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"Documents & Formalities to Visit India PASSPORT Citizens of all countries, except Nepal & Bhutan, require a valid national passport or valid travel documents and a valid visa granted by Missions abroad for entering India. Nepalese or Bhutanese citizens need no passport or visa but should possess suitable documents for their identification when proceeding from their respective countries. It is advisable for all foreign nationals visiting India to carry the passport in person for identification as and when required.
"VISA The general policy of the Government of India is to encourage tourism. Foreigners desirous of visiting India should obtain visa from the Indian Mission in their country. They should possess a valid National Passport-except in the case of nationals of Bhutan & Nepal, who may carry only suitable means of identification.
"TOURIST VISA Is given for 6 months normally; rest specifically depends on the country of residence. The applicant is required to produce / submit documents in proof of his financial standing.
"BUSINESS Visa is valid for one or up to 5 years with multiple entries. A letter from a sponsoring organization indicating nature of business, probable duration of stay, places and organizations to be visited, incorporating therein a guarantee to meet maintenance expenses, etc., should accompany the application.
"STUDENT VISA Are issued for the duration of the academic course of study or for a period of five years whichever is less, on the basis of firm letters of admission from Universities / recognized colleges or educational institutions in India. Change of purpose and institutions are not permissible.
"TRANSIT VISA Are issued for a maximum period of 15 days with single / double entry facilities to bonafide transit passengers only.
"VISA TO MISSIONARIES Are valid for single entry and duration as permitted by government of India. A letter in triplicate from sponsoring organization indicating intended destination in India, probable length of stay and nature of duties to be discharged should be submitted along with guarantee for applicant’s maintenance while in India.
"JOURNALIST VISA Are issued to professional journalists and photographers for visiting India. The applicants are required to contact on arrival in New Delhi, the External Publicity Division of the Ministry of External Affairs and in other places, the Office of the Government of India’s Press Information Bureaus.
"CONFERENCE VISA Are issued for attending conferences / seminars / meetings in India. A letter of invitation from the organizer of the conference is to be submitted along with the visa application. Delegates coming to attend conferences may combine tourism with attending conferences.
"EMPLOYMENT VISA Are issued to skilled and qualified professionals or persons who are engaged or appointed by companies, organizations, economic undertakings as technicians, technical exports, senior executives, etc. Applicants are required to submit proof of contract / employments / engagements of foreign nationals by the company or organization. It is initially granted for a period of one year, it can be extended in India up to the period of contract.
"COLLECTIVE VISA This facility also exists for the issue of collective visas to group tours consisting of not less than four members and sponsored by a travel agency recognized by the Government of India. Such groups may split into smaller groups for visiting different places in India after obtaining a collective “licence to travel” from the immigration authorities in India. However, they must reassemble and depart as the original group.
"RECREATION Foreigners wishing to undertake any international sporting event, trekking, botanical expeditions, yoga, journalists, media men, documentary and feature film makers may obtain visas after due formalities from the Indian Embassy.
"RECREATION Foreigners wishing to undertake any international sporting event, trekking, botanical expeditions, yoga, journalists, media men, documentary and feature film makers may obtain visas after due formalities from the Indian Embassy.
"EXEMPTION FROM REGISTRATION Foreigners coming to India on tourist visas for 180 days or shorter period are not required to register themselves with any authority in India. They can move about freely in India, except to restricted/protected areas and prohibited places. Nationals of Bangladesh are exempted from registration up to six months. If their stay exceeds six months, they have to register themselves. Individuals without nationality (stateless persons; IRO refugees, persons receiving legal or political protection, holders of Nansen passport etc.) should have valid passports, identity documents or sworn affidavits along with the visa for which they should apply two months in advance. Pakistan nationals are required to register themselves within 24 hours of their arrival with the nearest police station. Those holding a long-term multiple entry visa do not require ‘Intended Departure Clearance’ from the city office when leaving the country. Accredited journalists are given the ‘Intended Departure Clearance at the airport. Family passports issued by other governments are recognized without discrimination.
"The address of the FRRO are as follows: Foreigners Regional Registration Officer Homs Bhawan, Ist Floor Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg New Delhi – 110002, Tel: 2331 9489/1231 extn.
"Chief Immigration Officer, Bureau of Immigration Sastri Bhawan Annexe, No. 26 Haddows Road Chennai – 600 006 Tel: 2827 7036 Timings – Mon to Fri 0930 to 1330 hrs and 1400 to 1600 hrs. For those who are not residing in the areas mentioned above, they should contact the following office: Joint Secretary (Foreigners) Ministry of Home Affairs, 1st Floor, Lok Nayak Bhawan, Khan Market, New Delhi – 110 003. Landing Permit Facility Tourists may note the no Landing Permit Facility is available to any foreign tourist landing without a visa. A limited facility exists only for group tours consisting of four or more members and sponsored by a travel agency recognized by the Government of India. Children of foreigners of Indian origin below the age of 12 may be granted a landing permit by the immigration authorities up to a period of 90 days to see their relatives, in case they happen to come without a visa. Tourist Groups A tourist group arriving by air, ship or by a chartered or scheduled flight may be granted a collective landing permit for a period of 30 days by the immigration authorities on landing, provided the group is sponsored by a recognized travel agency and a pre-drawn itinerary is presented along with details of passport etc. of the members, and the travel agency gives an undertaking to conduct the group together. Extension of Visa As a rule no extension of stay is granted on a Tourist Visa. However, in exceptional case if extension is allowed then an extension fee is levied which varies from country to country. Special Permits Some areas in India, usually border districts, are out of bounds for normal travelers due to political and security reasons. However, some of these are extremely beautiful and fascinating places, their remoteness lending them a special quality, and special permits may be procured if one wishes to visit them. Permits are usually provided to groups and for a limited number of days. There is no extra charge for acquiring the permits and they may be obtained from the Indian Mission abroad or governmental agencies within India. Customs, Formalities & Regulations 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. There are two channels for clearance: Green Channel For passengers not in possession of any dutiable articles or unaccompanied baggage. Red Channel For passengers with dutiable articles or unaccompanied baggage or high value articles to be entered on the tourist Baggage Re-Export Form.
"CURRENCY REGULATIONS 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, bill, cheques, etc. in convertible currencies, which tourists wish to convert into Indian currency, should be exchanged only through authorized 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 currencies with other than banks or authorized money changers is an offense under Foreign Exchange Regulations Act 1973.
"ARRIVAL & DEPATURE FORMALITIES Arrival Formalities 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. All persons including Indian nationals are required to fill in a Disembarkation Card, at the time of arrival. Four photographs are also required for registration. The foreigners registered at Foreigners’ Registration Office are required to report about change of their addresses. Departure from India 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. Exit Formalities Every foreigner who is about to depart finally from India shall surrender his Certificate of Registration either to the Registration Officer of the place where he is registered or of the place from where he intends to depart or to the Immigration Officer at the Port/Check post of exit from India. HEALTH REGULATIONS Foreign tourists should be in possession of their Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate conforming to International Health Regulation, if they are originating or transiting through Yellow Fever endemic countries. FOREIGN TRAVEL TAX Passengers embarking on journeys 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 journeys to Afganistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Srilanka and Maldives. No tax is payable on journeys 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.

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