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Indian Visa

All foreign citizens, including children, require a visa to enter India. Please do not finalize your travel arrangements to India before obtaining the Visa and fulfilling the requirements of Visa. The following are some of the links from where you can know about the Visa requirements, Visa extension, Restricted areas in India, export regulations and even download the Visa application form. 

Visa Requirements

The citizens of all the countries requires a valid passport and a visa to enter India. The visa can be obtained from an Indian Embassy. A double or multiple entry Visa is required while you are visiting Nepal and then again entering India. Some of the general requirements in order to obtain visa are as follows:

  • You should have a passport valid for at least six months.

  • You should provide prescribed visa fee.

  • You should also provide two passport-size photographs (five photographs in case of Pakistani nationals).

  • You should also provide some documents, wherever necessary.

  • You should submit the duly completed visa application form (Pakistani and Bangladeshi nationals need to apply on special application forms).

The tourists from various other countries are advised to check the current applicable visa fee or visa extension fees with the Government of India Tourist offices or Indian Consular offices located in their respective countries. The validity of the visas is counted from the date of their issue. You can stay in India only for six months with a tourist or business visa, but a valid visa can be for more than six months.

In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated procedures at entry or exit points. They requires documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child’s travel from the absent parents or legal guardian. These documents facilitate entry or departure.

Some of the visas which are required are as follows:

Tourist Visas:
Tourist Visa is a multi-entry visa, granted for the purpose of tourism. The tourist visa is valid from the date of issue for a period of more than 180 days. Tourist Visa can also be obtained for 3 months, which is valid from date of first entry into India, that entry should be within 2 months from date of issue.

Collective Visas:
The Collective visas are given to the people traveling in a group of not less than 4 members and sponsored by a government recognised travel agency. Such groups may split into smaller groups to visit different places in India after obtaining a collective "license to travel" from Indian immigration authorities. They must reassemble and depart as the original group.

Transit Visas:

Transit visas are granted by Indian Missions abroad for a maximum period of 15 days.

Employment Visa:

The Employment visa is issued to skilled and qualified professionals or persons who are engaged or appointed by companies, organizations, economic undertakings as technicians, technical experts, senior executives, etc. Before obtaining the visa the applicants are required to submit proof of contract or employment given by the company or organization.

Exemption from Registration:
Foreigners coming to India on tourist visas for 180 days or a shorter period are not required to register themselves with any authority in India. They can move freely in any part of the country, except in certain restricted and prohibited areas.


Visa Extension

For extending the period of Visas you need to apply with a letter of permission to the
Ministry of Home Affairs
Lok Nayak Bhavan, 1st floor
Khan Market, New Delhi 110003 
Phone: 24693334, 24612543, 24617649

Thereafter the letter is to be presented to the
FRRO (Foreigner’s Regional Registration Office). The office of FRRO is located at:
Hans Bhavan
Tilak Bridge, New Delhi
Phone: 23319489, 23318179
Timings: 9.30 am to 1.30 pm and 2 pm to 4 pm
(weekends and national holidays closed)



Restricted Areas

There are certain states in India which need special permit before they can be visited. These states are Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur, Sikkim, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep Islands, Kashmir, himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The permits are no longer required to visit Darjeeling, Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura.

There are certain areas in the state of Nagaland which have been designated as protected or Restricted area. The foreigners cannot enter these areas without special permit. These permits need to be issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs at least 4 weeks before the date of the expected visit.

According to the government of India's new policy, various places are open for the tourists that were under the Restricted Zones like the Loktak Lake, Imphal, Moirang INA Memorial, Keibul Deer Sanctuary and Waithe Lake. The foreigners as well as the Indian tourists can visit Manipur for 3 to 6 days only in a group, and the individual tourists are not permitted. The permit to visit Manipur can be obtained by the all Missions abroad, FRRO, MHA, state government of Manipur, Home Commissioner of Manipur. You can also reach Imphal from Calcutta by taking a flight only, and not by another mode of transport.

There are certain places in Mizoram under the Restricted zones which the tourists are permitted to visit. These places are Vairangte, Thingdawl and Aizawl. The permit can be issued by the Home Commissioner, Government of Mizoram, Aizawl, All FRROs at Delhi, Mumbai and Calcutta, Chief Immigration Officer, Madras and all Indian missions abroad. The tourists can visit the specified places only for 10 days and individual tourists are not allowed.

1. Gangtok, Rumtek, Phodong, Dzongri, Pemayangtse, Khechopari and Tashigang

Certain places in Sikkim like Gangtok, Rumtek, Phodong, Dzongri, Pemayangtse, Khechopari and Tashigang have been excluded form the inner line and declared as restricted areas and the tourists are permitted to visit only these areas. The tourists can stay in Sikkim for 7 to 15 days. The permits can be issued by MHA; all FRROs; All Indian Missions abroad, and Immigration Officers at airports at Mumbai, Calcutta, Madras and New Delhi; Chief Secretary or Home Secretary of Tourism department, Government of Sikkim, Gangtok; Inspector General Of Police, Government of Sikkim, Siliguri; Deputy Directors (Tourism), Sikkim Government, New Delhi; Assistant Resident Commissioner, Government of Sikkim, Calcutta; Tourism Officer, Rangpo; Deputy Commissioner, Darjeeling and Deputy Secretary or Under Secretary of Home Department, Government of West Bengal, Calcutta.

