U.S. Embassy & Consulates in India
Social / search, alerts and messages, level 2: reissued with updates to health information. read more.
- Demonstration Alert – U.S. Consulate General in Hyderabad, India (28 October, 2023) (28 October, 2023)
- Worldwide Caution (20 October, 2023)
- Demonstration Alert – U.S. Consulate General Chennai, India (17 October, 2023)
- Demonstration Alert – U.S. Consulate General Chennai, India (13 October, 2023)
- Weather Alert- U.S. Consulate General Kolkata, India (10 October, 2023)
- Demonstration Alert – U.S. Consulate General Chennai, India (28 September, 2023)
- Travel Alert for U.S. Citizens: Violence and Unrest in Manipur (15 May, 2023)
- Alert: Explosions in Amritsar – Maintain Vigilance (13 May, 2023)
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Caution November 6, 2023
Worldwide caution, update november 6, 2023, information for u.s. citizens in the middle east.
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Travel Advisory June 23, 2023
India - level 2: exercise increased caution.
Reissued with updates to health information.
Exercise increased caution in India due to crime and terrorism.
Do not travel to:
- The union territory of Jammu and Kashmir (except the eastern Ladakh region and its capital, Leh) due to terrorism and civil unrest .
- Within 10 km of the India-Pakistan border due to the potential for armed conflict .
Country Summary : Indian authorities report rape is one of the fastest growing crimes in India. Violent crime, such as sexual assault, has occurred at tourist sites and in other locations.
Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and government facilities.
The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in rural areas from eastern Maharashtra and northern Telangana through western West Bengal as U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization to travel to these areas.
Read the country information page for additional information on travel to India.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined India has a moderate level of COVID-19. Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.
If you decide to travel to India:
- Do not travel alone, particularly if you are a woman. Visit our website for Women Travelers .
- Review your personal security plans and remain alert to your surroundings.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program ( STEP ) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter .
- Review the Country Security Report for India.
- Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist .
Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir – Level 4: Do Not Travel
Terrorist attacks and violent civil unrest are possible in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Avoid all travel to this state (with the exception of visits to the eastern Ladakh region and its capital, Leh). Sporadic violence occurs particularly along the Line of Control (LOC) separating India and Pakistan, and in tourist destinations in the Kashmir Valley: Srinagar, Gulmarg, and Pahalgam. The Indian government prohibits foreign tourists from visiting certain areas along the LOC.
Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas .
India-Pakistan Border – Level 4: Do Not Travel
India and Pakistan maintain a strong military presence on both sides of the border. The only official India-Pakistan border crossing point for persons who are not citizens of India or Pakistan is in the state of Punjab between Attari, India, and Wagah, Pakistan. The border crossing is usually open but confirm the current status of the border crossing prior to commencing travel. A Pakistani visa is required to enter Pakistan. Only U.S. citizens residing in India may apply for a Pakistani visa in India. Otherwise apply for a Pakistani visa in your country of residence before traveling to India.
Northeastern States – Level 4: Do Not Travel
Incidents of violence by ethnic insurgent groups, including bombings of buses, trains, rail lines, and markets, occur occasionally in the northeast.
U.S. government employees at the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in India are prohibited from traveling to the states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Manipur without special authorization from the U.S. Consulate General in Kolkata.
Central and East India – Level 4: Do Not Travel
Maoist extremist groups, or “Naxalites,” are active in a large swath of India from eastern Maharashtra and northern Telangana through western West Bengal, particularly in rural parts of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand and on the borders of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, and Odisha. The Naxalites have conducted frequent terrorist attacks on local police, paramilitary forces, and government officials.
Due to the fluid nature of the threat, all U.S. government travelers to states with Naxalite activity must receive special authorization from the U.S. consulate responsible for the area to be visited. U.S. officials traveling only to the capital cities in these states do not need prior authorization.
Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas .
View Alerts and Messages Archive
Must be valid for six months beyond date of visa application to obtain a visa.
Two pages required.
Yes. Travelers must enter in either on a paper visa, valid for 10 years for U.S. citizens, or an e-tourist visa.
Required for yellow fever if the traveler is arriving from an infected area; others are suggested.
The possession of satellite phones is prohibited in India; Currency in excess of USD $5,000 must be declared. Please check with the Indian Embassy in Washington if you are planning to carry a large amount of currency into India.
Check local law for reporting requirements for exiting with large quantities of foreign currency and Indian rupees.
Embassies and Consulates
U.s. embassy new delhi.
Shantipath, Chanakyapuri New Delhi - 110021 India Telephone: +(91) (11) 2419-8000 Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(91) (11) 2419-8000 Fax: +(91) (11) 2419-0017 [email protected]
The U.S. Embassy, New Delhi serves American citizens in the Indian states of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh, the union territories of Chandigarh, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, and the country of Bhutan.
U.S. Consulate General Mumbai (Bombay) C-49, G-Block, Bandra Kurla Complex Bandra East, Mumbai 400051 India Telephone: +(91) (22) 2672-4000 Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(91) (22) 2672-4000 If you are calling from within India, but outside Mumbai, first dial 022. Fax: 91-(0)22-2672-4786 [email protected]
The Consulate General in Mumbai provides consular services for the states of Goa, Gujarat, Chhatisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra, and the union territory of Diu and Daman, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
U.S. Consulate General Kolkata (Calcutta) 5/1 Ho Chi Minh Sarani Kolkata - 700 071, West Bengal, India Telephone: +(91) (33) 3984-2400 Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(91) 99030 42956 or +(91) (33) 3984-2400 then dial "0" Fax: +(91) (33) 2282-2335
The United States Consulate General in Kolkata provides consular services for the states of Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Tripura and Assam. [email protected]
U.S. Consulate General Chennai (Madras) 220 Anna Salai at Gemini Circle Chennai, India 600006 Telephone: +(91) (44) 2857-4000 Emergency After-Hours Telephone: (0) 44-2857-4000. Ask for American Citizen Services.(Within India, but outside Chennai, first dial 044. From the United States, first dial 011-(91) (44) ) Fax: +(91) (044) 2811-2020
The Consulate General in Chennai provides consular services for the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, and the Union Territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Pondicherry and Lakshwadeep Islands. [email protected]
U.S. Consulate General Hyderabad Paigah Palace 1-8-323, Chiran Fort Lane Begumpet, Secunderabad 500 003 Hyderabad, India Telephone: +(91) (40) 4033-8300 Emergency After-Hours Telephone: 4033-8300, and ask for American Citizen Services.(If calling from within India, but outside Hyderabad, first dial 040. From the United States, first dial 011-(91) (40) .) Fax: 4033-8306
The Consulate General in Hyderabad provides services to the U.S. citizens in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Odisha. [email protected]
Learn about the U.S. relationship to countries around the world.
Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements
All U.S. citizens need a valid passport as well as a valid Indian visa or an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card, to enter and exit India for any purpose. Travelers without valid documents or the correct type of visa may be denied entry into India. Indian visa regulations and instructions change frequently, often with little advance notice. Travelers are urged to check the website of the Indian Embassy in Washington, D.C. before any travel to India to review the most current information. The U.S. Embassy and Consulates General in India cannot assist you if you arrive without proper documentation.
U.S. citizens seeking to enter India solely for tourist purposes for stays of less than 60 days may apply for an eVisa at least four days prior to their arrival. Please visit the Indian government's website for electronic travel authorization for additional information and to submit an application.
U.S. citizens seeking to enter India as a tourist for longer than 60 days or for any other purpose must apply for a visa from an Indian embassy or consulate. The Government of India has appointed VFS Global to assist with visa services to individuals in the United States. Applicants may apply for Indian visas through the application link https://visa.vfsglobal.com/usa/en/ind/apply-visa .
Diplomatic and Official visa applications are accepted directly at the Indian Embassy and Consulates. All U.S. government employees traveling on official orders, including military personnel, must obtain country clearance for travel to India. Once you have received your visa, check it carefully to ensure that the type of visa and number of entries is appropriate for your travel plans.
Keep copies of your U.S. passport data page, as well as the pages containing the Indian visa and Indian immigration stamps with you at all times. Consider downloading these documents to your mobile phone in case of emergency. If your passport is lost or stolen, copies will help you apply for a replacement passport and an exit visa from the Indian government. Replacing a lost visa, which is required in order to exit the country, may take four or five business days.
U.S. citizens of Pakistani origin or descent are subject to administrative processing and should expect additional delays when applying for Indian visas.
Foreign citizens who visit India to study, do research, work, or act as missionaries, as well as all travelers and residents planning to stay more than 180 days, are required to register their visit or residency within 14 days of arrival with the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) closest to where they will be staying in addition to having the appropriate visa when they enter India. The FRRO maintains offices in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bengaluru (Bangalore), Lucknow, Calicut, Goa, Cochin, Trivandrum, and Amritsar. District Superintendents of Police serve as Foreigners Registration Officers (FROs) in all other places. We recommend all U.S. citizens review the entry requirements described on the Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) section on the Indian Bureau of Immigration website.
If you overstay your Indian visa, or otherwise violate Indian visa regulations, you may require clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs to leave the country. Generally, you will be fined and, in some cases, may be jailed for months. Visa violators seeking an exit permit must visit the Foreigners Regional Registration Office portal to submit the application and pay any levied fines. Processing of an exit permit under these circumstances can take up to 90 days and decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis.
For the most current information on entry and exit requirements, please contact the Embassy of India at 2536 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008, telephone (202) 939-9806 or the Indian Consulates in Atlanta , Chicago , Houston , New York , or San Francisco . Outside the United States, inquiries should be made at the nearest Indian embassy or consulate.
General information regarding Indian visa and immigration rules, including the addresses and telephone numbers for the FRRO offices, can be found at the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs Bureau of Immigration website .
HIV/AIDS RESTRICTIONS: There are no disclosure requirements or restrictions for HIV/AIDS patients who enter India on a tourist visa. Disclosure regarding HIV/AIDS is required of anyone seeking a resident permit in India. Foreign residents found to be suffering from HIV/AIDS will be deported. Please verify this information with the Embassy of India before you travel.
Find information on dual nationality , prevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.
Safety and Security
U.S. citizens should always practice good personal security and situational awareness. Be aware of your surroundings (including local customs and etiquette) and keep a low profile. Monitor local news reports, vary your routes and times in carrying out daily activities, and consider the level of security present when you visit public places, including religious sites, and when choosing hotels, restaurants, and entertainment and recreation venues.
India continues to experience terrorist and insurgent activities which may affect U.S. citizens directly or indirectly. Anti-Western terrorist groups, some on the U.S. government's list of foreign terrorist organizations, are active in India, including Islamist extremist groups such as Harkat-ul-Jihad-i-Islami, Harakat ul-Mujahidin, Indian Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammed, and Lashkar-e Tayyiba. The U.S. government occasionally receives information regarding possible terrorist attacks that could take place in India, monitors such information to determine credibility, and advises U.S. citizens accordingly. Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive messages from the Embassy automatically.
Past attacks have targeted public places, including some frequented by Westerners, such as luxury and other hotels, trains, train stations, markets, cinemas, mosques, and restaurants in large urban areas. Attacks have taken place during the busy evening hours in markets and other crowded places, but could occur at any time. Alerts are usually more frequent around major holidays. The Maoists (also known as “Naxalites”) are the most active insurgent group in India. The Naxalites typically attack Indian government officials, but have also derailed trains, targeted other government buildings such as police stations, and conducted other criminal activity. In eastern India’s Bihar state, 10 security personnel were killed and five injured in a Naxalite-triggered Improvised Explosive Device blast on July 18, 2016. In the eastern state of Jharkhand, seven policemen were killed and eight others injured in a landmine blast by Naxalites on January 27, 2016.
Beyond the threat from terrorism and insurgencies, demonstrations and general strikes, or “bandh,” often cause major inconvenience and unrest. These strikes can result in the stoppage of all transportation and tourist-related services, at times for 24 hours or more. U.S. citizens caught in such a strike may find they are unable to make flight and rail connections, as local transportation can be severely limited. Local media generally give an idea of the length and geographical location of the strike. Large religious gatherings that attract hundreds of thousands of people can result in dangerous and often life-threatening stampedes. Local demonstrations can begin spontaneously and escalate with little warning, disrupting transportation systems and city services and posing risks to travelers. In response to such events, Indian authorities occasionally impose curfews and/or restrict travel. You are urged to obey such curfews and travel restrictions and to avoid demonstrations and rallies as they have the potential for violence, especially immediately preceding and following political rallies, elections, and religious festivals (particularly when Hindu and Muslim festivals coincide). Tensions between castes and religious groups can also result in disruptions and violence. In some cases, demonstrators specifically block roads near popular tourist sites and disrupt train operations in order to gain the attention of Indian authorities; occasionally vehicles transporting tourists are attacked in these incidents. India generally goes on “High Alert” status prior to major holidays or events. You should monitor local television, print media, Mission India’s American Citizens Services Facebook page, and enroll with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program for further information about the current situation in areas where you will travel.
