U.S. citizens require a passport and visa to enter and exit India for any purpose.
2. How much does a visa cost?
Around $76 depending on the passport/nationality you hold and which type of visa.
3. When should I apply for my visa?
Please note the visa is valid beginning on the day it is issued. So a 6 Month visa issued on January 1 would only be valid until June 30.
4. Where is the nearest Indian Consulate?
San Francisco services residents of these states:
Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming.
We use this site for visas: https://indiavisa.travisaoutsourcing.com
5. Do I need specific immunizations?
We recommend that you do some research on this, depending on age & health conditions each person might benefit from different immunizations.
Here are some immunizations that always come up:
• Hepatitis A
• Hepatitis B
• Traveler’s Diarrhea
If you live in Santa Fe or vicinity Dr. Michael D. Palestine is a great resource, he specializes in travel medicine (known as “Emporiatrics“!)
465 St. Michael’s Drive Ste. 114.
Santa Fe, NM 87505 (505) 913-4260
6. Weather in India?
Indian weather itself is divided into three distinct seasons — winter, summer, and the monsoon. Generally, the best time to visit India is during the winter, when the weather in most places is relatively cool and pleasant. Pack light sweaters and long pants, layering always works. http://goindia.about.com/od/planningyourtrip/a/indiaweather.htm
Indian currency is known as rupee. The Indian money (rupee) is available in denominations of Re 1, Rs 2, Rs 5, Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 50, Rs 100, Rs 500 and Rs 1000. One rupee consists of a hundred paise. Paise are in denominations of 10p, 25p and 50p. However, these paise are rarely used. Coins are available for Re1, Rs 2 and Rs 5.
Exchanging money in the US:
Good luck….well you can try and if you are lucky you can maybe get $100 worth at your bank.
Exchanging money in India:
Changing money in India can be a tedious and cumbersome process. It is advisable for you to change a substantial amount at one time. Travelers’ cheques are not accepted at each and every bank, and certainly not at every store or bazaar booth. It is even difficult to change currency other than dollars or pound sterling. However, make sure to change the money at accredited bureaus only, changing at any other place is illegal and also runs the risk of being counterfeit.
There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency or travelers’ cheques. A tourist may import any amount, provided he/she has filled a declaration form on arrival. This will help in exchanging your currency at the time of arrival as well as the taking back your unspent currency at the time of leaving.
You can get your currency exchanged at the airport itself also. The moneychangers at airports are open 24 hours. Also, moneychangers are available in some hotels too. In big cities, you will find several branches of International foreign exchange providers. However, in small towns, only minor banks will be providing the service. You should save all exchange receipts (encashment certificates). You may require them for visa extensions and other formalities and at the time of going back, when you want to convert the rupees.
8. What should I pack?
• Money belt
• Insect repellent
• Several photocopies of your passport and Indian visa for hotels and to buy a SIM
• Pillow case
• Electrical Adaptors (available online on Amazon)
• Hygiene products
• Any medication you think you might need, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, band-aids, pepto bismol, charcoal tablets
9. What are the customs on tipping?
There are no norms for tipping or baksheesh, as it is called. Porters and doormen at hotels are usually happy with a 10-20 rupee tip, same for taxi, rickshaw, auto-rickshaws and tuk-tuks.
10. Is water safe to drink?
We would say for westerners NO. Always buy bottled water and make sure you hear the click of the tab when you open it. It is known that bottled water bottles are being recycled and the caps glued back on.