India is a diverse land and fascinating country. It is known for its music, art, history, culture and myriad traditions. The best time of the year to visit this beautiful land is from October to March. The climate here is hot. If you are coming from the USA to visit India, you should choose the winter months. The nation has three seasons – summer, monsoon, and winter.
Planning a tour to India- plan your journey in advance
When you visit India, plan your journey months in advance. Beware of scammers and fraudsters. India is a place where these people like to chase travelers from foreign countries especially the USA. Never approach unknown people on the street. Always book your tours to landmarks and iconic monuments through recognized traveling companies or the Ministry of Tourism under the Government of India. There are websites to help you book tours and travels within the country. Visit them, browse through the available tours, book trips and travel safely without tensions.
You need a valid passport and visa to enter and exit the nation
All citizens from the USA need a valid passport and visa to enter India and exit from the country. If you are visiting the nation as a tourist, and you plan to stay for less than 30 days, you may apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization. You should visit the website and apply for the ETA online.
Traveling to India from the USA with children
Do you have plans to travel to India to see iconic landmarks and experience its rich culture? If yes, do you want your children to see The Taj Mahal or maybe the Royal Bengal Tiger? When it comes to children traveling to India from the USA, the government of India has a number of rules and regulations for you to consider before you book a trip with your kids.
Application for a visa to India for minors
Parents and legal guardians of minors must fill in an application form with all the details of the child. Citizens from the USA generally have a 10-year visa validity on their passports when they travel to India. Minor children below the age of 16 years have a 5-year visa validity on their passports. Legal guardians need to accompany children on their travel to India especially when they need to cross a border. Legal guardians should also make sure that the surnames of the child on their passports match with theirs. In case, there is a dispute in the name; the legal guardian has to submit legal documents stating that he or she is the minor’s guardian under the law. This is a necessary document that the child needs when he or she is traveling to India.
Paperwork required for travel to India
Paperwork is not just specific to travel in India. Parents of minors from the USA should carry copies of their passport and driver’s license of the state they reside in. A copy of the birth certificate of the minor with the nationality and names of the parents should be produced as well.
Both legal parents have to sign a form consenting the child can leave the country if you are traveling with a minor for the first time to India. If the minor is under the age of 5 years, his or her signature is not required. The minor should affix a thumbprint in blue or black colored ink. Children above the age of 5 years should sign. In both the above cases, parents must sign with a notarized seal and a stamp.
What about online e-visa for minors?
Travelers and tourists can now apply for a visa to India online. However, when it comes to minors, the case here is different.
Adults qualify for the online Indian visa on its e-visa website. However, minors do not qualify for the e-visa to India. Parents of the child should book an appointment with the Indian Embassy or Indian Consulate nearby to submit the required document for a visa to India.
The importance of planning with you travel with minors in India
When you are traveling to India with minors, plan and organize every step of your trip. Speak to the Indian Embassy or Consulate representatives in case you have concerns and queries. When you are traveling with a minor to India, learn some basic sentences in the local language in case you need help. Keep phone numbers and addresses of the local USA embassy or consulate with you all the time. English is understood by most people however there are some parts where Hindi is spoken.
Carry a map with you so that you do not get lost. Indian roads are chaotic in some places so leave your hotel early. Carry food and water for your child. Dress modestly and wear clothes that are loose and comfortable. Always carry your passport and visa wherever you go. Carry the passport and visa of minor children as well. For calls, buy a local SIM card. The calls you make will be cheaper. Keep cash with you and stick to a budget when you travel or shop in Indian markets.