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Old 12th May 2015, 15:17   #241
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need Feedback.

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Originally Posted by StarrySky View Post
Are you talking about renting a car or have you actually encountered some law enforcement official as well with your Indian DL?

I think by law you require Indian DL+official French translation of the Indian licence or IDP (which has French text). The "official French translation" may not be checked until you need to show it to the police. Better be safe that sorry.
Thanks. I do not have the time to get an IDP. I did write to the car rental company and they replied back saying that my Delhi DL will work since its in English.

Is there any other way for getting an 'official French translation'?
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Old 12th May 2015, 15:58   #242
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need Feedback.

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Thanks. I do not have the time to get an IDP. I did write to the car rental company and they replied back saying that my Delhi DL will work since its in English.

Is there any other way for getting an 'official French translation'?
In Delhi, Alliance Francaise may be able to help you to get a translation. But, I don't know how much time it would require and I imagine it would be expensive.
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Old 12th May 2015, 22:48   #243
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need Feedback.

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Originally Posted by akshaymahajan View Post
Thanks. I do not have the time to get an IDP. I did write to the car rental company and they replied back saying that my Delhi DL will work since its in English.

Is there any other way for getting an 'official French translation'?
Which rental company are you planning to engage.
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Old 12th May 2015, 23:07   #244
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need Feedback.

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In Delhi, Alliance Francaise may be able to help you to get a translation. But, I don't know how much time it would require and I imagine it would be expensive.
Interesting idea. I will call them up and ask. And you are right about the rates! From the website

http://delhi.afindia.org/translation-and-interpreting/


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Originally Posted by an_and View Post
Which rental company are you planning to engage.
I got an email confirmation from Europcar that my license will work.
However, my agent booked the car through SIXT.

Last edited by akshaymahajan : 12th May 2015 at 23:10.
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Old 12th May 2015, 23:18   #245
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need Feedback.

I have a feeling this may have been talked about already (Maybe even by me <Blush>) but have you guys hired cars in UK using an Indian-bank (but Visa/Mastercard) credit card?
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Old 12th May 2015, 23:45   #246
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need Feedback.

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Originally Posted by StarrySky View Post
The "official French translation" may not be checked until you need to show it to the police. Better be safe that sorry.
I agree that it is better to be safe than sorry. Here in BLR an IDP costs around 7.5k which includes 6k for the life membership of Automobile Association of South India (AASI). It is valid for an year and is an 'impressive looking' document as mandated by the AA associations across the world.

Personally I feel its a small amount IN CASE one is unfortunate enough to be involved in any accident/incident in France (or other non-English speaking countries in the EU).

Try explaining to a rural French gendarme late in the evening who is dubiously studying your Indian DL that you had right of way etc. etc.

Also I may be wrong but I believe there are rental companies in the EU that refuse to rent vehicles to non-IDP holders or may add riders/costs to the rental amount itself.
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Old 15th May 2015, 12:48   #247
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need Feedback.

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I agree that it is better to be safe than sorry. Here in BLR an IDP costs around 7.5k which includes 6k for the life membership of Automobile Association of South India (AASI). It is valid for an year and is an 'impressive looking' document as mandated by the AA associations across the world.

Personally I feel its a small amount IN CASE one is unfortunate enough to be involved in any accident/incident in France (or other non-English speaking countries in the EU).

Try explaining to a rural French gendarme late in the evening who is dubiously studying your Indian DL that you had right of way etc. etc.

Also I may be wrong but I believe there are rental companies in the EU that refuse to rent vehicles to non-IDP holders or may add riders/costs to the rental amount itself.
I agree, I did the same through AASI. It was a breeze, you get the IDP just across the table.

Btw, From my own exp, most car rental companies like the Avis, Eurocar etc do not request for the IDP. They are ok, as long as the license is in English.
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Old 13th July 2015, 16:00   #248
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need Feedback.

I've planned my travel to Europe from 29 Aug to 14 Sep. I've booked air tickets and have confirmation for hotel bookings also.

I'm a whole lot skeptic about the visa processing part though. Last time when I went to Poland was on a business trip and the travel vendor for our company got everything done for me.

I was planning to use their services again but realized through their website that they are mostly into full fledged itinerary service for corporate clients. My 6 days and 5 nights of travel is limited to Switzerland so they sent me the Swiss Visa requirements and forms.

Before I could go ahead with them one of my colleague said that aren't corporate vendors mostly dealing with situations where there's an invitation letter from the company office in other country etc. Instead he referred me to another visa processing company who don't even book air tickets or hotels, they are only into visa processing for tourists or large groups. Are they supposed to be better than the corporate vendors?

Am I really at a disadvantage with the corporate vendor because he might not scrutinize my documents properly? I don't know what kind of bank balance I'm supposed to maintain in my personal bank account so are these things better scrutinized by the non-coporate visa vendors?
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Old 13th July 2015, 16:03   #249
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need Feedback.

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Originally Posted by fine69 View Post
I've planned my travel to Europe from 29 Aug to 14 Sep. I've booked air tickets and have confirmation for hotel bookings also.

I'm a whole lot skeptic about the visa processing part though. Last time when I went to Poland was on a business trip and the travel vendor for our company got everything done for me.

I was planning to use their services again but realized through their website that they are mostly into full fledged itinerary service for corporate clients. My 6 days and 5 nights of travel is limited to Switzerland so they sent me the Swiss Visa requirements and forms.

Before I could go ahead with them one of my colleague said that aren't corporate vendors mostly dealing with situations where there's an invitation letter from the company office in other country etc. Instead he referred me to another visa processing company who don't even book air tickets or hotels, they are only into visa processing for tourists or large groups. Are they supposed to be better than the corporate vendors?

Am I really at a disadvantage with the corporate vendor because he might not scrutinize my documents properly? I don't know what kind of bank balance I'm supposed to maintain in my personal bank account so are these things better scrutinized by the non-coporate visa vendors?
Why not go directly through VFS? They see all your docs there and then. Visa takes 7 days, and is almost never rejected for people who have traveled to Europe before.
VFS office in Delhi is near Nehru place.
you would need a Shengen visa from the country of arrival(country you are flying into)
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Old 13th July 2015, 16:06   #250
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need Feedback.

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
you would need a Shengen visa from the country of arrival(country you are flying into)
Both the visa agents have told me otherwise! They both asked me where I was staying the max and how many days/nights it was. Then both of them recommended that my visa would be applied at the Swiss embassy.
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Old 13th July 2015, 16:37   #251
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need Feedback.

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Both the visa agents have told me otherwise! They both asked me where I was staying the max and how many days/nights it was. Then both of them recommended that my visa would be applied at the Swiss embassy.
You can apply Visa at
1. Arrival country(even if one night stay)
2. Country where most days will be spent

Its always better to apply at "1"

What is your country of arrival? Apply there through VFS.

Just fix and appointment and go there. Why do you bother with agents. VFS is the official VISA agent for most European embassies. Iceland, Norway, Austria etc., all was done through VFS in our case.

Whenever we missed a doc, they always told us, and helped arrange everything. That's why they take the 1500rs fees.
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Old 13th July 2015, 16:52   #252
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need Feedback.

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
You can apply Visa at
1. Arrival country(even if one night stay)
2. Country where most days will be spent

Its always better to apply at "1"

What is your country of arrival? Apply there through VFS.
My arrival country is Czech Republic, I'll be in Prague for the initial 3 days.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Just fix and appointment and go there. Why do you bother with agents. VFS is the official VISA agent for most European embassies. Iceland, Norway, Austria etc., all was done through VFS in our case.

Whenever we missed a doc, they always told us, and helped arrange everything. That's why they take the 1500rs fees.
I thought agents were better equipped to handle documents. Also, my office vendor was only going to charge 500 per person over and above the visa fees. But visa fees isn't really my concern. I just want the best guy to handle this for me and if its VFS then I'm cool with it.

Problem with vfs though, if I select Czech Republic as the visiting country then 'India' is not listed in the resident country for me to proceed so need a little help here.

Lastly, what the best way to get insurance. My office vendor says in his mail that Euro 30,000 coverage is what's needed.

