Entry requirements

This page has information on travelling to India.

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

The authorities in India set and enforce entry rules. If you’re unsure how India’s entry requirements apply to you, contact its UK embassy, high commission or consulate.

All travellers

Travellers must comply with all instructions and screening requirements at the airport. Please co-operate with the authorities if asked to do so.

Travellers are no longer required to have proof of vaccination. On 29 December 2022, the Indian Government announced new COVID-19 surveillance measures for international in-bound travellers, with immediate effect. These include thermal screening of passengers, and random testing of 2% of all international travellers over 12 years old upon arrival into India. Additional requirements apply to incoming passengers on all international flights from certain high-risk countries (China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, Thailand and Japan). Travellers from these countries are also required to submit a self-declaration form and upload a negative COVID−19 RT-PCR report (72 hours prior to departure) on the Air Suvidha portal.

If found symptomatic for COVID-19 during travel or on arrival, you will need to follow the instructions of the health authorities, which may include testing or isolation at a designated medical facility.

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

Additional COVID−19 restrictions may be imposed at short notice including localised lock-downs and curfews. Monitor local media for updates.

Residents of India

Special permits may be needed to cross land borders with Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar and Nepal in East and North East India. You should contact local authorities for more information and relevant permits.

Exemptions

There are no exemptions to India’s entry requirements.

Check your passport and travel documents before you travel

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.

OCI and PIO card holders

In March 2016, the government of India announced that OCI cardholders would no longer need a visa to enter India. The ‘U’ visa sticker that was placed in the foreign passport of OCI cardholders 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.

Visas

You’ll need to get a visa before travelling to India.

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 cannot 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 at Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) your arrival in India within a certain amount of time. Failure to do so could lead to you being denied permission to leave.

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 at Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) to check if visa conversion is needed.

India’s Bureau of Immigration has announced that 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. Strict penalties are enforced for overstaying. If you overstay, you could face fines, detention and/or a future travel ban.

E-visa

E-visa service has now been restored and you can apply for certain categories of visas online. Check that you are eligible before you apply and apply in good time. Visit the Government of India’s e-Visa website for details.

Some international airports in India do not allow passengers to enter with an e-Visa , and you will not be able to apply for any other visa upon arrival. Arrange your visa through an Indian high commission, consulate or embassy before you arrive.

All other visa applicants need to make an appointment online before submitting their visa application. Ensure you do this in good time ahead of your planned visit.

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.

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.