Where to Apply for an Indian Visa? (For US Citizens)
According to the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, the percentage share of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India during January 2017 from the top 15 source countries was the highest from USA (15.01%), followed by Bangladesh (14.91%), the UK (11.11%) and then Canada (4.63%).
This is a clear indicator of India’s popularity among tourists from around the globe. Its exotic and rustic appeal attracts more and more visitors each year. And that means the number of visa applications filed each year is going to multiply. So, we’ve taken up the job of simplifying the process of applying for an Indian visa, for all those who wish to visit us.
Every country has its own set of rules regarding visa requirements, let us start by understanding India’s.
Who Needs an Indian Visa and Who Doesn’t?
Foreign national desirous of traveling to India must have a valid passport and an Indian visa issued before arrival. Passengers found traveling without a valid visa with correct dates and number of entries will immediately be deported.
However, if you are a citizen of Nepal or Bhutan, you do not require a visa or a passport when traveling from your respective country. If a Nepalese or Bhutanese national is entering India from another country, a passport will be required although a visa still not needed.
Another exception to the Indian visa requirement is for travelers who fall under the Temporary Landing Permit category, allowed to land without an Indian visa in case of emergencies like death/sickness. This facility is available on a payment of US$40.
If you’re traveling this year, I recommend getting a travel insurance plan, so you can avoid expenses during an unfortunate event. I suggest Atlas America.
Applying for an Indian Visa
The Government of India issues various visas, according to the purpose and duration of your visit. These include a Business Visa, Employment Visa, Journalist Visa, Medical Visa, Tourist Visa, Student Visa and more.
The Indian visa application for all categories can be filled online but has to printed and signed later. An all-digital process of application, approval and issuing of an Indian visa has also been started by the government of India. It is called an e-Visa and can be used by people visiting for recreational, business or medical purposes only. This facility is available for travelers from over 200 countries, including the Unites States, Russia, Argentina, Malaysia, and others.
This list excludes travelers holding a Pakistani passport, who are required to apply for a regular visa under all circumstances.
Steps to Obtain an e-Visa
- Find out whether your country falls under the e-Visa facility list and whether or not you are eligible to apply for it here.
- Apply for an e-Visa by filling the online application form. And complete a partially filled form here.
- Pay for your visa online here.
- You can now print you visa application here.
- You will receive your e-Visa via email.
The government of India has made obtaining a visa to the country easy for the spirited traveler in you, so be as quick as this procedure is! Pack your bags and book the earliest flight to this colourful nation, with a rich cultural heritage.
Also read: Vaccinations to get when traveling from USA to India.