IMMIGRATION RULES

Immigration | Currency Declaration, Customs and Baggage Rules | On Arrivial

India is rapidly gaining ground in the international scenario as a popular destination for foreign travelers, international students, and even for some others who opt to migrate to this mystical land, which has caught much of their fancy and amazement. The country, which had been reeling under the onslaught of a British colonial rule, managed to fight all odds and create a niche for itself in less than 60 years since its independence. It has metamorphosed into one of the most sought after destinations for travel, much due to the presence of several renowned world heritage sites, and an inherent spiritualistic force, which pulls enthusiastic travelers towards it. But, in spite of being a major revenue puller for the Indian economy, tourism is not the only contender, as an international standardization of Indian education has made its presence known amongst other stalwarts.

India provides a unique picture of herself in the global map. Since long, travelers of all sorts have made their way to the country to catch a glimpse of some of the world's most famous historic sites and monuments that are reminiscent of the country's rich cultural heritage. Taj Mahal in Agra is one such landmark, which has been inducted into the list of the Seven Wonders of the World, owing to its unique architectural beauty and historic relevance. Moreover, the spiritual fervour that the country evokes is another reason for which foreigners come to the country, and also inculcate traces of it into their lives.

Immigration

Immigration Formalities in India

There is no provision of 'Visa on Arrival' in India and no fee is charged for immigration facilities at the airports. However, there is a provision of granting TLF (Temporary Landing Facility) / TLP (Temporary Landing Permit) to allow entry of foreigners arriving in emergent situations like death/serious illness in the family, without an Indian Visa on cash payment of US$ 40/- (Indian Rupee equivalent i.e. Rs. 1935/-).

This facility can also be extended to transiting foreigners having confirmed onward journey tickets within 72 hours. Apart from this, foreign tourists in groups of four or more arriving by Air or Sea, sponsored by recognized Indian Travel Agencies and with a pre-drawn itinerary can be granted collective landing permit for a specified period of time on the written request of the Travel Agencies to the Immigration officer giving full personal and passport details of the group members and undertaking to conduct the group as per the itinerary and an assurance that no individual would be allowed to drop out from the group at any place.

The immigration services at the major International Airports in India and the foreigners' registration work in five major cities, are handled by the Bureau of Immigration (BOI).

The above mentioned provisions of TLF/TLP, however, are not available to the nationals of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Somalia, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Algeria.

Citizens of all countries, except Nepal and Bhutan, require a national passport or travel documents and a visa granted by Indian Missions abroad for entering India. Nepalese or Bhutanese citizens need no passport or visa but should possess documents for their identification when proceeding from their countries.

If your baggage is mishandled or lost in transit, obtain a certificate to this effect from the airline and have it countersigned by the Customs.

Customs Enquiry/Complaints

Assistant Collector of Customs at the International Airport OR Commissioner of Customs, New Customs House, Near IGI Airport, New Delhi - 110 037.

A Foreign Travel Tax must be paid by all tourists on departure; Rs 150 for departures to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Maldives and Rs 500 for all other countries.

Lost of Passport

  • Foreigners should file a report with the local police regarding loss of passport.
  • After obtaining new travel document the foreigner should approach for grant of Visa/Exit Permit with the following details, Date & type of visa,
    • Name of Indian Mission from where visa was granted,
    • Port of arrival including flight number/details of vassels,
    • Places visited in India
  • Atleast one week time is required for confirming the details and Visa/Exit Permit can be granted after one week.

Currency Declaration, Customs and Baggage Rules:-

Currency Declaration
The unit of the Indian currency is the Rupee.

Travelers can bring into India any amount of foreign exchange, subject to the condition that on arrival a declaration is made to the custom authorities in a Currency Declaration Form. It is necessary to fill out a declaration form if the foreign exchange exceeds US$ 10,000 or its equivalent and /or the aggregate value of foreign currency notes is US$ 5,000 or its equivalent.

Travelers Cheques in US$ and pounds are easily exchangeable and ATMs are available in major Indian cities. Credit cards are accepted in hotels and large stores.

The Financial Year in India is from 1st April to 31st March.

Exchange Rate
1 USD 47.8600
1 Euro 66.8100
1 GBP 79.1147
1 Yen 40.6300
Source: Reserve Bank of India (as on 31st March, 2009)

Customs and Baggage Rules
There are two channels for customs clearance:-

  • Green Channel for passengers not having any dutiable goods.
  • Red Channel for passengers having dutiable goods.

Passengers walking through the Green Channel with dutiable / prohibited goods are liable to prosecution/penalty and confiscation of goods.

On Arrivial

Instructions for Foreignor

However, there is a provision of granting TLF (Temporary Landing Facility) / TLP (Temporary Landing Permit) to allow entry of foreigners arriving in emergent situations like death/serious illness in the family, without an Indian Visa on cash payment of US$ 40/- (Indian Rupee equivalent i.e. Rs. 1935/-). This facility can also be extended to transiting foreigners having confirmed onward journey tickets within 72 hours. Apart from this, foreign tourists in groups of four or more arriving by Air or Sea, sponsored by recognized Indian Travel Agencies and with a pre-drawn itinerary can be granted collective landing permit for a specified period of time on the written request of the Travel Agencies to the Immigration officer giving full personal and passport details of the group members and undertaking to conduct the group as per the itinerary and an assurance that no individual would be allowed to drop out from the group at any place.

The above mentioned provisions of TLF/TLP, however, are not available to the nationals of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Somalia, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Algeria.

Immigration check is done for all passengers, Indians or foreigners, both at the time of arrival and departure. The passports are duly stamped at arrival as well as departure. Passengers should be careful to see that their passports are duly stamped before leaving the immigration counter.

All passengers, Foreigners as well as Indians, coming to India or departing from India are required to fill-up D (Disembarkation) Card and E (Embarkation) Cards on arrival and departure respectively. The following information’s are required to be provided by the passengers in these cards: -

  • Name and Gender
  • Date of birth, Place of Birth, Nationality
  • Passport details viz. number, place and dates of issue/expiry.
  • Visa details viz. number, place and dates of issue/expiry (for arriving foreigners only)
  • Address in India
  • Flight number and date of arrival/departure
  • Occupation
  • Purpose of visit to/from India