India Visa – How To Apply For An Indian Visa

Looking to obtain 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 United States., 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.

If traveling on Business, everything above should be provided as well as a business invitation or business letter. A business invitation should include an introduction of the applicant, the nature of the business that will be conducted on the trip, and state the type of visa and preferred validity length. The same will apply for a business letter with one more requirement. You will have to prove sufficient funds for your traveling purposes with a business letter. Both the letter and invitation should be written on the company’s letterhead that you are working.

Required Documents for Indian Visa

  1. Passport – Valid U.S. passport with at least six-month of validity and at least two blank visa pages not including the amendment pages.
  2. Indian Visa Application – The Indian embassy only accepts online application any handwritten application would be denied. Once you have filled out and printed your application you cannot make changes to the application 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, unemployed or retired you will need to provide three-month bank statement.
  6. Special Requirements

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 bill such as water, electric and gas bill or lease agreement showing both the landlord and tenant 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 purpose of visit. The letter must be on the sponsoring company letter heading with the 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 to use 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 student visa, for example)after entering India.
  • The U.S. Department of State’s website says that Indian regulations regarding tourist visa requirements change frequently 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
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 & Consulate Information

Embassy & Consulate Address Phone Number
Embassy of India in Washington DC
2107, Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008
United States
Consulate General of India in Houston TX

4300 Scotland Street
Texas 77007
United States

Consulate General of India in New York, NY
3 East 64th Street
New York, NY 10021
United States
Consulate General of India in Chicago, IL
455 North Cityfront, Plaza Drive, Suite 850
Illinois 60611
United States
Consulate General of India in San Francisco, CA
540 Arguello Boulevard
San Francisco
CA 94118
United States
Consulate General of India in Atlanta, GA
5549 Glenridge Drive NE
Atlanta, GA-30342
United States
Not Available

Additional India Information

Capital New Delhi
Currency Indian rupee (₹) (INR)
Language Hindi


Electricity Voltage: 230 V
Frequency: 50 Hz
Power sockets: type C /D/M
Country Code +91
Time Zone IST (UTC+05:30), Summer (DST)