One of the primary stipulations when applying for an India Visa is that the traveler’s passport have a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. So what happens if you apply for a 5 year or even 10 year India Tourist or Business Visa for a USA passport with less than 12 months validity remaining?
Option #1: Carry Two Passports
No hassle, no extra cost. Travel with both the expired passport containing a valid India Visa and a new valid passport. India customs officials will need to see both passports for arrival and departure processing. Traveler’s will also need to show proof of a valid India Visa at multiple other times during a stay in India, I.E. Hotel check-in. Use a rubber band to strap the two passports together for safe keeping. Just don’t forget one or the other at any point.
Rumors about passengers being hassled at arriving airports are isolated incidents. Customs agents can be reminded that the Consulate General of India gives official permission to travel in this capacity.
Option #2: Transfer Valid Visa to New Passport
Minimum hassle, some cost. Traveler’s holding a 5 year or 10 year Tourist Visa, or a 5 year or 10 year Business Visa are eligible for a Visa transfer using the India Consulate’s official Visa processing partner, Travisa. Since October 2007, India Visas are no longer issued by regional India Consulates of USA. Visa holders who applied directly through the Consulates, and Visa holders who applied after October 2007 using Travisa, will both use Travisa to complete an India Visa transfer.
How to Transfer Your Valid India Visa
India Visa holders will need to visit Travisa and begin the visa application process. For VISA TYPE, select either TRANSFER OF TOURIST VISA or TRANSFER of BUSINESS VISA. Instructions for completing the transfer process will be given based on your location within the United States. Carefully read the list of requirements to ensure a quick return of passports and visa.
•For transferring an Indian Tourist visa from an old passport to a new passport, both the expired passport which holds the valid India visa and the current passport MUST be provided. Visas can only be transferred to a passport of the same nationality (i.e. Visa transferred from a US passport to another US passport).
•For transferring an Indian Business visa from an old passport to a new passport, both the expired passport which holds the valid India visa and the current passport MUST be provided. Visas can only be transferred to a passport of the same nationality (i.e. Visa transferred from a US passport to another US passport).
Total Cost: $41 (before postage to and from Travisa)