Unfortunately, unlike many other countries in Southeast Asia, visas on arrival are not available for US citizens visiting India. Anyone planning a trip to see the Taj Mahal and other nearby sights should apply for a tourist visa in advance. But what’s the best way to do so?
There are a few options for applying for a visa to India. Some Indian embassies and consulates do accept applications in person, but e-visas to India have been available to US citizens since 2015. Whether you’re traveling to India for business, tourism, or medical reasons, make sure your visa meets your needs.
How to get an Indian visa quickly
Travel Visa Pro can facilitate processing your visa to India to give you peace of mind before your trip. Don’t let a missing document or an improperly completed form cause an unnecessary delay or cancellation – visit one of the dozens of Travel Visa Pro’s pick up and drop off locations or our nine staffed offices in major cities.
How much does an Indian visa cost?
Currently, e-visas to India cost $60. This fee is non-refundable and cannot be transferred; if you lose your passport or plan to renew it soon, you’ll have to apply again and pay another $60. Any online payment should be processed in four hours, with your e-visa approved and sent out within 72 hours. The approved visa will be emailed to you and should then be printed and shown at immigration when you arrive in India.
Why applying for an e-visa may be the best option to visit India
There are many Indian consular offices scattered across the US in addition to the embassy in Washington DC. However, there is no guarantee they will accept Indian visa applications by mail or in person. Because many people have trouble taking the time to travel to a consulate during working hours, or sending all their paperwork off by post and hoping it will all be returned in time, applying for a visa to India online is usually the preferable choice.
In-person Indian visa applications have advantages
The length of a stay in India under an e-visa is limited to 60 days, whereas visa applications submitted to consulates in person or by mail (where applicable) can be granted stays from six months up to ten years. Whatever method you choose, it’s a good idea to apply well in advance of your departure – at least four working days, noting the time change – for your visa to be approved. Once everything is set, take the printout of the e-visa or the physical visa in your passport to immigration on arrival.
Other issues facing travelers to India
India is no stranger to travel-related controversies and scandals. Last year, the government voided its two largest banknotes, making many locals and foreign tourists cut off from their funds (ATMs couldn’t dispense smaller notes). In addition, female travelers, especially those going to India alone, are advised to register with the US Department of State and check online for the latest news regarding their safety – there are still reports of sexual assault facing tourists.
If you are concerned about your safety abroad for any reason, take the time to research India on the US Department of State website, invest in travel insurance (TVP can offer recommendations), and mark where the closest US embassy or consulate will be during your stay. If anything should happen to your travel documents immediately before your flight to India, go to the nearest Travel Visa Pro. We offer emergency same-day service for passport renewals and can get your Indian e-visa reissued immediately in some cases.
Do you have any questions about how to get an Indian visa?