How to Obtain an Indian Visa as a US Citizen

India is a popular vacation destination for foreign travelers.
India is a popular vacation destination for foreign travelers. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

American citizens wanting to visit India for tourism purposes can apply for a multiple entry visa valid for six months ($73), five years or 10 years (both $163). Since October 2007, the visa collection and delivery process has been handled by third-party company Travisa Outsourcing ( Applicants are advised to apply by mail rather than in person, though both options require the completion of an online application form. Due to abuse of the visa system, Indian immigration officials request a two-month gap between visits.

Things You'll Need

  • Pen and paper
  • Printer
  • Passport
  • Completed application form
  • Passport-size photos
  • Proof of address
  • Money order for visa fee
  • Prepaid self-addressed United States Postal Service or UPS envelope with tracking number

Visit the Travisa Outsourcing website and write down the unique application ID number and temporary password at this stage in case you encounter problems later on or lose Internet access.

Complete the online visa application process. You must submit your personal details such as name, address, nationality, profession, passport information and contact details for hotels in India.

Print and sign the completed visa application form. Affix the two passport-size photos and gather together all the additional documentation such as utility bills that show the exact address used in the application form. Cellphone bills, credit card and bank statements are not accepted; neither are addresses with a P.O. Box number.

Locate the Travisa India Outsourcing that handles applications for your state or area. Applicants wishing to apply in person must first schedule an appointment online and visit the Travisa India Outsourcing office. Same-day visa applications are available for U.S. citizens born in the U.S.

Obtain a money order made out to "Travisa Outsourcing" for the visa fee. Applicants can choose to pay by credit card but are advised this form of payment may cause a delay.

Send your passport, money order, application form and additional documentation to the Travisa India Outsourcing office. Include a prepaid self-addressed United States Postal Service or UPS envelope with tracking number to ensure nothing goes astray.

Examine your visa carefully when it arrives. Check that your name and dates of travel are correct and that your passport has not been damaged. Report any problems immediately.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check your passport has a minimum validity of six months from the date of application with at least two blank visa pages. Applicants who have dual citizenship with the U.S. and another country must apply on the U.S. passport if living in the U.S. Applications sent by mail for U.S. citizens born in the U.S. normally take seven to nine working days to process from the date of receipt, though this takes up to four days longer for applicants in the Houston area.
  • Children or people age 17 or under must include a photocopy of their birth certificate or any government issued document that shows parents' name, date of birth and nationality. If you forget to photocopy a document, you will be charged a photocopying fee of $2 per item. All consular and processing fees are nonrefundable.

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