Foreign travel advice

India

Important COVID-19 travel guidance

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Travel to some countries and territories is currently exempted.

This advice is being kept under constant review. Travel disruption is still possible and national control measures may be brought in with little notice, so check our travel guidance.

Entry requirements

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 to which you’re travelling.

You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

There are specific rules around charter flights booked through a tour operator. See Air travel

Restrictions in response to coronavirus

Entry and borders

To curb the spread of COVID-19, scheduled international commercial passenger air services are currently suspended.

All land borders with Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar and Nepal in East and North East India are closed.

Visas

The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs has issued new guidelines permitting certain categories of foreign nationals to travel to India. You will need to obtain a fresh business or employment visa. For information categories and process, visit the Indian Bureau of Immigration website.

Check the Indian Bureau of Immigration website to see the current list of travel restrictions before making any travel arrangements.

If you’re already in India on an existing visa, see Staying during coronavirus

Regular entry requirements

Visas

You’ll need to get a visa before travelling to India. India issues various types of visas, including transit visas and e-visas.

Make sure you get the right visa for your travel and that it’s valid for the purpose and duration of your stay. If you enter India on the wrong visa, you could be detained on arrival and you may be deported and blacklisted, meaning that you can’t enter India again. Make sure you meet entry requirements. You can find further information on the Indian High Commission website or the Indian Immigration Bureau website.

You should check your visa for any endorsements that state you should register your arrival in India within a certain amount of time. Failure to do so could lead to you being denied permission to leave.

If you’re applying for an e-visa, check you meet the eligibility criteria. If you do not hold a full ‘British Citizen’ passport, you may not be eligible for an e-visa. You can find out more about this on India’s e-visa website. Beware of fake websites offering this service.

There have been changes made by the Indian Government on visa formalities for foreigners who are hospitalised in India when travelling on a short-term tourist visa. If you or someone you are travelling with is travelling on a tourist visa and is hospitalised, get in touch with the local Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) to check if visa conversion is required.

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 foreign passengers holding non-machine readable passports may be subject to a fine.

Overstaying on your visa is an offence. Make sure you leave the country before your visa expires.

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. If you have renounced your Pakistani nationality or cancelled your Pakistani passport, you will need to submit documentary proof of this.

The processing time for visa applications received from persons of Pakistani origin is 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.

Passport validity

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.

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.

Airport tax

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.

Polio vaccination

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.

Accommodation and C-Forms

Make sure you stay in accommodation that is licensed with the Indian authorities. Ask your accommodation provider whether they’re registered to file ‘C-Forms’ with the Foreigners’ Registration Office (FRO). You’re strongly advised to use accommodation that is registered with the FRO.

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. You should be aware that you will have to apply to the local authorities for an exit permit if you’re leaving India on a passport or ETD that is different to the one on which you entered. This must be done online, and you should factor this into your timeframe to leave India. For further information visit the FRRO website.

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.