Handy Tips
PASSPORT AND VISA REQUIREMENTS
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PASSPORT AND VISA REQUIREMENTS

You are advised to contact the Indian Embassy / High Commission / Consulate in your country in order to obtain a visa of entry. Please apply for your visa well in advance. Your travel agent may also be able to help you. Delegates from Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Bangladesh & Sri Lanka should apply minimum 6 weeks in advance.


The Government of India has announced a scheme of granting Tourist Visa on Arrival for he citizens of :
Finland
Luxemburg
New Zealand
Cambodia
Japan
Laos
Vietnam
Philippines


Foreign passengers of countries not mentioned in the above list should ensure that they are in possession of a valid Indian Visa before they start their journey to India except nationals of Nepal and Bhutan who do not require visa to enter India and nationals of Maldives who do not require visa for entry in India for a period up to 90 days. A separate Visa regime exists for diplomatic/official passport holders.


The Consular Passport and Visa (CPV) Division of the Ministry of External Affairs is responsible for issuance of Indian visas to the foreign nationals for their visit for various purposes. This facility is granted through various Indian missions abroad.


Visa fees are non-refundable and subject to change without prior notice. The High Commission reserves the right to grant and decide the type/duration of visa irrespective of the fees tendered at the time of making application. Granting of Visa does not confer the right of entry to India and is subject to the discretion of the Immigration Authorities.


The instruction and information given here is general in nature, however for specific information, you may contact the respective Indian Mission.

VISA PROCEDURE
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VISA PROCEDURE

Visa Application Form - Visa application form is available at the Indian Mission in the country where the applicant resides. Visa form for nationals of Pakistan and Bangladesh are generally different. All NRIs/PIOs, including children (who do not possess OCI or PIO card) need to apply for Visa in separate visa forms


Procedure for obtaining Visa - Visas can be applied for in person or by post at the High Commission of India based in the country from where the candidate intends to depart for India. Specific visas are granted for a variety of purposes that are mentioned below :


1. Travel Visa application requirements
Valid passport
Completed application form. (Nationals of Pakistan and Bangladesh must complete special application forms)
Two passport-size photographs. (Nationals of Pakistan will require five)
Visa fee
Stamped self-addressed delivery envelope for postal applications


2. Types of Applicable Visa


Business Visa- Validity: 6 months. The applicant is required to submit documents in proof of his financial standing. Tourists traveling in groups of not less than four members under the auspices of a recognized travel agency may be considered for grant of collective tourist visa.


Conference Visa - Conference Visas are issued for attending conferences / seminars / meetings in India. The letter of invitation must be submitted along with the visa application. In addition, you should augment you application for a conference visa by enclosing copy of permissions received from the Indian authorities. You may download the same here.


Delegates coming to attend conferences may combine tourism with attending conferences.


3. Visa Fees (subject to change, kindly check with Indian mission in your country)
Visa with validity six months : US$ 30
Visas with validity one year : US$ 50
Visas with validity one to five years : US$100


4. Processing time - Personal applications are processed the same day. Postal applications will take approximately two weeks.

ACCESSIBILITY
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ACCESSIBILITY

New Delhi & Mumbai are the most used entry points for India and many International airlines connect them to all parts of the World. Other international airports at Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Goa, Amritsar, Trivandrum, Guwahati, Ahmedabad, Kochi, Mangalore, Aurangabad, Nagpur, Pune, Jaipur, Trichy, Kanpur and Lucknow too offer numerous options for travelling to India.


Electricity -230-240V, 50 HZ. Sockets accept round pins. Should you wish to use appliances of 110 volts, some hotels may provide adaptors on request. It is advisable to carry universal adaptors.


Language - A host of languages are spoken in India. English is widely spoken or understood except in rural areas.


Currency - The currency in India is the Rupee, which comes in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000. You are requested to use authorized money changers and banks to change currency. They will issue a certificate of exchange which is required at the time of re-conversion of any unused currency. Under the Foreign Exchange Management Act 1999, it is an offence to exchange foreign currency other than through authorized money changers or banks. The currency may be exchanged at the airport on arrival.


Most bank ATMs honor Visa, Visa Electron, Master & Maestro cards and you may use these ATMs also to withdraw money.


Most hotels, shops and other establishments accept credit cards. Master & VISA cards are accepted at almost all such establishments whereas some of them accept Diners and American Express cards as well.

ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE FORMALITIES
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ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE FORMALITIES

Arrival Formalities -


If the visa, for stay in India, is for more than 180 days, following is the requirement :
A Registration Certificate and Residential Permit should be obtained from the nearest Foreigners' Registration Office within 15 days of arrival.
Four photographs are also required for registration
The foreigners registered at Foreigners' Registration Office are required to report change of their addresses
All persons including Indian nationals are required to fill in a Disembarkation Card, at the time of arrival


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 must surrender his Certificate of Registration either to the Registration Officer of the place where he is registered or of the place from where he plans to depart or to the Immigration Officer at the Port / Check-post of exit from India.