The U.S. Embassy and U.S. Consulates General in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai will post information about routine demonstrations on the U.S. Embassy and U.S. Consulates General websites, under the heading “Demonstration Notices.” Please monitor our websites regularly for information about protest activities in the country. Please note that the Embassy and Consulates General will issue emergency/security messages for other purposes, as necessary.
Religious violence occasionally occurs in India, especially when tensions between different religious communities are purposefully exacerbated by groups pushing religiously chauvinistic agendas. There are active "anti-conversion" laws in some Indian states, and acts of conversion sometimes elicit violent reactions from Hindu extremists. Foreigners suspected of proselytizing Hindus have been attacked and killed in conservative, rural areas in India in the past.
Swimming in India: You should exercise caution if you intend to swim in open waters along the Indian coastline, particularly during the monsoon season. Every year, several people in Goa, Mumbai, Puri (Odisha), off the Eastern Coast in the Bay of Bengal, and other areas drown due to strong undertows. It is important to heed warnings posted at beaches and to avoid swimming in the ocean during the monsoon season. Trained lifeguards are very rare along beaches.
If you visit the Andaman Islands, be aware that there have been reports of crocodile attacks in salt water resulting in fatalities. Ask local residents about dangerous sea life before swimming and keep a safe distance from animals at all times.
Wildlife safaris: India offers opportunities for observation of wildlife in its natural habitat and many tour operators and lodges advertise structured, safe excursions into parks and other wildlife viewing areas for close observation of flora and fauna. However, safety standards and training vary, and it is a good idea to ascertain whether operators are trained and licensed. Even animals marketed as “tame” should be respected as wild and extremely dangerous. Keep a safe distance from animals at all times, remaining in vehicles or other protected enclosures when venturing into game parks.
Trekking in India: Trekking expeditions should be limited to routes identified for this purpose by local authorities. Use only registered trekking agencies, porters, and guides, suspend trekking after dark, camp at designated camping places, and travel in groups rather than individually or with one or two companions. Altitudes in popular trekking spots can be as high as 25,170 feet (7,672 m); please make sure that you have had a recent medical checkup to ensure that you are fit to trek at these altitudes and carry sufficient medical insurance that includes medical evacuation coverage.
Train Travel: India has the third largest rail network in the world, and train travel in India generally is safe. Nevertheless, accidents and on-board fires are sometimes caused by aging infrastructure, poorly maintained equipment, overcrowding, and operator errors. Train accidents and fires have resulted in the death and serious injury of passengers.
Areas of Instability: Jammu & Kashmir: The Department of State strongly recommends that you avoid travel to the union territory of Jammu & Kashmir because of the potential for terrorist incidents as well as violent public unrest. A number of terrorist groups operate in the territory targeting security forces, particularly along the Line of Control (LOC) separating Indian and Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, and those stationed in primary tourist destinations in the Kashmir Valley: Srinagar, Gulmarg, and Pahalgam. Since 1989, as many as 70,000 people (terrorists, security forces, and civilians) have been killed in the Kashmir conflict. Foreigners are particularly visible, vulnerable, and at risk. In the past, serious communal violence left the territory mostly paralyzed due to massive strikes and business shutdowns, and U.S. citizens have had to be evacuated by local police. The Indian government prohibits foreign tourists from visiting certain areas along the LOC (see the section on Restricted Areas, below).
India-Pakistan Border: The Department of State recommends that you avoid travel to areas within ten kilometers of the border between India and Pakistan. Both India and Pakistan maintain a strong military presence on both sides of the border. The only official India-Pakistan border crossing point for persons who are not citizens of India or Pakistan is in the state of Punjab between Atari, India, and Wagah, Pakistan. The border crossing is usually open, but you are advised to confirm the current status of the border crossing prior to commencing travel. A Pakistani visa is required to enter Pakistan. Only U.S. citizens residing in India may apply for a Pakistani visa in India. Otherwise you should apply for a Pakistani visa in your country of residence before traveling to India.
Both India and Pakistan claim an area of the Karakoram mountain range that includes the Siachen glacier. Travel or mountain climbing in this area is highly dangerous. The disputed area includes the following peaks: Rimo Peak; Apsarasas I, II, and III; Tegam Kangri I, II and III; Suingri Kangri; Ghiant I and II; Indira Col; and Sia Kangri. Check with the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi for information on current conditions.
Northeastern states: Incidents of violence by ethnic insurgent groups, including bombings of buses, trains, rail lines, and markets, occur occasionally in the northeast. While U.S. citizens have not been specifically targeted, it is possible that you could be affected as a bystander. If you travel to the northeast, you should avoid travel by train at night, travel outside major cities at night, and crowds. U.S. government employees at the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in India are prohibited from traveling to the states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Manipur without permission from the U.S. Consulate General in Kolkata. Restricted Area Permits are required for foreigners to visit certain Northeastern states (see the section on Restricted Areas, below.) Contact the U.S. Consulate General in Kolkata for information on current conditions.
East Central and Southern India: Maoist extremist groups, or “Naxalites,” are active in East Central India primarily in rural areas. The Naxalites have a long history of conflict with state and national authorities, including frequent terrorist attacks on local police, paramilitary forces, and government officials, and are responsible for more attacks in the country than any other organization through an ongoing campaign of violence and intimidation Naxalites have not specifically targeted U.S. citizens but have attacked symbolic targets that have included Western companies and rail lines. While Naxalite violence does not normally occur in places frequented by foreigners, there is a risk that visitors could become victims of violence.
Naxalites are active in a large swath of India from eastern Maharashtra and northern Telangana through western West Bengal, particularly in rural parts of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand and on the borders of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, and Odisha. Due to the fluid nature of the threat, all U.S. government travelers to states with Naxalite activity must receive authorization from the U.S. Consulate responsible for the area to be visited. U.S. officials traveling only to the capital cities in these states do not need prior authorization.
Restricted/Protected areas: While the Indian Government has designated that travelers to “portions” of certain areas need special advance permission, actual practice has been to require a permit to enter any portion of certain states or territories. Areas requiring a permit include:
- The state of Arunachal Pradesh
- Portions of the state of Sikkim
- Portions of the state of Himachal Pradesh near the Chinese border
- Portions of the state of Uttarakhand (Uttaranchal) near the Chinese border
- Portions of the state of Rajasthan near the Pakistani border
- Portions of the union territory of Jammu & Kashmir near the Line of Control with Pakistan and certain portions of the union territory of Ladakh
- The union territory of Andaman & Nicobar Islands
- The union territory of the Laccadives Islands (Lakshadweep)
- Portions of the state of Manipur
- Portions of the state of Mizoram
- Portions of the state of Nagaland
More information about travel to/in restricted/protected areas can be found from India’s Bureau of Immigration .
“Restricted Area Permits" are available outside India at Indian embassies and consulates abroad, or in India from the Ministry of Home Affairs (Foreigners Division) at Jaisalmer House, 26 Man Singh Road, New Delhi. The states of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim maintain official guesthouses in New Delhi, which can also issue Restricted Area Permits for their respective states for certain travelers. While visiting Mamallapuram (Mahabalipuram) in Tamil Nadu, be aware the Indira Gandhi Atomic Research Center, Kalpakkam, is located just south of the site and is not clearly marked as a restricted and dangerous area.
For the latest security information, travelers should enroll in STEP to receive updated security information and regularly monitor travel information available from the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi as well as the U.S. Consulates General in Mumbai (Bombay), Chennai (Madras), Hyderabad , and Kolkata (Calcutta).
CRIME: Petty crime, especially theft of personal property (including U.S. passports), is common, particularly on trains or buses, at airports, and in major tourist areas. Pickpockets can be very adept and women have reported having their bags snatched, purse-straps cut, or the bottom of their purses slit without their knowledge. If you are traveling by train, lock your sleeping compartments and take your valuables with you when leaving your berth. If you travel by air, be careful with your bags in the arrival and departure areas outside airports. Violent crime, especially directed against foreigners, has traditionally been uncommon, although in recent years there has been a modest increase. Be cautious about displaying cash or expensive items to reduce the chance of being a target for robbery or other crime, and be aware of your surroundings when you use ATMs. ATM card scams have been used to clone credit card details to withdraw money.
Sexual Assault: Travelers should be aware that there have been reported cases of sexual assault, including rape, of U.S. citizens traveling throughout India. U.S. citizens, particularly women, are cautioned not to travel alone in India. Women traveling in India are advised to respect local dress and customs. Customary everyday dress for Indian women throughout the country is conservative, and even more so in non-urban areas, with women wearing clothing that covers their legs and shoulders. Exceptions are vacation resorts catering to foreign clientele and some neighborhoods of the major cities of New Delhi and Mumbai. Western women, especially those of African descent, continue to report incidents of verbal and physical harassment by individuals and groups of men. Known locally as “Eve-teasing,” these incidents of sexual harassment can be quite frightening and can quickly cross the line from verbal to physical. Sexual harassment can occur anytime or anywhere, but most frequently has happened in crowded areas such as in market places, train stations, buses, and public streets. The harassment can range from sexually suggestive or lewd comments to catcalls to outright groping. The Government of India has focused greater attention on addressing issues of gender violence. One outcome has been greater reporting of incidences of sexual assault country-wide, and Indian authorities report rape is one of the fastest growing crimes in India. Among large cities, Delhi experienced the highest number of reported crimes against women. Although most victims have been local residents, recent sexual attacks against female visitors in tourist areas across India underline the fact that foreign women are at risk and should exercise vigilance.
Women should observe stringent security precautions, including avoiding use of public transport after dark without the company of known and trustworthy companions, restricting evening entertainment to well-known venues, and avoiding isolated areas when alone at any time of day. Keep your hotel room number confidential and make sure hotel room doors have chains, deadlocks, and peep holes. Travel with groups of friends rather than alone. In addition, only hire reliable cars and drivers and avoid traveling alone in hired taxis, especially at night. Use taxis from hotels and pre-paid taxis at airports rather than hailing them on the street. If you encounter threatening situations, call “100” for police assistance (“112” from mobile phones).
Scams: Major airports, train stations, popular restaurants, and tourist sites are often used by scam artists looking to prey on visitors, often by creating a distraction. Beware of taxi drivers and others, including train porters, who solicit travelers with "come-on" offers of cheap transportation and/or hotels. Travelers accepting such offers have frequently found themselves the victims of scams, including offers to assist with "necessary" transfers to the domestic airport, disproportionately expensive hotel rooms, unwanted "tours," unwelcome "purchases," extended cab rides, and even threats when the tourists decline to pay. There have been reports of tourists being lured, held hostage and extorted for money in the face of threats of violence against the traveler and his/her family members.
You should exercise care when hiring transportation and/or guides and use only well-known travel agents to book trips. Some scam artists have lured travelers by displaying their name on a sign when they leave the airport. Another popular scam is to drop money or to squirt something on the clothing of an unsuspecting traveler and use the distraction to rob them of their valuables. Tourists have also been given drugged drinks or tainted food to make them more vulnerable to theft, particularly at train stations. Even food or drink prepared in front of the traveler from a canteen or vendor could be tainted.
Some vendors sell carpets, jewelry, gemstones, or other expensive items that may not be of the quality promised. Deal only with reputable businesses and do not hand over your credit cards or money unless you are certain that goods being shipped are the goods you purchased. If a deal sounds too good to be true, it is best avoided. Most Indian states have official tourism bureaus set up to handle complaints.
There have been a number of other scams perpetrated against foreign travelers, particularly in Goa, Jaipur, and Agra that target younger travelers and involve suggestions that money can be made by privately transporting gems or gold (both of which can result in arrest) or by taking delivery abroad of expensive carpets, supposedly while avoiding customs duties. The scam artists describe profits that can be made upon delivery of the goods, and require the traveler to pay a "deposit" as part of the transaction.
