Select a location for
Intel Education
Intel® Higher Education Program
2007 Asia Academic Forum
24th - 26th October, 2007: New Delhi, India
Print this page

Visa Rules for India

What is a visa and why is it necessary?
A visa gives permission to the person who wishes to stay in a country for a specific period of time to fulfill a specific motive. It is usually attached or stamped in the individual passport. All travellers to India (except citizens of India going Nepal and vice versa) must possess visas.

What is the duration of a visa?
Tourist visas are normally available for a duration of three to six months for multiple entries (important for side trips to Nepal and other countries). Other options include a one-year student visa, journalist visa or business visa, or a five year visa for non-resident Indians. When applying for a visa, make sure your passport is valid for 6 months beyond the date of intended return journey.

Getting the Visa
If you apply for a visa through the Indian embassy in your resident country the process becomes much fast. You are required to fill an application form providing your current passport with at least two passport size photographs. Applications can be sent through mail with the payment in the form of money orders. No cash or cheques are accepted. If applying in person, the consulates and embassies will usually accept cash otherwise only money orders are accepted. The visa formalities, cost of visa and the time lag between the application and issue of visa varies from country to country.

Special Permits
Certain regions of India require a special permit in addition to an Indian visa. Permits are issued by Indian High Commissions and Embassy of India abroad, by the Ministry of Home Affairs in Delhi, or by Foreigner's Registration Offices (FRROs) in Indian cities.

These areas include:

» Northeast India: The region of 7 sisters in India except Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura states which are open to tourism.

If you are visiting Assam then consult your embassy before starting your journey.

Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, and Mizoram require restricted area permits due to tribal insurgencies and fears of conflict with China.

A minimum of four people can travel together, and the group must be sponsored by a Government approved travel agency. These permits generally cost Rs. 300-400. Permits are valid for 15 days and renewable for next 15 days at the Foreigner's Registration Offices in each state capital. The permits are issued in 2 days-2 months depending on the state.

Sikkim borders China and is treated as a military buffer by the Indian Government. Foreigners need a permit to enter Sikkim and the maximum stay period cannot exceed more than 15 days a year. Permits are free of cost and readily available in the major Indian cities. The validity of permits can be extended at the Commissioner's Office in Gangtok under special circumstances, but then only for 3-5 days, and only occasionally.

For North Sikkim, an inner line permit is required. It is issued only through tour companies to the groups of four or more. A guide must accompany the group and the minimum charge is US$ 30-35 per day, including the guide. It is issued in a day but is available only in Gangtok.

» Andaman and Nicobar Islands: The Nicobar Islands are off-limits. Leave plenty of time if applying for a permit for Andaman Islands from the Ministry of Home Affairs or from Indian Embassies abroad. Those arriving by air can obtain permits in Port Blair on arrival.

» Lakshadweep: Only the Bangaram Island of this archipelago is open to foreigners. The necessary free permit can be obtained through the Liaison Officer, Lakshadweep or at some of the hotels in Cochin. You'll need four passport size photographs. The permit can be obtained in a day or two.

Health Regulations

(A) For entry into India:-
Any person, Foreigner or Indian, (excluding infants below six months of age) arriving by air or sea without a vaccination certificate of yellow fever will be liable for quarantine isolation for a period up to 6 days if you:
  1. Arrive in India within 6 days of departure from an infected area.

  2. Arrive by ship which has started from or transited at any port in a yellow fever affected country within 30 days of its arrival in India provided such ship has not been disinfected in accordance with the procedure laid down by the World Health Organisation (W.H.O.)

(B) For leaving India:-
There is no health check requirement by Indian Government on passengers leaving India.

Persons leaving for a yellow fever infected area are advised in their own interest to be in possession of valid yellow fever vaccination certificates before they leave the country. The Government of Guyana requires that all persons including diplomats travelling to that country from India to possess valid yellow fever and cholera inoculation certificates before they leave India.

