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Ambassador Venkatesan Ashok at LA


LA NRI Community welcome the new San Francisco consulate general

Los Angeles, Jan 13, 2015

Ambassador Venkatesan Ashok who had held diplomatic assignments in Hong Kong, Malaysia, China, Austria and Sri Lanka, apart from postings in the Ministry of External Affairs in different capacities, took charge as Consul General of India in San Francisco  on November 21, 2014.

Ashok, 56, was born in Orissa, graduated in Civil Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi and joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1982. He speaks Chinese, English and several Indian languages. He is married and have one son.

Inder Singh, in collaboration with some  NRI community organizations organized the event  to provide a unique opportunity to welcome, meet and greet Ambassador Venkatesan Ashok at Spice Affair Restaurant, Beverly Hills, California  3.00-5.00pm on January 11, 2015

Venkatesan Ashok thanked the community organizations for the warm and overwhelming welcome.

In his remarks, he stated that the Government of India has taken enormous measures for promoting the wellbeing of the NRIs  and connecting them with India.

Regarding  Visa issue,  Venkatesan Ashok further said that you all aware that the Consulate General office , San Francisco, does not directly accept applications, either in person or through mail/courier for Visa/OCI/PIO/Renunciation of Nationality related services. All applicants should apply through M/S Cox & Kings Global Services.

“We have made every effort to make the website user friendly and tried to provide the information you are actually looking for,” said Ashok. “ we assure you and hope that our new website would also serve as a gateway to India for those who are trying to access information relating to all fields such as tourism, trade, investment  and medical, etc.”

“There is always possible for more improvements in visa services,” said Consulate General, adding that we look forward to receiving your feedback containing comments, ideas and suggestions all the time.

In the mean time, the organizers collected the written questions from each table and requested  Mr. Ashok to answer each questions. Most of the questions were  related to the delayed services from Cox & Kings Global Services Pvt. Ltd and BLS International Limited.

At the end of the program Ambassador Venkatesan Ashok  took time to interact with each NRI attendees- individually and in groups, as well as conducted interviews by the media.

NRI Entrepreneurs bid Ashok  a warm welcome with open hearts and open arms, with confidence that he will achieve much success during his tenure as Consul General of India in San Francisco”.


In 2013, Indian diplomatic missions in the US issued nearly 3.4 lakh visas, with the Indian Consulate in New York leading by 95,000 visas followed by San Francisco (85,800), Houston (54,700), Chicago (45,000) and Washington DC (44,000). In addition, they also issued over 75,000 OCI cards, more than 35,000 PIO cards and more than 49,000 surrender and renunciation of India citizenship

Outsourcing Visa Services Nightmare:

July  01, 2013:  Moved Travisa Outsourcing to BLS International Services

Embassy of India in the USA has awarded new contract to BLS International Services Limited for providing Visa/OCI/PIO/Renunciation of Indian Citizenship Certificate application support services, to be operational from 1st July 2013. The current service provider, Travisa Outsourcing, will be closing its services on 28th June 2013 at all Embassy and Consulate locations. Applications in person will be accepted by Travisa Outsourcing only upto 27th June 2013. Only Emergency Visas will be entertained by Travisa Outsourcing on 28th June 2013. All applications sent through mail will be accepted by Travisa Outsourcing upto 21 June 2013.

Note: BLS International Services Ltd- headquartered in New Delhi, India and was a WORST service……Thousands complaints in 2013-2014

 May  01, 2014: 

New contract to Cox & Kings Global Services

The Embassy of India in the USA has awarded the new contract for providing Visa/OCI/PIO/Renunciation of Indian Citizenship Certificate application support services to the Cox & Kings Global Services Pvt. Ltd., to be operational from May 21st, 2014.

 The current Service Provider, BLS International Limited, will be closing all its operations with regard to Visa/OCI/PIO/Renunciation of Indian Citizenship Certificate support services in the evening of 20th May, 2014 at all locations in USA.

Cox & Kings Global Services (formerly known as Quoprro Global Services) was incorporated in 2008 and is a specialist business process outsource agency which focuses on serving Consular sections of Diplomatic Missions, according to information available on its website. Cox & King Global Services provides outsourcing services to Consulate General of Italy, UAE; Indian diplomatic missions in Israel, Germany, Japan, Sweden, in addition to Dubai Visa in India, Royal Thai Consulate General for Western India and Norwegian Embassy in India

New-Cox & Kings Global Services  & Tourist Visa on Arrival Plan in Effect,

But Complaints Persist

it's worth reading

Complaints of two LA Entrepreneurs:

For the past two years, thousands of NRIs  complaint about the outsource companies through email, blog system and even calling to media. NRI media did not write stories, in the hope that services will be improved. Please read:


Baljinder Sidhu, Los Angeles: Engineer and own few businesses

Ambassador Consulate General/San Francisco, CA

 My name is Baljinder Sidhu, I have businesses in city of Torrance and city of Hawthorne in south bay area of Los Angeles.

