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New Flight Crew Requirements for India 15 April 13

Posted by Summer Jenkins in Visa News.
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by Leydy Jimenez, Associate Director and Country Information Coordinator for India

Indian consulates in several US cities have recently begun to request additional documentation for flight crew members, particularly pilots, in a move that appears to be connected with a change in consular staff.  The consulates, which so far include Washington, DC, Houston, and New York City, require several documents for visa services which are difficult  for many crew to produce, such as:

* A No Objection Certificate and Air Operator’s Permit from the Indian sponsoring organization, both issued by the Indian Director General of Civil Aviation (see weblink http://www.dgca.nic.in/operator/ops-ind.htm; choose the “Obtaining a Permit” link on the left sidebar)

* An individual-specific approval (otherwise unspecified) from the Director General of Civil Aviation

* A copy of the landing permit

The new requirements are common requests for employment visas for foreign crewmembers, but are generally not possible to obtain for crewmembers who will visit India as non-immigrants.  Their duties are generally to transport passengers, deliver aircraft, meet with clients, or otherwise perform tasks that were previously associated with business purposes, and until recently the consulates would issue business visas to crewmembers.

G3 Visas & Passports has spoken with consular officials in Washington, DC, to petition for simpler requirements, and we have also met with the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) to ask for their assistance in engaging the Indian consulates.  The consulates have been unresponsive so far, unfortunately, but G3 continues to ask that crew be given consideration for visas in a timely manner.  In the meantime, US crewmembers who must visit India for crew purposes are requested to call G3 Visas & Passports for visa assistance.

Guangzhou, China May Add 72 Hour Transit Without Visa 11 April 13

Posted by Summer Jenkins in traveler advise, Visa News.
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Officials from China Southern Airlines have recently announced that negotiations are underway to allow foreign travelers a 72 hour transit without visa stopover in Guangzhou.  Although the policy has not yet been officially confirmed, it is expected that it will go into effect late this year.

Currently, tourists and business travelers from 45 nations, including the United States, are allowed a visa-free stay of up to 72 hours in Beijing and Shanghai if they hold ongoing air tickets to a third country.  This policy went into effect on January 1 of this year; please see our earlier article for complete details.  Guangzhou is expected to follow the same rules as Beijing and Shanghai.

G3 will continue to monitor the progress of the transit without visa policy and will provide updates as they become available.