How to Apply for India Tourist Visa for US Citizens

Owing to distinct geographical entities, US travelers are required to apply for an Indian visa. There are numerous types of visas with a specific process to obtain. There is a prerequisite set of documents required for the Indian tourist visa along with the COVID-19 vaccination certificate.

We have jotted down some of the important factors and requirements for applying for a tourist visa for US citizens visiting India to ease your hassles.

Take a look to gather detailed information about the process and necessities for an Indian tourist visa for US tourists.

1. India Tourist Visa for Us Citizens

2. Documents Required For India Visa for US Citizen

3. Indian Visa Application Process For US Citizen

4. Passport & Photo Requirements for Indian Visa

5. Indian Visa Processing Time for US Citizen

6. US Embassy Registration for Visiting India

7. COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement for US Travelers

8. Visa Services during COVID-19 Pandemic

India Tourist Visa for US Travelers – Type, Duration & Costs

United States citizens and passport holders can apply for visas to India and indulge in recreation, sightseeing, and go for casual meet with their friends or relatives. This visa allows US citizens to visit India for a short stay. To obtain an Indian visa, the passport must be valid for six months beyond the date of visa application.

There are two major categories of Indian tourist visas available to travelers from US citizens.

1. Regular Visa

The regular paper visa can be applied through the Consulate General of India, San Francisco. The applicants are required to send the duly filled application form along with the documents on the official address of the Consulate General of India.

2. E-Visa

This category is the most preferred class of visa by travelers. E-Visa India for USA citizens is a multiple-entry tourist visa, which may be granted for the period of 10 years with the stipulation that “continuous stay during each visit shall not exceed 180 days and registration not required”.

The applicant may note that the Consulate does not process e-visas and any inquiries in this regard will need to be made directly on the e-visa portal.

Duration & Cost of Indian Visa for US Travelers

The revised fee structure for an e-Tourist visa for US citizens is as under:-

Duration of Indian Visa Fees of Indian Visa
30-day e-Tourist Visa (during July to March) US$ 25.00
30-day e-Tourist Visa (April to June) US$ 10.00
One year e-Tourist Visa US$ 40.00
Five-year e-Tourist Visa US$ 80.00


Note: Bank transaction charges of 2.5% will be charged additionally on applicable e-Visa fees. The fee must be paid at least 4 days before the expected date of travel otherwise the application will not be processed.

Documents Required For India Entry Visa for US Citizen

1. For Regular/ Paper Tourist Visa:

  1. Copy of duly filled in and signed online visa application form and Additional Particulars Form (pdf).
  2. Original passport of the applicant, as well as a copy of passport (only biographical pages), and existing visa, if any.
  3. Copy of address proof (Driver’s license/ utility bill or lease agreement in the name of applicant or parents in case of minor applicant).
  4. In case the applicant’s previous nationality was Indian, a copy of Renunciation Certificate/canceled Indian passport with an endorsement that foreign nationality has been acquired,  If renunciation certificate has not been obtained earlier, please make an application with VFS (details available at, and enclose a copy of the fee receipt on submission of renunciation application, along with your visa application.
  5. Copy of the Birth Certificate of the child (if applicable).
  6. Marriage Certificate of parents (in case of minor applicant).
  7. In the case of the minor applicant, the Notarized Parental authorization form (pdf), duly signed by both the parents, with copies of their passports.

2. For e-Visa Tourist Visa:

  1. Scanned Bio Page of the passport showing the Photograph and Details.
  2. For short-term courses, a copy of the letter from the institute/organization/hospital, etc. concerned on its letterhead.
  3. For voluntary work of short duration, copy of letter from the organization concerned on its letter-head.

