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Visa Services

Guidelines for foreigners travelling to India

Foreigners can visit restricted/protected areas only after obtaining a valid permit as the entry visa alone does not allow travel to these areas.

Foreigners coming from or through Yellow Fever countries must be able to produce a valid vaccination certificate.

Please remember to fill up the Disembarkation/ Embarkation cards on arrival/departure.

The Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act bans all forms of wildlife trade. Violations of the provisions of the Act are punishable with heavy fines and imprisonment. Foreigners are, therefore, advised not to buy any wildlife or wildlife products or derivatives-specially ivory articles, fur and skin articles derived from wild animals such as Shahtoosh.

Please note that buying, selling, using or being in possession of psycho-tropic drugs or any other narcotic substances while in India is a cognizable offence punishable by imprisonment.

Foreigners visiting India who hold long-term visas (more than 180 days) are required to register their presence in India with the Foreigners Registration Office (FRRO), except for the following categories of foreigners who are exempted:

US nationals holding 10 year tourist/business visas provided their continuous stay in India during each visit does not exceed 180 days.

  • Foreigners of Indian origin holding 5 year multiple entry 'X' visa with an endorsement that "continuous stay should not exceed 180 days during each visit".
  • Foreigners holding five-year tourist visa, who are actively engaged in tourism/travel trade, desirous of visiting India frequently over extended periods for promotion of tourism, etc. provided their visas contains an endorsement that "continuous stay should not exceed 180 days during each visit".
  • PIO card holders, if their continuous stay during each visit does not exceed 180 days.
  • Foreigners below the age of 16 years.

 

If any person does not fall into any of the above categories, he may please ensure that he registers with the nearest FRRO within 14 days of his arrival in India.

For registration with the FRRO the following documents are needed:

  • Photocopy of the passport
  • Photocopy of initial visa
  • Four photographs
  • Details of residence in India

 

In addition, depending on the age and purpose of stay in India, please also ensure the following documents:

  • If seeking an extension of stay on the grounds that the spouse is an Indian national, a copy of the marriage certificate.
  • If holding a student visa, a certificate of enrolment and attendance from the University/College/Institution where studying.
  • If holding a journalist visa, accreditation certificate from the Press Information Bureau.
  • If the age is between 16 and 60 years, an HIV test report from an institution recognized by the World Health Organization.

 

FRRO addresses in the 4 metropolitan cities of India are:

  • East Block-VII, Level 2, Sector-1, R. K. Puram, New Delhi-66.  Tel. No. 00 91 11 26711384
  • FRRO/Special Branch II, Badruddin Tayyabji Marg, Mumbai-1.  Tel. No. 00 91 22 22621169, Fax: 22620721
  • 237- A, J.C. Bose Road, Calcutta, Tel. No. 00-91-33-22900549.
  • Shastri Bhawan Annexe, 26, Haddows Road, Chennai.  Tel. No. 00 91 44 23454970, Fax: 23454971

 

In all other places, the District Superintendents of Police act as Foreigners' Registration Officers.

Certificates of registration/Residence Permit issued by the Registration Officers should be surrendered to the Immigration Officer at the port/check post of exit from India. One can also surrender the certificate, just prior to departure, to the FRRO who issued the certificate, but in this case, please get a receipt from the FRRO for production to the immigration authorities at the

point of departure from India. It is desirable to keep a copy of the Residence Permit before surrendering it at the airport.

Please note that registration is required to be done only once during the validity of a visa irrespective of the number of times the foreigner leaves/re-enters India on multi-entry facility.

“Any person seeking a visa to India for purpose of entering into a surrogacy arrangement must ascertain beforehand whether the law of that country permits surrogacy and will provide appropriate travel documents to the child for accompanying the surrogate parents.  Entering into surrogacy arrangement under any other visa not sought for surrogacy is punishable under the Indian law.”

Satellite telephone services are not permitted in India. However, unauthorized handsets of Thuraya, Irridium and other such satellite operators have been found in use since it is possible for individuals to avail satellite telephone services unauthorizedly in the country because satellite foot prints of Thuraya, Inmarsat, Irridium, etc. are available in India. Tata Communications Limited is permitted to provide Inmarsat services in India which is being done through their Land Earth Station (LES) at Dighi (Pune) after a no objection certificate is issued by DOT on a case to case basis. Satellite telephony through Thuraya sets is unauthorized. The unauthorized use of such sets has serious security implications. Therefore whenever Thuraya sets are detected to be in use they should be seized and holder can be prosecuted under section 6 of Indian Wireless Act and section 20 of Indian Telegraph Act. Under the law people including tourists found to be making unauthorized use of satellite telephone services will be prosecuted and all sets found in possession of any individual will be seized.

 
 
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