Jordan immigration experience for Indians
Jordan Travels West Asia

Bengaluru to Amman: A Jordan Immigration Experience

Travelling with a weaker passport = not-so-smooth immigration experiences.

Even for countries that give visas on arrival for Indians, the treatment you get at immigration is not a very pleasant one. So, I was prepared for when I visited my 6th country.

Jordan….. I was supposed to travel to this West Asian country in October 2023. I had everything booked – flights, hotels and experiences – and was all excited. But just like all my previous October plans, this one had to be cancelled too (I think Octobers are travel jinxed for me). 

The Israel-Palestine conflict had turned into an occupation and genocide forcing me to rethink my travel plans. Thankfully, the Jordan pass I’d purchased was valid for a year and both the airlines I’d booked with (to and fro) provided me airline credits for a year – dangling my Jordan aspirations on a thin thread.

Luckily, March doesn’t have the travel jinx! 

A little context here

Jordan has both Evisa and visa-on-arrival options for Indians. I usually prefer to get an Evisa but the Jordan Evisa website returned an error message (which apparently has been happening for all Indian travellers with a Jordan pass from Jan 2024).

Error message from Jordan Evisa website - the Jordan immigration experience

So, I was forced to opt for the visa-on-arrival option. The Jordan Pass also acts like a visa fee waiver, so I hoped to show my passport and the Jordan Pass would do the job. I even dropped an email to the Jordan tourism board to make sure those were enough.

Also read: Everything you need to know about the Jordan Pass

The immigration experience in India

I reached the Air Arabia check-in counter here in Bangalore with a couple of hours to spare and was asked for my passport, flight ticket, and visa – a standard procedure. I told them I’d be taking a VOA and showed them my Jordan pass instead.

The check-in staff looked a little unconvinced with the Jordan pass and VOA terms and asked for proof of hotel bookings and return flights. When I showed, they were concerned that I had a pending amount for my travel from Amman to Bengaluru. I clarified that the airlines told me I could pay at the counter on the day of my return.

After a small discussion amongst themselves, they asked me to proceed to immigration. At the immigration counter, the officer seemed to have a similar concern about the Jordan Pass and their VOA policy for Indians. They asked me to explain it to the officials at the Ministry of External Affairs booth right opposite the immigration.

The staff at the external affairs booth enquired a bit about the purpose of my visit and the Jordan pass. He went through the rules and regulations mentioned at the bottom of the pass and signed my boarding pass. That’s the story from the Indian side of Jordan immigration.

Not so bad.

Jordan Flag - Jordan immigration experience for Indians

The Jordan Immigration Experience in Amman

When you are at the mercy of immigration officers, you hope to catch them in their best moods. So, when I saw a huge fleet of Bangladeshi women immigration workers on my flight from Sharjah to Amman, it made me nervous. If their paperwork is shoddy or something is fishy (which happens with immigrant workers that come through agencies), it might affect my immigration.

So, I ran and was the first one there at the empty immigration counter.

The immigration officer looked at my passport and the first question he asked was if I was a resident of any other country, i.e. if I held a US, Schengen, or Australian PR. I said no and he asked me to go to the police officer’s cabin. Great! 

I went to the cabin and the police officer seemed confused as to why I was there despite having all the documents. He accompanied me to meet the immigration officer – they spoke to each other in Arabic and the police officer asked me to follow him. And here we go. 

He said I had to wait 15 minutes to speak to the higher official. Meanwhile, he asked for my passport, return ticket, and hotel stay and took a photocopy of it all. He also asked me where I worked. I’d carried my ID card, of which he took a photocopy too.

The police officer seemed friendly and was curious about what I’d studied. He asked me if I was an engineer. I said I had a Master’s in Political Science and he asked what it was. Half an hour had passed and I had no clue what the hold-up was about. 

Many people came and went but I stayed there like a high school student summoned and ignored by the principal.

Jordan dessert - Jordan immigration experience for Indians

The waiting time was slowly inching towards an hour when an older superior-looking officer came in. He looked at my documents, asked again what I’d studied and signed my documents.

I returned to the empty immigration counter again but this time because everyone had gotten their approval and had left.

