Indian visa applications to New Zealand have taken a significant dive in the last few years.
Given India’s rapid population growth one might have thought that Indian tourists and visa holders would be accelerating. Apparently not.
The trend however seems to have started under the previous Government as the number of Indians seeking visas in New Zealand dropped in consecutive years from 25,977 in 2015 and 16,380 in 2017 to just 9,429 in 2017.
I personally have no ideas as to what might have fuelled the plunge other than a few broad theories:
- The expat Indian community noticed a change in sentiment
- Repeated concerns about the abuse of employees by a few ruined it for the many
- New Zealand simply is not the safe place we claim it to be
What can be done?
To a large extent I think this problem is in our hands. We need to create the judicial conditions where all can come into the Police Station or where ever and tell the officer on duty what happened. We need to stop being complacent about the perception that New Zealand is clean/green when we have the poor environmental records to show it. The country is not and it is damaging our reputation.
I have no problems with Indian visa holders coming here and working. However New Zealand needs to do a much better job than it currently is ensuring that all visa applicants are:
- Have the appropriate doocumentation
- A willingness to set aside concerns in the immediate future after arriving in New Zealand and give oneself a reasonable chance. No one said it was a walk in the park.