Knowledge of Travel Rules for India becomes utmost important, while planning a trip to India. These travel rules are related to three essential elements - Individual/Group Passport, Visa and Custom duty on luggage and goods. Genser Holidays (P) Ltd is outlining the travel tips and the travel and custom precautions to safeguard oneself from any kind of penalty charged on passengers if found guilty.
India Travel whether for tourism, business, studies or other purposes requires a valid passport and an entry visa. Visas can be obtained and issued from the Indian Embassies or Indian High Commissions abroad. One thing worth remembering is that the entry visas are not issued at the entry point. A passenger found guilty of traveling without an entry visa is detained and immediately deported.
Visa on arrival facility is available for a period of one month only for citizens of the
following five countries: Finland, Luxembourg, Japan, New Zealand and Singapore.
The Passport of the person concerned applying for the visa should be valid for a minimum
of six months beyond the date of intended departure from India. Foreigners holding nationality
of any other country, are required to submit proof of long-term (at least three years)/
permanent residence in the country from where they are applying.
The visas can be of different categories; the major one being the tourist visa, business visa,
student visa, transit visa, visa for missionaries, journalist visa, conference visa and employment
visa. Depending on the individual and specific requirement, these visas can be obtained from the
respective High Commission or The Indian Embassy abroad.
Following is a list of important documents to be submitted while applying for Indian visas:
Visa application form.
Passport, having a minimum validity of six months on the date of application.
Two identical passport sized photographs, black and white or colored.
Supporting documents, depending upon the type of visa.
FOR UPDATIONS ON VISA RULES & REQUIREMENTS WE RECOMMEND YOU TO VISIT THE FOLLOWING WEBSITE: http://www.immigrationindia.nic.in/instructions_foreigners.htm
For the smooth passage of the tourists at the airport check-in counters, two channels have been provided. One is green channel, meant for passengers not having any of the dutiable articles or unaccompanied baggage. On the contrary, for passengers with dutiable articles or unaccompanied baggage or high-value articles (to be entered on the Tourist Baggage Re-Export Form), the red channel is there at service.
The Dutiable articles, unaccompanied baggage, or high-value articles carried along with the passenger must be entered on a Tourist Baggage Re-Export Form (TBRE). These articles must be re-exported at the time of departure. A failure to re-export anything listed on the TBRE becomes a payable duty levied for each missing item.
Cash, bank notes, and travelers' cheques up to US $1,000 or equivalent need not be declared at the time of entry. If the amount exceeds the given limit then the passenger has to disclose in the Currency Declaration Form, the amount of foreign currency or travelers' cheques brought by him at the time of arrival. If done then there are no restrictions. This will not only enable him to exchange the currency brought in, but also to take the remaining currency way to home on departure. Any money in the form of travelers' cheques, drafts, bills, cheques, etc., in convertible currencies that tourists wish to convert into Indian currency should be exchanged only through authorized moneychangers and banks.
The following duty-free possessions are permissible: clothes and jewelry, cameras and up to five rolls of
film; binoculars, a portable musical instrument, a radio or portable tape recorder, a tent and camping
equipment, fishing rod, a pair of skis, two tennis rackets, 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars, 95 liters of liquor,
and gifts not exceeding a value of Rs. 600 (about $20).
There is no limit to carrying items of personal effects for tourists (other than citizens of Nepalese and Bhutanese origin) coming from their respective countries. Articles that exceed the duty-free allowance and articles imported as unaccompanied baggage can be cleared on payment of duty at the rate of 61.2% ad valorem. However, cigarettes exceeding 200, cigars exceeding 50, tobacco exceeding 250 g, and alcoholic liquor and wine in excess of one liter each will attract higher duty. Separate rates of duty have been fixed for gold and silver.
Please jot down the correct declaration of your baggage.
If your baggage is within free allowance limits, walk through the Green Channel.
Passengers caught red-handed with dutiable/prohibited goods in the Green Channel are liable to prosecution/penalty and confiscation of goods.
If the visa, for stay in India, is for more than 180 days, a Registration Certificate and Residential Permit should be obtained from the nearest Foreigners' Registration Office within 15 days of arrival. Four photographs are also required for registration. The foreigners registered at Foreigners' Registration Office are required to report change of their addresses. All persons including Indian nationals are required to fill in a Disembarkation Card, at the time of arrival.
All persons, except nationals of Bhutan & Nepal, leaving by air, road or rail have to fill in an Embarkation Card at the time of departure.
