Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the Center

The American Center is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding American and Indian holidays (PDF: 89 KB).  Currently, the Center is closed because of prevailing health guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  When conditions allow, we look forward to welcoming you back to the American Center.

The main number for the Consulate General is 044-2857-4000.  You may call our staff at the Reference Desk directly at 044-2857 4089, and the Circulation and Membership Desk at 044-2857-4223.  You may also send an email to ChennaiAmCenter@state.gov.

The American Center is located at 220 Anna Salai (near Gemini Circle), Chennai 600 006. The nearest bus stop is Gemini Circle and the nearest Metro station is DMS Metro.

No prior appointment is required to visit the American Center. All visitors are requested to follow entry requirements and to show a valid photo identification (ID) at the Cathedral Road entrance.  Acceptable photo IDs are a passport, driver license, voter ID card, Aadhar Card, PAN Card, government/employer issued ID, or college/university issued ID.  We accept only original IDs and not photocopies.

The membership is open to anyone 16 years of age or older who is a resident of South India.

All are welcome to visit the American Center regardless of membership status.  However, we encourage all regular visitors to consider becoming members.

To become a member, please complete the application form (e-version) and pay the enrollment processing fee.

The membership processing fee is ₹ 400 for one year and ₹ 700 for two years. The Institutional membership fee for non-profit Institutions is ₹ 2,000 for one year, ₹ 3,000 for two years and for for-profit Institutions membership fees are ₹ 4,000 for one year and ₹ 7,000 for two years.

The Center accepts the membership processing fee in cash or by a bank draft drawn in favor of the American Consulate General, Chennai.

Members can borrow four books for up to four weeks, and back issues of two periodicals/magazines for two weeks.  Institutions can borrow up to 20 books for four weeks and five DVDs for two weeks.

Please bring your American Center card with you.  However, if you forget your card, our staff would be glad to assist you.

Report your lost or stolen membership card to the Center as soon as possible to prevent possible unauthorized use of your account.  Members are responsible for all items charged to their card until its loss is reported.  Staff can issue a new replacement card on your next visit to the Center.  The fee for a replacement card is ₹ 25.

The overdue fine is one rupee (₹ 1) per item per day.

If material borrowed from the American Center is lost, the replacement cost of the lost item is levied to the member.  The Center cannot accept the replacement items in lieu of lost items.  Items returned with damage that warrants withdrawal from the collection will be treated as lost a full replacement fee will be assessed.

We will request the item through the interlibrary loan system without any additional service charges.

Members can use their Chennai American Center card for reading books at other Centers and use resources at other Centers if you are visiting for a short duration.  However, if you plan to stay longer, please request your home center to transfer your membership to the nearest Center in your new place of residence.

No, you cannot use our card in other American Centers or American Spaces outside of India.

The books are shelved according to Dewey Decimal System.  You can find the location of the books according to the decimal numbers on the spine of the books.  If you have trouble finding the books you want, ask our staff for help.

Members can suggest additions to the American Center collection by email, phone, or in person.  In addition, the Center can provide a listing of leading local book sellers who may be able to procure publications from the United States.  Please note that the American Center does not sell books.

Yes. The American Center has a children’s corner with a wide selection of books available for borrowing.

Electronic devices, including mobile phones, are not allowed inside the American Center.  However, visitors are welcome to use the Center’s computers for internet access or for working on documents in cloud storage.

You are welcome to contact American Center staff members for assistance in locating and searching resources.  You can call or email us at 044-2857-4089 and ChennaiAmCenter@state.gov.

Yes.  Staff members at the American Center can orient you to the most relevant print and electronic resources on a wide range of topics.

The Center subscribes to online databases to help you with research requests. Please contact staff at the Reference Desk or Circulation Desk for assistance.

The American Center does not handle visa enquiries. Please contact the Consular Section of the U.S. Consulate General at 044-2857-4000 or visit our website.

Visitors are welcome to consult directories of university and scholarship opportunities to find information that you need.  To meet an education adviser, you can visit the local branch office of the United States–India Education Foundation (USIEF) located adjacent to the Center.  The direct phone number for USIEF is 044-2857-4423 or 044-2857-4131 and the email address is usiefchennai@usief.org.in.