India Entry and Travel Requirements
India Entry Requirements can vary depending on your nationality and the purpose of your visit. The majority of foreign visitors, apart from a valid passport that will not expire for at least 6 months from the planned date of entry, also need to obtain a visa for India.
The Government of India allows travelers from a number of countries to obtain a visa online. e-Visa for India can be issued as a tourist, medical, or business electronic visa. All these visa types allow visiting India for short-term periods. Only a few countries qualify for visa exemption, including Buthan, Maldives, and Nepal.
Travelers from Buthan and Nepal may travel to India passport and visa-free if they do not arrive from Hong Kong, Macau, China, the Maldives, or Pakistan. There is no time limit for their stay in India. In turn, the nationals of the Maldives are allowed to visa-free travel to India for maximally 90 days unless they arrive from mainland China. For longer stays, they will need to obtain a relevant visa.
Citizens of countries not eligible for an electronic visa must apply for a regular visa at the nearest Indian Embassy. Embassy visas are also mandatory for relocating, working, studying, or all kinds of long-term purposes.
Over the past two years of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, only some travelers could enter India under a few operating travel bubbles. On March 27, 2022, the Indian authorities restored international flights, and since then, all foreign travelers can enter India without needing to have an essential travel purpose. They still need to, however, obtain certain travel documents and meet some entry requirements.
Keep in mind that travel requirements may change at any time, so it's always best to check with the Indian embassy in your home country before you travel.
If you plan to travel to India soon, read more about the recent Indian entry rules and find out what documents you will need to prepare before your trip.
Documents check-list for entering India
- Air Suvidha Self Declaration Form
- a PCR test taken 72 hours before the trip (if unvaccinated)
- a valid vaccination certificate confirming taking the full regimen of COVID-19 vaccine (if vaccinated)
- a visa to India or e-Visa (if eligible)
- travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage (optional)
Testing, vaccination, and quarantine requirements
Unvaccinated travelers need to upload a negative report of COVID-19 RT-PCR conducted within 72 hours before the planned journey.
Vaccinated travelers do not need to take a pre-departure coronavirus test. Instead, they may use a valid COVID-19 vaccination certificate as a document confirming their immunization status.
Additionally, India has been maintaining on-arrival random testing (2% of the total passengers on the flight).
India allows entry for both vaccinated and non-vaccinated travelers. Those who have received the full regimen of the COVID-19 vaccine are exempt from taking the pre-departure test. The vaccination proof must be submitted via the Air Suvidha platform.
At least 14 days must elapse from the date of receiving the coronavirus vaccine in order to be recognized as fully vaccinated.
Currently, the Indian Government accepts the following manufacturers of the COVID-19 vaccine:
- Sputnik Light
- Sputnik V
- Zydus Cadila
- Biological E Limited
The Indian Government has recently removed a mandatory quarantine. Nevertheless, some travelers may be required to undergo random coronavirus testing upon arrival at the airport. If tested positive, they may be subject to undergo institutional quarantine.
Moreover, all passengers are thermally screened on arrival and if found with COVID-19 symptomatic, they may be isolated and/or taken to a medical facility.
Travel requirements to enter India by sea or land
International passengers who wish to enter India through land ports or seaports fall under the same entry protocol as travelers arriving in India by air.
However, they cannot submit Air Suvidha Self Declaration Form since it is currently available only for air travelers. Those travelers who enter India by land or sea should submit their self-declaration form to the appropriate Indian authorities at a given seaport or land port (depending on the way they enter the country).
Entry Rules for Children
All children younger than 5 years of age are exempt from coronavirus testing requirements both pre-departure and post-arrival.
However, if found symptomatic upon arrival, they are subject to the health protocol including testing or/and quarantine. Parents or guardians traveling with them may not always be allowed to have access to the children during their self-isolation period.
Visa requirements for Children
All children not being Indian nationals must hold a valid online visa to enter India. Their parents or guardians are responsible for submitting visa applications for underage travelers.
You can transit through India visa-free only when meeting the following requirements:
- you have an onward ticket to the country being your final destination
- your layover time in India is maximally 24 hours or less
- you do not plan to exit the tranist zone at one of the Indian airports when awaiting the flight to your final destination
Those who wish to leave the transit area will need to obtain an eVisa in order to legally and hassle-free transit through India.
There are no testing and quarantine requirements for transit passengers upon arrival. Nevertheless, all arrivals to India are subject to random testing and health screenings.
Non-vaccinated travelers should take a PCR test performed within 72 hours before the planned arrival.
All transit passengers also need to complete the Air Suvidha declaration.
India visa requirements
Like the majority of the countries, Indian visa policy distinguishes two main categories of visas:
- countries required to apply for a regular visa
- countries eligible for India eVisa
If your country is not included on the list of eligible for eVisa to India, you will need to visit the nearest Indian Embassy and get the necessary information on how you can obtain the necessary permit to visit India.
In 2014, the Indian Government introduced an electronic visa system to facilitate the visa application process and allow travelers from certain countries to travel to India with eVisa for business, leisure, or medical-related purposes. Applicants have 5 different options to choose from, depending on the reason why they wish to enter India.
To get an eVisa to India online, one only needs to fill out the online application form, attach some documents, and cover the service fee. The maximum processing time to get the approval for the Indian electronic visa is only 3 business days.
Air Suvidha Self Declaration
India has reopened its borders to international visitors but in order to ensure their safety, all incoming travelers must complete the Air Suvidha Self Declaration Form.
This declaration including all travel and health-related details of the person entering India must be submitted within 72 hours before the intended departure to India (or as soon as a traveler knows all the necessary travel details). Every traveler will receive the confirmation receipt in PDF form which will be checked upon crossing the Indian border.
Submitting the Air Suvidha Self Declaration Form is obligatory and those who will not be able to show it during the border control may be denied entry to the country.
Despite the fact that travel insurance is not obligatory to travel to India during the coronavirus pandemic, all travelers are highly advised to purchase the one with COVID-19 coverage. This will cover all the potential treatment costs in case you become infected and will be requiring hospitalization.
Choose the travel insurance that best matches your travel plans in India and travel to the country relaxed and ready for every circumstance.