India- entry formalities

Along with the Indian Visa, foreigners are required to obtain Inner Line permits for Sikkim, which are valid for 15 days at a time and can be extended for a further 15 days once in Sikkim. However no special permits are required for travelling to Darjeeling & Kalimpong. The permits are available at all Indian Missions / Consulates abroad and Sikkim Tourism Offices at Delhi, Calcutta, Siliguri and Gangtok. Recently Sikkim has introduced issuing permits at its’ border (in Rangpo) valid for 3 days. While applying locally you must provide 2 passport size photographs and photocopies of the passport pages with the copy of valid Visa. We advise you to obtain this before departing for India to avoid wasting valuable holiday time here.

Except for nationals of Bhutan and Nepal, all foreigners need to possess a valid Passport and obtain a Visa for visiting India. A Tourist Visa is valid for 6 months from the date of issue and is usually a 90-day visa. A Tourist Visa does not permit the holder to do business or academic or research work in India. Extension of tourist visa may be granted by the Foreign Registration Officer. Tourist staying for more than 90 days has to register themselves with the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer or the Superintendent of Police of the district within a period of one week from their arrival. They also have to report changes of address and any intended absence from the given address for 15 days or more.

Foreigners in India need to get special permits to visit various restricted and protected areas in some states.