In my previous career I worked as a professional Engineer for State of California.

Every year I travel  to India to meet family members.

Year 2014, I was going to attend three weddings.  I had to cancel my flight three times, Finally I was able to go with the help of Visa-Vice Counsel. I appreciated Consulate’s timely help.

There was unbelievable hassle and delays to get visa that I wish to share with you, my experience of dealing with  unprofessional and unorganized set up at Cox& Global in San Francisco

If a business/Professional person goes through such a bad experience, what about the community at large.


WEB  File No. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx



Visa Application sent via FedEx tracking  #  771448775553


App received by CKGS at 8:52am signed by J. Chan


12 Days later  -- First  review


Rec'd Email --one form missing (non-US form)


Scanned the required document, emailed back to:, as per instructions from CKGS


Hard copy  sent via FedEX tracking #  771623400033


Called and Confirmed receipt of required  document by CKGS at 9:15am, signed by J CHAN and I also emailed- scanned  document to:


Called-- for 45 minutes no answer


Called- answered after 35 mins, I was told, I have to send missing document, I gave them Fedex tracking no.


Called -waited 43 mins --I was told, I have to send missing document, I gave them Fedex tracking no.


Called--I was told again to send the missing document,  I gave them Fedex tracking no.


After 23 days waiting, I Travelled to San Francisco.


Lined up at CKGS office at 8:30am, the office was in chaos. There were no signs indicating any direction for us. We were going from counter to counter to get guidance. We were told to go to third floor to get a number. At Third floor we were told to go back to first floor where our turn came 10:30am, the counter person told me they were trying to locate my file, I should wait. I kept asking for my file avery 15 minutes. Finally  after waiting seven and half hours, at 3:30pm my file was found and reviewed. The person at the counter who reviewed my file told me that my file is completewith all required documents and will be submitted to Embassy in the next morning of 11/04/2014


Application tracking site shows application in process at Embassy/Consulate.


Application tracking site shows application in process at Embassy/Consulate. How long will it continue ? No information given.


Contacted (Gary Singh). He suggested contact consulate office in SFO with all description and send one copy to NRIpress. I faxed the above sheet to Consulate SFO.

- Vice Counsel called and told me that VISA was stamped on Nov. 10,2014.

Cox & Global website was showing  "in process" at Consulate.

With the help of Consulate my passport with VISA was traced at Cox & Global and shipped to me.

Took the flight on Nov 19, 2014


Harbhajan Singh Samra: Master in Economics/OKARA KING

Click his web page with NRIpress……….. Click Here 


My name is Harbhajan Singh Samra. I started growing Indian Vegetables in America more than 22 years ago. I am very well recognized by American media, Indian Media, American business society and my fellow Indian society. We left our country at youth of our age we had some dreams to be something, we realize that so many of us are very successful and are living very comfortable life. But we still Miss Indian (our motherland) to go to see our motherland we have to go to San Francisco; once in a while that is why we have to keep in touch with our consulate office in San Francisco.

 India is supplying most of the I.T professionals to rest of the world. Fortunately they have started online system in consulate office too, so people don’t have to go in line. But there are some people who always keep the terminals of online system loose, they don’t want to bye-pass their bureaucratic power, people still has to call and be in line to be answered. Online is stuck some where and we have to beg the officers there for information.

 Some where in June 2013, I was going to India. I applied for visa renewal online, few days in advance, and sent with that prepaid priority, pre-addressed FedEx express envelope. They say information being processed for few days then being mailed online for few days. When my flight days were coming closer I started calling them. Then will say being mailed today, I will wait next day, never received, called again, same answer they told me that passport is in our possession, we are sending today. I told them hold it over there. I am sending my representative tomorrow early morning to pick it up because my flight is in the evening.

 Next day I send my employee Davinder Kohli, to consulate office, they told him we sent it yesterday. Then we called Fed express office with the number they gave us. Fed express told us that they have nothing on that number. Then I called Inder Singh to help to talk to some responsible person then they gave him an answer that passport is picked today by Fed Express. Being disappointed my employee Davinder Kohli went back to airport to get his flight back to LA. Then after two hours somebody called Inder Singh that your passport is sitting in our office, we have got it back from the Fed Express office. Please come & pick it up. Inder Singh called me and I called my employee to go back and pick it up. By the time he went back, picked up passport and went to airport, He missed his flight, came on next flight, I have to pay extra for that.

  By the time he came to LA. I was waiting for him at Turkish Airline, they closed the flight, 15 minutes before I got my passport. I had business class ticket. I had to pay lot more money to book for next day. I did so many efforts to make it happen but they were all failed by the lazy incorporated Indian consulate system in San Francisco. We are same people in America, who are successful in America, because of hard work and some system is recognizing it. But our Indian bureaucrats, who come here to help us again try to remind us our old days in India, Ham nahisudhrege.