India-based criminals use the internet to extort money from victims abroad. In a common scam, the victim develops a close romantic relationship with an alleged U.S. citizen they meet online. When the “friend” travels to India, a series of accidents occur and the victim begins to receive requests for financial assistance, sometimes through an intermediary. In fact, the U.S. citizen “friend” does not exist; they are only online personas used by criminal networks. Victims have been defrauded of thousands of dollars in these schemes. Do not send money to anyone you have not met in person and carefully read the Department of State’s advice on international financial scams .
U.S. citizens have had problems with business partners, usually involving property investments. You may wish to seek professional legal advice in reviewing any contracts for business or services offered in India. The U.S. Embassy and/or consulates are unable to provide legal advice or intervene on behalf of United States citizens with Indian courts on civil or criminal matters. A list of local attorneys is available on the Embassy and Consulates General websites .
In another common scam, family members in the United States, particularly older people, are approached for funds to help callers claiming to be grandchildren or relatives who have been arrested or are without money to return home. Do not send money without contacting the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General to confirm the other party’s situation. You can also call our Office of Overseas Citizens Services at 888-407-4747 (from overseas: 202-501-4444). Review our information on Emergency Assistance to Americans Abroad .
See the Department of State and the FBI pages for more information on scams.
Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.
Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault should first contact the local police, then inform the U.S. Embassy or local Consulate.
Report crimes to the local police by calling “100” or “112” from a mobile phone.
Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas .
- help you find appropriate medical care
- assist you in reporting a crime to the police
- contact relatives or friends with your written consent
- explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
- provide a list of local attorneys
- provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
- provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
- help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
- replace a stolen or lost passport
Please note that you should ask for a copy of the police report, known as a “First Information Report” (FIR), from local police when you report an incident. Local authorities generally are unable to take any meaningful action without the filing of a police report.
If your passport is stolen, you should immediately report the theft or loss to the police in the location where your passport was stolen. A FIR is required by the Indian government in order for you to obtain an exit visa to leave India if the lost passport contained your Indian visa. Although the Embassy or Consulate General is able to replace a stolen or lost passport, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) are responsible for approving an exit permit. This process usually takes three to four working days, but can take longer.
In cases of sexual assault or rape, the Embassy or Consulates General can provide a list of local doctors and hospitals, if needed, to determine if you have been injured and to discuss treatment and prevention options for diseases and pregnancy. You should be aware that in order for evidence of an assault to be submitted in a court case, Indian authorities require that the medical exam be completed at a government hospital. Therefore, if a victim goes to a private hospital for treatment, the hospital will refer them to a government hospital for this aspect of the medical process.
There are a number of resources in India for victims of rape and sexual assault. The specific toll-free Women’s Helpline Service number in Delhi is 1091; in Mumbai it is 103; in Kolkata, 1090; in Chennai, 1091 or 2345-2365; and in Hyderabad one can dial 1-800-425-2908 or 1098 for crimes in general.
The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in India is “100.” An additional emergency number, “112,” can be accessed from mobile phones.
Please see our information for victims of crime , including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.
Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities and to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
Furthermore, some activities are crimes under U.S. law and can be prosecuted in the U.S. regardless of whether they are allowed under local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Alcohol: Each of India’s states has independent regulations concerning alcohol purchase and consumption. Legal drinking ages range from 18 to 25 and can vary by beverage type. Some states permit alcohol use for medicinal purposes only, others require you to hold a permit to buy, transport, or consume alcohol. Penalties for violation can be harsh.
Drugs: Several U.S. citizens have been arrested at Indian airports for attempting to smuggle illegal drugs from India. All claimed that they did not realize they were carrying narcotics. Never transport or mail packages that do not belong to you and maintain direct control of your luggage at all times.
Beef and Cow Hide: Several states in India impose various types of prohibition on beef. In some rural areas, cow protection vigilantes have attacked people they suspected of selling or consuming beef, or possessing items made with cow hide.
Dual nationality: India does not permit its citizens to hold dual nationality. In 2006, India launched the "Overseas Citizens of India" (OCI) program, which does not grant Indian citizenship but is similar to a U.S. "green card" in that you can travel to and from India indefinitely, work in India, study in India, and own property in India (except for certain agricultural and plantation properties). If you are a U.S. citizen and obtain an OCI card you will not become a citizen of India; you will remain a citizen of the United States. An OCI card holder does not receive an Indian passport, cannot vote in Indian elections, and is not eligible for Indian government employment. The OCI program is similar to the Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) card except that PIO holders must still register with Indian immigration authorities, and PIO cards are not issued for an indefinite period. U.S. citizens of Indian descent can apply for PIO or OCI cards at the Indian Embassy in Washington, or at the Indian Consulates in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Houston. Inside India, U.S. citizens can apply at the nearest FRRO office (please see “Entry/Exit Requirements” section above for more information on the FRRO). U.S. citizens are required to travel on a U.S. passport when traveling in and out of the United States.
Religious activities and faith-based travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report . If you plan to engage in religious proselytizing you are required by Indian law to have a "missionary" visa. Immigration authorities have determined that certain activities, including speaking at religious meetings to which the general public is invited, may violate immigration law if the traveler does not hold a missionary visa. Foreigners with tourist visas who engage in missionary activity are subject to deportation and possible criminal prosecution. The states of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Arunachal Pradesh have legislation that regulates or places restrictions on conversion from one religious faith to another. If you intend to engage in missionary activity, you may wish to seek legal advice to determine whether the activities you intend to pursue are permitted under Indian law.
Tourists should also be mindful of restrictions and observances when planning to visit any religious establishment, whether Hindu temples, mosques, churches, or other locations considered sacred by the local population. Many individual temples and mosques do not permit non-members to enter all or parts of the facilities, and may require the removal of shoes, the covering of the head, or have other specific requirements for appropriate attire.
Customs restrictions: Before traveling to or from India, you are urged to inspect all bags and clothing thoroughly to ensure they do not inadvertently contain prohibited items. Several U.S. citizens have been arrested or detained when airport security officials discovered loose ammunition (even spent individual bullets and casings) or weapons in their luggage. If you are found to have loose ammunition or bullets (including empty bullet shells used in souvenirs) on your person or in your bags, you could be charged with violation of the Indian Arms Act, incarcerated, and/or deported from India.
In addition, U.S. citizens have been arrested for possession of satellite phones. Satellite phones, personal locator beacons, and hand-held GPS devices are illegal in India.
Indian customs authorities enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into or export from India of such items as, antiquities, electronic equipment, currency, ivory, gold objects, and other prohibited materials. Permission from the Government of India is required to bring in restricted items, even if you are only transiting through India. If you do not comply with these regulations, you risk arrest or fine or both and confiscation of these items. If you are charged with any legal violations by Indian law enforcement, have an attorney review any document before you sign it. The Government of India requires the registration of antique items with the local police along with a photograph of the item. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of India in Washington or one of India's consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements. More information is available from the Indian Central Board of Excise and Customs .
Indian customs authorities encourage the use of an ATA (Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission) Carnet for the temporary admission of professional equipment, commercial samples, and/or goods for exhibitions and fair purposes. ATA Carnet Headquarters, located at the U.S. Council for International Business , 1212 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036, issues and guarantees the ATA Carnet in the United States. For additional information call (212) 354-4480, or email USCIB for details. Please see our section on Customs Information for more information.
Natural disaster threats: Parts of northern India are highly susceptible to earthquakes. Regions of highest risk, ranked 5 on a scale of 1 to 5, include areas around Srinagar, Himachal Pradesh, Rishikesh and Dehra Dun, the northern parts of Punjab, northwest Gujarat, northern Bihar, and the entire northeast. Ranked 4 (high damage risk) is an area that sweeps along the north through Jammu and Kashmir, Eastern Punjab, Haryana, Northern Uttar Pradesh, central Bihar and the northern parts of West Bengal. New Delhi is located in zone 4. Severe flooding is common in hilly and mountainous areas throughout India. Flooding in 2013 in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and other areas left thousands of people presumed dead and temporarily stranded dozens of U.S. citizens.
Typhoons/cyclones and subsequent flooding are common along the Indian coasts, in particular the Eastern coastal states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal, and have at times resulted in massive loss of life. Tourists and residents in areas prone to these events should remain vigilant during severe weather, monitor local media for latest developments, and heed all municipal warnings. Residents in these areas should have contingency plans for loss of power and inavailability of goods and services, including supplies for multiple days after a severe weather event.
Accessibility: While in India, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different than what you find in the United States. Despite legislation that all public buildings and transport be accessible for disabled people, accessibility remains limited. One notable exception is the Delhi metro system, designed to be accessible to those with physical disabilities.
Women Travelers: Please review our travel tips for Women Travelers .
Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips .
LGBTQI+ Travelers: Section 377 of India’s penal code makes same-sex sexual acts illegal in India. On September 6, 2018, the Supreme Court of India declared unconstitutional the application of Section 377, barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, effectively legalizing homosexuality in India. Reports of widespread discrimination and violence against LGBTQI+ persons, particularly in rural areas, persist. See our LGBTQI+ Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.
Zika is present in India. See the Centers for Disease Control’s website for more information.
The quality of medical care in India varies considerably. Medical care in the major population centers approaches and occasionally meets Western standards, but adequate medical care is usually very limited or unavailable in rural areas.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage .
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance (our webpage) to cover medical evacuation.
If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of India to ensure the medication is legal in India. Always, carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If you are arriving in India from Sub-Saharan Africa or other yellow-fever areas, Indian health regulations require that you present evidence of vaccination against yellow fever. If you do not have such proof, you could be subjected to immediate deportation or a six-day detention in the yellow-fever quarantine center. If you transit through any part of sub-Saharan Africa, even for one day, you are advised to carry proof of yellow fever immunization.
Dogs and bats create a high risk of rabies transmission in most of India. Vaccination is recommended for all prolonged stays, especially for young children and travelers in rural areas. It is also recommended for shorter stays that involve occupational exposure, locations more than 24 hours from a reliable source of human rabies immune globulin and rabies vaccine for post-exposure treatment, adventure travelers, hikers, cave explorers, and backpackers. Monkeys also can transmit rabies and herpes B, among other diseases, to human victims. Avoid feeding monkeys. If bitten, you should immediately soak and scrub the bite for at least 15 minutes and seek urgent medical attention.
Influenza is transmitted from November to April in areas north of the Tropic of Cancer (north India), and from June through November (the rainy season) in areas south of the Tropic of Cancer (south India), with a smaller peak from February through April; off-season transmission can also occur. All travelers are at risk. Influenza vaccine is recommended for all travelers during the flu season.
Outbreaks of avian influenza (H5N1 virus) occur intermittently in eastern India, including West Bengal, Manipur, Sikkim, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Assam. For further information on pandemic influenza, please refer to the Department of State's 2009-H1N1, Pandemic Influenza, and H5N1 Fact Sheet .
Malaria prophylaxis depends on time of year and area the traveler is visiting. Please consult the CDC website for more information. Dengue fever presents significant risk in urban and rural areas. The highest number of cases is reported from July to December, with cases peaking from September to October. Daytime insect precautions such as wearing long-sleeved shirts and mosquito repellent are recommended by the CDC.
Tuberculosis is an increasingly serious health concern in India. For further information, please consult the CDC’s Travel Notice on TB .
Further health information:
- World Health Organization
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Air pollution is a significant problem in several major cities in India, and you should consult your doctor prior to travel and consider the impact seasonal smog and heavy particulate pollution may have on you. The air quality in India varies considerably and fluctuates with the seasons. It is typically at its worst in the winter. Anyone who travels where pollution levels are high is at risk. People at the greatest risk from particle pollution exposure include:
- Infants, children, and teens
- People over 65 years of age
- People with lung disease such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema;
- People with heart disease or diabetes
- People who work or are active outdoors
Current air quality data can be found on the Embassy’s Air Quality page . The data on this site are updated hourly.
Rh-negative blood may be difficult to obtain as it is not common in Asia.
For emergency services, dial 112 from a cell phone; from a land line, dial 100 for police, 102 for ambulance (108 in parts of South India), and 101 for fire. Ambulances are not equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment, and traffic does not yield to emergency vehicles. Injured or seriously ill travelers may prefer to take a taxi or private vehicle to the nearest major hospital rather than wait for an ambulance. Most hospitals require advance payment or confirmation of insurance prior to treatment. Payment practices vary and credit cards are not routinely accepted for medical care.
