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General Information’s for travelers to India

Citizens of all countries, except Nepal & Bhutan, require a valid national passport or valid travel documents and a valid visa granted by Missions abroad for entering India. Nepalese or Bhutanese citizens need no passport or visa but should possess suitable documents for their identification when proceeding from their respective countries.

VISAS

Requirement for Visa: Foreigners desirous of visiting India can do so after obtaining visa from the Indian Mission in their country of their residence. They should possess a valid National Passport - except in the case of nationals of Bhutan & Nepal, who may carry only suitable means of identification.

Tourist Visas: Usually, a multi-entry visa, valid for a period of 180 days, is granted for the purpose of tourism. The visa is valid from the date of issue.

Collective Visas: The facility also exists for the issue of collective visas to group tours consisting of not less than four members and sponsored by a travel agency recognized by the Government of India. Such groups may split into smaller groups for visiting different places in India after obtaining a collective "license to travel" from the immigration authorities in India. However, they must reassemble and depart as the original group.

Transit Visas: Transit visas are granted by Indian Missions abroad for a maximum period of 15 days.

Exemption from Registration: Foreigners coming to India on tourist visas for 180 days or shorter period are not required to register themselves with any authority in India. They can move about freely in the country, except to restricted/protected areas and prohibited places.Nationals of Bangladesh are exempted from registration up to six months. If their stay exceeds six months, they have to register themselves. Individuals without nationality (stateless persons; IRO refugees, persons receiving legal or political protection.) should have valid passports, identity documents or sworn affidavits along with the visa for which they should apply two months in advance.
Family passports issued by other governments are recognized without discrimination.

Landing Permit Facility: Tourists may note the no Landing Permit Facility is available to any foreign tourist landing without a visa. A limited facility exists only for group tours consisting of four or more members and sponsored by a travel agency recognized by the Government of India. Children of foreigners of Indian origin below the age of 12 may be granted a landing permit by the immigration authorities up to a period of 90 days to see their relatives, in case they happen to come without a visa.

Tourist Groups: A tourist group arriving by air, ship or by a chartered or scheduled flight may be granted a collective landing permit for a period of up to 30 days by the immigration authorities on landing, provided the group is sponsored by a recognized travel agency and a pre-drawn itinerary is presented along with details of passport etc. of the members, and the travel agency gives an undertaking to conduct the group together.

Extension of Visa: As a rule no extension of stay is granted on a Tourist Visa.

Other Types of Visas: If a foreigner wishes to come to India for a purpose other than tourism, he should come after obtaining one of the following visas.

Business Visa: A foreigner can obtain one from an Indian Embassy abroad. A multiple entry visa is valid for 5 years, provided he wishes to come for some business. Foreigners of Indian origin can obtain a 5 year multiple entry visas for business, to meet their relatives etc.

Student Visa: A student visa can be obtained from the Indian Embassy on the production of proof of admission and means of sustenance while in India, etc. The visa is valid for one year but can be extended in India for the duration of the course.

Conference Visa: Delegates coming to attend international conferences in India can be granted Conference Visa to cover the conference as well as for tourism in India. Delegates are advised to apply to Indian Embassies well in advance. ** Employment Visa: Foreigners desirous of coming to India for taking up employment should apply for an Employment Visa, which are issued by Indian Missions abroad. Initially granted for a period of one year, it can be extended in India up to the period of contract. ** Recreation : Foreigners wishing to undertake any international sporting event, trekking, botanical expeditions, yoga, journalists, media men, documentary and feature film makers may obtain visas after due formalities from the Indian Embassy.

CUSTOMS FORMALITIES & REGULATIONS

Visitors are generally required to make an oral baggage declaration in respect of baggage and foreign currency in their possession. They are also required to obtain the Currency Declaration Form from the Customs. They should fill in the Disembarkation Card handed over to them by the airline during the course of the flight. There are two channels for clearance:
Green Channel: For passengers not in possession of any dutiable articles or unaccompanied baggage.
Red Channel: For passengers with dutiable articles or unaccompanied baggage or high value articles to be entered on the tourist Baggage Re-Export Form.

CURRENCY REGULATIONS
There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency or travelers' cheques a tourist may bring into India provided he makes a declaration in the Currency Declaration Form given to him on arrival. This will enable him not only to exchange the currency bought in, but also to take the unspent currency out of India on departure. Cash, bank notes and travelers' cheques up to US$ 1,000 or equivalent, need not be declared at the time of entry. Any money in the form of travelers' cheques, drafts, bills, cheques, etc. in convertible currencies, which tourists wish to convert into Indian currency, should be exchanged only through authorized money changers and banks who will issue an encashment certificate that is required at the time of re-conversion of any unspent money into foreign currency. Exchanging of foreign currency other than banks or authorized money changers is an offense under Foreign Exchange Regulations Act 1973.

ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE FORMALITIES
Arrival Formalities: If the visa, for stay in India, is for more than 180 days, a Registration Certificate and Residential Permit should be obtained from the nearest Foreigners' Registration Office within 15 days of arrival. All persons including Indian nationals are required to fill in a Disembarkation Card, at the time of arrival. Four photographs are also required for registration. The foreigners registered at Foreigners' Registration Office are required to report change of their addresses.

Departure from India: All persons, except nationals of Bhutan & Nepal, leaving by air, road or rail have to fill in an Embarkation Card at the time of departure.

