Changes To Indian Consular Services In The USA

As the world is turning a corner with regards to the pandemic, and travel is resuming after a global shutdown, the Indian Consulates abroad are gearing up to amend their services, support a new system and work with the Non-resident Indian population settled abroad. As services vary from consulate to consulate, all beneficiaries should consult the websites of the Indian consulate in their jurisdiction for the latest information. 

Below are the most recent updates to Consular services provided by Indian Consulates in the US.

New Rules For Overseas Citizen of India (OCI)

In a move to reduce movement and facilitate smoother processes during the pandemic, the Indian government has relaxed the rules pertaining to reissuance of OCI cards. The following exceptions are being made.

  • Persons registered as an OCI before the age of 20 will need a new OCI card reissued after the age of 20.
  • Anyone registered as an OCI after the age of 20, will not need a reissuance of a new OCI card.

This will remain in effect until further notice.

Important to note

While a reissuance is not required after the age of 20, OCI cardholders will be asked to update and upload certain other documents periodically. Visit their website for this information.

Other OCI Related Services

For other services relative to the persons of Indian origin, like new OCI issuance, Renunciation of Indian Citizenship, Indian passport related services, etc. the Indian consulate has partnered with VFS Global. All similar services have to be directed through them. All completed forms and respective fees should be directed to VFS Global

Some locations are opening up to limited in-person appointments as well.

Indian Visas

All visas including electronic visas have been restored by the Government of India. They do not need to apply to the Consulate for revalidation of their existing visa. These were suspended due to border closures and travel bans.  

Tourist Visas For India

Effective October, 15, 2021, fresh visas will be issued for all tourists. Any e-visas issued prior to October 6, 2021 stand suspended and not considered valid for travel. The Indian consulate does not process e-visas.

THIS is how you can access e-visa for tourists, business visits, medical purposes, conferences, etc. 

Having said that, Indian consulate will process emergency visas for entering India. Please visit their website to complete the procedures online and then go in person for the remainder of the process.

For Expired Indian Visas

Those foreign nationals who fall in the list of permitted categories for travel to India, but whose visa has expired may note the following:

a. Please visit India Visa Online and apply for REGULAR/PAPER VISA APPLICATION. Fill application, upload the photo, submit the application and take the printout of the visa application.

b. Mail your original US passport (minimum validity of 6 months) & visa application with a self-addressed return shipping prepaid envelope (not FedEx) to the Indian consulate in your jurisdiction. Also include – 

(i) Copy of address proof;

(ii) Copy of Birth Certificate of the child (if applicable).

(iii) Marriage Certificate (if applicable)

(iv) Copy of passport and OCI/Existing visa (if any of your and spouse or parents);

(v) For minors: Notarized Parental authorization form, duly signed by both the parents, with copies of their passports. Parents may sign for a minor. Unsigned application is liable to be rejected. 

(vi) Supporting documents for reason of travel (death certificate or doctors/hospital certificate).

 (viii) One passport size photograph (2″ x 2″ on white background)

(ix) Copy of Indian Renunciation/Surrender certificate

Want to apply to renunciate your Indian citizenship? Apply for it HERE

Visa Fees

Visa fees (for 1-Year entry visa) of $143.00 in money order/cashier’s check in favor of Consulate General of India San Francisco. Please ensure that applicants name is clearly mentioned/written on the money order/ cashier’s check. Please note that personal checks will not be accepted. 

Timeline To Process India Visa At Consulate

Under normal circumstance, it takes 15 business days for issuing a visa. Inquiries are accepted only after seven (7) business days of receiving the application at the Consulate.

  • Visa applications are rejected & returned if it is incomplete, unsigned or if photo is not uploaded.
  • Expired US passports are not acceptable.
  • Only completed applications are accepted.

PIO To OCI Card Conversion

Per a press release issued by the Consulate General of India, all PIO cars including handwritten and machine-readable versions, will be valid along with a valid foreign passport for entry into India until December 31, 2021. While the earlier deadline to convert their existing PIO cards to OCI cards was September 30, 2020, all PIO cardholders are encouraged to do so sooner rather later.

Miscellaneous Services

For miscellaneous consular services like attestation, power of attorney, etc. the Indian consulate is accepting applications and supporting documents through regular mail. Please consult the website of the Indian consulate servicing your jurisdiction.

As situation changes, more services will be provided at the Indian missions and consulates in the USA.