Getting here and advice about your stay
Entry requirements for India
All visitors must have a valid passport and visa.
Business visas have a validity of 6 months to one year or more with single or multiple entries. However, the period of time in India for each stay is limited to 6 months.
The validity of the visa begins from the date of issue by the High Commission of India and not from the date of travel on your application form.
India’s Bureau of Immigration has announced that with immediate effect, foreign nationals who arrive at an Indian port holding non-machine readable passports will be denied entry. To transit through India you will need a transit visa.
Foreign nationals arriving in India on long term multiple entry visas must register with the nearest Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) within 14 days of arrival.
If you overstay your visa, you must report in person to the FRRO or Superintendent of Police that you registered with to get permission to exit the country. You will be fined and may be prosecuted or detained and later deported.
[Source – www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/india/entry-requirements]
Find out more information on how to apply for a business visa for India at: www.vfsglobal.com/India/
Your passport must be machine readable, with 2 blank pages for your visa and valid for a minimum of 180 days at the time of your visa application.
Holders of passports endorsed ‘British citizen’ who meet the eligibility criteria can apply for a single entry e-Tourist Visa (e-TV) to enter India at certain designated airports. You can find more information about the eligibility criteria on the Government of India’s e-Tourist Visa website: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html.
User Development Fees (UDF) apply at many airports. The fees are around Rs.1,000 per international passenger and Rs.150 to Rs.260 per domestic passenger. This should already be included in the cost of airline tickets, if not it will be collected at the airport check-in counter.
UK Emergency Travel Documents
UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are valid for entry to or exit from India with the relevant Indian visa. They are also valid for airside transit. However, a holder of an ETD will not be able to both enter and exit India using the same ETD. For more information, contact the British High Commission New Delhi or visit: www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-high-commission-new-delhi.
Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card holders
In March 2016, the Government of India announced that OCI card holders will no longer need a visa to enter India. The ‘U’ visa sticker that was placed in the foreign passport of OCI card holders has been discontinued with immediate effect and you will no longer need to show this sticker to the immigration authorities when you enter and leave India. You will only need to present a valid passport and your OCI card. For more information, visit the website of the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs: www.mha1.nic.in/foreigDiv/OCI.html.
Political rallies and demonstrations
Political rallies and demonstrations occur frequently throughout the country and can turn violent, particularly around elections. Transport and public services may be disrupted at short notice.
If you are travelling in these areas you should remain vigilant, avoid protests, demonstrations or large gatherings, monitor the local media and follow the advice of the local authorities and your travel company.
Local laws and customs
Drugs are illegal in India. There is a minimum sentence of 6 months for possession of small amounts deemed for personal consumption only, and 10 years for other amounts.
It is illegal to buy, sell, kill or capture any protected wild animal without a licence. India is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
The laws governing alcohol vary from state to state. Consumption of alcohol is prohibited in Bihar, Gujarat, Kerala, Manipur, Nagaland and the union territory of Lakshadweep. Consumption or possession of alcohol can lead to arrest without bail and a sentence of 5 to 10 years.
[Source – www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/india/local-laws-and-customs]
Visit your health professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre on the TravelHealthPro website: www.travelhealthpro.org.uk/country-information; and by NHS (Scotland) on the fitfortravel website: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations.aspx. Useful information and advice about healthcare abroad is also available on the NHS Choices website: www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/Pages/
Local medical facilities are not comparable to those in the UK, especially in more remote areas. In major cities private medical care is available, but expensive. A list of the most commonly used hospitals can be found on the British High Commission website: www.gov.uk/government
Severe air pollution is a major hazard to public health in Delhi, and a serious concern in many Indian cities. Children, the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions may be especially affected. You can follow further advice at the WHO website: www.who.int/topics/environmental_pollution/en.
Mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever occur all year round. There has been an increase in the number of cases of dengue fever, including in New Delhi.
Cases of chikungunya virus have been confirmed in India, including in New Delhi. You should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Visit: www.travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 102 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.
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