Medical Tourism: Medical tourism is a rapidly growing industry. Companies offering vacation packages bundled with medical consultations and financing options provide direct-to-consumer advertising over the internet. Such medical packages often claim to provide high quality care, but the quality of health care in India is highly variable. People seeking health care in India should understand that medical systems operate differently from those in the United States and are not subject to the same rules and regulations. Anyone interested in traveling for medical purposes should consult with their local physician before traveling and refer to the information from the CDC . Persons traveling to India for medical purposes require the proper “medical” visa. Please check with the nearest Indian embassy or consulate for more information.
Despite reports of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in hospitals, in general travelers should not delay or avoid treatment for urgent or emergent medical situations. However, health tourists and other travelers who may be contemplating elective procedures in this country should carefully research individual hospital infection control practices.
Surrogacy: Commercial surrogacy is illegal for foreigners in India, subject to complex local regulation. For additional information, visit the Government of India’s official information on foreigner surrogacy .
The U.S. Embassy and Consulates General in India maintain lists of local doctors and hospitals, all of which are published on their respective websites under "U.S. Citizen Services." We cannot endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.
Travel and Transportation
Road Conditions and Safety: Travel by road in India is dangerous. India leads the world in traffic-related deaths and a number of U.S. citizens have suffered fatal traffic accidents in recent years. You should exercise extreme caution when crossing streets, even in marked pedestrian areas, and try to use only cars that have seatbelts. Seatbelts are not common in three-wheel taxis (autos) and in taxis’ back seats. Helmets should always be worn on motorcycles and bicycles.Travel at night is particularly hazardous.
On Indian roads, the safest driving policy is always to assume that other drivers will not respond to a traffic situation in the same way you would in the United States. Buses and trucks often run red lights and merge directly into traffic at yield points and traffic circles. Cars, autos, bicycles, and pedestrians behave only slightly more cautiously. Use your horn or flash your headlights frequently to announce your presence. It is both customary and wise.
Inside and outside major cities, roads are often poorly maintained and congested. Even main roads frequently have only two lanes, with poor visibility and inadequate warning markers. On the few divided highways one can expect to meet local transportation traveling in the wrong direction, often without lights. Heavy traffic is the norm and includes (but is not limited to) overloaded trucks and buses, scooters, pedestrians, bullock and camel carts, horse or elephant riders en route to weddings, bicycles, and free-roaming livestock.
Public Transportation: Buses, patronized by hundreds of millions of Indians, are convenient in that they serve almost every city of any size. However, they are often driven fast, recklessly, and without consideration for the rules of the road. Accidents are quite common.
Traffic Laws: Traffic in India moves on the left. It is important to be alert while crossing streets and intersections, especially after dark as traffic is coming in the "wrong" direction. Travelers should remember to use seatbelts in both rear and front seats where available, and to ask their drivers to maintain a safe speed.
In order to drive in India, you must have either a valid Indian driver’s license or a valid international driver’s license. Because of difficult road and traffic conditions, you may wish to consider hiring a local driver.
If a driver hits a pedestrian or a cow, the vehicle and its occupants are at risk of being attacked by passersby. Such attacks pose significant risk of injury or death to the vehicle's occupants or risk of incineration of the vehicle. It could be unsafe to remain at the scene of an accident of this nature, and drivers may instead wish to seek out the nearest police station. Protestors often use road blockage as a means of publicizing their grievances, causing severe inconvenience to travelers. Visitors should monitor local news reports for any reports of road disturbances.
Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information.
Emergency Numbers: The following emergency numbers work in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Kolkata:
- Fire Brigade 101
- Ambulance 102
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government of India’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of India’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page . Travelers are urged to use caution while booking private helicopters for travel, especially in the northeast.
For additional travel information
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution and Travel Advisories .
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook .
- See traveling safely abroad for useful travel tips.
India was cited in the State Department’s 2023 Annual Report to Congress on International Child Abduction for demonstrating a pattern of non-compliance with respect to international parental child abduction. Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in India . For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act ( ICAPRA ) report.
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US asks its citizens to exercise ‘increased caution’ while travelling to India due to crime, terrorism
In a new travel advisory issued on Friday, the US State Department reduced the India Travel Advisory Level to 2 on a scale of one to 4 with the latter being the highest.
The US on Friday asked its citizens to exercise “increased caution” while travelling to India due to “crime and terrorism” and advised them to not to travel to the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
The State Department in a separate advisory, a day earlier, had put Pakistan on Level 3 and asked its citizens to reconsider their travel especially its restive provinces due to terrorism and sectarian violence.
“Exercise increased caution in India due to crime and terrorism,” said the State Department.
“Do not travel to: The union territory of Jammu and Kashmir (except the eastern Ladakh region and its capital, Leh) due to terrorism and civil unrest. Within 10 km of the India-Pakistan border due to the potential for armed conflict,” it said.
According to the travel advisory, “Indian authorities report rape is one of the fastest growing crimes in India. Violent crime, such as sexual assault, has occurred at tourist sites and in other locations.” The advisory said that “terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and government facilities.”
“The US government has limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in rural areas from eastern Maharashtra and northern Telangana through western West Bengal as US government employees must obtain special authorisation to travel to these areas,” said the travel advisory.
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US advisory: Travel to India with ‘increased caution’ - here's why
The United States has issued four travel advisories for India this year in 2022.
In 2022, the United States has issued four travel advisories for India, and it has kept its citizens wishing to visit the country on Level 2 (exercise increased caution) since March 28.
The American travel advisories, maintained and issued by the Department of State, are divided into four different colour-coded levels from 1 to 4, with 1 (white) being the safest place to travel and 4 (red) being the no travel zone advised for its citizens. This division was first implemented several years ago.
Also Read: Canada advises against travelling to these Indian states due to ‘risk of terrorism, insurgency’
Most frequently Level 2 and occasionally Level 3 travel advisories have been issued for India. In April 2021, at the height of the COVID-19 crisis, it was classified as Level 4. Since March 28, when the State Department dropped it from Level 3 travel advice of January 24, yellow-colored Level 2 has advised Americans to take enhanced caution when travelling to India. At Level 3, the US urges its nationals to think twice before visiting that nation.
The latest three travel advisories issued in 2022—on March 28, July 25, and October 5—are comparable in nature and focus to the ones issued earlier this year given that the situation with the coronavirus in India has almost normalised.
Also Read: US visa appointments in India now open for all categories but…
The United States may issue travel advisories depending on a number of variables. The state of the nation, public health issues, law and order, terrorism, relations with that nation and travel season are prominent examples of these.
Afghanistan and Myanmar are ranked in the highest Level 4 category in India's neighbourhood, while Pakistan and China are ranked in Level 3. Bhutan is in Level 1, and Bangladesh, Nepal, the Maldives and Sri Lanka are in Level 2, which is where the US advises its people to use normal caution when travelling.
Also Read: US tourist visa waiting period goes over 2 years for India
(With PTI inputs)
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COVID-19: travel health notice for all travellers
India travel advice
Latest updates: Editorial change
Last updated: October 28, 2023 18:33 ET
On this page
Safety and security, entry and exit requirements, laws and culture, natural disasters and climate, india - exercise a high degree of caution.
Exercise a high degree of caution in India due to the threat of terrorist attacks throughout the country.
In and around Bengaluru, Chandigarh and Mumbai - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in and around Bengaluru, Chandigarh and Mumbai. Consular services in-person are temporarily unavailable in those cities or surrounding areas. If you need consular services, contact the High Commission of Canada in India, located in New Delhi. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
Parts of Northeastern India - Avoid non-essential travel
Union territory of jammu and kashmir - avoid all travel.
This advisory excludes travelling to or within the Union Territory of Ladakh.
Border areas with Pakistan - Avoid all travel
This advisory excludes the Wagah border crossing.
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In the context of recent developments in Canada and in India, there are calls for protests and some negative sentiment towards Canada in traditional media and on social media. Demonstrations, including anti-Canada protests, could occur and Canadians may be subjected to intimidation or harassment. In Delhi and the National Capital Region, you should keep a low profile with strangers, and not share your personal information with them. Avoid crowded areas, including public transportation. You should always travel with someone and inform a friend or a family member of your travel plans.
Consular services in person are temporarily unavailable in and around Bengaluru, Chandigarh and Mumbai. Consular services in person at the High Commission of Canada in New Delhi will remain available.
Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir
The security situation in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is tense. There are high risks of violent protests, civil unrest and acts of terrorism and militancy.
Violent clashes between militants and security forces occur regularly. Terrorist attacks against security forces have led to civilian casualties. Further attacks could take place at any time. You could find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The Indian army has enhanced powers in this territory. Authorities may impose curfews and security restrictions on short notice.
- Avoid gatherings and demonstrations
- Always carry ID
- Expect a heightened security presence and security checks
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
Border areas with Pakistan
The level of tension between India and Pakistan may change suddenly. You could experience difficulties when travelling between the two countries. You may be subject to scrutiny if officials from either country become aware that you have recently travelled to the other.
The security situation along the border with Pakistan, especially along the Line of Control (LoC), which separates the Union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh from Pakistan-administered Kashmir, remains volatile. Cross-border gunfire and shelling are occurring sporadically along the LoC. The presence of landmines and unexploded ordnance also constitute a risk.
Although international travellers regularly use the Wagah border crossing linking Amritsar, India, to Lahore, Pakistan, it remains vulnerable to attack. Security measures are in place. You may experience long delays.
Parts of Northeastern India
Several extremist and insurgent groups are active in the northeastern states of Assam and Manipur. They regularly target local government and security forces and may use various criminal activities to finance their activities.
Ethnic tensions in the State can also lead to conflict and civil unrest.
There is a threat of terrorism in India, particularly in:
- the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir
- the State of Manipur
- the State of Assam
- areas of East India where Naxalites groups are active
Maoist extremist insurgents, known as Naxalites, are responsible for the majority of terrorist attacks in India. These groups are usually based in rural and forested areas within zones of concerns, as defined by the Government of India, which include:
- Andhra Pradesh
- Madhya Pradesh
- Uttar Pradesh
- West Bengal
Extremist and insurgent groups usually target government and security forces, and sometimes, trains and railway tracks. While tourists are not usually specifically targeted, bystanders could be affected. Be particularly vigilant during election periods and in the lead-up to, and during, religious holidays and times of national significance, such as:
- Republic Day (January 26)
- Independence Day (August 15)
Targets of terrorist attacks could include:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
While in India:
- always be aware of your surroundings when in public places
- if you see a suspicious package, immediately leave the area and report it to authorities
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, is common. Criminals may target foreigners, especially in major cities and tourist areas.
- Be vigilant in all crowded locations
- Don’t carry large sums of money
- Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
Petty crime frequently occurs on public transportation and overnight trains.
- Ensure that the train compartment contains packages belonging only to you and other occupants
- Store personal belongings in a safe place, and don’t leave the compartment unattended
- Securely lock the doors
Serious crime against foreigners is less frequent, but incidents do occur.
Credit card and ATM fraud occurs. Be cautious when using debit or credit cards:
- pay careful attention when your cards are being handled by others
- use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business
- avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
- cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
- check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements
Exercise caution in tourist areas and airports where scammers particularly target foreigners.
Scams involving the exportation of jewels, gemstones, carpets, and other items have occurred. Taxi drivers may approach you, offering money to export such items.
- Don’t accept any offer, no matter how convincing
- Beware of offers for cheap transportation or accommodation, extended taxi rides and unsolicited guided tours
If you’re travelling to India to meet someone you’ve otherwise only met online, you may be the victim of a scam.
Be alert to attempts at fraud by persons who profess friendship or romantic interest over the internet.
Unsolicited emails offering attractive business or financial opportunities are most likely fraudulent.
Don’t travel to India to obtain restitution after losing money to a scam.
Spiked food and drinks
Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances. These items may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.
Crimes committed against women frequently occur in India. Foreign women are often the target of unwanted attention.
Staring, verbal abuse, groping, and other forms of sexual harassment can occur anywhere, including in tourist sites and areas. Attackers sometimes act as a group.
Reports of rape and assault against foreign women have increased. You should be particularly vigilant:
- on all forms of public transportation
- at Yoga centres, ashrams and other places of spiritual retreats
Local authorities may not always respond adequately to reports of sexual violence and harassment.
