What do I, a U.S citizen have to provide for my relative (in India) to obtain a tourist visa? It looks like Consulate doesn’t want anything? Their website specifically states that they will not look at affidavits, financial information, letters of support etc, so why do people provide those, if the Consulate does not look at them?

Your relative should seek a B-2 visa, which is used for tourists and those seeking medical treatment in the US. Your relative must convince the consulate that once he arrives in the US that he will not seek employment or go on public welfare. That is where you can help. You can sign an I-134, Affidavit of Support, which tells the US Government that you can support your relative while he is in the US. Also, you can send a letter to your relative, confirming that he can stay with you for as long as he is in the US. These two items, the invitation letter and the Form I-134, should be included your relative’s visa application.
I am very surprised that the consulate does not want affidavits of support. Can you give me a link to the website on which you read that?

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