Entry requirements

This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in India set and enforce entry rules. For further information 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.

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

Restrictions in response to coronavirus

Entry to India

All regularly scheduled international flights remain suspended. However, under a bilateral agreement between the UK and Indian governments, a limited number of flights between India and the UK continue to operate. To book and for more information you should check airline websites, which contain important guidance prior to travel. The British High Commission cannot assist with ticketing. The aviation sector remains unpredictable and is subject to change with limited notice.

  • Pre-boarding: All travellers should (i) submit a self-declaration form on the online “Air Suvidha” portal before the scheduled travel (ii) upload a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report. This test should have been conducted within 72 hrs prior to undertaking the journey. Each passenger shall also submit a declaration with respect to the authenticity of the report and will be liable for criminal prosecution, if found otherwise.
  • On arrival: All travellers should complete a PCR test in the designated area and exit the airport. Tests will be followed up by the State Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP). The concerned State authorities/airport operators will collect and convey the test report to the traveller. If tested negative, travellers must remain in home quarantine for 7 days, and can expect regular follow up by the concerned State/District IDSP. Travellers shall be tested again after 7 days. If tested negative at that point, they will be released from home quarantine, but must continue to monitor their health for a further 7 days. If tested positive they will be isolated in an institutional isolation facility for treatment.

More information and detailed guidelines for International Arrivals are available on the Ministry of Health website.

All land borders with Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar and Nepal in East and North East India are closed for movement of people, except returning Indian nationals.

Screening on arrival

Thermal screening will be carried out by the health officials at arrival. You must comply with all instructions and screening requirements.

More information and detailed guidance is available on the website of Ministry of Health.

You should not use the NHS testing service to get a negative PCR test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test.

Quarantine requirements

Detailed guidance on quarantine requirements are available on the Ministry of Health website.

Data collection

Passengers may need to provide contact details and be asked to download Arogya Setu app.

Testing on departure

You will not be able to travel if you’re showing coronavirus symptoms (you will need to self-isolate and travel later). You should comply with any additional healthcare screening measures put in place by the authorities prior to your departure.

Visas

The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs has issued new guidelines permitting all OCI and PIO card holders to visit India. All other foreign nationals intending to visit India may visit on any visa except for a Tourist Visa, which still has not been re-instated. For information categories and process, visit the Indian Bureau of Immigration website.

Visit the FRRO website if you have any visa-related queries.

OCI cardholders from the UK are now exempt from the visa & travel suspension. For more information visit the FRRO website. OCI cardholders who choose to visit India at this time should consider their return flight options to the UK. Scheduled international flights remain suspended. A limited number of flights are currently operating between India and the UK under a bilateral agreement but these arrangements may be subject to change at short notice.

Overstaying on your visa is an offence. Make sure you leave the country before your visa expires or apply for an extension through the FRRO website.

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 not 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’re 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 needed.

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 need 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 can take anywhere between five and 15 working days for straightforward applications. You should factor this into your timeframe to leave India when you are booking flights. 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.