India is one of the world’s most fascinating places to visit. Filled with art, music, and incredible people, India is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Before you plan your trip, it’s important to understand the travel requirements for entry and exit.
Obtain a Passport and India Visa
To enter India, you must have a validated U.S. Passport and an Indian Visa. Regardless the purpose of your visit, you’re required to have an Indian Visa. Apply for your visa through the Indian embassy or consulate. It’s important to note that there are several types of Indian Visas and it’s important that they’re applied for prior to your trip.
Types of Indian Visas
Getting an Indian Visa Application depends on the length of time you plan to spend there and the purpose of your visit. There’s a slew of category visas to choose from, such as research and business, student visas, tourism, missionary, and emergency visit.
Electronic visas (e-visas) are only available in three categories: e-Business, e-Medical, and e-Tourist. e-Visas are available for purchase up to four days before travel, however, it’s recommended that you apply for the visa further in advance.
The stipulations for using e-Visas are straightforward. Anyone applying for an e-visa must have a passport from India’s list of approved countries. U.S passport holders are on that list; however, the passport should be current and have a current front-facing photo. You will be asked to upload on India’s e-Visa website.
All e-Visas are valid for 60 days beginning from the day you arrive. If you have an e-Tourist or e-Business visa, you will be allowed double entry into the country. If you hold an e-Medical visa, you will be granted triple entry.
Once you’re e-Visa is approved, the website will give you a confirmation with the caption, Electronic Travel Authorization. It is important that you on the page it says granted and print it off and store it with your passport. The authorization form serves as your visa into the country during travel.
Student, Research, Work, or Missionary Visas
According to the United States Department of State, citizens who will obtain a student, research, work, or missionary visa and are staying over 180 days, must register their visit or residency with the Foreigners Regional Registration Office in India. The same rule if applies you’re visiting and planning to stay more 180 days. Be sure to complete the residency registration within 14 days of arriving in India.