- Avoid travelling alone, particularly at night
- Be extremely vigilant on public transportation, taxis and auto-rickshaws
- Be careful when dealing with strangers or new acquaintances
- Be wary of accepting snacks or beverages from new acquaintances
- Avoid less populous and unlit areas
- Respect local customs and dress codes
- Reach police immediately if you feel threatened
If you are the victim of a sexual assault, you should report it immediately to local authorities and the nearest office of the Government of Canada.
Advice for women travellers
Forced marriage affecting foreigners occurs, sometimes without the affected person’s prior knowledge or consent.
Some Canadians have been forced into marital arrangements and have been detained against their will. They have been subjected to threats, intimidation and violence by family members.
If you’re in Canada
If you’re in Canada and you believe that you’re being forced to travel overseas to marry, you should call your local police for assistance.
If you’re in India
If you’re in India and you believe that you’re being forced to marry, contact the nearest office of the Government of Canada. You may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre .
Family members may retain passports to prevent victims from returning to Canada. Keep digital or physical copies of your travel documents in a safe place.
General information and advice about forced marriage
Demonstrations and mass gatherings
Protests in manipur.
Violent demonstrations have been taking place in Manipur State since May 3, 2023, resulting in casualties. Protests have led to disruptions to traffic and public transportation. Curfews have been imposed in several districts and mobile and internet services may be limited.
If you are in Manipur:
- monitor local media for the most recent information
- follow the instructions of local authorities
- be prepared to modify your plans in case of disturbances
- expect enhanced security measures and an increased police presence
Demonstrations, mass gatherings, general strikes, “bandh” or “hartal,” take place frequently. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
Stampedes have occurred during mass gatherings, including religious ceremonies, and resulted in deaths and injuries.
Local authorities may impose curfews and other restrictions on short notice.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities, including curfews
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
Mass gatherings (large-scale events)
Road conditions and road safety are poor throughout the country. Most roads, including major highways, are poorly maintained. There is severe traffic congestion. Driving conditions may be hazardous during the rainy season, and some roads can become impassable.
Drivers don’t respect traffic laws. They are often aggressive or reckless. Driving can be hazardous due to the presence of livestock or wandering cows, including in urban areas.
Fatal road accidents are frequent. They can lead to mob anger and assault.
- Avoid travelling outside urban centres after dark
- Avoid driving or riding motorcycles in India, even if you are an experienced motorcyclist
- Be very careful when crossing the street, even at pedestrian crossings
- If involved in an accident, contact local authorities immediately
India has an extensive passenger train system. Rail accidents are common, mostly due to poor maintenance. Thefts are frequent on certain train lines.
If you use a taxi, get it from a reputable hotel, an official taxi stand, or a trusted ride-sharing app. At the airport, use officially marked taxis or pre-paid transport services.
- Negotiate fares in advance, or insist that the driver use the meter, as you may be overcharged
- Avoid travelling alone, especially at night
- Don’t share taxis with strangers
Maritime accidents occur regularly due to the overloading and poor maintenance of some vessels.
- Don’t board vessels that appear overloaded or unseaworthy
- Always wear a life jacket
Pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships occur in coastal waters. Mariners should take appropriate precautions.
Live piracy report - International Maritime Bureau
Coastal waters can be dangerous. Riptides are common. Several drownings occur each year.
Beaches are not usually supervised by lifeguards. Many beaches don’t display warnings of dangerous conditions.
- Seek local advice before swimming
- Avoid swimming if red flags are flown
- Avoid swimming during Monsoon season
- Always wear a life jacket if you use a boat or a small embarkation
Water safety abroad
No commercial mountain rescue services are operating above 3,000 metres.
If you intend on trekking:
- never do so alone and always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
- buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
- ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
- ensure that you’re adequately equipped and well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
- inform a family member or friend of your itinerary, including when you expect to be back to camp
- know the symptoms of acute altitude sickness, which can be fatal
- obtain detailed information on trekking routes or ski slopes before setting out and do not venture off marked trails or slopes
Wildlife viewing may pose risks, particularly on foot or at close range. If you plan on visiting a wildlife area such as a tiger reserve:
- always maintain a safe distance when observing wildlife
- only exit a vehicle when a professional guide or warden says it’s safe to do so
- only use reputable and professional guides or tour operators
- closely follow park regulations and wardens’ advice
Large groups of monkeys are present in several parts of India, including some urban regions. Monkeys can get aggressive and rapidly overwhelm travellers in their search for food. They can also steal your belongings.
Be vigilant when in the presence of monkeys.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Information about foreign domestic airlines
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Indian authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada .
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for 6 months from your date of entry into India and must contain at least two blank pages for use by immigration officials.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Passport with “X” gender identifier
While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.
- Foreign Representatives in Canada
- Canadian passports
As of October 26, 2023, the following types of Indian visa services for Canadians have resumed:
- entry visas
- business visas
- medical visas
- conference visas
Service remains unavailable for the following visas, suspended since September 2023:
- tourism visas
- employment (work) visas
- student visas
- mountaineering visas
- transit visas
- missionary visas
- journalist visas
Latest information – Indian Visa Application Center in Canada
Ensure you apply for the proper type of visa for the specific purpose of your trip. If you are denied entry by immigration officials, you will be returned to your point of departure.
Canadian-Pakistani citizens are subject to different visa application and registration procedures.
You can only stay in India for up to 180 consecutive days on a tourist visa, even when its validity exceeds 180 days.
If you stay in India for more than 180 days, you must register within 14 days of arrival with the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO).
- e-FRRO online portal (for Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru) - India’s Bureau of Immigration
- FRRO Contact List - India’s Bureau of Immigration
Penalties for overstaying
Strict penalties are enforced for overstaying. If you overstay, you could be subject to fines, detention and a future travel ban.
If you have overstayed your visa, you must request an exit visa from the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO). This process can be lengthy.
Other entry requirements
Customs officials may ask you to show them a return or onward ticket and proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay.
If you hold an Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) card, you must present it upon entry and exit.
You must present a boarding pass and a photo identification to access airport departure terminals and public areas.
Lost or stolen passport
If your passport is lost or stolen, an exit visa is required to leave India.
To obtain an exit visa, you must present the FRRO with:
- a police report
- two current passport-size photographs
- a letter providing details of the loss or theft from the High Commission of Canada to India in New Delhi or Consulate General of Canada in either Chandigarh or Mumbai
The FRRO will verify the entry details before issuing an exit visa. This process can take several days.
Restricted and Protected Areas
Special permits are required to visit certain parts of India designated as restricted or protected areas.
Restricted or protected areas - India’s Bureau of Immigration
You may need to produce proof of polio vaccination if you are arriving in India from:
- the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Confirm this requirement with the nearest Indian diplomatic office before travelling.
- Foreign Representatives in Canada
Children and travel
Learn more about travelling with children .
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
Relevant Travel Health Notices
- Global Measles Notice - 31 August, 2023
- Zika virus: Advice for travellers - 31 August, 2023
- COVID-19 and International Travel - 31 August, 2023
This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.
Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.
Be sure that your routine vaccinations , as per your province or territory , are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.
Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Pre-travel vaccines and medications
You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary.
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
- Contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of your trip to arrange for vaccination.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada * It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.
Practise safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.
Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.
Japanese encephalitis is a viral infection that can cause swelling of the brain. It is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Risk is very low for most travellers. Travellers at relatively higher risk may want to consider vaccination for JE prior to travelling.
Travellers are at higher risk if they will be:
- travelling long term (e.g. more than 30 days)
- making multiple trips to endemic areas
- staying for extended periods in rural areas
- visiting an area suffering a JE outbreak
- engaging in activities involving high contact with mosquitos (e.g., entomologists)
Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus. Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.
Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.
It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.
Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Travellers going to countries in South Asia should speak to a health care professional about getting vaccinated.
Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease that is caused by parasites spread through the bites of mosquitoes. There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this destination.
Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic before travelling to discuss your options. It is recommended to do this 6 weeks before travel, however, it is still a good idea any time before leaving. Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times: • Cover your skin and use an approved insect repellent on uncovered skin. • Exclude mosquitoes from your living area with screening and/or closed, well-sealed doors and windows. • Use insecticide-treated bed nets if mosquitoes cannot be excluded from your living area. • Wear permethrin-treated clothing. If you develop symptoms similar to malaria when you are travelling or up to a year after you return home, see a health care professional immediately. Tell them where you have been travelling or living.
In this destination, rabies is carried by dogs and some wildlife, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. While travelling, take precautions , including keeping your distance from animals (including free-roaming dogs), and closely supervising children.
If you are bitten or scratched by an animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. Rabies treatment is often available in this destination.
Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who are at high risk of exposure (e.g., occupational risk such as veterinarians and wildlife workers, children, adventure travellers and spelunkers, and others in close contact with animals).
Safe food and water precautions
Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.
- Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
- Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
- Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs.
Cholera is a risk in parts of this country. Most travellers are at very low risk.
To protect against cholera, all travellers should practise safe food and water precautions .
Travellers at higher risk of getting cholera include those:
- visiting, working or living in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation
- visiting areas where outbreaks are occurring
Vaccination may be recommended for high-risk travellers, and should be discussed with a health care professional.
Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Insect bite prevention
Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:
- Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
- Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
- Minimize exposure to insects
- Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed
To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.
Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.
There is a risk of chikungunya in this country. The risk may vary between regions of a country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever is a viral disease that can cause fever, pain and bleeding under the skin. In some cases, it can be fatal. It spreads to humans through contact with infected animal blood or tissues, or from the bite of an infected tick. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from tick bites and avoid animals, particularly livestock. There is no vaccine available for Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever.
Visceral leishmaniasis (or kala azar) affects the bone marrow and internal organs. It is caused by a parasite spread through the bite of a female sandfly. It can also be transmitted by blood transfusion or sharing contaminated needles. If left untreated it can cause death. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from sandfly bites, which typically occur after sunset in rural and forested areas and in some urban centres. There is no vaccine or medication to protect against leishmaniasis.
Lymphatic filariasis , also known as elephantiasis, is caused by filariae (tiny worms) spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can cause a range of illnesses. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine available for lymphatic filariasis although drug treatments exist.
- In this country, dengue is a risk to travellers. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
- Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
- The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
- Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites . There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue.
Zika virus is a risk in this country.
Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects .
Pregnant women and women planning a pregnancy should visit a health care professional before travelling to discuss the potential risks of travelling to this country. Pregnant women may choose to avoid or postpone travel to this country.
- Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
- If you are pregnant, always use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact with anyone who has travelled to this country for the duration of your pregnancy.
- Women: Wait 2 months after travel to this country or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy. If your male partner travelled with you, wait 3 months after travel or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer).
- Men: Wait 3 months after travel to this country or after onset of illness due to Zika virus (whichever is longer) before trying for a pregnancy.
For more travel recommendations, see the travel health notice: Zika virus: Advice for travellers
Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.
Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.
There is a risk of Nipah virus infection in this country. Nipah virus infections can range from asymptomatic (no symptoms) to severe illness and death.
Nipah virus is spread to people from animals (such as fruit bats) but it can also be spread through contaminated food or close contact with someone who is ill.
Travellers to areas where Nipah virus is found should:
- avoid consuming date palm sap products, including raw date palm juice
- thoroughly wash and peel fruit before consumption
- wash hands regularly with soap and water
- discard fruit with signs of bites or fruit that has been found on the ground
- avoid contact with fruit bats and areas where they are known to roost
For more information on preventing Nipah virus infection, visit Nipah virus: Prevention and risks .
There is no vaccine or medication that protects against Nipah virus infection.
Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette , which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:
- washing your hands often
- avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
- avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) , HIV , and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.
For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.
Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
Medical services and facilities
The quality of health care varies significantly throughout the country.
Medical care in major cities may be good, but it’s usually very limited or unavailable in rural areas.
Government hospitals provide free services or at a minimal cost. Private facilities often offer a higher level of care but can be expensive. Most hospitals require up-front payment or confirmation of insurance coverage before commencing treatment.
Specialised treatment for psychiatric illness may not be available outside major cities.
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Travel health and safety
Ambulances are often equipped with basic and old medical equipment.
Response times can be very slow. Traffic doesn’t yield to emergency vehicles.
In case of serious illness or injury, you may consider taking a taxi or private vehicle to go to the hospital rather than wait for an ambulance.
Some Canadian citizens have had severe health complications following cosmetic or other elective surgeries abroad.
Before leaving for medical travel:
- make sure you have done your research
- use competent health-care providers only
Receiving Medical Care in Other Countries
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit , especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad .
