(This event took place between the year 2020 and 2021. PJ and I were not married back then, so I will mention him as my Indian fiancé.)
It was March 2020. My tickets were booked, visa secured and all formalities to fly out of Philippines were in place. As I was getting ready to pack my bags, news flashed with flight cancellation for COVID. My trip had just 3 days left and it seems like all hell broke loose. Disappointed, I unpacked all my bags while COVID trashed my plans, just as those of million others, to fly to India.
After 8 months passed by and no hope of COVID lockdown being lifted by either one of our countries, we started to ponder over ways for me to get to India. Getting an X-Miscellaneous entry visa to India without marriage certificate is hard or even impossible. Usually, people who get this visa are only those who are already married. However, this raised a question before us that how do we get a visa to marry when I am required to be physically present in India to actually marry? It was like a chicken and egg problem. We had been in a LDR for about 3 years by now, during which time we were together for a TOTAL of 28 days. People talk about LDR, how is this for LDR… ?
To make what seemed impossible possible we thought of giving it a try. At first, my fiancé emailed Indian Embassy in Philippines about our situation to which they replied with a BIG NO! The Embassy replied that I cannot travel to India since tourist visa to India was suspended during that time and spouse visas were only issued to spouse. We tried again after another 3 months, after giving hope that tourist visas will resume. Again the Embassy denied to issue me a x-misc visa.
We waited another 2 months till we were well into the first quarter of year 2021. The patience to wait had given in and it was time to take more desperate measures.
We started tweeting the embassy on the twitter , and it took us about 30 days and minimum of 200 tweets before the Embassy finally agreed to provide me an X-Misc Visa. We did all of it in the span of 3 months. It was consistent effort and a lot of persuasion mostly on part of my fiancé that made it all possible. When we got the e-mail confirming approval for Visa, I resigned from my job, booked cebu pacific and flew to Manila to get the remaining papers, which were a requirement both for the visa and to fly to India.
There were only two things I needed to do in Manila. One was the visa and second was to Apostle CENOMAR & Birth Certificate. (I will make another blog about apostle of papers since this blog will only be focused on the visa process.)
Upon my arrival in Manila, my first task was to visit BLS International to apply for the visa. BLS International was closed on the day of my visit; It was a holiday which I was not aware of. The next time I went there, BLS argued that I needed Proof of Intent to Marry document to apply for the Visa. This paper should have both my fiancé’s and my photo with signatures and an attorney as the witness. However, how could I even get it if I cannot go to India? This caused us unnecessary stress. My fiancé emailed the Embassy again and asked them about the special requirement of BLS. The embassy replied that the document is not needed and BLS is not aware of it; the Embassy intimated BLS International of the whole situation. Finally, BLS International unapologetically replied that I can process my visa papers. In short BLS is the worst agency to apply the visa for – avoid the if possible and don’t shy to point to them that they are wrong.
When I went back to BLS International, following are the papers that I had to submit.
Requirements for X-Miscellaneous Entry Visa for the Reason of Marriage:
1. Visa Form
2. Visa Fee (upon accepting)
3. 2X2 Photo
4. Fiance bank Statement
5. Fiance consulting agreement (from his work) (optional but could be ask)(good to have)
6. Tax Payment of fiance (optional but could be ask)(good to have)
7. Invitation letter for marriage
8. Wedding Card
9. Wedding Booking
10. Fiance passport copy (w/signature)
11. Original Passport (fiancee)
12. Air ticket
13. Return ticket
1. Visa Form – You can get this form by typing your details at the Indian Visa Online website. Just fill in your details and when you are done, you can print it and submit it to BLS International or the Embassy of India upon applying your visa.
2. Visa Fee – After submitting all your documents, they will request a fee of 4,530 php for a 6 months visa. They didn’t allow for 1 year visa at that point, but maybe the embassy does now. You can check it here.
3. 2×2 Photo – You need to bring 2×2 photo which is the same photo that you submitted at Indian Visa Online website. If you don’t know how the photo should be, you can read the Embassy of India’s instruction on how to take your visa photo.
Take note that you need to send the correct photo or else you might get rejected on your visa application online if the requirements is not met.
4. Fiancé’s Bank Statement – This document is a critical. It is proof that your fiancé can finance your everyday and emergency needs while staying in India. This needs to be either original or print out with the bank stamp.
5. Fiancé’s consulting agreement (from his work)(optional but could be asked for – good to have) – This document is connected to the previous one. It shows how your fiancé is getting the finances, are his finances stable, can he support you etc?
6. Tax Payment of fiancé(optional but could be ask – good to have) – This is another proof of the financial capacity of your partner.
7. Invitation letter for marriage – This document consists of both you and your partner’s personal information with your passport number. It also consists of both addresses in Philippines and the place you will stay in India, the planned wedding venue, and finally it should be signed by your Indian partner and notarised by an Indian lawyer. See sample Invitation Letter for Marriage below.
8. Wedding Card – This is a simple task to do; just head over to Canva and make one. It should look like an invitation letter of your wedding. It should have both of your names, parent’s names and the planned wedding venue and date. Once done it can be printed on a beautiful paper or on a photo paper. If you cannot do it on your own, then you can ask someone on up-work to make it for you. It doesn’t need to look professional since the embassy only needs it as a proof.
9. Wedding Booking – You can book it here. For this, you don’t need any payment at all. When you get to the payment section, you can cancel it and your booking will still make it to the e-mail. You print that, and then show it upon applying your visa. This is totally free! No need to pay and no need to book any wedding venues. They just need to see the document and that’s all you need.
10. Fiancé’s passport copy (w/signature) – Your Indian partner need to photocopy their passport, front and back and then sign it.
11. Original Passport (fianceé) – For the visa applicant, you need to give your original passport to the Embassy of India or BLS International so that they can stick your visa on one of its pages.
12. Air ticket – For the air ticket, this needs to be an original ticket. To be safe from Filipino immigration and burning a hole in your pocket, you should book a ticket with unlimited free rebooking or full refund; We got mine with Fly Emirates.
13. Return Ticket – This ticket could be a dummy ticket. You can search a lot of dummy tickets on Google and they will only cost about $15-$19. This is one of the samples of a dummy ticket.
My fiancé sent me original copies of his papers. He used parcelchief to send his papers from India and parcelchief uses FEDEX. Parcelling the documents costs about 2,600 rupees. It reached me in 3-5 working days even though I live in the South of Philippines! It was really fast.
These are the list of Original Papers my Indian fiancé sent me using parcelchief.
1. Fiancé’s Bank Statement
2. Fiancé’s Consulting Agreement (from his work)
3. Invitation letter for marriage
4. Affidavit of Support (Authenticated / Apostle)
5. I.D. Copies with signature – Passport & Adhaar
6. Parent’s passport photocopy with signature
7. Wedding Booking with signature of both spouse
Above are all the documents you need in order for you to get an Indian X-Miscellaneous Visa! Although the process above is outlined for Philippines but it is valid for almost any country. Affidavit of support is a special requirement by Filipino immigration for the Filipinas, which is not required for other countries. Thank you very much for reading and good luck on your visa application! ☺️
You can also check my Youtube Vlog about my visa application.
2021 FULL LIST OF REQUIREMENTS TO COME TO INDIA | W/ PHOTOS, LINKS & FORMATS | Filipina Indian Couple
REQUIREMENTS TO GET MARRIED IN INDIA UNDER SPECIAL MARRIAGE ACT | Filipina Indian Couple