India Visa Application Process For US Traveller

1. For Regular/ Paper Tourist Visa:

  1. To apply for Indian Visa, US citizens are required to fill out the application and upload the scanned copy of necessary documents including photos. Then, submit the application online, take a print-out of the visa application, and sign the same. In the case of a minor applicant, the visa application and the additional particulars form can be signed by either parent, but the parental authorization will need to be signed by both parents.
  2. Thereafter, please send the following documents by USPS/UPS with a return paid self-addressed envelope with a tracking facility to

Visa Section

  • 540 Arguello Blvd,
  • San Francisco CA 94118

2. For e-Visa Tourist Visa:

  1. Fill the application on the official website of the e-Visa for India: After completion of the application, upload the scanned copy of the bio page of the passport and photography of particular specifications.
  2. The scanned copy of the passport must be in pdf format and comprise another required document of a copy of the letter of institute etc.
  3. After verifying the particulars, pay the e-Visa application fees. The fee is required to be paid at least 4 days in advance of the expected date of travel.
  4. The biometric details of the applicant will be compulsorily taken at the Immigration center on arrival in India. The e-Visa is non-extendable, non-convertible, and not valid for visiting protected/ restricted and cantonment areas. In case you wish to visit protected/ restricted/ cantonment areas, you would require prior permission from the Civil Authority of the respected region.

Passport and Photo Requirements for India Visa

1. Passport Specification for Indian e-Visa:

The photo page of the Passport containing personal details like name, date of birth, nationality, expiry date, etc. is to be uploaded mandatorily by the applicant. Additionally, one more document depending upon the e-Visa type would also be required to be uploaded.

The Indian visa application is liable to be rejected if the uploaded documents and photograph of the passport are not clear or as per specifications that are mentioned below:

All documents uploaded by the applicant including the letter of recommendation, institute, etc. They must be in the English language, failing which e-Visa application would be liable for rejection.

  • PDF Format.
  • Minimum Size 10 KB.
  • Maximum Size 300 KB.
  • Photo of passport containing personal details to be uploaded by the applicant.
  • The photo page of the passport uploaded should be of the same passport whose details are provided in the application.

2. Photo Specification for Indian e-Visa:

Recent front-facing photographs with white background must be uploaded of the required specification and in case of failure, the application is liable to be rejected. The photo specification for e-Visa India for USA citizens:

  • JPEG Format
  • Minimum size 10 KB and maximum size 1 MB.
  • The minimum dimensions are 350 pixels (width) * 350 pixels (height).
  • Clear front-facing photograph with preferable white background.
  • If the photograph is not clear and the dimensions are not as per the required specifications, the application is liable to be rejected.

Also Read: Currency Exchange in India for US Nationals | How, Where & Why

US Embassy Registration for Visiting India

To serve and protect US citizens in India, the United States Embassy started a program named as Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This offers a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling India to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Here is the following information for which they help their citizens:

  • They provide important information about safety conditions in India, which helps you make informed decisions about your travel plans.
  • You can be provided with help by the U.S. Embassy in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.
  • They help you to get in touch with your family and friends in an emergency.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement for US Travelers

U.S. citizens who are looking forward to traveling to India are strongly advised to get fully vaccinated before travel. As only fully vaccinated US travelers are allowed to enter India. The negative test report within 72 hours of their flight is a must to carry while traveling to India from the USA.

It is also recommended to continue to take personal health safety measures to protect themselves, including practicing social or physical distancing, cleaning hands with soap or using hand sanitizer, wearing masks, and avoiding crowded areas.

Other Vaccination Requirement for US Travelers

  • If you are traveling to India from Sub-Saharan African countries or other yellow fever areas, then you are required to present the vaccination proof against yellow fever.
  • Influenza vaccine is recommended for US travelers during the flu season, which is majorly from November to April.
  • Typhoid vaccine is recommended for most travelers, especially those staying with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities or rural areas.
  • Consider rabies vaccination before your trip if your activities mean you will be around dogs or wildlife.
  • Infants 6 to 11 months old traveling internationally should get 1 dose of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine before travel. This dose does not count as part of the routine childhood vaccination series.
  • Make sure you are up-to-date on all routine vaccines before every trip. Some of these vaccines include Chickenpox (Varicella), Polio, Shingles, Hepatitis A, and Hepatitis B.