The immigration officer put a sticker and gave me the visa. The visa was for 14 days while I had planned to exit the country on the 15th day. I requested him to extend it by a day but he outrightly refused saying that he had given as many days as mentioned by the superior who had signed my documents. I went to the friendly officer again and explained the situation; he unfolded his fingers, started counting the dates and he said there would be no problem. 

I was then asked to move to the immigration entry stamping authority. The woman there again went on:

Why was I there? 

How long was I there? 

What do I work as? 

She stamped my passport and went to another officer. Then 2 other officers joined to start again:

Why was I there? 

How long was I there? 

What do I work as? 

The man in the group finally pointed me towards the exit and shooed me away.

This was the beautiful experience from the Jordan immigration in Amman.

Exiting Jordan a day late

The number of days offered for VOA seems to be at the discretion of the officer in charge. I wanted 15 days and I got 14. Thankfully, that wasn’t an issue at all. The immigration at the exit was smooth and they didn’t mind that one-day difference. 

Petra - Jordan immigration experience for Indians

But I read cases of Indian residents being offered 7-day visas when they had plans for 2 weeks. In such cases too, do not panic. Jordan charges a standard fee of 1.5 JOD per day for every day you spend there after the lapse of your visa – so 7-10 days of staying beyond the VOA shouldn’t be an issue. 

Does Jordan provide Visa on Arrival for Indians?

Yes, it does. But the officials seem to be more interested in Indian passports having a Western country resident permit or multi-entry visa. 

What to carry (hoping) for a smooth Jordan immigration experience:

Patience.

Then all the necessary and few unnecessary documents.

As a rule of thumb remember that immigration officials are not the most patient people you deal with and as Indians with only Indian passports (no other Western country resident permit/multi-entry visa) smooth experience is a rare chance. 

So, carry all the necessary documents along with other unnecessary documents and loads of patience. You don’t want to be going to a foreign country and explaining and arguing in English with non-native speakers about why they should let you in.

List of documents to carry

1) Print out of your flight tickets. 

Always remember that you need to have a return ticket or an onward ticket as proof of exiting a foreign country within the time frame of your visa. Not having a return or onward ticket to another country may cause airline check-in staff or the Indian immigration officers to refuse to let you board your flight (I had a similar experience while flying to Cambodia). Or even if you get an exit from the Indian side, there is a chance you might be deported from Jordan or any other foreign country.

2) Embassy visa > E Visa > VOA. 

An embassy or an E Visa makes it easier at both ends of the immigration as solid proof of you being allowed to a foreign country. It is better to have your Jordan pass and Evisa handy for a smooth process. However, as the Evisa website of Jordan is returning an error message to eligible VOA countries with a Jordan pass, VOA is the convenient method for now.

Jordan immigration experience for Indians

3) Keep printouts of your hotel bookings.

For all the nights you are staying in the country, have the hotel bookings ready to show.

4) Dollars or local currency.

I read that Indian travellers have been asked to show $1000 as currency for proof of sufficient funds to enter Jordan. $1000 was way too much and to be on the safer side, I’d carried $500 with me (a figure that the Cambodian immigration asked me to show as well). I’d say carry some dollars in hand and also carry a 3-6 months bank statement with sufficient balance as proof.

5) Travel insurance

Buy travel insurance and keep a printout of it. Medical expenses and travel emergencies are costly affairs and it is best to have Travel insurance that provides sufficient backup.

6) Your office ID

As an option, carry your ID card or a photocopy as proof of active employment. Most countries across the world see Indians as job seekers to enter the country for the sake of employment.

Author

  • Sundaram Venkateshwaran

    Sundaram Venkateshwaran is an inquisitive learner who loves to understand places, people and cultures through his journeys. If being bombared with meaningful questions and having deep conversations is your thing, he is the person to grab a coffee with. Through his writing, he shares stories from his journeys and conversations that impacted him the most.

    View all posts

Sundaram Venkateshwaran

Sundaram Venkateshwaran is an inquisitive learner who loves to understand places, people and cultures through his journeys. If being bombared with meaningful questions and having deep conversations is your thing, he is the person to grab a coffee with. Through his writing, he shares stories from his journeys and conversations that impacted him the most.

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