How to Apply for an Indian Visa for US Citizens?

Indian Visa Information with Indian Flag

Are you a U.S. citizen looking to apply for an Indian visa? Ranked high among countries that have a thriving tourist industry, India offers many historical landmarks and exotic cities that attract hundreds of thousands of people each year from all over the world.

Before traveling to India from the USA, however, tourists, students, and those who plan to work in India will need to apply for an Indian visa and already have a valid passport.

Required Documents

  1. U.S. Passport – valid U.S. passport with at least six months of validity and at least two blank visa pages, not including the amendment pages.
  2. Indian Visa Application – The Indian embassy only accepts online applications any handwritten application would be denied. Once you have filled out and printed your application, you cannot make changes to the application form should be printed on two pages and a signature is required on each page. For page 1, the applicant must sign under the photo, and on page 2, the applicant is required to sign at the bottom of the page.
  3. Photo – One color photo is required front-facing on white background without glasses.
  4. Proof of Departure – This could be an e-ticket showing the date of entering and leaving India. For the San Francisco Jurisdiction
  5. Financial Requirements (San Francisco Jurisdiction) – If your status as a student is unemployed or retired, you will need to provide a three-month bank statement.

Forms of Identifications – Below is some of the required forms of identification you will need to provide to the Indian embassy.

  • Proof of Residential Address – This could be a driver’s license, recent utility bills such as a water, electric, and gas bill, or lease agreement showing both the landlord’s and tenant’s signature.
  • Letter of Invite from India (Business Visa) – If you are applying for a business Indian visa you will need to provide a letter from the sponsoring company stating the reason of applicant stay and the purpose of visit. The letter must be on the sponsoring company letter heading with a length of stay, where the applicant would be staying, contact information, and validity on visas such as 1 year, 5 years and 10 years. The sponsoring company would also need to provide a copy of Copy of Certificate of Incorporation this is to state the business is a legal business in India.
  • Business Letter (Business in the U.S.) – Letter on company letter heading introducing the employee, listing the position held within the company, and stating what position the employee (applicant) would be doing in India

Pakistani Citizens or Pakistani Origin – Visa expediting companies would not be able to submit your Indian visa application you will need to submit your passport in person.

Business Letter by Jurisdiction

Houston and Washington D.C. – Requires using this business cover letter

Any other Jurisdiction – Requires to this business cover letter

Pakistani Citizens or Pakistani Origin – Visa expediting companies would not be able to submit your Indian visa application you will need to submit your passport in person.

Type of Indian Visa

Below is a list of India visas that can be obtained before entering India. They are divided into distinctly separate categories:

  • Tourist Visa
  • Student Visa
  • Working Visa
  • Business Visa
  • Diplomat Visa

Americans traveling to India must also show a passport that has been valid for 180 days or more, containing at least two blank pages on which to place visa stamps.

Indian Tourist Visa

Visas do not come in booklet form like passports but are stickers or stamps that are affixed to a blank passport page by immigration officials upon entering a country. Some countries, including India, provide additional visas to accommodate visitors who want to work or study in their country.

Helpful Information about Obtaining an Indian Tourist Visa

  • Visa applications cannot be approved by the Indian Embassy unless the person applying shows proof of having purchased a round-trip ticket to India. This ticket should also prove that the applicant intends to leave India within six months of arriving. Visitors can change their itinerary after a visa application is approved but will need to attach a copy of their initial booking to the visa application.
  • Information required on an India tourist visa application includes employment status, birth nationality, current nationality and type of application needed. U.S. citizens are responsible for obtaining the correct visa applicable to their situation. Typically, exceptions are not provided if a visitor’s immigration category needs to be changed (from a tourist visa to a student visa, for example)after entering India.
  • The U.S. Department of State’s website says that Indian regulations regarding tourist visa requirements frequently change without warning or advance notice. For this reason, they strongly urge visitors to check the Washington, D.C’s Indian Embassy website before traveling to India.
  • Although tourist visas are valid for six months, their validity may be extended to U.S citizens for ten years through a bilateral arrangement.
  • Overstaying the time allotted by an Indian visa may demand the Ministry of Home Affairs assess the situation before allowing the person to leave the country.
Indian Student/Work Visa
  • Primary requirements for obtaining a student or work visa include verification of attending an accredited Indian university and/or verification of having employment opportunities prior to entering India
  • Provisional visas may be issued to students or workers who plan to attend school or work but have yet to finalize the paperwork needed to begin employment or a school program.
Indian Business Visa
  • Business visas are valid for six months or several years if multiple entries are stamped in the person’s passport or if a document from the organization sponsoring the visitor accompanies the application.
  • Indian business visas are typically granted to people who want to purchase or sell products, establish a business, attend trade fairs or even recruit Indian workers for employment purposes.

