India – New Visa Regulations Travel Alert

India – New Visa Regulations Travel Alert

The Department of State wishes to alert U.S. citizens with Indian tourist visas about new regulations that may affect planned travel. Travelers are urged to review travel plans in light of these new regulations. This Travel Alert supplements the Travel Alerts for India dated October 29 and December 9, and expires on January 21, 2010.

Foreign tourists departing India with visitor (T) visas will now receive a stamp in their passports at the port of departure that indicates that the bearer will not be allowed to reenter India for two months, regardless of their length of stay or validity of the visa. Tourists who wish to return to India before the two-month period has passed must visit an Indian Embassy, High Commission, or Consulate abroad to present their case for reentry, and must provide documentation in support of the request. If approved, the traveler will receive a letter authorizing reentry to present at an Indian port of entry. Only one request for reentry may be made during a two-month interval. Tourists who have been granted permission to return to India may also be required to register with the nearest Foreigners Registration Office within 14 days of their return, regardless of the length of their stay. The procedures and requirements for registration can be complex. Travelers are advised to follow directions as stipulated on their visas regarding registration procedures irrespective of the visa category.

To date, these changes have mostly affected tourist (T) visa holders, but the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in India have also received reports pertaining to other visa types and about inconsistent implementation of the new rules, which have not been widely publicized and are subject to change. Prior to traveling to or departing India, Americans who may be affected by these changes are urged to contact the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs, the nearest Indian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate overseas or Foreign Registration Office in India to determine proper procedures to follow.

U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration website so that they can obtain updated information on travel and security. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency. For additional information, please refer to "A Safe Trip Abroad."

For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet website where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts, including the existing Travel Alert for India, can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Americans are also encouraged to read the Country Specific Information for India, available on the Consulate’s website, Embassy's website and also at the Department's website.

U.S. citizens with questions or concerns may contact the American Citizens Services Unit of the Embassy or the Consulates General for further information:

-- The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi is located at Shanti Path, Chanakya Puri 110021; telephone +91-11-2419-8000; fax +91-11-2419-8407.

-- The U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai (Bombay) is located at Lincoln House, 78 Bhulabhai Desai Road, 400026, telephone +91-22-2363-3611; fax +91-22-2363-0350.

-- The U.S. Consulate General in Chennai (Madras) is at 220 Anna Salai, Gemini Circle, 600006, telephone +91-44-2857-4000; fax +91-44-2811-2027.

-- The U.S. Consulate General in Kolkata (Calcutta) is at 5/1 Ho Chi Minh Sarani, 700071; telephone +91-33-3984-2400; fax +91-33-2282-2335.

-- The U.S. Consulate General in Hyderabad is at Paigah Palace, 1-8-323, Chiran Fort Lane, Begumpet, Secunderabad 500 003; telephone: +91 (40) 4033-8300.