the country in 2014, turning it down.
  • I won the same blogging competition in 2016 and also had to turn it down due to dates (conflicting with Uzbekistan and Afghanistan).
  • India has been backpacked to the hilt and it continues to be, it’s not the niche I crave to earn my crust as a professional travel blogger.
  • Perhaps my reasons for visiting it will never be known, but there I am, below backpacking in India.
Backpacking in Mumbai, India

Backpacking in Mumbai, India

After touring southern Kazakhstan (Almaty , Shymkent, Turkistan and Ile Alatau), I crossed the border into Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan. It was here in Bishkek that I set about securing visas for a few countries nearby.

Winter walk to the Indian Embassy in Bishkek

Winter walk to the Indian Embassy in Bishkek

You might have read my guide to getting a Tajikistan Visa in Bishkek, or indeed the Gorno Badakhshan permit and I managed to secure my Afghanistan Visa in Kyrgyzstan too. There were a few trickier beasts though, namely those two military dictatorships – Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. But bide your time, have the money ready and wait your turn – you might just secure those visas. Be patient. As for Uzbekistan, getting a visa can be hit or miss and there are not many places left in the world where I can secure a visa for Uzbekistan on my own without some kind of Letter of Invitation, Hotel Booking or help from a tour company. While based in Bishkek, I sought the help of Silk Road Explore to help with my Uzbekistan visa application.

Indian Embassy, Bishkek

Indian Embassy, Bishkek

Where is the Indian Embassy in Bishkek?
Ridiculously it is within 6-7 minutes walk of Apple Hostel! And while a Google Search for the Indian Embassy can be confusing, with three different addresses showing up, please note that the actual Indian Embassy is now on Mahatma Gandhi Avenue. Yes, as of April 2016 – this is the new and correct address of the Indian Embassy Bishkek.

This is the official website of the Indian Embassy in Bishkek!

How to get to Indian Embassy Bishkek from Apple Hostel

How to get to Indian Embassy Bishkek from Apple Hostel

The exact address is:
Address: Mahatma Gandhi Avenue 100-A, Jash Gvardiya Blvd, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
Phone:+996 312 979 256

The Indian Embassy in Bishkek

The Indian Embassy in Bishkek

Opening Hours of the Indian Embassy in Bishkek
Again it’s a Monday to Friday thing, but you need to have an appointment booked in advance. So in short, the Embassy is open from 9am – 5pm on all Mondays to Fridays apart from the following holidays in Kyrgyzstan.

Visa regulations for the Indian Embassy, Bishkek

Visa regulations for the Indian Embassy, Bishkek

Booking Your Appointment for the Indian Embassy
Go to the website of the Indian Embassy and fill in the entire application form online. You need to submit a photo as part of this and write as much detail as you can – dates you will visit India, hotels you will stay in (make it up etc.). You get a choice of times and dates, I just took the next early morning one available, which was a Friday morning at 10.30 am. I was based in Bishkek for a while and flexible with dates, not in a rush etc.

I had a 10.30 am appointment

I had a 10.30 am appointment

Turning up at Your Appointment at the Indian Embassy
It was a cold and misty winter morning and my appointment was for 10.30 am on a Friday.

Indian Embassy in Bishkek

Indian Embassy in Bishkek

When I got inside the place was packed full. I had all my forms filled in, the documents and my money. I had:
– 1 completed application form
– flight details (flight in only, no flight out booked)
– 2 passport photos
– proof of a hotel booking (I printed a fake hostel email)
– payment
– your passport
– a photocopy of your passport photo page
I had US Dollars with me, but I soon learned that payment is ONLY possible in Kyrgyz Som. I had to make a dash out and get some more Kyrgyz Som.

Kyrgyzs Som

Kyrgyzs Som

Finally I got to the front of the queue and they had never dealt with an Irish Passport here before, so they had to check a few things out. At first they were only going to give me a 30 day one month visa, but I said I would stay a bit longer than that. Anyway in the end, it turns out they were going to issue me with a 3 month/90 day visa anyway. I had no intention of spending that long in India but at least the application was in. You get given a receipt and it has a collection date on it. I was due to collect mine the following Wednesday.

Indian Embassy

Indian Embassy

The Price of my Indian Visa
The price varies on passport, length, nationality and other factors. But in January 2016 for a three month visa on an Irish passport was 2,820 Kyrgyz Som plus a charge of 115 Som, so the total was 2,935 Kyrgyz Som, which worked out at around $38 US at the time.

Receipt for collecting visa

Receipt for collecting visa

Collecting my Indian Visa
Everything ran smoothly. I turned up to collect my Indian Visa and I was the only one there. The lady went away to check and then brought me my Indian Visa. I wasn’t quite as excited to get this one as I was for Afghanistan or Tajikistan, but it was still nice. I now had to plan my trip to India!

