If you need a visa to visit India, visit the Indian High Commission website (www.hicomind.org.nz) and complete the application form online.
The Wellington based Diplomatic Mission has done away with the processing of manual and typed applications for visas with effect from May 30, 2011. Some Embassies and High Commissions introduced the system last year.
An official said that online applications were less cumbersome, less time-consuming but more efficient and convenient.
But you cannot hope to receive the visa to arrive by post or even given to you electronically. You must take a printout of the online filled application form, complete all the required fields and send it by courier along with your latest photograph, any other document that may be required, a self-addressed, pre-paid courier packet and a Banker’s Cheque for the visa fee to the Indian High Commission in Wellington.
There are other specified requirements for business visas.
The processing time would take between 10 to 15 days, depending on the nationality of the applicant. There is no time limit for holders of Bangladeshi, Chinese, Pakistani and Sri Lankan passports.
India is one of the few countries which obliges travellers of all nationalities (except its citizens and Nepalese passport holders) to obtain a visa appropriate to their need prior to travel. Although nationals of many countries are allowed to obtain visas on arrival, many prefer to obtain their visas in advance.
India’s tight visa regime also means that Indian nationals are required to obtain visas to visit almost all but 37 countries. The Indian Government may not be enthusiastic to change its visa regulations, since it rightly believes in promoting the safety and security of its people. Besides, terrorist attacks in recent years have been unhelpful.
The Danes are the luckiest in this context. They enjoy visa-free travel to 157 different countries, more than any other nationality. The Finns, Irish and Portuguese are almost as popular and can visit 156 countries without a visa; for Germans, Swedes, Belgians and Americans the figure is 155.
The table is propped up by a sadly predictable pairing, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Afghan travellers can only enter 22 countries without a visa.