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Kumbha Mela Newsletter #3


Dear Pilgrim,

This is your third Kumbha Mela newsletter. Last time we discussed who you meet in Delhi, January 17, 2001, important phone numbers in Delhi, temperature, guidelines on clothing, helpful information, etc.


This news update will cover:

-Immigration Passport


-Customs Formalities & Regulations

-Currency Regulations

-Arrival & Departure Formalities

-Health Regulations

-Foreign Travel Tax

The advice below is from the tourist office of India.



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



Requirement For Visa : Foreigners desirous of visiting India can do so after obtaining visa from the Indian Mission in their country of their residence. They should possess a valid National Passport - except in the case of nationals of Bhutan & Nepal, who may carry only suitable means of identification.

Tourist Visas: Usually, a multi-entry visa, valid for a period of 180 days, is granted for the purpose of tourism. The visa is valid from the date of issue.

Exemption from Registration : Foreigners coming to India on tourist visas for 180 days or shorter period are not required to register themselves with any authority in India. They can move about freely in the country, except to restricted/protected areas and prohibited places. Nationals of Bangladesh are exempted from registration up to six months. If their stay exceeds six months, they have to register themselves. Individuals without nationality (stateless persons; IRO refugees, persons receiving legal or political protection, holders of Nansen passport etc.) should have valid passports, identity documents or sworn affidavits along with the visa for which they should apply two months in advance. Family passports issued by other governments are recognized without discrimination.

Extension of Visa : As a rule no extension of stay is granted on a Tourist Visa.



Visitors are generally required to make an oral baggage declaration in respect of baggage and foreign currency in their possession. They are also required to obtain the Currency Declaration Form from the Customs. They should fill in the Disembarkation Card handed over to them by the airline during the course of the flight. There are two channels for clearance:

Green Channel: For passengers not in possession of any dutiable articles or unaccompanied baggage.

Red Channel: For passengers with dutiable articles or unaccompanied baggage or high value articles to be entered on the tourist Baggage Re-Export Form.



There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency or travelers' checks a tourist may bring into India provided he makes a declaration in the Currency Declaration Form given to him on arrival. This will enable him not only to exchange the currency bought in, but also to take the unspent currency out of India on departure. Cash, bank notes and travelers' checks up to US$ 1,000 or equivalent, need not be declared at the time of entry. Any money, in the form of travelers' checks, drafts, bills, checks, etc. in convertible currencies which tourists wish to convert into Indian currency, should be exchanged only through authorized money changers and banks who will issue an encashment certificate that is required at the time of reconversion of any unspent money into foreign currency. Exchanging of foreign currency other than banks or authorized money changers is an offense under Foreign Exchange Regulations Act 1973.



All persons including Indian nationals are required to fill in a Disembarkation Card, at the time of arrival. Four photographs are also required for registration.

Departure from India : All persons, except nationals of Bhutan & Nepal, leaving by air, road or rail have to fill in an Embarkation Card at the time of departure.

Exit Formalities : Every foreigner who is about to depart finally from India shall surrender his Certificate of Registration either to the Registration Officer of the place where he is registered or of the placemfrom where he intends to depart or to the Immigration Officer at the Port/Checkpost of exit from India.



Foreign tourists should be in possesion of their Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate conforming to International Health Regulation, if they are originating or transiting through Yellow Fever endemic countries.



Passengers embarking on journeys to any place outside India from a Customs airport/seaport will have to pay a Foreign Travel Tax (FTT) of Rs. 300 and Rs. 150 on journeys to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Maldives.



Central Board of Excise and Customs, India

URL: http://konark.ncst.ernet.in/customs/


The Central Board of Excise and Customs is headed by Chairman Shri B.P. Verma.

He is also a Special Secretary to the Government of India. Shri D.


Central Board of Excise and Customs, India

URL: http://konark.ncst.ernet.in/customs/TR.html