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Indian Visa requirements for US Citizens

Travelling to India requires the travelers to hold the right documents including the applicable visa. The Government of India issues different types of visas for different purposes and depending on the nature of travel, relevant visa needs to be applied. The visa requirements differ on the basis of the country of origin of the traveler. You can always contact Travel Visa Pro to avoid all the bureaucracy in the visa offices, click here for more information..

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Visa application process

All the US citizens are required to hold a valid passport for applying for an Indian visa to enter and exit the country. India does not provide on arrival visa to the US citizens. Hence, it is necessary for them to ensure following the appropriate process for availing the Indian visa. The visa application can be made either at the Indian Embassy in Washington DC or at any of the consulates in the US for official or diplomatic visits. Other applicants can obtain a visa through Cox & Kings Global Services which is the official visa contractor of the Government of India. However, tourists who plan to visit India for a period not exceeding 30 days can also apply for an electronic visa through the Indian Government’s website. The electronic travel authorization needs to be obtained at least four days before the arrival to India. For tourist visas exceeding 30 days and other visa types, it is necessary to approach the embassy or consulate.

US travelers to India cannot change their visa type once they have arrived in the country. A tourist visa cannot be converted to business visa or vice-versa. For this purpose, the traveler needs to return to the US and apply for a new visa. Also, the US government officials and diplomats need to first obtain a country clearance from the US government before applying for a visa.

Visa types and fee structure

Broadly, the Indian visa types can be divided as work visa, tourist visa, and student visa. Based on the purpose of visit, the terms and conditions including the duration and visa fee differ.

Visa Type Duration Consular Fee ICWF Fee Reference Fee Service Fee Total Fee
Student Visa 1 year multiple entry $95.00 $3.00 $0.00 $4.70 $102.70
Business Visa 10 Years multiple entry $240.00 $3.00 $0.00 $4.70 $247.70
5 Years multiple entry $240.00 $3.00 $0.00 $4.70 $247.70
1 Year multiple entry $160.00 $3.00 $0.00 $4.70 $167.70
Tourist Visa 10 Years multiple entry $150.00 $3.00 $0.00 $4.70 $157.70
5 Years multiple entry $150.00 $3.00 $0.00 $4.70 $157.70
6 months multiple entry $60.00 $3.00 $0.00 $4.70 $67.70


Apart from the above-specified fee structure, the tourist visa applicants also need to pay an additional $17.00 to Cox & Kings Global Services. The fee is payable per applicant. The above fees are indicative. The Indian visa fee structure changes frequently without appropriate notification. Therefore, it is advised to check for the recent fee structure while applying for visa.

Other Mandatory requirements specified by the Government of India

  • Students who plan to stay in India for more than 180 days need to take permission from the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) on their arrival in India.
  • Passports of the visitors must remain valid for 6 months from their date of arrival.
  • Passports must have 2 blank pages for Immigration stamping.
  • Visitors must have a return ticket or tickets for onward journey from India to other countries.
  • Electronic visa is not available for US citizens of Pakistani origin even if they travel for leisure purpose for less than 30 days. They need to apply to the Indian Embassy or Consulate.

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