An administrative arrangement for the health control of sea, air and land traffic exists between the Government of India and the Government of Bangladesh. It implies that if any aircraft or ship or land traffic from a third country arrives first at any airport or port or border checkpost in either of the agreement countries and then directly (without touching any other third country en route) reaches the second country of the agreement, all health checks will be completed in the country of first arrival and the travelers will be exempted from any further health check on arrival in the second country.

Persons exempted from production of vaccination certificate:
The under mentioned persons are exempted from production of yellow fever vaccination certificate:

  1. Infants below the age of six months.

  2. Crew and passengers of an aircraft transiting through an airport located in yellow fever infected area provided the Health Officer is satisfied that such persons remained within the airport premises during the period of stay.

Countries regarded as yellow fever infected

The following places are regarded as yellow fever endemic:

Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire), Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast (Cote D’Ivoire), Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan (South of 15 ° N), Togo, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia.

South America:
Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Panama.

A yellow fever vaccination certificate is valid only if it conforms to the model. The validity period of international certificate of vaccination or re-vaccination against yellow fever is 10 years, beginning 10 days after vaccination.

Foreign nationals residing or who have passed through the Yellow fever endemic countries during the preceding six days, are granted visas only after the production of vaccination certificate of Yellow Fever. After checking the vaccination certificate an entry read as "Valid Yellow fever Vaccination Certificate Checked" is made in the passport of the foreigner.

No immunisation against small pox or cholera is required. Inoculation Centres for yellow fever: Palam Airport on Tue. & Thur. between 2 pm-4 pm, Ph: 5653408.

Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital on Wed. & Sat. between 11 am-12 noon, Ph: 3365525 and at the International Inoculations Centre, Town Hall, Parliament Street.

Important Instructions

Instructions for Foreigners Coming to India

Foreign Nationals interested in coming to India are required to possess valid passport of their country and a valid Indian Visa.

There is no provision of 'Visa on Arrival' in India and no fee is charged for immigration facilities at the airports. Foreign passengers should ensure that they are in possession of valid Indian Visa before they start their journey to India. Exceptions are nationals of Nepal and Bhutan who do not require visa to enter India and nationals of Maldives who do not require visa for entry in India for a period up to 90 days (a separate Visa regime exists for diplomatic/official passport holders).

However, there is a provision of granting TLF (Temporary Landing Facility) / TLP (Temporary Landing Permit) to allow entry of foreigners arriving in emergent situations like death/ serious illness in the family, without an Indian Visa on cash payment of US$ 40/- (Indian Rupee equivalent i.e. Rs. 1935/-). This facility can also be extended to transiting foreigners having confirmed onward journey tickets within 72 hours. Apart from this, foreign tourists in groups of four or more arriving by Air or Sea, sponsored by recognized Indian Travel Agencies and with a pre-drawn itinerary can be granted collective landing permit for a specified period of time on the written request of the Travel Agencies to the Immigration officer giving full personal and passport details of the group members and undertaking to conduct the group as per the itinerary and an assurance that no individual would be allowed to drop out from the group at any place.

The above mentioned provisions of TLF/TLP, however, are not available to the nationals of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Somalia, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Algeria.

Immigration check is done for all passengers, Indians or foreigners, both at the time of arrival and departure. The passports are duly stamped at arrival as well as departure. Passengers should be careful to see that their passports are duly stamped before leaving the immigration counter.

All passengers, foreigners as well as Indians, coming to India or departing from India are required to fill-up D (Disembarkation) Card and E (Embarkation) Cards on arrival and departure respectively. The following information is required to be provided by the passengers in these cards:-

  1. Name and Sex
  2. Date of birth, Place of Birth, Nationality
  3. Passport details viz. number, place and dates of issue/expiry.
  4. Visa details viz. number, place and dates of issue/expiry (for arriving foreigners only)
  5. Address in India
  6. Flight number and date of arrival/departure
  7. Occupation
  8. Purpose of visit to/from India