Exit Formalities : Every foreigner who is about to depart finally from India shall surrender his Certificate of Registration either to the Registration Officer of the place where he is registered or of the place from where he intends to depart or to the Immigration Officer at the Port/Check post of exit from India.

HEALTH REGULATIONS
Foreign tourists should be in possession of their Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate conforming to International Health Regulation, if they are originating or transiting through Yellow Fever endemic countries.

AIRPORTS
The international airports in the metro cities offer a range of services ensuring that the traveler on business can continue working while waiting to board an international connection, or when transferring between international flights. These include restaurants, business centers, rest rooms and handy telephones booths. Business centers are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment including word processors and tele-fax.
Airports also offer tourist duty-free & handicrafts shopping, informal snack bars, nursery and baby care rooms, and even an art gallery. Duty-free prices in the airport shops are very competitive, offering you bargains on international merchandise.

FOREIGN TRAVEL TAX
Passengers embarking on journeys to any place outside India from a Customs airport/seaport will have to pay a Foreign Travel Tax (FTT) of Rs. 500 and Rs. 150 on journeys to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Srilanka and Maldives. No tax is payable on journeys performed by ship from Rameshwaram to Talaimanar and in case of transit passengers, provided they do not leave the customs barrier. Transit passengers traveling by air who have to leave the airport on account of mechanical trouble but continue their journey by the same aircraft and the same flight number by which they arrive are also exempt from FTT. Transit sea passengers leaving the ship for sightseeing, shopping etc. during the ships' call at any of the Indian ports will not be required to pay FTT.

 
Tourist VISA REQUIREMENTS:

1 Passport Requirements: Original, signed passport valid for 6 months from day of application, and with at least two blank visa pages for Indian visa stamps. Amendment pages are not acceptable for visa stamps.

2 Indian Visa Application Form: One India visa application form per applicant completed on-line printed and signed. Only on-line visa applications are accepted. Signature must be original on each visa application. Improperly completed forms may delay the processing of your visa.

3 Photo Requirements: Two recent 2 x 2 passport type photographs, in color, front view and with a plain/light background.Chicago, San Francisco and Washington DC jurisdictions: no glasses may be worn in these photos; photos should not be stapled to the application.

4 Other Forms: Proof of residential address in the United States: Clear copy of applicant's driver's license, utility bill or phone bill. Address on the document must match address on the visa application form.- AND -Copy of Birth Certificate: A photocopy of the applicant's birth certificate showing parents' names, date of birth and nationality. Any birth certificates that do not originate from the US or India must be translated into English and must be notarized. Please note: You should not send the original birth certificate; Travis cannot be responsible for original documents.

5 Minors: The visa application must be signed by both parents and a copy of both parents' signed passports must be submitted. A copy of a parent's driver's license or utility bill can be used for proof of residential address in the US.

6 Other Requirements: Indian visas allow multiple entries into the country; however, there must be a gap of at least 2 months between two visits to the country on a Tourist Visa. No Permit is needed if the visa holder is traveling to multiple countries on the same itinerary and the trip follows the itinerary exactly. The visa holder must carry a copy of the itinerary to show the Immigration Officer. All other applicants seeking permission to enter India multiple times within two months must submit the following:

Letter of Request: A letter addressed to the appropriate Indian Consulate seeking permission and highlighting the urgency of the visit. The letter should also provide a detailed explanation of the reason for visiting more than once within two months, the purpose of journey and the expected dates of travel. The specific purpose of visit must be clearly indicated, for example: for recreation/sight seeing, casual visit to meet friends and relatives/others (to be specified), and not for engagement in business activities, employment or pursuing studies, research, etc.

Re-Entry Exemption Form: Completed and signed by the applicant.

Fee: The Indian Consulate charges an additional fee of $25 with all re-entry requests. This fee is non-refundable even when re-entry permission is not granted.
Please Note: Re-entry permission is granted on only very rare, urgent cases.

7 Special Instructions: All persons of Indian origin as well as accompanying spouse and dependent family members must apply for an Entry Visa (not Tourist Visa).
Complete the Global Reservation Form: This is Travis’s Service Order Form. You must include a copy of this form with all other supporting documents. (NOTE: Consular fees are NON-refundable. If visa is rejected and resubmitted new consular fees will apply).

India Visa Validity: Visas are usually valid for multiple entries for a period of 6 months or 5 years based on consular fee paid. 10 year visas are issued at the discretion of the Indian Consulate. Multiple entry visas allow re-entry to India only after a period of two months between visits. Important: Travelers must leave India on or before the expiration of their visa. Travelers who remain in India beyond the validity of their visa could face detention and significant penalties. If your intended length of stay in India exceeds the validity of your existing visa, you must apply for a new visa. If re-entry permission is granted, travelers intending to return to India for a second visit within two months must register at the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) within 14 days of arrival in India.


Indian Visa Processing Time: India visas are usually processed in 5 business days. Rush visa processing may be available for additional fees. Please visit our Indian Consular Fees page for details. Rush service is defined as any attempt made by Travisa to retrieve the visa in less time than the amount required by the Indian embassy or consulate to process the visa.

In order to ensure that visa applications for most embassies/consulates are submitted on the day that we receive them, they should be shipped to us via FedEx Priority Overnight (not First Overnight or Standard Overnight). Non-refundable tickets or reservations should not be purchased until all visas and passports are secured and in your possession.

 
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