US asks its citizens to review travel to India

US asks its citizens to review travel to India

"The Department of State wishes to alert US citizens with Indian tourist visas about new regulations that may affect planned travel. Travellers are urged to review travel plans in light of these new regulations," US State Department said in its latest travel alert on India.

This supplements its previous travel alerts on October 29 and December 9 and expires on January 21, 2010, the statement said.

The State Department said 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 re-enter 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 re-entry, and must provide documentation in support of the request, it said.

If approved, the traveler will receive a letter authorising re-entry to present at an Indian port of entry. Only one request for re-entry 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 (FRO) within 14 days of their return, regardless of the length of their stay," the statement said.

Noting that the procedures and requirements for registration can be complex, the State Department said: "Travelers are advised to follow directions as stipulated on their visas regarding registration procedures irrespective of the visa category.

"The State Department said till now these changes have mostly affected tourist (T) visa holders, but the US 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.

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