When you think about traveling to India, or any country with such iconic sights plastered on calendars and motivational posters across the US, you might get the idea just picking up and going is as simple as that. Sadly, traveling to India as an adult is not without its hassles. US citizens need to apply for a visa in advance even for short stays. For those planning on staying in the country longer than 60 days, different visas are required. Naturally, there are options for applications other than applying at an Indian embassy or consulate; e-visas are available through an official government website which can save you time and money prior to travel.
Whether you prefer applying for a visa to India in person or over the Internet, many new parents (or ones who haven’t had the chance to travel with their children yet) may be curious about how visa requirements differ according to the nationality and age of their dependents.
Should you travel to India with children?
India largely remains appealing to family travelers for its urban energy and truly inspiring attractions. Are you going to wait until your children are 18 to see the Taj Mahal? Or deny them the opportunity to see a Bengal tiger… from behind steel bars, of course. They might even get their first taste of negotiation from watching their parents haggle with taxi drivers.
Indian Visa for Minors
When it comes to children, there are a whole slew of governmental requirements to consider before you even think of booking a trip to India. While US citizens typically have ten-year validity on their passports, minors under 16 only have five years. Because it’s generally advisable for legal guardians to accompany children whenever they’re crossing a border, it’s important to remember that the surname on each passport matches. If there’s any confusion about this, legal documentation proving one’s status as the legal guardian of the child traveling may be necessary.
What kind of paperwork do you need? This isn’t specific to India, but US citizen parents of children under the age of 18 should carry copies of their state driver’s licenses and passport information pages in addition to a copy of the child’s birth certificate listing the names and nationalities of both parents.
Now that the hard part is over, what about Indian visas for minors? If you’re making your first trip abroad as a family, both parents still must sign a form authorizing their child to leave the country. The same visa applications for tourists apply to children, with the exception of the signature: while minors under five are allowed to affix their thumbprint in black or blue ink, those over five should sign their names. In either case, parents should include their signatures, notarized with a stamp and seal.
So, can you do this online applying for an Indian e-visa? Unfortunately, children applying for tourist visas to India do not qualify to use the e-visa website. Instead, their parents must set up an appointment at the nearest Indian embassy or consulate to present the aforementioned paperwork.
How Travel Visa Pro gets you a Visa to India
The issue with any international trip is ensuring your paperwork is in order, your travel itinerary set, and your accommodations confirmed, especially if you’re planning on staying in a foreign country with toddlers. If this is your child’s first trip abroad, he or she will need a US passport valid for at least six months prior to entry to India. Travel Visa Pro’s team of travel experts are more than qualified to handle expediting your documents. Whether you need a new passport for yourself or your child within the week, we will work with you to make sure everything is in your hand when you step on that plane.
Similarly, if you’ve waited until the last minute to apply for your Indian visa or don’t have confidence in your ability to fill out the paperwork or meet with consular officers for a visa, Travel Visa Pro can take the reigns. Our team of travel experts has connections with embassies and consulates across the globe, making it easy for our clients to apply for business and tourist visas to India or any number of countries.
The bottom line is, whether you’re traveling solo to India or need to make arrangements for your spouse and two kids, the key is preparation: choosing a flight time to make it easier for your kids to sleep; bringing the right snacks and supplies that may be difficult to find abroad; taking the time before the trip to teach them what to expect and how to behave. When all is said and done, maybe getting an Indian visa for minors will seem like the least of your concerns.