Foreign Travel Tax -
Passengers embarking on trips 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 (subject to revision) on trips to Afganistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Srilanka and Maldives. No tax is payable on trips performed by ship from Rameshwaram to Talaimanar and in case of transit passengers, provided they do not leave the customs barrier. Transit passengers travelling by air who have to leave the airport on accout 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.


Customs -
Visitors are generally required to make a 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 Channe -
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. Dutiable articles or unaccompanied baggage or high-value articles 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. The following duty-free possessions are permissible
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
Two tennis rackets
200 cigarettes or 50 cigars
95 litres of liquor, and gifts not exceeding a value of Rs. 600 (about US$15).
Depending on the attitude of the customs' official, one may or may not have to enter a portable computer on a TBRE form.
For more and updated information kindly visit the Central Board of Customs & Excise website :http://www.cbec.gov.in/travellers.htm


Foreign Currency Allowed In India-
There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency or travellers' cheques you may bring into India provided you make a declaration in the Currency Declaration Form given to you on arrival. This will enable you 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, bills, cheques, etc. in convertible currencies, which tourists wish to convert into Indian currency, should be exchanged only through authorised 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 currency other than banks or authorised money changers is an offense under Foreign Exchange Regulations Act 1973.


Leaving India- Indian Rupees are not allowed to be taken out of India. Exchanging them before you depart is the best option. Banking facilities, for the conversion of rupees into foreign currency are usually located in the same airport hall as the check-in counters. It's best to access these facilities before immigration as they are not available thereafter. All animal products, souvenirs, and trophies are subject to the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. The export of skins made from protected wildlife species is not allowed. As a general rule, avoiding such souvenirs that could be made of animal skins (except crocodile-leather goods) is best. Generally, items more than 100 years old cannot be exported without a permit from the Archaeological Survey, which has an office in Delhi. Reputable shops will provide you with the required permit or help you procure it. Items without permits will be detained by Indian Customs if they are believed to be over 100 years old.


Time-
GMT/UTC + 5:30

INSURANCE & LIABILITY
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INSURANCE & LIABILITY

Health - Please consult with your physician regarding health precautions prior to visiting India. If you are coming from or have visited Africa, South America or an area infected with Yellow Fever within five days prior to your arrival in India, proof of inoculation against Yellow Fever is required. The Organizers do not take responsibility for any individual, medical, travel or personal insurance. Participants are advised to secure their own insurance policies as necessary.


TELEPHONE
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TELEPHONE

The Country Code for India is `91´. Landline numbers in major cities like Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore & Chennai have eight digits whereas the numbers in smaller cities could have only 4-7 digits. All mobile numbers are 10 digits.


Area Codes in India are referred to as STD codes. STD codes for some cities are :
Delhi : 11
Mumbai : 22
Kolkata : 33
Chennai : 44
Hyderabad : 40
Bangalore : 80


Dialing from Outside India


1. Landline -
International access code (`00´ or `+') followed by 91, then STD CODE followed by LANDLINE NO., eg. +91 11 XXXXXXXX (`11´ is the STD CODE for Delhi).


2. Mobile -
International access code (`00´ or `+') followed by 91 and the 10-digit MOBILE NO., eg. +91 XXXXXXXXXX.


Dialing Within India


1. From Indian landline to Indian landline -
Local call - Landline no.
Long distance call - 0 then STD Code followed by Landline No.


2. From Indian landline to Indian Mobile -
Local call -10 digit Mobile No.
Long distance call - 0 followed by 10 digit Mobile No.


3. From Indian Mobile to Indian landline -
Local or Long distance calls
0 followed by STD Code, followed by Landline No.


4. From Indian Mobile to Indian Mobile -
Local Call - 10 digit Mobile No.
Long distance call - 0 followed by 10 digits Mobile No.


Dialing out from India to International numbers -
The international access code when dialing out of India is "00" (or `+' when dialing from a mobile phone).

In India both GSM & CDMA (WLL) mobile systems are present. Please contact your mobile service providers to check their roaming partners & tariffs in India. Indian SIM cards may not be easily available due to security restrictions.

FOOD
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FOOD

Indian cuisine differs from region to region. The variety of food you get in India is outstanding. Generally Indian food is spicy and hot. The waiters can be told to make it less spicy. Many restaurants serve Continental, Chinese, Thai, Spanish, French. Mexican, Italian, Lebanese, Mediterranean, and other cuisines. American fast food is very popular and outlets are present in most cities and towns. Tipping is optional but a common practice in India. The usual practice is leaving a 5-10% tip for the services provided.


Tap water is not purified for drinking. Unless you have access to a water filter, or are sure water has been boiled, it is safer to stick to bottled water. Avoid ice in your drinks outside your hotel.

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