if you plan to travel to India, please don't be ignorant like i was and not know that this country requires a visa for you to enter. unlike some countries, India does not offer visa upon arrival. i was really lucky that someone thought to ask the husband about it, because it takes 3 working days for your visa to be processed. any day later and i wouldn't have been able to go for this trip. also, i was lucky that i had a friend who had recently traveled to India so knew what i needed to do beforehand.
if you would like to save time and money, you can download your Indian Visa application online here. if you choose to let them fill it up for you, they charge you a hefty amount of RM20. one downside about this online application is that if you made a boo-boo after you've submitted your application, you're gonna have to retype everything again T_T. supporting documents include your flight ticket, as well as a copy of your passport. you can choose to photocopy your documents at the visa centre, but the charges are steep.
my friend advised me to have my photograph taken at the centre itself, because they seem to have quite strict photo requirements. they even had signs posted on the walls saying that 'all passport photos taken at the store next door will not be accepted'. frankly i assume they want to make an extra buck (it costs RM20 for four passport photos) but i'd just like to think of it as convenience to have a photo booth in the centre itself, so i wouldn't have to think about where to get my photo taken in case you forgot to bring one.
i got a bit lost looking for the parking entrance. luckily nadia had already told me where to park (i always get so riled up looking for parking). parking fee at the Dataran is pricey, so if you have a better idea please do let me know. anyway, when i arrived it was just a little after 9am, and there was a line forming in front of the visa centre. you'd think that you might be stuck here for some hours applying for the visa, but surprisingly everything was pretty smooth. when i entered the centre, i was ushered to the reception counter, where they checked your documents, and then they told me to go line up at counter 6. that's where you make payment for any services rendered ie. to fill up your application form, to take your photo, etc.
i didn't bring any photos with me, so after making payment i headed over to the far end of the room towards the photo booth to wait my turn. i didn't have to wait for long. into the photo booth you go -> sit -> smile -> ta-da! lol. i think you get three tries in case you didn't like how your photo turned out. i was happy with mine on the first try (i'd rather not jinx it haha).
counter 14 onwards was where you have your application typed out for you if you didn't fill it up online. the officers will fill up the form while you dictate the information that needs to be filled. in my opinion these officers might make mistakes filling up your form if they don't hear you clearly so i greatly recommend for you to fill up your form online to save time. BUT! you must ensure that the name entered in the application tallies with the name in your passport, binti and all. or else they'll make you fill up a new form again. bahahahahah.
after all that is done, they will check that you have all the necessary documents attached. you will need to sign in two places and stick your photos onto the application (they need only two copies). then you line up at another counter to submit everything. at this counter, they will take your biometrics, and ask you to stand away from the counter and look into a camera (to record what you look like i think haha). the lady asked me to use hand sanitizer because she couldn't get a good biometrics read T____T.
and then you have to pay the visa free of RM189.60 (inclusive of gst). finish! they hand you a receipt, and you come back in three working days to collect your visa.
simple, no? the whole process took me barely an hour to get done. the only lining up i had to do were at the counters, but i didn't need to wait long. simple pimple!
so. you thinking of visiting India now? =D
well anyway i had to cancel my trip because the husband's prior flight from Phuket got delayed two hours (due to kerosakan kapal and bad weather), they only touched down in KL twenty minutes before the next takeoff. so they called in standby crew, and i was all packed with nowhere to go. haha.
oh well. if anyone is going to India within the next 6 months, don't forget to invite me!