 At that time there was congress government in India, we could blame them. Now there is new government under the progress leadership of Mr. Narinder Modi, who have done a lot for gurat as a chief minister. All the foreign officials are being changed.

  I have hope with the progressive leadership of honorable Prime Minister Mr. Narinder our new official will clean the inefficiently laziness and corruption from our San Francisco office. Waiting for good days for NRI Americans for question please feel free to call me at (213)494-0721.


                                                                              Harbhajan Singh



Tourist Visa on Arrival Enabled with Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) Scheme Launched

December 01, 2014

Tourist Visa on Arrival Enabled with ETA Scheme Launched 

New Delhi

Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh, along with Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (I/C), Tourism & Culture and Minister of State for Civil Aviation launched the Tourist Visa on Arrival (TVoA) enabled with Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) Scheme here today. 

The facility will be available at nine international airports in the country namely Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Goa.

The TVoA enabled with ETA Scheme will facilitate nationals of 43 countries including Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Cook Islands, Djibouti, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kingdom of Tongo, Laos, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Mexico, Myanmar, New Zealand, Niue, Norway, Oman, Palestine, Papua & New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Kiribati, Republic of Korea (i.e. South Korea), Republic of Marshall Islands, Republic of Nauru, Republic of Palau, Russia, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, USA, Vietnam and Vanuatu. 

Launching the facility, the Union Home Minister said that India has a unique advantage in tourism sector owing to its geographical location and that no other country offers such abundance of persity in weather conditions. He also assured that his Ministry would ensure a safe and secure environment for visiting foreign tourists. 

Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Tourism & Culture and Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma reiterated Government’s priorities: “Our Government is acting swiftly to fulfill the promises made to its people.

Today’s launch of Tourist Visa On Arrival (TVOA) facility enabled with Electronic Travel Authorization Facility (ETA) is one step in this direction”. It is bound to positively impact the economy of the country, he added. “The implementation of TVoA enabled with ETA will send a clear and powerful message that India is serious in making travel to the country easy”, the Minister hoped. 

The information and instructions for the TVoA enabled with ETA is available on the link:

- See more at:

Instructions for Tourist Visa on Arrival (Enabled by ETA)

1.                   Applicants of the eligible countries may apply online minimum 4 days in advance of the date of arrival with a window of 30 days. Example : If you are applying on 1st Sept then applicant can select arrival date from 5th Sept to 4th Oct.

2.       Recent front facing photograph with white background and photo page of Passport containing personal details like name,date of birth, nationality , expiry date etc. to be uploaded by the applicant. The application is liable to be rejected if the uploaded document and photograph are not clear and as per specification.

3.       Tourist visa on arrival (TVoA) fee is US$ 60/- per passenger excluding interchange charge for credit/debit cards.The fee must be paid 4 days before the expected date of travel filled by you otherwise application will not be processed.

4.       TVoA fee once submitted is non refundable.

5.       Applicant should carry a copy of ETA along with him/her at the time of travel.

6.       Biometric details of the applicant will be mandatorily captured at Immigration on arrival in India.

7.       The validity of visa will be 30 days from the date of arrival in India.

8.       Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) is valid for entry through 9 designated Airports i.e. Bengaluru,Chennai,Cochin,Delhi ,Goa, Hyderabad,Kolkata,Mumbai & Trivandrum .

9.       This facility is in addition to the existing Visa services.

10.    Tourist Visa On Arrival (TVoA) is allowed for a maximum of two visits in a calendar year.

11.    Tourist Visa On Arrival (TVoA) once issued on arrival is Only single entry , non-extendable , non-convertible & not valid for visiting Protected/Restricted and Cantonment Areas.

12.    Applicants can track the status of their application online by clicking visa status.

13.    Please be careful while making payment of the TVoA fee. If the number of unsuccessful attempts is more than three (03), then the application id would be blocked and the applicant would be required to apply afresh by filling the application form again and regenerating a new application id.

14.    For any assistance call 24 * 7 Visa support center at +91-11-24300666 or send email to


In Closing,  Baljinder Singh Sidhu wrote to Ambassador Venkatesan Ashok

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule  to meet with Southern California members of  Indian community.

We really appreciate the way you acknowledged the existing issues with the services of Cox & Global . There are so many issues with so many persons who do not speak due to fear of retaliation from service provider.

Although we had a good meeting and exchange of information, the format of the meeting was not open to fully discuss any issue. We respect your schedule and the time constraints  you probably had surrounding your visit.

We would welcome you  to set up an open forum to communicate with larger group in a less restrictive setting.

Since Mr Modi formed the national Govt, he is a highly popular Prime Minister. The level of expectations of NRI people here have gone to new heights. People expect the Consulate General to provide the matching services to those elevated expectations.

We have some ideas, that could facilitate the process of getting in touch and open communications with our community.  Additionally that could also be outreach to the community at large.

We are always ready  to help.



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