Foreign travel advice
The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.
The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
You’ll need to get a visa before travelling to India. You can find further information about how to apply on the Indian High Commission website.
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. Beware of fake websites offering the e-TV service.
You should check carefully whether or not you’re eligible for an e-TV before you apply. British subject, British protected person, British overseas citizen, British national (overseas) and British overseas territories citizen passport holders aren’t eligible to apply for an e-TV.
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. Carriers who transport non-Indian passengers holding non-machine readable passports may be subject to a fine.
Make sure you get the right visa for your travel. In 2009, a large number of foreign nationals living in India were found to be employed on business visas instead of employment visas. Business visas can’t be extended while in India.
To transit through India you will need a transit visa.
The Indian government has relaxed the rules on re-entering the country while on a tourist visa. The previous rule of no re-entry on the same visa for 2 months after leaving India no longer applies to foreign nationals coming to India except in case of nationals of Afghanistan, China, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Sudan, Bangladesh, foreigners of Pakistan and Bangladesh origins and stateless persons. This doesn’t apply to e-Tourist Visas, which can only be used for a single entry into India.
Foreign nationals arriving in India on long term multiple entry visas must register with the nearest Foreigners Regional Registration Officer within 14 days of arrival.
If you overstay your visa you must report in person to the FRRO or Superintendant of Police you registered with to get permission to exit the country. You will be fined and may be prosecuted or detained and later deported. If you have overstayed your visa but did not need to register you must report to the nearest FRRO or Senior Superintendant of Police. See the Indian Immigration Bureau website for more information.
Applicants of Pakistani origin
All applicants of Pakistani origin who hold dual British-Pakistan nationality must apply for an Indian visa on their Pakistan passport. Those who have either renounced Pakistani nationality or cancelled their Pakistani passport would need to submit documentary proof of this.
Processing time for visa applications received from persons of Pakistani origin will be 7-8 weeks or more.
Processing time for applications from those holding dual British-Pakistan nationality will be substantially longer.
For further details see the Indian High Commission website.
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.
The guidelines regarding passport validity on arrival in India are unclear. To avoid possible problems at immigration, make sure your passport is valid for a minimum of 180 days at the time of entry into India.
User Development Fees (UDF) apply at many airports. The fees are around Rs. 1,000 per international passenger and Rs.150 to 260 per domestic passenger. This should already be included in the cost of airline tickets. If for any reason the fee is not included in your ticket it will be collected at the airport check-in counter in Indian rupees.
If you travel to India from Pakistan, Israel, Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Afghanistan or Somalia you may be required to hold a valid polio vaccination certificate. Contact your nearest Indian Embassy or High Commission for further information.
Yellow fever certificate requirements
Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.
You can take medicines into India as long as you carry the prescription with you. Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic substances are prohibited. For further information, contact the High Commission of India in London.
UK Emergency Travel Documents
UK 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.
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’ll no longer need to show this sticker to the immigration authorities when you enter and leave India. You’ll only need to present a valid passport and your OCI card. For more information, visit the website of the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs.