Planning to Travel from USA to India? It’s not all that complicated provided you follow all the legal formalities required. Whether its business, leisure or tourism a comprehensive coverage on the steps you should take to ensure that you get to India from the United States of America is important.
The steps to follow will guide you on the documents you need to possess, the currency restrictions for entry into India, vaccinations and local laws and special circumstances, best budget and the recommended sites you should visit.
Travel to India from USA
1. Document Required (Passport): The first document that is compulsory for all travelers coming into India from U.S is a passport that should be valid at the time of entry. The frequently asked question is on how to apply for a passport for the first time in the USA. You will need your citizenship identification and for children under the age of 16 proof of relationship is required.
The process also allows for the correction of a passport error, changing the name which should be done before a year comes to an end and replacing a limited validity passport with a one or two years one.
Where to apply depends on the urgency of the passport and therefore the more crucial the matter the faster you get the passport. The passport should have at least two blank pages to enable the immigration officer to stamp.
2. Visa: When traveling to India from the United States you need to avail your tourist visa which should be valid. All visitors, even those on official business in India are required to apply for this visa in the Indian embassy or consulate abroad before making the travel to India.
A consulate is an office of a government in foreign city or country that oversees the distribution of visas and provides assistance to nationals.
U.S citizens seeking to enter India solely for tourist purposes such as; sightseeing, casual visits to meet friends and relatives, short duration medical treatment or casual business trip, and intend to stay there for more than 30 days are recommended to apply for an electronic travel authorization four days prior to the arrival in India instead of applying for a tourist visa in Indian embassies or consulate.
3. Importance of Travel Documents: It’s worth noting that if you do not have a valid passport and visa you may be deported immediately. Without proper document, the U.S embassy in India and the general consulate cannot offer any assistance to you.
It is advised that you make photocopies of the portfolio page or bio-data page of your U.S passport and pages containing the Indian visa and Indian stamps.
In the event that your passport is stolen or gets lost, the copies will aid in the replacement of another passport and an exit visa, which is important when you wish to leave the country. The process of replacing your visa may take an approximate of three to four business days.
If you are a U.S citizen with Pakistani origin some exceptions are made when applying for an Indian visa. Delays arise since you are subjected to administrative processing.
U.S citizens who visit India to study, research, work, act as missionaries and the travelers planning to reside in Indian for more than 180 days are required to register their visit with Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) 14 days upon arrival in India.
Travelers have although reported the inconsistency of this rule at different points of entry. You can contact the Indian embassy located in the United States of America at 2536 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington DC 20008, telephone (202) 939-9806 or the Indian consulate in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Atlanta or Huston.
4. Vaccinations: Before traveling to India a shot of yellow fever vaccinations is required to be administered to the traveler if the traveler comes from an infected area.
However, it does not apply to U.S citizens. Other vaccinations are also suggested for prolonged stays, especially for young children.
There is no disclosure about the HIV/AIDS patients entering India on a tourist visa but the complete disclosure should be provided for anyone seeking a resident permit.
Foreign residents found to be suffering from HIV/AIDs will be deported. The disclosure should be provided to the Embassy of Indian before you travel. U.S citizens should always practice good personal security.
Be aware of your surroundings including the local customs and etiquette. Keeping a low profile is important.
5. Budget: The travel cost from U.S to India depends on your current location and your destinations. The price averages at about 800 U.S.D. for the one-way fares.
New York to Delhi- $844
New York to Chennai- $589
Los Angeles to Delhi-$603
Atlanta to Mumbai-$695
6. Travel Companies: You might also want to put into consideration the motive of your visit to India. A business tour will be less costly as compared to leisure trip or vacations. For the vacation option, there are several companies that offer a variety of packages and all you need to do is book. They reserve a space for you according to your package.
The different packages have different meals offered to other corresponding packages and sometimes the residential aspect varies. This is the most recommended option since you can focus on other matters, whether it’s recreation or official business. The packages price range from 5,000- 100,00Rps.
7. Personal Arrangements: Travelers from the U.S who prefer to fly solo and are not willing to put their trust in the traveling companies will find India as an incredible bargain since the cost of living can be surprisingly low for people who have spent much of their time in Europe.
Those on the tightest budget can spend as little as $15 USD a day. This will enable you to stay at low-end budget hotels, to eat simple meals and utilize local and government transport facilities such as buses and third class trains to commute.
If you can manage $25 USD a day, your stay in India will significantly be more comfortable while for those who can spend more than $25 USD the stay will involve first class train, nice budget hotels and a wider variety of meals. At the moment the exchange rate for Indian Rupees is, $1 USD- 54 INR.
The price for the accommodation rooms ranges from as low as 50-100Rps. per night, these rooms with poor accommodation and low-quality bathroom services. The average accommodation rooms range from 250-500Rps.
These rooms have slightly clean private bathrooms and sometimes a hot water shower set during specific times. Deluxe rooms are significantly comfortable with better hotel staff with good services and more furniture perhaps a desk and a couch.
8. Places Worth Visiting in India: India has many affordable places you could visit and gaze upon the marvelous sights from Taj Mahal to the Ganges, there is nothing more adventurous and exciting as that. The beautiful mountains of Shillong are a joy to watch especially during the month of May.
Kerala, located on the green lush and beautiful tropical Malabar Coast is a tourist destination loved by all. Goa is well known both locally and internationally for its sandy smooth beaches. Bangalore, also known as “Garden City” or “Silicon Valley of India has plenty of gardens, museums, palaces and wonderful natural features.
Having the proper documents, a well laid out budget and the information provided above you are good to go.