Entry requirements

The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.

The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory to which you’re travelling.

You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Visas

You’ll need to get a visa before travelling to India. You can find further information about how to apply on the Indian High Commission website.

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’t enter India again. Make sure you meet entry requirements. Tourist visas can’t be extended while in India.

You should be aware that 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 are travelling with is travelling on a tourist visa and is hospitalised, we would advise you to immediately get in touch with the local Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) to check if visa conversion is required.

From 1 April 2017, the length of stay on an e-visa has been increased from 30 days to 60 days with double entry on tourist and business e-visa and triple entry on medical e-visas. This means you can stay for or re-enter within 60 days of the date of your first entry into India on your e-visa. However, you must leave the country before your visa expires, irrespective of when or how many times you enter. When you arrive at the airport, your passport will be stamped and an expiry date for your e-visa will be handwritten by an Immigration Officer. Please be aware that 60 days is not automatically equal to two calendar months. Check the date that is written on your passport and make sure you leave the country before your visa expires.

Holders of passports endorsed ‘British citizen’ who meet the eligibility criteria can apply for a double entry e-Tourist Visa (e-TV) to enter India at certain designated airports. You can find more information about the eligibility criteria on the government of India’s e-Tourist Visa website. Beware of fake websites offering the e-TV service.

You should check carefully whether or not you’re eligible for an e-TV before you apply. British subject, British protected person, British overseas citizen, British national (overseas) and British overseas territories citizen passport holders aren’t eligible to apply for an e-TV.

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.

To transit through India you will need a transit visa. You can find more information on the Indian Immigration Bureau website.

The previous rule of no re-entry on the same visa for 2 months after leaving India no longer applies to foreign nationals (including British) coming to India except in case of nationals of Afghanistan, China, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Sudan, Bangladesh, foreigners of Pakistan and Bangladesh origins and stateless persons. e-Tourist Visas can now be used for double entry into India.

Foreign nationals arriving in India on long term multiple entry visas must register with the nearest Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) within 14 days of arrival.

If you overstay your visa you must report in person to the FRRO or Superintendant of Police you registered with to get permission to exit the country. You will be fined and may be prosecuted or detained and later deported. If you have overstayed your visa but did not need to register you must report to the nearest FRRO or Senior Superintendant of Police. See the Indian Immigration Bureau website for more information.

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. Those who have either renounced their Pakistani nationality or cancelled their Pakistani passport would need to submit documentary proof of this.

Processing time for visa applications received from persons of Pakistani origin will be 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

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. However, the guidelines regarding passport validity on arrival in India are unclear. 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.

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 be required 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 you should factor this into your timeframe to leave India. 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.