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So I'm applying for an E-Visa for India. At one point in the form it asks for the countries you've visited in the past 10 years. I started listing them, got up to the 'C's, and received this error:

Countries Visited in Last 10 years: Max length of Visited Country is reached

Now what? Do I just say "too many for your form" or just list a few recent ones? Or just the ones I spent the most time in?

  • 56
    #MarkMayo Problems – CMaster May 12 '16 at 12:12
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    I believe in the first page there were two options: 1- Mark Mayo 2- All others. You must have picked the wrong option. – Nean Der Thal May 12 '16 at 15:05
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    I wonder if you can't just disable JavaScript or fiddle with it in order to submit all the countries you've been to. – Nobilis May 13 '16 at 7:09
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    @Nobilis considering the stereotypical quality of Indian code, I can imagine this breaking the whole E-Visa system and landing Mark in Indian prison. – JonathanReez Supports Monica May 13 '16 at 7:50
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    @Nobilis it will be easy to edit the html/css, the problem is the db field limit. – Nean Der Thal May 13 '16 at 8:12
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I've run into the same problem a few years ago (but at least got halfway the alphabet), searched around the internet and couldn't find a definitive answer to the question. Which is probably why you are asking as well.

I resorted to listing a selection of countries using as strategy:

  • List at least the countries from which my passport contains a stamp.
  • Add logic neighboring countries until reaching the limit.

When I was searching around for a definitive answer, I observed two things:

  • Everyone in this situation appears to resort to a similar strategy.
  • I didn't find any evidence of people running into problems due to this field.

Which leads me to conclude that you probably shouldn't overthink it. But a definitive answer from official source would be nice, and I'm sure you will not accept anything less as the correct answer.

26

In the next step, after the page where you have the problem, there is a step for uploading a scan of your passport in PDF format. In that step, upload a 2-page PDF. The first page can have the scan of your passport. The second page of the PDF can have a letter explaining the issue and naming all the countries.

enter image description here

In the previous page of the application, in the box for countries visited, include a reference to this uploaded page.

Before doing this, e-mail the help desk to make sure it's alright. If they say it is, then start the letter like: "Sir or Madam. As discussed with the help desk..." On the other hand, if they tell you to do something else, then, of course, do that.

You can reach them at indiatvoa@gov.in.

I had the same problem while applying for a regular visa (I've never applied for an e-visa) a couple of years ago, and I got an official response from the company the Indian embassy had outsourced the visa application process to in Australia.

I asked:

In the "Countries visited in the last 10 years" section, there is not enough space for all the countries I have visited. What should I do about this?

The reply was:

You may provide a covering letter with the details of countries.

The time when I got this answer was not the first time I had the problem. Actually, I've been in this situation all seven times I've applied for a visa to India. Sometimes I've written a supplementary letter with the countries, sometimes I've used abbreviations in the box (US, UK, DK, SL, etc.) I've always gotten the visa, and have never had any questions asked regarding that particular section.

Although it's extremely unlikely that the person processing your application will even notice or know if you leave out a bunch of countries, I'm not personally inclined to do that. I don't like taking such risks at all.

If doing this, though, consider consistency with details from all sections of past and future applications, as well as passport stamps, etc. But as I said, I don't prefer this approach.

Going to extra lengths to be truthful in your application gives a good impression to the person processing it. This is especially helpful if one is in a situation where there's a thin line between getting accepted or rejected. (I'm not suggesting this is the case for you, Mark, but I'm more talking in general to some of the people who may have the same problem in the future. There are likely a lot of people who will indeed have this problem.)

I'd also like to add that from my experience of several instances of applying for visas to India, I've found that it's better to get every single detail right. It's not always so, but in some cases, even a small detail being wrong can cause problems. Personally, I always like to make sure that every single detail in my application is correct before submitting it.

And Mark, as a long-term resident of India, I want to welcome you, and I hope you enjoy your trip!

TL;DR: After having e-mailed the help desk to verify the idea, make a 2-page PDF containing both your passport and a letter regarding the countries and upload it in the passport section. Make every single detail correct.

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    Really? Uploading <not a passport> into the "upload your passport here" field doesn't seem like a good idea. – Lightness Races with Monica May 13 '16 at 17:04
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    @LightnessRacesinOrbit Well, the first page of the file would be the passport. The second page would be an explanatory letter. What do you feel could be the negative consequences of this? – Revetahw says Reinstate Monica May 13 '16 at 17:06
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    Rejection of your application for not following clear instructions. I can only speak for myself but if I were manually processing applications, this would really annoy me. What if I have to store the PDF somewhere, and I am expected to only store PDFs of passport scans? Now I have to boot up Adobe and manually strip out the excess page. Similarly, in the "your name" field, would you put "Fiksdal - btw I couldn't fit all the countries in the field below" ... no – Lightness Races with Monica May 13 '16 at 17:07
  • @LightnessRacesinOrbit My answer also recommends contacting the help desk first to make sure it's OK. I agree that it's not ideal, but unfortunately the other option involves leaving countries out. But yeah, since the application forces us to do this, it might be better to just write "and more." It's actually a pretty big deal to get an application rejected, because after that, you'll have to tick "Yes" in the box "Has visa application to India ever been previously rejected?" So yeah, it's kinda tricky. Definitley best to contact the help desk in writing about this. – Revetahw says Reinstate Monica May 13 '16 at 17:13
  • @LightnessRacesinOrbit I made even a few more edits considering your feedback. Let me know if you have any more input. – Revetahw says Reinstate Monica May 13 '16 at 17:28
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If you are unable to submit a paper attachment to the form, then you could take a 'best practices' approach...

  1. List the US, UK, Canada, then
  2. List all countries bordering India, then
  3. Then any other countries in the Commonwealth, then
  4. List any controversial countries, then
  5. Write 'and more'
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    This is exactly what I did. India is apparently skeptic about Pakistan, so if you have visited there, better not lie about it. Also, the E-visa does not have any way to attach additional documents (digitally or physically), and nor a field exists for additional comments. – Ayesh K May 12 '16 at 20:14
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    "India is apparently skeptic[ical] about Pakistan" (and the converse) may be one of the truest things ever said about international relations. – Zach Lipton May 12 '16 at 20:21
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    @AyeshK I've suggested a way to attach an additional document in an answer. – Revetahw says Reinstate Monica May 13 '16 at 8:44
  • If taking this approach, make sure to include all countries that there are stamps in your passport from, and all other countries the Indian government ma have evidence that you have visited. – Revetahw says Reinstate Monica May 13 '16 at 14:23
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I've had the same problem. Even when using ISO two-letter abbreviations separated by comma, I was able to list only 33 countries within the 100 char limit, which was short by some 20 countries for my past ten years of travels. My opinion: If they do not allow you to make a complete list, it's hardly your fault. In my case, I started listing in chronological order, even summarized all European countries under "EU", and "unfortunately" was forced to drop a lot of potentially "interesting" countries such as Jordan and Lebanon. Anyway, I did not have any problem because of that (not even because they might have frowned upon such a long list of two-letter-codes)

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Make sure you include any SAARC countries you have visited in the list. I think thats what they really care about. I applied a year ago and just filled the field as best I could. I forgot to list Nepal in this field and in the field after about SAARC countries even though I was applying from the Indian embassy in Kathmandu, stupid, but I still got a visa.

protected by mindcorrosive May 14 '16 at 4:46

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