Every foreigner who is about to depart finally from India must surrender his Certificate of Registration either to the Registration Officer of the place where he is registered or of the place from where he plans to depart or to the Immigration Officer at the Port/Checkpost of exit from India.
Passengers embarking on trips to any place outside India from a Customs airport/seaport will have to pay a Foreign Travel Tax (FTT) of Rs. 500 and Rs. 150 on trips to Afganistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Srilanka and Maldives. No tax is payable on trips performed by ship from Rameshwaram to Talaimanar and in case of transit passengers, provided they do not leave the customs barrier. Transit passengers traveling by air who have to leave the airport on account of mechanical trouble but continue their journey by the same aircraft and the same flight number by which they arrive are also exempt from FTT. Transit sea passengers leaving the ship for sightseeing, shopping etc. during the ships' call at any of the Indian ports will not be required to pay FTT.
Visitors are generally required to make an oral baggage declaration in respect of baggage and foreign currency in their possession. They are also required to obtain the Currency Declaration Form from the Customs. They should fill in the Disembarkation Card handed over to them by the airline during the course of the flight.
For passengers not in possesion of any dutiable articles or unaccompanied baggage.
For passengers with dutiable articles or unaccompanied baggage or high value articles to be
entered on the tourist Baggage Re-Export Form.
Dutiable articles or unaccompanied baggage or high-value articles must be entered on a Tourist Baggage Re-Export Form (TBRE). These articles must be reexported at the time of departure. A failure to re-export anything listed on the TBRE becomes a payable duty levied for each missing item. The following duty-free possessions are permissible- clothes and jewellery, cameras and up to five rolls of film; binoculars, a portable musical instrument, a radio or portable tape recorder, a tent and camping equipment, fishing rod, a pair of skis, two tennis rackets, 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars,.95 litres of liquor, and gifts not exceeding a value of Rs. 600 (about $20). Depending on the attitude of the customs' official, one may or may not have to enter a portable computer on a TBRE form.
There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency or travellers' cheques a tourist may bring into India provided he makes a declaration in the Currency Declaration Form given to him on arrival. This will enable him not only to exchange the currency bought in, but also to take the unspent currency out of India on departure. Cash, bank notes and travellers' cheques up to US $1,000 or equivalent, need not be declared at the time of entry. Any money in the form of travellers' cheques, drafts, bills, cheques, etc. in convertible currencies, which tourists wish to convert into Indian currency, should be exchanged only through authorised money changers and banks who will issue an encashment certificate that is required at the time of reconversion of any unspent money into foreign currency. Exchanging of foreign currency other than banks or authorised money changers is an offense under Foreign Exchange Regulations Act 1973.
Rupees are not allowed out of India. Exchanging them before you depart is the best option. Banking facilities, for the conversion of rupees into foreign currency are usually located in the same airport hall as the check-in counters. Its best to access these facilities before immigration as they are not available thereafter. All animal products, souvenirs, and trophies are subject to the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. The export of skins made from protected wildlife species is not allowed. Such items cannot be imported into many countries, including the United States. As a general rule, avoiding such souvenirs that could be made of animal skins (except crocodile-leather goods)is best. Generally, items more than 100 years old cannot be exported without a permit from the Archaeological Survey, which has an office in Delhi. Reputable shops will provide you with the required permit or help you procure it. Items without permits will be detained by Indian Customs if they are believed to be over 100 years old.
It is advisable for you to carry your own medicines. Almost all medicines in India are locally manufactured and you may not find the same brand names. However, you may easily set substitute products here. But take the advice of reputed druggists or doctors for the purpose.
Make sure to remove your footwear when visiting a place of worship or mausoleum. Some temples in India will not even allow you to carry leather articles inside. You can deposit them in the temple cloakroom and collect it on your way out.
The electric current in India is 220/ 250 volts and 50 cycles. It is AC practically everywhere. Carry converters if you have some electric equipment with you
Don't forget to keep photocopies of your important documents for travel to India. Keep them separate from the originals, in case the originals get lost or stolen.
One of the two most important India Travel documents to carry with you is your Passport. Make sure to have this basic document with you all the time. Before the trip starts, check that your passport is in order and will be valid for the period of your stay. Otherwise, get it renewed. If, by any chance, your passport gets lost or stolen, immediately contact your country's embassy or consulate in India. And don't forget to inform the nearest police station at the same time.