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect heavy fines and jail sentences. Detention during the investigation is common and can be lengthy.
Laws regarding the purchase and consumption of alcohol, including the legal drinking age, differ from state to state. Authorities often call for dry periods during:
- religious festivals
- national holidays
- Drugs, alcohol and travel
It is prohibited to import, possess or use e-cigarettes, vaporisers and their refills.
Cows are protected and venerated by several groups of faith in India.
Several states impose prohibitions on beef slaughter and consumption. In some rural areas, cow protection vigilantes have attacked people suspected of selling, consuming, or possessing beef or items made with cowhide.
Avoid consuming beef or its derived products while in India.
In certain states, it’s illegal to engage in religious proselytism, such as preaching, possessing, or distributing religious literature or material with the intent of converting. Indian authorities require foreign missionaries to obtain a missionary visa.
If you plan to conduct religious activities in India, ensure that:
- the activities are legal
- you possess the proper visa for the activities you plan to perform
It’s illegal to carry or use a satellite device in India.
It is prohibited to take pictures of military installations, airports and dams.
Ask permission before photographing places of worship such as temples or mosques.
Imports and exports
There are strict regulations on the importation or exportation of items such as:
- electronic equipment
- local currency
- ivory and gold objects
- protected animals
- pornographic material
Among others, you must register antique items for export with local police, with a photograph of each item.
Customs Guide for Travellers - India’s Central Board of Excise and Customs
Dress and behaviour
India is a traditional, conservative and multi-faith society. To avoid offending local sensitivities:
- Dress conservatively
- Behave discreetly
- Respect religious and social traditions
- Avoid displays of affection in public
- Avoid using footwear in places of worship
Indian family law is very different from Canadian law.
In case of dispute, consult a local lawyer to be fully aware of local laws regarding marital fraud, dowry abuse or extortion, custody, guardianship and visitation rights. Individuals facing charges may be forced to remain in India until their cases have been settled or charges dismissed.
If you’re planning to visit India to commission surrogacy arrangements, you should consider the potential challenges involved in pursuing international surrogacy. Seek specialist legal advice on Indian and Canadian laws before making any arrangements.
A proposed Indian government ban on foreign commercial surrogacy could affect Canadians travelling to India to enter into a surrogacy agreement.
You should also consult with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on current policies regarding citizenship through descent and the issuance of Canadian travel documents.
Land and property disputes
If you plan on buying property or are involved in a land dispute in India, you should seek legal advice. Do so before making commitments. Related disputes could take time and be costly to resolve.
The offices of the Government of Canada in India can’t provide assistance or legal advice related to private legal matters.
Indian law doesn’t criminalize sexual acts or relationships between persons of the same sex.
However, 2SLGBTQI+ travellers could be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics.
Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics
Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in India.
If local authorities consider you a citizen of India, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.
Travellers with dual citizenship
International Child Abduction
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and India.
If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in India by an abducting parent:
- act as quickly as you can
- consult a lawyer in Canada and in India to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
- report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.
If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.
Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.
- International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
- Travelling with children
- Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
- Emergency Watch and Response Centre
You must carry your passport and Indian visa at all times.
Traffic drives on the left.
You must carry an international driving permit.
International Driving Permit
The currency in India is the Indian Rupee (INR).
Non-residents are prohibited from importing or exporting the Indian rupee. A limit of 25,000 rupees is imposed on residents.
Upon entering or leaving India, you must make a declaration to customs if you have USD 5,000 or more, or the equivalent in other currencies.
India is prone to extreme weather events such as:
- dust storms
Extreme temperatures can occur in both spring and summer.
The rainy (or monsoon) season extends from June to September.
Heavy rain can cause flooding throughout the country, resulting in significant loss of life and extensive damage to infrastructure. Seasonal flooding and landslides can hamper overland travel and reduce the provision of essential services. Roads may become impassable and bridges damaged.
India’s coastline is subject to cyclones, particularly between April and December. These severe storms can put you at risk and hamper the provision of essential services.
If you decide to travel to a coastal area:
- know that you may expose yourself to serious safety risks
- be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice, including cutting short or cancelling your trip
- stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
- carry emergency contact information for your airline or tour operator
- follow the advice and instructions of local authorities
- Tornadoes, cyclones, hurricanes, typhoons and monsoons
- Large-scale emergencies abroad
- Weather forecasts and warnings - Indian Meteorological Department
- Current cyclone activity - Tropical storm risk
Parts of India are located in active seismic zones. Earthquakes occur.
In the event of an earthquake, follow the instructions of local authorities.
What to do during an earthquake
Smoke haze and other types of air pollution can be extremely hazardous in urban areas and cities such as Delhi. It’s typically at its worst in winter. In rural areas, air quality can be affected by agricultural burning.
Dust storms also occur across northern India.
Monitor air pollution levels, which change quickly, especially if you suffer from respiratory ailments or have pre-existing medical conditions.
During periods of high pollution:
- limit your activities outdoors
- monitor local media
- System of Air Quality Weather Forecasting and Research - Ministry of Earth Science of India
- Real time ambient air quality data - Delhi Pollution Control Committee
- Air pollution in India - World Air Quality Index
In mountainous regions, avalanches present a risk and have resulted in fatalities.
- Monitor local media and weather forecasts
- Follow the advice of local authorities
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 100/112 from cellular telephones
- firefighters: 101
- medical assistance: 102
- victims of sexual harassment: 1091
The Indian Ministry of Tourism offers 24-hour general advice for tourists.
Dial: 1-800 111-363.
The Consulates General of Canada in Bengaluru, Chandigarh and Mumbai are temporarily suspending in-person operations. You can obtain consular assistance and further consular information from the High Commission of Canada in New Delhi.
Consular services in person remain available at the High Commission of Canada in New Delhi.
Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Ladakh, Lakshadweep, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Pondicherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand.
For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada in India, in New Delhi and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services .
take normal security precautions.
Take similar precautions to those you would take in Canada.
Exercise a high degree of caution
There are certain safety and security concerns or the situation could change quickly. Be very cautious at all times, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.
IMPORTANT: The two levels below are official Government of Canada Travel Advisories and are issued when the safety and security of Canadians travelling or living in the country or region may be at risk.
Avoid non-essential travel
Your safety and security could be at risk. You should think about your need to travel to this country, territory or region based on family or business requirements, knowledge of or familiarity with the region, and other factors. If you are already there, think about whether you really need to be there. If you do not need to be there, you should think about leaving.
Avoid all travel
You should not travel to this country, territory or region. Your personal safety and security are at great risk. If you are already there, you should think about leaving if it is safe to do so.
- Government of india
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COVID-19 Travel Advisory
Please visit : https://incredibleindia.org/content/incredible-india-v2/en/covid-19-travel-advisory.html
Exercise a high degree of caution in India overall due to the high threat of terrorist activity, civil unrest and crime.
Higher levels apply in some areas.
Asia (PDF 2.31 MB)
Local emergency contacts
All emergencies, fire and rescue services, medical emergencies, advice levels.
Exercise a high degree of caution in India overall.
Exercise a high degree of caution in India overall due to the high threat of terrorist activity, civil unrest and crime (see Safety ).
Do not travel to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir; and the India-Pakistan border (except the Atari-Wagah border crossing). This doesn't apply to the Union Territory of Ladakh, which was established as its own union territory of India in October 2019, separate from the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Do not travel to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir; and the India-Pakistan border (except the Atari-Wagah border crossing) due to the danger of armed clashes, terrorist activities and violent demonstrations.
This doesn't apply to the Union Territory of Ladakh, which was established as its own union territory of India in October 2019, separate from the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. (see ' Safety ')
Reconsider your need to travel to the Atari-Wagah border crossing, north-eastern states of Assam (except Guwahati), Nagaland and Manipur; and Chhattisgarh and the border areas of neighbouring states.
Reconsider your need to travel to:
- the Atari-Wagah border crossing
- North-eastern states of Assam (except Guwahati), Nagaland and Manipur;
- Chhattisgarh; and
- the border areas of neighbouring states
due to the high risk of violence (see ' Safety ').
- Terrorist activities, violent demonstrations and armed clashes sometimes occur in India. Avoid crowded places and possible targets. Large crowds at religious ceremonies and gatherings can also be dangerous. People have been killed in stampedes. Always have an exit plan.
- Women may face higher levels of verbal and physical harassment or sexual assault. Avoid travelling alone, even in major cities and tourist sites.
- Travellers have been robbed and assaulted after consuming spiked drinks or food. Don't leave your food or drinks unattended or accept food or drinks from strangers. Petty theft is common in crowded areas such as markets and public transport. Thieves on motorbikes snatch bags and jewellery. Carry only what you need. Pay close attention to your belongings.
- Scams are common. These can involve fake tour guides, ATM and credit card skimming, and fraudulent access to government services. If you're a scam victim, report it to the police to get an official report for your travel insurer.
- Severe weather is common. This includes heat waves and dust storms in summer and flooding during the monsoon season. Check with your tour operator for possible disruptions.
Curfews and restrictions have been imposed in parts of Manipur following violent demonstrations, resulting in casualties. Security agencies have increased their presence in the region. Mobile internet services are suspended, and transport services have been disrupted. Further restrictions may be imposed at short notice. If you are in Manipur, you should a void demonstrations and large public gatherings, monitor local media for updates, follow the advice of local authorities, and take official warnings seriously.
Full travel advice: Safety
- Medical facilities in major cities have adequate treatment standards, though the availability of treatment may become strained with increased COVID-19 cases. The availability of treatment can be very limited or unavailable in remote and rural areas. You may need to be evacuated if you're seriously ill or injured. Medical evacuation can be very expensive.
- Swine flu is widespread during winter. Talk to your doctor about flu shots.
- Malaria is a risk in many parts of India, including major cities. Dengue is widespread during the monsoon season. Zika virus outbreaks may occur. Other insect-borne diseases include Japanese encephalitis, chikungunya and filariasis. Ensure your accommodation is insect-proof. Use insect repellent. Get vaccinated. If you're pregnant, discuss this with your doctor.
- HIV/AIDS is widespread. Take precautions if you engage in high-risk activities.
- Waterborne, foodborne, parasitic and other infectious diseases are very common. These include cholera, typhoid and hepatitis. Drink only treated or bottled water. Avoid raw or undercooked food.
- Air pollution can reach dangerous levels, especially in winter. It can disrupt transport and cause breathing problems. Discuss your travel plans with a doctor if you have an existing health condition.
Full travel advice: Health
- Always carry your passport and ensure you have a valid visa. It's illegal not to. Conducting missionary work without a proper visa is illegal.
- Make sure you follow the COVID-19 protocols in your location. Failure to follow protocols may attract criminal penalties.
- Don't use or carry illegal drugs. Penalties for drug offences include mandatory sentences and the death penalty.
- Check local alcohol laws before you visit. Laws on the legal drinking age and alcohol purchase vary between states.
- It's illegal to import, possess or use e-cigarettes, vaporisers or their components, such as refills. Penalties include imprisonment.
- It's illegal to fly drones and other unmanned aircraft without official permission. Contact local police for advice. It's illegal to carry or export antiquities without a permit. Contact your nearest Indian embassy or consulate for advice. It's illegal to photograph airports, military sites and dams. Some places of worship also prohibit photography.
- Carrying or using a satellite phone or device without official permission is illegal. You may be arrested for carrying a satellite phone or device.
- Cows roam freely in India. It's illegal to maim or kill them deliberately. In some states, the penalty is up to 5 years in jail.
- India has strict dress and behaviour codes, especially at religious sites. Physical contact between men and women in public might be considered inappropriate.
Full travel advice: Local laws
- You must apply for a visa before arrival. Check your eligibility and apply online for an e-visa by visiting the Government of India's Indian Visa Online website. For information on other visa types and immigration requirements, see the eFRRO and Bureau of Indian Immigration websites or contact the nearest high commission/embassy or consulate of India for the latest details.
You may need permission from Indian authorities to visit designated tribal areas, particularly in the north-east.
- Travelling by road in India can be dangerous, particularly at night. Accidents are common.
- The Cricket World Cup is being held in India between 5 October to 19 November 2023. Expect heightened security at match locations. Follow the advice of local authorities and monitor media for updates.
Full travel advice: Travel
- The Consular Services Charter details what we can and can't do to help you overseas.