Below are the requirements shared by them:
Quote:
  • Valid passport must not be older than 10 years also it must be valid for at least THREE MONTHS longer than the intended stay. The passport must also have at least TWO BLANK PAGES to affix the visa and should be along with all old passport booklets.
  • Passport older than 10 years are invalid, in that case applicant to apply for fresh passport.
  • ALL SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS IN A4 SIZE ONLY. In case any documents are NOT in A-4 size paper, such documents must be sent both in ORIGINAL as well as in PHOTOCOPY. The original documents will be reviewed and returned.
  • 1 Form to be filled and duly signed at two places(column #37 and in last) by the passenger in his own handwriting only.
  • 2 Photos ( LATEST White Background and should be pasted on the form, no staple marks).
  • All old passports
  • 2 clear photocopies of passports first and last pages.
  • Onward visa and visa of country visiting before swiss .
  • Return confirmed Ticket with gap of 5 working day (for Blank passport holder gap of 7 days)
  • Hotel confirmation for the entire stay
  • Covering letter addressed to The Visa Officer, Embassy of Switzerland on company`s letter head, if mentioning dates then dates to coincide with tickets and Hotel Confirmations.
  • Pay slips for last 3 months.
  • Noc from Employer
  • 3 months latest personal bank statements required till date.
  • Income tax papers personal for last 2 years
  • If you have been refused a visa by an embassy or high commission in last 5 yrs written explanation about the reason for trip and refusal.
  • Health Insurance as per Schengen specification, matching with ticket dates with risk coverage of Euro 30,000. For downloading the list of Approved Insurance Companies and detailed information on Health Insurance
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Old 13th July 2015, 17:00   #253
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need Feedback.

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Originally Posted by fine69 View Post
My arrival country is Czech Republic, I'll be in Prague for the initial 3 days.

:
Okay
Look at this
http://www.mzv.cz/newdelhi/en/visa_a...chengen_1.html

Usually having 2-3L in your bank account is enough. You will need bank attested bank statements.
Apply Schengen visa from Czech republic, and you are all set.

Also book hotels through booking.com etc., (they have free cancellation) and submit proof of booking.
VFS does not handle Czech republic. You can yourself visit the embassy, get the form, get list of docs required and do it yourself. List of documents is straight forward.

Travel insurance - go for 50,000 EURO. Costs 1200-1300 INR for a couple normally for around 2 weeks.
Return ticket is a must too!

If you still want to apply from Switzerland, you can do so, in that case go to VFS. Take an appointment, show them your travel plans. They will let you know if its okay to land first in Czech republic.

Last edited by tsk1979 : 13th July 2015 at 17:02.
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Old 13th July 2015, 17:48   #254
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need Feedback.

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Originally Posted by fine69 View Post
Lastly, what the best way to get insurance. My office vendor says in his mail that Euro 30,000 coverage is what's needed.
Buy online. Shop around for the cheapest. I think Reliance is generally very competitive and has a good travel package, but there are many others who also offer packages. Will take you 15-20 minutes to choose and buy.

On a separate note, I have always used an agent for my Schengen visa (whether official trip or personal trip). Never had a problem. The only reason I use an agent is because it saves me the trouble of going to the consulate on a weak day, but otherwise I don't think they add any value to the process.
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Old 13th July 2015, 17:51   #255
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need Feedback.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fine69 View Post
My arrival country is Czech Republic, I'll be in Prague for the initial 3 days.

I thought agents were better equipped to handle documents. Also, my office vendor was only going to charge 500 per person over and above the visa fees. But visa fees isn't really my concern. I just want the best guy to handle this for me and if its VFS then I'm cool with it.

Problem with vfs though, if I select Czech Republic as the visiting country then 'India' is not listed in the resident country for me to proceed so need a little help here.

Lastly, what the best way to get insurance. My office vendor says in his mail that Euro 30,000 coverage is what's needed.

Below are the requirements shared by them:
I think you are bit too much worried. If you are visiting Europe for tourist purposes your visa process will be smooth if you did not have any visa violations in the past. Europe is promoting tourism in a large scale.

In my recent Paris/Swiss visit also I had the same issue. I was entering through Paris and spending more days in Swiss. I have politely talked to the lady at French Embassy and she agreed to accept the application. But I was applying from Nairobi. Things are way more easier here as they receive less than a dozen applications a day.

Not to worry about the amount 30,000 for the insurance. Travel insurance premium rates are very low. Please get a quote for Euro 30,000 insurance and see how much it is
In Europe travel insurance is really worth. These international companies really pay the genuine claims we make.

Unfortunately I am not familiar with VFS, so can't tell you anything about that.
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