India Travel whether for tourism, business, studies or other purposes requires a valid passport and an entry visa. Visas can be obtained and issued from the Indian Embassies or Indian High Commissions abroad. One thing value memorizing is that the entry visas are not issued at the entry point. A passenger found guilty of travelling without an entry visa is captive and expelled.
The Passport of the person concerned applying for the visa should be valid for a minimum of six months beyond the date of intended departure from India. Foreigners holding nationality of any other country is obligatory to submit proof of long-term (at least three years)/ permanent residence in the country from where they are applying.
The visas can be of different categories; the major one being the tourist visa, business visa, student visa, and transit visa, visa for missionaries, journalist visa, conference visa and employment visa. Dependent on the individual and precise requirement, these visas can be obtained from the respective High Commission of India or the Indian Embassy abroad.
If you are an overseas traveller and visiting India for 180 days or a shorter period, then you don't need to register yourself with any authority in the country. You can freely move about in the country, except to the prohibited places and restricted and protected regions.
If the overseas travellers coming to India are creating or transiting through Yellow Fever endemic countries, then they must possess Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate conforming to International Health Regulations.
Guests are usually required to make an oral baggage announcement of the baggage and foreign currency in their possession. They also have to obtain the Currency Declaration Form from the Customs department. They are also guaranteed to fill in the Disembarkation Card handed over to them by the airlines during the sequence of the flight.
For the smooth way of the travellers at the airport check-in counters, two channels have been provided. One is green channel, meant for passengers not having any of the dutiable articles or alone baggage. On the contrary, for passengers with dutiable articles or alone baggage or high-value articles (to be entered on the Traveller Baggage Re-Export Form), the red channel is there at service.
The Dutiable articles, alone baggage, or high-value articles carried along with the passenger must be entered on a Tourist Baggage Re-Export Form (TBRE). These articles must be re-exported at the time of departure. A failure to re-export anything listed on the TBRE becomes a payable duty levied for each missing item.
Cash, bank notes, and travellers’ cheques up to US $1,000 or equal need not be declared at the time of entry. If the amount exceeds the given limit then the passenger has to disclose in the Currency Declaration Form, the amount of foreign currency or travellers’ cheques brought by him/her at the time of arrival. If done then there are no limitations. This will not only enable him to exchange the currency brought in, but also to take the remaining currency way to home on departure. Any money in the form of travellers’ cheques, drafts, bills, cheques, etc., in exchangeable currencies that travellers wish to convert into Indian currency should be exchanged only through authorized moneychangers and banks.
The following duty-free belongings are allowable: clothes and jewellery, cameras and up to five rolls of film; binoculars, a portable musical instrument, a radio or portable tape recorder, a tent and camping equipment, fishing rod, a pair of skis, 200 cigarettes or 49 cigars, 94 liters of liquor, and gifts not exceeding a value of Rs. 550 (about $20).
There is no limit to carrying items of personal effects for travellers (other than citizens of Nepalese and Bhutanese origin) coming from their own countries. Articles that exceed the duty-free allowance and articles imported as alone baggage can be cleared on payment of duty at the rate of 61.1% ad valorem. However, cigarettes exceeding 200, cigars exceeding 49 tobaccos exceeding 250 g, and intoxicating liquor and wine in extra of one litre each will attract higher duty. Separate rates of duty have been fixed for gold and silver.