My Indian Visa

My Indian Visa

You can read some of my India stories here:

Safe travels!

Another night bus in India

Another night bus in India

Backpacking in Panaji, India

Backpacking in Panaji, India

Gandhi's Town - Sabarmati Ashram

Gandhi’s Town – Sabarmati Ashram

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16 thoughts on “How to Get An Indian Visa in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

  • Sometimes I get to wonder how is getting a visa exciting. I mean – does the excitement come from not being refused one, or because that’s the last thing left before you go, or it’s when you feel you are soon going to the country you wanted so much (imagine that’s you when you got your Chinese visa). Maybe if I ever get to apply from a country like that (no disrespect), it be exciting for me as well, but I usually do it from Ireland, once in Australia with an agent, and from the UK as well. Have you ever been refused a visa, or met someone who has – because I think travelers generally get their visas, at least that’s what I noticed when I worked for https://www.visafirst.com.

  • Hi Daniel thanks for the comment. The excitement for me is all about confirmation that you can get INTO that country! That’s it. Before you have the visa in your hand you have no clue if you can get it or not. I can’t apply in UK or Ireland as I travel full time so to catch me in those countries is rare. If you have followed my travels from the early days you will have seen me through tons of visa refusals. Suriname (3times), Singapore (once), Algeria (5 and counting), Bangladesh (twice), Sealand (5 and counting), Elleore (once) and then long delays for countries like Afghanistan, India, China (first time round), Belarus, Iran etc. It’s a long and tedious process getting visas but it comes with the lifestyle I have chosen so I get on with it. Safe travels. Jonny

  • Wow I didn’t think this is possible. I’ve seen delays but this many refusals… Why won’t they let you in Algeria? You can easily prove your genuine travel intentions I guess. Strange thing for sure. And did you mean Zealand, as Sealand was something I just learned about and I am amazed such thing exists: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principality_of_Sealand but I doubt you’d be going there.

  • Hi Daniel,
    That’s the one. I’ve been applying for visa for Sealand for about 10 years now, you can read more here: http://dontstopliving.net/not-backpacking-in-sealand-my-journey-to-this-epic-country-delayed-due-to-safety-fears/ and as for Algeria, they are really horrible people there, and very corrupt, it’s the worst country I’ve ever dealt with, but I got in in the end and had to have a bodyguard with me for a total of 17 hours on a transit visa, it was so horrendous I never wrote about it and don’t want to give Algeria any publicity, avoid it at all costs. But at least I’ve been now and don’t need to go back. It cost me £1,500 for 17 hour transit visa in the end and the Algerian officials pocketed the cash for themselves. Safe travels. Jonny

  • I really admire you and your spirit to travelling alone to so many countries as well as all the valuable information that you have shared for travel across Central Asia
    I am rather taken aback by the kind of reservations and apprehensions that you have had and the kind of dislike for traveling into a beautiful coutry like India….which happens to be my motherland
    No other nation in the world can offer you as diverse an en experience with the culmination of religious options…being the land and home of Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism as well as Buddhism. As well as home to the largest population of Zorashtrians in the world as well as second largest population of Muslims and Bahaiis and a Christian state-Goa…………where would you find all this…. A pure experience to the home and birthplace of all the religions and spots to witness the history and advent of each religion and spots of religious importance.
    No other nation would offer you snow, sand, beaches, forest reserves,One of the 7 wonders of the world, 4th largest railway network in the world, one of thebiggest film industries in the world as well as many historic places built by dynasties that ruled this great nation, well-preserved as well as amongst the most diverse cuisine in the world.
    Hotels, trains, roads and transportation and hotels to suit any and all budgets and friendly people who would never think twice to help you and make you trip a memorable experience

    I am deeply moved that being an ardent traveler, never has this come across your mind to cover such a beautiful and rich nation where each state has something new to offer and people are wam and welcoming and always helpful.I o sincerely hope that you have changed your opinion after your visit or will do so after your proposed visit

    Good luck and enjoy your travels

    Regards,

    Gautam M

  • Dear Jonny,

    I do hope you have enjoyed your stay in India and now have a better impression about the wonderful nation
    All the best and be safe

    Regards,

    Gautam

  • wonderful….do give me a shout if you visit Mumbai the next time…I can show you around some amazing attractions and a gastronomic tour on the house…

    Cheers

    Gautam

  • Hi Jonny,

    Thats wonderful…do let me know you are in Mumbai the next time, or if you plan to visit Dubai and the UAE, so can arrange some free tours for you

    Cheers

    Gautam

  • Hi I Am Raj I Am a Travel Agents From India and I read your Article carefully and there I got many information and many things. this is very nice and I am going to give You Excellence for this Blog. Your Blog Written very Nicely and Your Thoughts are Awesome.

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