- For consular help, contact the Australian High Commission in New Delhi , or the Australian Consulate-General in Mumbai, Chennai or Kolkata.
- To stay up to date with local information, follow the High Commission's social media accounts.
Full travel advice: Local contacts
Terrorist attacks are possible in India anywhere and at any time.
The Australian Government continues to receive reports that terrorists are planning attacks in India.
The Indian Government regularly issues public alert warnings about possible terrorist attacks.
Terrorist attacks could target foreigners. Violence directed at others may affect you.
Terrorists have targeted popular tourist areas, including:
- hotels, markets and cinemas
- tourist and religious sites
- transport hubs and public transport networks
- sporting events
- local courts and Indian security and political establishments
Targets could also include major tourist attractions and shopping centres.
Attacks could happen during significant times such as:
- Republic Day, 26 January
- Independence Day, 15 August
- periods of religious significance
- other major holidays - noting each state has different holidays
Many terrorist attacks in India have involved multiple explosions, one after the other. These attacks have caused a high number of deaths.
Militants have crossed the border into India to conduct attacks in the past. This will likely continue.
Attacks on the military and police in Jammu and Kashmir often lead to violent clashes.
Outside of major cities, security on public transport is limited, including on buses and railways.
Security at airports has improved due to the threat of terrorist attacks against Indian aviation interests.
To protect yourself from terrorist attacks:
- check the media for threats
- take official warnings seriously
- consider the level of security at your destination
- avoid areas that are possible terrorist targets
- have a clear exit plan for crowded places and potential targets
- report suspicious activity or items to the police
If there's an attack, leave the area as soon as it's safe. Avoid the affected area in case of secondary attacks.
- Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
Jammu and Kashmir
On 5 August 2019, the Government of India announced constitutional changes that affected the internal political status of Jammu and Kashmir.
A heightened Indian security presence is now in place, with additional restrictive measures applying to public gatherings and internet and telecommunications services. Monitor local media and follow the advice of local authorities.
In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir there is a high risk of:
- armed clashes
- terrorist attacks
- violent demonstrations
There is a higher risk in rural areas and areas close to the border with Pakistan.
Terrorists have kidnapped foreigners in Jammu and Kashmir. Terrorists have also targeted tourist buses.
People have been killed and seriously injured in widespread violent protests. More police have been sent to the region.
Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana
Maoist insurgents, known as Naxalites, have attacked rural and forested areas of the state of Chhattisgarh.
There is a risk of Naxalite violence in border regions of:
- Andhra Pradesh
Borders with Pakistan
Parts of the India-Pakistan border have a high risk of:
- cross-border attacks
Always be alert to possible threats near the Atari-Wagah border crossing.
North-eastern states of Assam (except Guwahati), Nagaland and Manipur
The north-eastern states of Nagaland, Manipur and Assam, except Guwahati city, have a high risk of:
- armed robbery
- separatist and insurgent violence
This includes rural areas.
Insurgent groups in these states have:
- attacked civilians
- bombed buildings
The Australian Government's longstanding policy is that it doesn't make payments or concessions to kidnappers.
If, despite the risks, you decide to travel to an area where there's a threat of kidnapping:
- seek professional security advice
- arrange effective personal security measures
Civil unrest and political tension
Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent.
Violent protests and demonstrations occur from time to time. They can happen with little or no warning.
Many people have died due to civil unrest and communal violence in India.
Triggers for demonstrations include:
- international events
- political developments in the region
- election periods
- local events
Demonstrations may affect public transport.
Large crowds at religious ceremonies and gatherings can be dangerous. They have led to life-threatening situations such as stampedes.
Indian authorities may:
- set curfews
- limit mobile network availability
- restrict activity
To protect yourself from civil unrest and violence:
- avoid demonstrations, political events, rallies, processions and large public gatherings
- check the news and other sources for information
- avoid areas affected by civil unrest
- follow the advice of local authorities
- plan your activities to avoid days of national and commemorative significance
Be prepared to change your travel plans if there's an incident.
If you're affected by transport disruptions, contact your airline, travel agent or insurer for help.
Demonstrations and civil unrest
Women in India may experience:
- unwanted attention
- sexual assault
It is rare for people who commit these crimes to be successfully prosecuted by the law.
There are consistent, ongoing allegations and reports of sexual misconduct. These reports have involved religious groups and their leaders. If you're visiting India for religious reasons, find out about your hosts before travelling.
Avoid travelling alone if you're female, even in major cities and tourist sites.
- Advice for women
- Sexual assault overseas
Drink and food spiking
Many travellers have been robbed and assaulted after consuming spiked drinks or food.
Home-made or unlabelled alcohol can be poisonous.
Drink spiking incidents have occurred:
- on public transport
- in hotels, restaurants and bars
Drink and food spiking is rare at:
- business-class hotels
- upscale bars and restaurants
The risk of drink and food spiking is higher in smaller establishments.
To protect yourself from food and drink spiking:
- don't accept food or drinks from strangers
- don't leave drinks unattended
- if you're not certain your drink is safe, don't drink it
Petty theft is common in crowded areas such as:
- trade fairs
- airports and train stations
- public transport, including overnight and long-distance trains
Thieves on motorcycles snatch bags and jewellery.
To protect yourself from petty crime:
- pay close attention to your personal belongings, especially in crowded areas
- carry only what you need, including your passport
- leave valuables in a secure location
- avoid wearing expensive watches, jewellery and cameras
- avoid carrying bags that are easy to snatch
If you're walking, stay on footpaths, if possible, and:
- away from the curb
- with your bag held away from traffic
Avoid travelling alone, especially at night:
- in cars, taxis and rickshaws
Avoid less populous and unlit areas. This includes city streets, village lanes and beaches.
Scams in India can involve:
- ATM and credit cards
- train tickets
- temple donations
- tour guides
Tour guide scams
Tour guides attempt to sell fraudulent tour packages. Some guides may try to 'prove' that your existing tour package is invalid to sell you their package.
Strangers posing as 'guides' may attempt to take travellers to tourist areas. The fake guide transports the victim to an isolated area, where they then attempt to rob and assault them.
Check that any person holding a placard with your name knows where you are going.
Card skimming scams
Card skimming devices copy details from the magnetic strip on your ATM and credit cards. These details are transferred onto a blank card for the criminal to use. There is a high risk of card skimming at ATMs.
To avoid credit and debit card scams:
- keep your credit card in sight at all times
- don't show your PIN to others, especially when using ATMs
- check your transaction statements
Government services scams
Touts or agents near government offices tell foreigners they can provide faster services for a fee. They may be present around places such as the Foreigner Regional Registration Office.
If you're the victim of a scam report it immediately to the nearest police station. You may not be able to get your money or goods back. However, the police can give you an official report so you can make a claim with your insurer. See Local contacts.
You may be at risk of cyber-based threats during overseas travel to any country. Digital identity theft is a growing concern. Your devices and personal data can be compromised, especially if you're connecting to Wi-Fi, using or connecting to shared or public computers, or Bluetooth.
Social media can also be risky in destinations with social or political tensions or laws that may seem unreasonable by Australian standards. Travellers have been arrested for things they have said on social media. Don't comment on local or political events on your social media.
- Cyber security when travelling overseas
Tours and adventure activities
Touts may use aggressive tactics to persuade you to buy tickets for tours. You'll often see them at:
- railway stations
- bus stations
They may not have any connection to tour services. You may be overcharged.
Businesses don't always follow safety and maintenance standards. This includes:
- tour operators
- adventure activities
If you plan to do an adventure activity :
- check if your travel insurance policy covers it
- check the credentials of the operator
- ask about and insist on minimum safety requirements
- always use available safety gear, such as life jackets or seatbelts
If proper safety equipment isn't available, use another provider.
Tigers attack and kill people in India.
Monkeys may attempt to steal items from people at temples and busy tourist attractions.
If you plan to observe or photograph wildlife:
- always respect wildlife laws and park regulations
- only use reputable and professional guides
- keep a safe distance
Climate and natural disasters
India experiences natural disasters and severe weather , including:
- heatwaves and drought
- floods and landslides
- cyclones and storms
- dust storms
- earthquakes and tsunamis
If there's a natural disaster:
- always carry your passport in a waterproof bag
- keep in touch with family and friends
- check the media, the India Meteorological Department website and other local sources for information
Heatwaves and drought
The climate in India is varied.
Heatwaves can cause droughts and water shortages in summer.
Floods and landslides
Monsoon rains occur from June to October.
Monsoon rains can cause extensive flooding and landslides.
High-risk areas include:
- Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in the north and east
- Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in the south
Floods have affected millions of people and caused many deaths.
If you're travelling during monsoon season, ask your tour operator if services have been affected.
Cyclones and storms
Cyclones are common in Indian waters from April to December. They are particularly common around the Bay of Bengal in eastern India.
Coastal and some inland areas are vulnerable to storm surges, particularly:
- Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry
- the Andaman and Nicobar Islands
- Western India (Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat)
Cyclones and storms can disrupt critical services, including:
- emergency and medical care
- food and water supplies
If there's a cyclone or storm:
- you may get stuck in the area
- flights could be delayed or suspended
- available flights may fill quickly
- adequate shelter may not be available
If you arrive during the wet season, contact your tour operator to check if services are affected.
Dust storms occur during summer and have caused deaths.
Earthquakes and tsunamis
Earth tremors are common in India, particularly in the north-eastern states.
Earth tremors can cause landslides in hilly and mountainous areas.
If there is an earthquake, expect severe disruptions to services.
To stay safe during an earthquake:
- know the emergency plans at your accommodation
- follow the instructions and advice of local authorities
- follow evacuation orders
All oceanic regions of the world can experience tsunamis. However, the Indian and Pacific Oceans experience large, destructive tsunamis more often. Be alert to warnings. A tsunami could quickly follow a tremor or earthquake.
Move to high ground straight away if:
- local authorities advise you to
- you feel a strong earthquake that makes it hard to stand up
- you feel a weak, rolling earthquake that lasts a minute or more
- you see a sudden rise or fall in sea level
- you hear loud and unusual noises from the sea
Don't wait for official warnings. Once on high ground, monitor local media and weather services.
Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you travel.
Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many thousands of dollars up-front for medical care.
- what activities and care your policy covers
- that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away
Physical and mental health
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
- have a basic health check-up
- ask if your travel plans may affect your health
- plan any vaccinations you need
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
If you have immediate concerns for your welfare or the welfare of another Australian, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location.
- General health advice
- Healthy holiday tips (Healthdirect Australia)
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in India. Take enough legal medicine for your trip.
Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:
- what the medication is
- your required dosage
- that it's for personal use
Swine flu (h1n1).
Cases of Swine flu or influenza A (H1N1) are widespread in winter.
Talk to your GP or travel doctor about vaccinations before you leave Australia.
Malaria is a risk in most parts of India, including major cities.
Dengue is widespread after the monsoon season.
Other insect-borne diseases are common, including:
- Japanese encephalitis
Zika virus outbreaks can occur in India. There's no vaccination available for the Zika virus.
If you're pregnant:
- talk to your doctor about your travel plans
- defer non-essential travel to affected areas
To protect yourself from disease:
- make sure your accommodation is insect-proof
- use insect repellent
- wear long, loose, light-coloured clothing
- consider taking medicine to prevent malaria
Zika virus fact sheet (WHO)
Nipah virus outbreaks can occur in India. There’s no vaccination available for the Nipah virus. Nipah virus is usually transmitted through contact with an infected person or through infected animals, such as bats, as well as food and materials contaminated with their saliva or urine.
HIV/AIDS is widespread in India. Take precautions if you engage in activities that expose you to the risk of infection.
Other health risks
Waterborne, foodborne, parasitic and other infectious diseases are very common, including:
Tap water is not safe to drink.
To protect yourself from illness:
- drink treated water or drink bottled water with intact seals
- avoid ice cubes
- avoid raw and undercooked food
- don't swim in freshwater
- avoid contact with dogs, monkeys and other mammals
If you're bitten or scratched by an animal, seek medical help straight away.
Get medical attention if you suspect food poisoning or have a fever or diarrhoea.
Air pollution levels in parts of India can spike to hazardous levels during the winter months, October to February.
Severe pollution can cause:
- flight delays
- traffic delays
It can also increase the risk of breathing problems.
People who have pre-existing medical conditions, particularly heart and lung conditions, may be especially affected.
