Tips for Travelling to India
Before finalizing plans to travel to India it is advisable to check the travel advisory notifications of respective countries. However, while planning to travel to India visitors may also note the followings:
Getting Your Visa
Foreign nationals wishing to travel to India are required to possess a valid passport of their country and a valid Indian visa. However, nationals of Nepal and Bhutan do not require visa to enter India and nationals of Maldives do not require visa for entry in India for a period up to 90 days (a separate visa regime exists for diplomatic/official passport holders). Visas are granted through various Indian missions abroad. However, the Embassy/High Commission/Consulate reserves the right on granting and deciding the type/duration of visa irrespective of the fees tendered at the time of making the application.
Specific visas are granted for different purposes:
Types of visa
|Tourist Visa||6 months||Documents supporting the applicant's financial standing|
|Business Visa||One or more years||Letter from the sponsoring organisation|
|Student Visa||For the duration of the academic course of study or for a period of five years whichever is less||Proof of admission to recognized Universities/Institutions in India|
|Transit Visa||Maximum For 15 Days||Evidence of onward travel to a destination outside India|
|Conference Visa||For the duration of the conference or seminar||Letter of invitation from the organiser of the conference|
|Medical Visa||Upto one year or the period of medical treatment whichever is less. Visa can be granted to Attendant who is a blood relation to the patient and is co-terminus with the Medical Visa||Documents from registered medical institutions/ doctors supporting the need for medical treatment along with letters from Indian medical institution.|
|Visa on Arrival||Only for citizens of Finland, Luxembourg, Singapore, New Zealand, Japan, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia and Myanmar maximum for 30 days. Visa to be issued only through designated international airports of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata|
Visa for NRIs and PIOs
Persons of Indian Origins and Non-Resident Indians who possess either OCI (Overseas Indian Citizenship) or PIO card don't need to apply separately for an Indian Visa. OCI and PIO cards give them the freedom to visit India without visa within rules. However, those NRIs and PIOs who don’t have OCI or PIO card can apply for and get Indian visa through the procedure mentioned above.
Dos and Dont's
Here is a list of some important dos and don'ts for hassle-free and enjoyable travel in India.
- A proper VISA to enter and stay in India is a must.
- It is advisable to carry travel insurance for thefts & loss and medi-claim.
- Carry proper maps of the places planned for visit in India.
- Avoid touts at airport/stations/bus stand.
- Always use tourist assistance desk for proper advice.
- Women travellers should avoid going out at late hours.
- Please do not enter places of worship with shoes on.
- While changing money, insist on getting encashment certificate.
- Do not encourage beggars.
- Be conscious of cultural and social sensitivities of the various regions of India. There is no single rule for that, the best way is to observe and follow.
- Always drink safe mineral water and take well-cooked food.
- Buy at genuine shops only. Bargaining is a popular practice in India and sometimes necessary.
- Always travel on reserved ticket by train and avoid eating anything offered by fellow travellers on train or road travels.
- Use licensed guides for sightseeing.
It is advisable to carry:
- Passport and VISA. Keep separate photostat copies.
- Confirmed air tickets for all sectors.
- Clearly filled up vouchers of your tour operator with all service details.
- Names of Contact persons' and round-the-clock numbers.
- Confirmation faxes/letters/e-mails from your tour operator, hotels and other service providers.
- Complete information on sight-seeing itinerary and tourism office of assistance.
- Spare passport-size photographs
- International driving license.
- All permits, Ind-rail passes and other documents if applicable.