We have invited a friend, who is a Belarusian citizen, to travel with us for a holiday to India. We live in the UK and will be funding the holiday and arranging the flights ourselves, as our friend is only a student. The Embassy of India in Minsk has asked to see a credit card topped up with $50 for each day spent in India, before they will issue a visa. This is unneccessary as we are funding the trip, and it is not possible as she does not have the kind of money that the the Indian embassy appears to believe is appropriate. Why is our friend being asked to put up this money up-front ($1,000 dollars for a 20 day holiday), especially as it is unnecessary?
Also, for years the Indian government has clearly stated that people travelling to India should not make any travel plans before they have been given a visa. They now appear to be saying the opposite and that as part of the visa application process they want to see flight tickets in and out of India. Does anyone know why this 180 degree turnaround has happened?