Visa Services during COVID-19 Pandemic

The Government of India has issued an advisory to issue fresh India tourist visas for US citizens with effect from 15 October 2021 for group tourism by chartered flights and from 15 November 2021 for individual travel.

In this context, the following may be noted:

  • All US nationals intending to visit India for tourism will be allowed to enter India on an e-Tourist Visa and regular paper Tourist Visa.
  • US nationals will not be allowed to enter India through land routes on an e-Tourist Visa or regular paper Tourist Visa.
  • As per the visa rules, the Single Entry e-Tourist Visa/ regular paper Tourist Visa valid for a stay of up to 30 days will be issued. The visa will have to be utilized within a period of 120 days from the date of issue. This visa will be issued on a gratis basis for a limited time once to each applicant.
  • The existing valid e-Tourist Visa/ regular paper Tourist Visa issued before 6 October 2021 will continue to remain suspended and travel on such visas is not permitted.

Complete details about the United citizen to India Post-COVID

Processing Time of Indian Visa for a US Citizen

1. Regular Paper Tourist Visa:

It may be noted that it could take up to 10 business days or maybe longer in certain cases for processing of the visa on receipt of the application in the Consulate, which is subject to complete submission of documents. The applicants are advised not to finalize travel arrangements prior to issuance of visa as incomplete applications will be rejected and returned without the issuance of visa.

2. E-Tourist Visa:

Electronic India Visa is available in 3-4 business days at the earliest. In certain cases, an emergency visa to India can be applied and rush processing can be attempted. It is advisable to apply for an India Visa at least four days in advance of your trip. Once the electronic India Visa (e-Visa India) has been delivered by email, it can be saved on your phone or printed on paper and carried in person to the airport. There is no need to visit the embassy or Indian consulate.


Now you have all the information to apply for an e-Visa with which travel to India from the USA will be possible for you. Visiting friends and family or exploring the breathtaking beauty of India while relishing the rich culture of the country becomes easy for you with obtaining a visa.

The tourist visa gives permission to individuals to enter India from the USA for a short period to a long period either for tourism, recreation, or for family visits. Also, during your visit, keep in mind travel guidelines for USA tourists post-COVID for safer holidays. For a better experience, you can also contact us for visa assistance, tours in India, and hassle-free vacations in India.

Faqs About Tourist Visa for US Travelers Visiting India

Q: How long does it take for United States citizens to fill out an online form?

The online form of an Indian visa is quite simplified and takes 15 minutes to complete the online form for an electronic India Visa (India e-Visa).

Q: Is it necessary to pay the Visa fees immediately while filling the form?

No, it is not necessary. You can fill the form and save it for future reference. However, it is mandatory to complete the payment at least 4 days before the traveling date. Otherwise, the visa may not be issued on time or be liable for rejection.

Q: What do United States citizens need to do after receiving an electronic Visa for India by email?

Once the electronic Visa or e-Visa for India has been delivered by email, you can save it on your phone or print it on paper and carry it in person to the airport. There is no need to visit the embassy or Indian consulate.

Q: Do my children also require an electronic Visa for India? Is there a group Visa for India?

Yes, all individuals require a Visa for India regardless of their age including newborn babies with their own separate Passport. There is no concept of a family or a group Visa for India, each individual must apply for their own Indian Visa application.

Q: When should United States citizens apply for a Visa to India?

India e-Visa can be applied anytime as long as your journey is planned within the next 1 year.

Q: How much time will it take for updating the e-Visa fees status?

It may take up to 2 hours to update the e-Visa fee payment status on the website due to technical reasons or network delays. Before re-applying, the applicants are requested to wait for 2 hours for payment status updating after the final submission of the application form and payment of the fee. In cases where the e-Visa fee has been deducted but the status is not updated, the applicants are advised to verify their payment status by clicking on the ‘Verify Payment/Pay Visa Fee’ tab or by clicking on the link Verify Payment.