Countries may restrict travel or bring in rules at short notice. Check with your travel company or airline for changes. There may also be information on COVID-19 from the Indian Ministry of Health.
If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.
Visit TravelHealthPro (from the UK’s National Travel Health Network and Centre) for general COVID-19 advice for travellers.
Travel to India
Passengers do not need to show proof of vaccination or a negative test before travel. However, you must comply with instructions and surveillance measures when you arrive in India, including:
- thermal screening of passengers
- random COVID-19 testing of 2% of all international travellers over 12 years old upon arrival in India
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, follow the instructions of national and local health authorities. This may include testing or being taken to a medical facility for isolation.
More information and detailed guidelines for International Arrivals are available on the Ministry of Health website.
Residents of India
You may need special permits to cross land borders with Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar and Nepal in east and north-east India. Contact local authorities for more information and relevant permits.
Travel within India
Before travelling between Indian states, check if there are any COVID-19 requirements put in place by local authorities.
Many COVID-19 restrictions have been eased. You are still encouraged to take precautions such as maintaining social distance, wearing face masks, washing hands and avoiding crowds. Restrictions may vary between states. You may be penalised if you break restrictions.
Additional COVID-19 restrictions might be imposed at short notice including mask mandates, localised lockdowns and curfews. Monitor local media and follow the advice of the local authorities and your travel company.
Public places, services and accommodation
COVID-19 restrictions have been eased and most public places and services are functioning as normal. Follow the instructions of local authorities.
Ask accommodation providers about any specific rules and requirements before making reservations.
Passport validity requirements
To avoid problems at immigration, make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months from your date of entry into India.
Your passport must also:
- be machine-readable
- have 2 blank pages for your visa
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.
You need a visa to travel to India, unless you are an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholder.
Make sure you get the right visa for the purpose and duration of your travel, for example a Tourist Visa or Business Visa. If you enter India on the wrong visa, you could be:
- detained on arrival
- deported and not allowed to enter India again
Applying for a visa or e-visa
Find out how to apply for a visa from the Indian Bureau of Immigration. Depending on your requirements you may be able to apply for:
- regular (paper) visa
- e-visa (see the site ‘FAQs’ for restrictions on airports and seaports of entry)
Check your eligibility and any restrictions before you apply and allow plenty of time for your application to be processed.
There is more information from the High Commission of India in London.
Applicants of Pakistani origin
Applicants of Pakistani origin who hold dual British-Pakistan nationality must apply for an Indian visa on their Pakistani 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 from applicants of Pakistani origin, people holding dual British-Pakistan nationality, or people holding a National Identity Card for overseas Pakistanis (NICOP), will be substantially longer than other visa applications. More information is available from the High Commission of India in London.
Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cardholders
Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) need a valid OCI card and current foreign passport to visit India. They do not need a visa. Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) cardholders should convert their cards to OCI cards. More information is available from the High Commission of India in London and the Indian Bureau of Immigration.
Arrival, registration and extensions
Some visa types require you to register with the Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) within a specific timeframe. You could be denied permission to leave if you do not do this. Check if you are required to register your arrival (includes online option).
Overstaying on a visa is an offence. Make sure you leave the country before your visa expires or get an official extension if needed.
If you’re hospitalised
If you or someone you’re travelling with has a short-term Tourist Visa and is hospitalised, you may be able to extend or ‘convert’ to a Medical Visa.
Vaccination requirements (other than COVID-19)
At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the vaccinations and vaccination certificates you may need on TravelHealthPro (from the UK’s National Travel Health Network and Centre).
Depending on your circumstances, these may include:
- yellow fever
It is a legal requirement for accommodation providers to submit a form (C -Form) to register the stay of a foreign guest. Before booking, check that accommodation is registered with the Foreigners’ Registration Office (FRO) to submit C forms.
There are strict rules about goods that can be brought into and taken out of India. You must declare anything that may be prohibited or subject to tax or duty.
Satellite phones and listening devices
It is illegal to possess and operate satellite phones in India without a licence. British nationals have been arrested for bringing them into the country without prior permission. You can contact the Indian Department of Telecommunication to request a licence.
You may also need prior permission from the Indian authorities to bring equipment like listening or recording devices, radio transmitters, powerful cameras or binoculars into India. You can ask the High Commission of India in London for advice.
Taking money into India
There are restrictions on bringing Indian rupees into India.
Visitors, including tourists, must not bring any amount of Indian currency into the country. If you’re resident in India, you can bring up to 25,000 rupees into the country.
If you’re visiting India, you can bring cash, travellers’ cheques (in pounds sterling or another foreign currency) or a bank card with you and exchange or withdraw rupees once in India.
You must declare any amount above 5,000 US dollars in notes, or 10,000 US dollars in notes and travellers’ cheques combined.