Length of Approval Time for Indian Visas for U.S. citizens
Approval of India visa applications can take up to several weeks, depending on seasonal variations affecting the country’s tourism industry. In addition, India is developing into one of the world’s leading economic powers and is currently experiencing rapid growth in its business sector. An influx of applications for business visas can delay the processing of tourist, work or student visas as well.

India Embassy and Consulate in the United States

The Consulate  General  of India – New York, NY has outsourced Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI), Person of Indian Origin (PIO), Renunciation, and Indian passport to different vendor’s  for Visa, OCI,PIO and Renunciation you will have to  visit Cox and Kings Global Services Pvt, Ltd for services related to Indian passport you will have to  go to BLS International Services Ltd.

Embassy of India, Washington D.C.
2536 Massachusetts Avenue, NW,
Washington, D.C. 20008
Jurisdiction: Bermuda, Delaware, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia

Consulate General of India – New York, NY
3 East 64th Street
New York, NY 10065
Tel: 1.212.774.0600
Fax: 1.212.861.3788

Cox and Kings Global Services Pvt, Ltd – New York, NY
235 West 23rd Street 2nd FL
New York, NY 10011
Telephone Number: 1.866.978.0055, 1.408.709.1764, 1.408.709.1773

BLS International Services Ltd – New York, NY
28 West 30th Street Suite 202
New York NY 10001
3 East 64th Street,
New York, NY 10065
Fax: 1.202.861.3788
Jurisdiction: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Consulate General of India – San Francisco, California
540 Arguello Boulevard,
San Francisco, CA 94118
Tel: 1.415.668.0662 or 668.0683 Ext. 200

BLS India Passport, USA – San Francisco, CA
4837 Geary Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94118

CKGS Application Centers San Francisco
225 Bush Street, 1st floor,
San Francisco,
CA 94104
Telephone:1.516.206.1483 / 1.646.589.0088
Jurisdiction: Alaska, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Consulate General of India – Chicago, IL

Consulate General of India, Chicago.
455 North City Front Plaza Dr. N.B.C Tower Building,
Suite 850 Chicago, IL 60611

BLS India Passport USA – Chicago, IL
29 East Madison St
Suite 1203
Chicago, IL 60602

Cox & Kings Global Services
US 19 South La Salle St, Suite 1003,
Chicago, IL 60603
Telephone:1. 516.206.1483, 1.646.589.0088

Jurisdiction: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin

Consulate General of India – Houston, Texas

Consulate General of India – Houston
4300 Scotland Street
Houston, TX 77007
Telephone Number: 1.713.626.2355, 1.713.626.2148, 1.713.626.2149
Jurisdiction: Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, and Nebraska

Consulate General of India – Atlanta, Georgia

Consulate General of India – Atlanta
5549 Glenridge Drive NE,
Atlanta GA 30342
Telephone Number:1.404.963.5902
Jurisdiction: Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virgin Island, and Puerto Rico.
Is Expedited Indian Visa Available?
People who need to travel to India within 14 or 30 days can receive expedited travel visa assistance through the U.S. Passport Help Guide website. Unaffiliated with government agencies and operating as a private company, the U.S. Passport Help Guide also offers a wealth of helpful advice, tips, and information about passports and visas in addition to locations of establishments providing passports, such as regional offices, post offices, and private expediting companies.

Aren’t Passports and Visas the Same Kind of Travel Documents?

Yes and no. While passports are required to enter nearly all countries overseas, not all countries need to see a visa before they allow foreign visitors to enter their country. According to the Bureau of Consular Affairs, most countries require passports that have been valid for at least six months prior to a person entering a non-U.S. country.

Why Choose a Registered Visa/Passport Expediting Company

Expedited visa applications are not directly received by the Indian Embassy. Instead, applications are outsourced to professional Indian visa expediters authorized by consulates and passport agencies to provide experienced courier services for accelerating the visa approval process.

U.S. Passport Help Guide knows that applying for an India visa may be a little stressful and confusing, especially if it is needed without delay. To facilitate the process, we offer the services of a registered visa expediting agencies who can deliver your India visa within the time frame you need it.