If you're concerned about the levels of air pollution:
- seek medical advice
- follow advice from local authorities about methods to reduce exposure
- monitor an air quality index
- reduce your exposure
- Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC)
Medical facilities in major cities have adequate treatment standards. Facilities in remote and rural areas can be very limited or unavailable.
If you're seriously ill or injured, you may be evacuated to a place with better facilities. Medical evacuation can be very expensive with long lead times.
Medical tourism has become more common in India, including for:
- cosmetic procedures
- experimental stem cell treatments
Standards at a discount and uncertified medical establishments can be poor.
Serious and possibly life-threatening complications can and do occur.
If you plan to visit India for medical tourism:
- research and choose your medical service providers carefully
- don't use discounts or uncertified medical service providers
Decompression chambers are available at:
- the Indian Navy base in Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
- the Goa Medical College, Goa
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter . But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
If you're arrested for a major offence, you could go to prison for several years before you receive a verdict.
If you're imprisoned, there could be delays in getting help from the Australian Government. This is due to India's consular access approval requirements.
Drugs and alcohol
Penalties for drug offences are severe and can include mandatory sentences and the death penalty.
The minimum legal drinking age ranges from 18 to 25 years, depending on the state.
The legal drinking age can vary for different types of alcohol.
Some states permit alcohol use for medicinal purposes only. Others require you to hold a permit to buy, transport or drink alcohol.
Some states prohibit alcohol from being brought in from outside the state, and police may check vehicles to enforce this law.
Check the alcohol laws of each place you plan to visit.
E-cigarettes and vaporisers
It is illegal to import, possess or use e-cigarettes, vaporisers or their components, such as refills. Penalties include imprisonment.
Commercial surrogacy is illegal in India.
- Going overseas for international surrogacy
- Going overseas to adopt a child
It's illegal to give or receive a dowry.
Courts can issue arrest alert notices for dowry claims a wronged party's request.
If you've been involved in giving or receiving a dowry or a case has been filed against you for dowry and harassment, you could be arrested on arrival into India.
It's illegal to fly unmanned aircraft systems, such as drones, without official permission, particularly:
- within a 30km radius of India Gate in New Delhi
- near military, transport and power facilities
Contact local police for advice and to get permission.
Possessing or exporting antiquities without official permission is illegal. For information contact the Indian Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs or an embassy or consulate of India .
It's illegal to photograph or trespass on:
- military establishments
It's also illegal to take pictures or videos of some places of worship. Always check with the building's administrative office before taking photos or videos.
In India, it's illegal to:
- not carry your passport and a valid visa
- carry or use a satellite phone, satellite GPS or other satellite-enabled navigation devices without official permission
- possess firearms or ammunition
- do religious missionary work without an appropriate visa
Those carrying and/or using satellite phones and satellite-enabled navigation devices may be denied entry to India, detained, arrested and/or fined. This may occur even in the case of transits.
In some states, attempting to convert a person to another religion is illegal by force or other enticement.
It's also illegal to maim or kill a cow deliberately. The penalty is up to 5 years imprisonment in some states.
Some crimes may result in the death penalty, including:
- kidnapping for ransom
- armed robbery with murder
- rape, in certain circumstances
- Staying within the law and respecting customs
- Advice for LGBTI travellers
- Doing business
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Staying within the law
Codes of dress and behaviour are strict in India. These are particularly important at religious sites.
Physical contact between men and women in public might be considered inappropriate. Take care not to offend.
If in doubt, seek local advice.
In India, the Islamic holiday month of Ramadan is observed. Respect religious and cultural customs and laws at this time.
During Ramadan, eating, drinking and smoking may be illegal in public during the day. If you're not fasting, avoid these activities around people who are. Seek local advice to avoid offence.
Explore our Ramadan page to learn more, including dates for Ramadan.
The Indian constitution doesn't recognise dual nationality.
Indian law allows people of Indian origin in some countries to apply for Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI). This includes people in Australia.
Check the Overseas Citizenship of India section of the Indian Government's Ministry of Home Affairs website for details.
Visas and border measures
Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering.
You must apply for a visa before arrival. Check if you're eligible for an e-visa on the Indian Visa Online website. For information regarding other visa categories or entry and exit requirements, see the Indian High Commission in Australia website.
For information and advice regarding Indian visas and immigration regulations while in India, see the FRRO/FRO and the Bureau of Immigration websites.
If your visa has expired or you have overstayed your visa, make sure you regularise your immigration status with the FRRO/FRO before you seek to travel. Immigration authorities may prevent you from leaving India on an expired visa.
If you have had a baby in India, register the baby with the FRRO and secure an exit permit before you travel.
You may be eligible for an Electronic Visa (e-Visa) for:
- medical reasons
Get your e-Visa at least 4 days before you arrive.
Check that you're eligible before you apply. See the Government of India's Indian Visa Online website for details.
Indian Tourist e-Visas can be granted for 30 days, one year or five years. Additional conditions regarding the maximum length of stay may apply depending on the nationality shown on your passport. Detailed information regarding your visa validity and the maximum length of stay for each visa category can be found on the Indian Visa Online and Ministry of Home Affairs websites.
Beware of fake websites offering e-Visa services.
Carry a printed copy of your e-Visa, known as an electronic travel authorisation (ETA).
You'll get a formal visa in your passport when you arrive in India.
Long queues are common at immigration counters in India, regardless of visa type.
Not all international airports in India allow passengers to enter with an e-Visa. Check with your nearest Indian consulate, embassy or agent and organise a visa before you arrive.
If you present an e-Visa at an entry point where the e-Visa is not recognised, you:
- won't be able to apply for any other visa
- won't be allowed to enter India
- will be deported
If you have an e-Visa, you can leave India from any authorised immigration checkpoint.
All other visa applicants should contact the nearest Indian embassy or consulate.
If you don't have a valid passport or visa, you could be deported by Indian authorities.
Some visas require you to register yourself within 14 days of your arrival. Failing to do so may prevent you from departing India. Visit the Ministry of Home Affairs website for details.
The Australian High Commission and Australian Consulate-Generals in India can't help you to stay if you don't have the correct documents.
Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the Indian High Commission in Canberra for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.
Ministry of Home Affairs
If you're considering volunteer work, talk to the nearest embassy or consulate about visa requirements before travelling. This includes students visiting India under the New Colombo Plan.
Make sure you are contributing in an ethical and meaningful way.
Overstays and exit visas
You could incur heavy penalties for overstaying your visa, including being jailed.
Check your visa conditions and make sure you comply.
Leave India before your visa expires.
If your passport is lost or stolen while you're in India, contact the nearest Australian mission to get a replacement travel document. You'll then need to get an exit visa through the online porta l Foreigner's Regional Registration Office (FRRO) before you leave.
If your passport is lost or stolen:
- report it to the police
- arrange a replacement travel document from the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate
- apply for an exit visa from the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs
Laws controlling the import and export of Indian rupees, foreign currency and other goods can change with little notice.
Contact your nearest Indian embassy or consulate for up-to-date information.
Yellow fever vaccination
You'll need a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate to enter India if you travel from an area where yellow fever occurs.
See the Indian Government's Bureau of Immigration for advice.
Countries with a risk of yellow fever (PDF 152KB)
If you plan to stay in India for more than 180 days and do not hold an OCI card, register within 14 days of arrival with the Foreigner Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in major cities.
In other areas, you can register with the Superintendent of Police.
All visitors on long-term visas must register. This includes the following visas:
- project visas
You must register even if you're a foreigner of Indian origin.
If you don't register, you could face fines or imprisonment.
You may not be able to leave India until the Bureau of Immigration grants permission.
Some countries require you to have at least 6 months of validity remaining on your passport after the date you plan to leave. This can apply even if you're transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport .
Lost or stolen passport
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
- In Australia, contact the Australian Passport Information Service .
- If you're overseas, contact the nearest Australian embassy or consulate .
Passport with 'X' gender identifier
Although Australian passports comply with international standards for sex and gender, we can't guarantee that a passport showing 'X' in the sex field will be accepted for entry or transit by another country. Contact the nearest embassy, high commission or consulate of your destination before you arrive at the border to confirm if authorities will accept passports with 'X' gender markers.
- LGBTI travellers
ATMs that accept international debit and credit cards are widely available in larger cities and towns. However, they're harder to find in rural areas.
Cash shortages at ATMs can be a problem in rural areas.
Traveller's cheques are not widely accepted.
Counterfeit currency is in circulation. Take care when dealing with cash.
Reserve Bank of India
Cricket world cup.
The Cricket World Cup is being held across India between 5 October to 19 November 2023. Expect heightened security at match locations. Follow the advice of local authorities and monitor media for updates.
Travel delays are common.
Expect delays around days of national significance, including:
Fog often affects northern India, particularly during December and January. Fog may cause:
- delays to air and rail travel
- dangerous road travel conditions
Some state and union territory governments restrict foreigners from travelling around these areas.
There are heavy penalties for entering a protected or restricted area without permission.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has temporarily excluded the following areas from the Protected Area regime. Visit the Bureau of Indian Immigration webpage for details.
If you plan to visit a protected or restricted area:
- seek advice from an embassy or consulate of India or the Ministry of Home Affairs
- apply at least 4 weeks in advance
You can drive without an Indian driver's licence for 3 months if you have both:
- an International Driving Permit
- your current Australian driver's licence
Your licence must be valid for the type of vehicle you are driving.
You need an Indian driver's licence if you plan to drive in India for over 3 months.
Your insurance may be void if you have an accident without the correct licence. You could be liable for the accident as an unlicensed driver.
Travelling by road in India can be dangerous. Accidents are common.
- poorly maintained vehicles
- poor quality and congested roads
- roads shared with pedestrians, carts, cattle and other livestock
- vehicles travelling in the wrong direction, often without warning
Travelling by road at night is particularly dangerous due to:
- insufficient or non-existent lighting
- other vehicles driving with headlights off or on high beam
If you hit a pedestrian or cow, you're at risk of being attacked or becoming a victim of extortion, even if you weren't driving the vehicle.
If it's unsafe to remain at the scene of an accident, go to the nearest police station.
To stay safe when driving:
- avoid driving at night
- avoid driving in fog
- if you hit a pedestrian or cow, go straight to the nearest police station
Driving or riding
If you plan on riding a motorbike:
- check that your travel insurance policy covers you
- exercise caution
Always wear a helmet.
Use a pre-paid taxi service when you arrive at the airport.
It's difficult to verify if street taxis are legitimate.
Use taxi services booked from hotels or taxi stands. Don't hail taxis on the street.
Don't use unmarked private cars as taxis.
Rideshare apps are widely used in major cities. You can use these apps with a local SIM card.
Bus and train services can be dangerous due to the following:
- poor maintenance
- drivers who don't have adequate training
If you travel by train, find out where the emergency exits are located.
Transport and getting around safely
There may not be safety equipment, such as life jackets, on:
- tourist boats
- other small commercial crafts
Before you book, check the operators' credentials and safety equipment.
Travelling by boat
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check India's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Call 1800 11 1363 for 24/7 tourist helpline in 12 languages, run by the Ministry of Tourism.
Contact your provider with any complaints about tourist services or products.
Ministry of Tourism
Depending on what you need, contact your:
- family and friends
- travel agent
- insurance provider
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
For consular assistance, contact:
Australian High Commission, New Delhi
No. 1/50 G Shantipath (Gate 1)
New Delhi 110 021
Phone: (+91 11) 4139 9900
Fax: (+91 11) 2687 2228
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Australia in India
Australian Consulate-General, Mumbai
Level 10, A Wing
Opp MCA Cricket Club
G Block, Plot C 38-39
Bandra Kurla Complex
Mumbai 400 051
Phone: (+91 22) 6757 4900
Fax: (+91 22) 6757 4955
Email: [email protected]
Australian Consulate-General, Chennai
9th Floor, Express Chambers
Express Avenue Estate
Chennai 600 014
Phone: (+91 44) 4592 1300
Fax: (+91 44) 4592 1320
Email: [email protected]
Australian Consulate-General, Kolkata
1A, Ho Chi Minh Sarani
Kolkata 700 071
Phone: (+91 11 4910 5980)
Email: [email protected]
Check the High Commission website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
Australian Consulate-General, Bengaluru
99 Residency Road
Bengaluru, Karnataka 560025
Phone: (+91 11) 4910 5960
Email: [email protected]
24-hour Consular Emergency Centre
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
+61 2 6261 3305 from overseas
1300 555 135 in Australia
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