Things to Know While Traveling to India - Indian Visa Requirements

India is a really huge and amazing land of culture and heritage for all sorts of travelers to explore. The land is known for its natural beauty, colors, festivities, architecture, and history. India is a fine mix of many unique traditions and mouth-watering local cuisines. If you are planning for a trip to India this vacation, then here are a few general inputs for better planning it.

A few prevailing facts about India to keep in mind

# Insane traffic

There are stop signals and green lights, but you may find no one seems to have any concern about them and no one seems to do anything about such violations. There is no lane traffic system even on highways.

# Be careful about street food and water

Even though Indian dishes are amazing and spicy, you would probably get sick if you are not used to it. Water-borne diseases are a usual cause in this country, so instead of a raw well or tap water, stick to bottled mineral water or aerated container drinks, especially if you are at villages or small towns.

# Use your bargaining skills at best

Don't feel intimidated by the fact that you are a tourist from another country. While attempting purchase from the street market shops, bargaining is quite a part of the process here. Vendors tend to give you a high price initially on seeing a foreigner. So, try to bargain and get it down to your expectations.

# Beware of pollution

If you have asthma or respiratory problem, you may find it difficult to survive in some places in India. The environmental pollution in big cities like Delhi is at an alarming high. Try to wear a mask or cover up with a scarf.

# Don’t try to pet the stray dogs

Stray dogs in Indian are dangerous with even having a risk of rabies. So, don't try to pet them without adequate safety precautions. Stray dog gangs will not even be hesitant to attack humans if they find the scope of snatching food items from you. You may find stray dogs almost everywhere in the country.

# Be cautioned about beggars

The poverty rate is high in India, mostly due to overpopulation. You may find them on almost all streets, and the worst part is that they use children also for this purpose. If you are in urge to help everyone, then you may find yourself in trouble very soon.

# Dress up to respect

At certain places in India, you have to follow the dress codes strictly. There are different values with different cultures and even as a foreigner you should know when to cover up to show respect. Say, for example, you have to cover your head on visiting some of the holy places. So, do research on the dress code before visiting each place.

Indian visa requirements

All the US citizens planning to travel to India require a valid passport and an Indian visa to get into the country and exit. As there are different types of visas issued, you need to ensure that you hold the correct type of visa based on your activity planned. If you hold an incorrect visa, your entry may be refused once you land there. Visitors including the U.S. government officials must apply for corresponding visas at Indian embassy or consulate.

U.S. citizens who are planning to go to India as tourists for a stay up to than 60 days can apply for electronic travel authorization up to four days four before travel date. You can visit the authentic website of India government for authorization. Without this authorization, visas will not be availed to U.S. citizens on arrival at India.

For this, you have to submit the copy of your bio-data page and also the U.S. passport and pages containing Indian visa immigration stamps. If the passport is lost, then the copies will help you apply for a replacement of a passport and to get an exit visa while you are in India. In case of a lost visa, it will take three to four business days to get replaced and to get an exit visa.

One should also note that there is no provision to change the immigration category in the visa later as from tourist to business visa etc. after entering the country. The visa regulations also change frequently, so the travelers need to check the website of the Indian Embassy before applying for a visa and also before traveling to the country. The government employees and military personnel should obtain country clearance too to travel to India.

Once on receiving a visa, check it closely to make sure that the type of visa and the number of entries is properly noted on it as per your travel plans. In case if you overstay or violate any other visa regulations, you may need clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs to leave the country. You may be fined or even jailed in some cases on violating the visa rules.


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