Do I Need a Visa to Visit India?

A US passport is considered among the most powerful passports in the world. This is mainly because it allows US citizens to travel to 184 countries and territories without needing a travel visa or even visa on arrival. However, India isn’t on the US Visa Waiver Program, which means that American passport holders need to apply for a tourist visa if they wish to visit India for leisure or business purposes.

The good news is that the process of getting a visit visa for India is not a complex process and the application can be completed online. So, if you are planning to travel to India, here are some things about the tourist visa that you should know.

Documents Required for Visa Application

Before you even apply for an Indian visit visa, here are some important documents that you should keep handy:

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Detailed Travel Plan

You should be able to provide a complete plan of your trip to India. Documents required for this can include your flight tickets, hotel booking receipts, etc. In case you haven’t booked a ticket yet, you can provide the approximate dates of travel.

Also, keep in mind that you will not be allowed to visit certain sensitive regions in India with a normal visit visa. Such regions include the northeastern states of Nagaland, Mizoram, parts of Sikkim and Manipur. Apart from this, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, parts of Uttar Pradesh, Arunanchal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and some areas in Jammu and Kashmir also require special permission.

To visit any of these areas you need to apply for a Restricted Area Permit or Protected Area Permit (RAP/PAP).

Proof of Address

You can provide any three documents to verify your US address, but make sure that no document is more than 3 months old. These are

  1. Water, gas or electricity bills that have your name on it.
  2. Lease documents, signed by your landlord, if you live in a rented home.
  3. Driver’s license with validity of 6 months or any other state-issued ID.
  4. Information about Past Trips

If you have travelled to India previously, you need to provide clear information about those trips. Such information can include, but is not limited to, the type of visa, date of issue, place of issue, the visa number and the places you stayed at during the trip.

Apart from this, you also need to provide a list of all countries that you have been to in the past 10 years. If you miss out on any country and your passport carries its visa stamp, there is a chance that your visa request may get denied.

Application Fees

To apply for a 10-year visa with multiple entry, the total fees is $157.70. For a 6-month, multiple entry visa, the total fee is $67.70.

Make sure you apply for the Indian tourist visa well in advance, so that there are no unnecessary delays to your trip. Accurate documentation from your side will prevent any roadblocks to visa approval.

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Mani Karthik

About the Author

Mani Karthik

Ex “NRI” and Founder of the “Back to India” movement. I share my experience about immigrating to USA here.