2. Dzongri, West Sikkim

MHA and all issuing authorities of Sikkim government and its representatives at Calcutta, Siliguri and Rangpo can grant the permit to the tourists to visit Dzongri. The tourists can visit these places only in a group and not individually for 16 days. If they are interested in trekking, they must be accompanied by a liasion officer for 15 days only.

3. Changu Lake in East Sikkim

Home Secretary, Government of Sikkim, Gangtok can issue permit to the tourists to visit the Changu Lake in West Sikkim. The tourists can visit these places in a group only during the day.

4. Mangan, Tong, Singhik, Chungthang, Lachung and Yumthang

Mangan, Tong, Singhik, Chungthang, Lachung and Yumthang are certain restricted areas in Sikkim for which the permitted ares are required. Home Secretary, Government of Sikkim and Secretary of Tourism, Government of Sikkim can issue the permit to the tourists for only 5 days.

and Nicobar Islands
The foreign tourists can visit the Municipal Area in Port Blair for both day and night. But can visit rest of the places like Havelock Island, Long Island, Neil Island, Jolly Buoy, South and North Cinque, Red Skin in night only. Mayabunder, Diglipur, Rangat, Mount Harriet, Madhuban are the other places where only day visits are allowed. The permit is also required before visiting such places. The authorities that can grant permit are MHA, all FRROs and all Indian Missions abroad. To visit the Red Skin and Mayabunder, the permit need to be obtained from the Immigration Officer, Port Blair.

The foreign tourists can only visit Bangaram and Subeli Islands. They can obtain permits from the Lakshadweep Administration, Wellington Island, Cochin.

Itanagar, Ziro, Along, Pasighat, Miao, Namdapha and Sujesa (Puki) Bhalukpong are certain places in Arunachal Pradesh which are considered as the Restricted or Protected area. The tourists can visit only these places in a group for about 10 days only and the individual tourists are not permitted. To visit these places, a special permit is required. This permit can be obtained from Home Commissioner, Government of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar, all FRROs at Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Chief Immigration Officer, Madras and all Indian Missions abroad.

The tourists can visit the certain areas in Kashmir which are divided into three different sub divisions like Khaltse, Nubra and Nyona sub divisions. The foreign and Indian tourists can visit these places only in a group for 7 days. There should be only 4 to 20 members in a group and they should be accompanied by the liasion officer. The MHA and the concerned District Magistrates can grant the permit to the tourists to visit these areas. For more information, you can contact Indian Missions abroad or the Ministry of Tourism, Delhi, India.

(1) Khaltse sub division (Drokahpa Area)
In this sub division, the areas are Khaltse - Dunkhar - Sroduchan and Hanudo - Biana - Dha.

(2) Nubra Sub Division:
There are certain areas in Nubra valley which are described as the trekking areas and here trekking is conducted by the approved tour operators and approved by the State Police personnel. These areas are as follows:
(a) Leh - Khardung La - Khalsar - Tirit - Panasik
(b) Leh - Khardung La - Khalsar - Hunder
(c) Leh - Sabo - Digar La - Digar - Labab - Khungru Gampa - Tangar

(3) Nyona Sub Division:
There are certain areas in Nyona valley which are described as the Restricted areas for the trekking purposes.
(a) Leh - Upshi - Chusathang - Mahe - Puga - Tso - Moari Lake or Kozok
(b) Leh - Upshi - Debring - Puga - Tso - Moari Lake or Korzok
(c) Leh - Karu - Chang La - Durbuk - Tangtse - Lukung - Spanksik.
(d) Pangong Lake - Spanksik

There are certain places in Himachal Pradesh which are described as the restricted areas for trekking purposes according to the Government of India's new policy. These areas are Poo - Khab - Sumdho - Dhankar - Tabo - Gompa - Kaza and Morang - Dabling. The individual tourists are not permitted to visit these areas. The permit to visit these places can be obtained from MHA, Government of Himachal Pradesh; DM; SDM; lTBP; Special Commissioner of Tourism; Resident Commissioner, Government of Himachal Pradesh, New Delhi and Director General of Police, Himachal Pradesh, Shimla.

Nanda Devi sanctuary, Niti Ghati and Kalindi Khal in Chamoli, Uttar Kashi districts and adjoining areas of Milam Glacier are some of the Protected areas in Uttar Pradesh for which the special permit is required. The authorities that can grant permit are MHA, Government of Uttar Pradesh, DM and SDM of the concerned state, ATBP and lTBP. The individual tourists are not permitted to visit these places.


Export Regulations

The foreign tourists can take back all the articles brought by him in India. They can also take back the Souvenirs including Indian silk, wool, handicrafts, without any limit and gold jewelry and silverware up to Rs.100,000 (in excess of Rs.100,000 only after obtaining an RBI permit). Other jewelry and precious stones of large value should be appraised by Customs Appraiser at the airport. For these items an RBI permit should be obtained in advance and thereafter declared to Customs. There are restrictions on the export of antiques and art objects more than 100 years old. The export of the wildlife products is also strictly prohibited, therefore one should generally avoid buying articles of ivory, reptile skin, tortoise shells and any part of wild animals. Certain Duty Free shops are also located at the airport.

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