How to Get Indian Tourist Visa

According to a report by the Ministry of Tourism, 13.7 lakh US tourists visited India in 2017 alone. India is quite a popular tourist destination for Americans, given its amazing diversity of cultures and traditions, plethora of scenic places and rich history. But like several other countries, India does not provide US tourists a visa on arrival. The visa has to be applied for and obtained before leaving your home country.

The good news is that it is quite easy to get a tourist visa for India and the entire process can be completed online. So, if you are a US citizen, all you need to do is follow some simple steps.

Types of Indian Tourist Visa

First, you need to choose the type of tourist visa you want. There are basically two types:

Electronic Visa

This is valid for a maximum of 60 days and you can apply for it online. It is applicable for tourists visiting the country for leisure, medical treatment or business purposes.

Paper Based Visa

If you need to stay in India for more than 60 days, you need to apply for a paper-based visa at the nearest Indian embassy or consulate.

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Cost of Applying

The visa fee will depend on the duration of stay. For instance:

  • For US nationals seeking a tourist visa for a duration of 10 years with multiple entries, the total fee is $157.70.
  • For US nationals seeking a tourist visa for a duration of five years with multiple entries, the total fee is also $157.70.
  • For a six-month, multiple entry tourist visa, the total fee is $67.70.

Documents and Information Checklist for Visa Application

Before applying for an Indian tourist visa, make sure you have the necessary documents ready, including:

Travel Itinerary

Provide a list of places you intend to visit during your trip. Also, note that you won’t be able to enter some regions through a normal tourist visa. These restricted regions include Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, parts of Uttar Pradesh, parts of Sikkim, parts of Himachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram, parts of Jammu and Kashmir, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

For these restricted regions, you will need to apply for a Protected Area or Permit Restricted Area Permit (PAP/RAP).

Details of the Previous Trip(s) to India

You will need to provide clear information on the cities you have visited, the places you stayed at, your visa type, visa number, date and place of issue during previous visits to India, if any.

List of Countries Visited in the Past

Be sure to list all the countries that you have visited in the past 10 years. In case you don’t mention a country and the visa stamp is present on your passport, it might lead to visa refusal.

Date of Journey

You don’t need to provide the exact date of travel if you have not purchased a ticket yet. Approximate date of the journey will do just fine. Keep in mind that the Indian visa will come into effect the day it gets approved, not on the day you enter the country.

Address Proof

To verify your US address, you first need to ensure that the document is not more than three months old. You can choose from:

  • State-issued ID or driver’s license with at least 6 months validity.
  • Utility bills in your name, such as electricity, water or gas bill.
  • Yearly lease documents in your name, signed by the landlord, if applicable

If the address proof documents, such as lease papers or bills are not in your name, then a proof of your relationship with the person named in the document is required.

If you are planning to visit India to see the magnificent Taj Mahal and the natural beauty of Kerala, make sure you apply for the Indian visa with utmost care. Proper documentation from your end will save you from any hassles during visa application.

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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.