So I got my Nepal visa, and the experience was much different than I anticipated!
I was having a bit of a timing conflict. Though my bus stops at the India – Nepal border, it wouldn’t be possible for the driver to wait for us, especially if the process took (the rumored) 2 hours. At the very last second, on Friday, we checked the website of the Nepal Embassy in New Delhi. Unfortunately the visa application process ended at 11 AM. I was feeling a little frustrated, but DN insisted I call them and ask if I could still get my visa. I’m usually nervous to talk on the phone with anyone here in India, because they either don’t understand my American English accent, or they have terrible telephone etiquette.
When I answered the phone, a woman said: “Hello?”
Me: “Hello, I’m leaving on-”
Her: “Hold on.” CLICK
Me: “-Day for Nepal- Oh… Okay…”
Suddenly a man’s voice said: “Hello?”
I said: “Hello, I have a question. I’m leaving on Monday to go to Nepal, and I need to know if it would be possible to get a Nepal visa before I go..?”
The man: “Well… Yes. Are you travelling to Nepal overland or by air?”
Me: “By bus, overland.”
The man: “Okay… Then you can get your Nepal visa at the border.”
Me: “Ah yes, I know that, but sir, my bus is going all the way to Kathmandu, and I don’t think it will stop and wait at the border for me.”
The man: “Ah, you’re right. Yes, you can come here and get it. Where are you now?”
Me: “I’m in New Delhi.”
The man: “Okay, come to the office then.”
Me: “Can I come right now?”
The man: “Yes, yes.”
Me: “Okay, I’ll be there in 30 minutes.”
The man: “Okay, no problem.”
SUCCESS! – Well, it was too early to assume success. But the phone call was successful, and that was exciting.
It actually took us an hour to get to the Nepal Embassy. When we arrived, a large man with a shining magenta cord around his neck, stopped us. He asked the official “do you have an appointment?” mumbo jumbo, and DN informed him that we called ahead of time and were given permission to come. He nodded and told us which door to enter.
We passed a well maintained lawn, and approached the door on the side of the building. DN pulled the creaky door open and we walked into the rather empty office, where two men sat waiting.
I approached the counter and told the men behind the desk my situation. I handed them my passport and pre-printed Nepal application receipt. I’m not sure it mattered, because they handed me a blank visa application and asked me to submit a physical photograph. No problem. I quickly filled out the form, and handed it to them, along with the photo and my passport.
One man took my documents and made a phone call. He seemed to be arguing. He leaned close to the service window and asked: “How many days are you staying? Three days?”
“Yes, three days.”
He ended the call shortly after and disappeared around the corner. In only a few moments, he returned, asking for money. I paid him 1500 INR (the price of the 15 day Nepal visa) and sat down next to DN.
DN was helping a girl who was filling out her form, sitting nearby, and two men had just walked in.
I waited only a few moments more, before the man returned with my passport and a fresh Nepal visa!
Q: How long does it take to get a visa to Nepal, in the New Delhi office?
A: It probably varies, but for me it took less than 30 minutes!
Q: What documents do you need to apply for a Nepal visa?
A: A valid passport, a passport sized photograph, proof of address, and the visa form (they provide).