Last updated: 6 Jan 2022

India

About

Squeezed onto a small island connected by bridges to the mainland, Mumbai is India's largest city and financial epicentre, home to great wealth, incredible real estate, glistening skyscrapers and fashion-savvy locals. But Mumbai is also a city of extreme inequality where affluence and abject poverty sit side by side. It is India's fashion capital and home to Bollywood - a city of contrasts that is endlessly fascinating.

Taj Mahal Palace & Tower is one of Mumbai's favourite landmarks, and draws countless visitors each year.

Mumbai's 136-year-old Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat is where the city's dirty laundry gets washed and aired. Every day hundreds of dhobi wallahs (someone who does the laundry) beat the dirt out of hundreds of bags of laundry in row upon row of open-air troughs.

In Delhi there are monuments, mosques and tombs in abundance, impressive colonial architecture, brilliant museums, excellent restaurants and more than enough bazaars, markets and shops.
Local Name: Bharat
Official Name: Republic of India
Capital:  New Delhi (DEL)
Currency:  Indian Rupee (INR). It is illegal to take Indian currency out of the country. 
Language:  Hindi and English. 20 other languages are also spoken, including Urdu, Bengali and Punjabi.
Dialling code from SA:  + 91
Time Zones: UTC / GMT +5½ (3½ hours ahead of South Africa)
Public Holidays 2022: 

Jan 13, 26; Mar 1, 18; Apr 14-15; May 3, 16 Jul 10; Aug 8, 15, 19; Oct 2, 5, 9, 24; Nov 8, Dec 25

Side of the Road: Left. 
Best Time to Go: India is a large country, the best time to go depends on which area. Delhi, Agra, Rajasthan and Central India: October – March; Himalayas: year-round, but are cold in December and January and wet from June to September; Kolkata: hot from February – April and wet from June – September; Kerala: April – May is very hot and June – August has heavy rain; Goa: year-round, heavy rainfall is June – September; Mumbai: year-round, heavy rainfall in July and August.   
Best for: Beaches, Bollywood, Ancient Architecture, Religious Sites
Plugs: 230-240 volts AC, 50Hz. Some areas have a DC supply. Plugs are of the round two- and three-pin type.
Drinking Water: All water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated. Bottled water is available; ensure that the seal is closed.
Health: There are adequate and well-equipped medical facilities, however visitors are required to pay for these services. In rural towns, medical facilities may be more limited. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended. If you require any medication on your travels it is best to bring it with you, in the original packaging, with a signed and dated letter from your doctor detailing exactly what it is and why you need it. If visiting a rural area, it is advisable to carry basic medical supplies. Food poisoning is common, it is best to carry rehydration salts with you.
Customs: There are many cultural and religious customs, which differ between cultural groups. Shoes should be removed when entering places of worship. Many Hindus are vegetarian and do not drink alcohol. Women should dress modestly (no short skirts, tight or revealing clothing) and men should dress respectfully. Avoid using your left hand, especially when eating. Wasting food is frowned upon. 
Local Offences / Laws: Smoking in public is prohibited. Topless bathing is illegal. 
Travel Tips / Warnings: There have been terrorist attacks in the main cities – check the local political situation before travelling. Religious events can attract thousands of people, and stampedes are reported at these types of events. Women should take care not to travel alone after dark or to rural areas, as rape and assault is common. 
Duty Free: The following items may be imported into India by non-resident travellers over 18 without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco.
• 2L of spirits or wine.
• Goods for personal use (only one laptop allowed per traveller).
• Gifts and souvenirs to the value of Rs8,000.
• Reasonable quantities of medicines. Import by non-residents is only permitted if the national has entered India for a stay of not less than 24 hours and not more than six months, provided they visit not more than once a month.
Prohibited Imports: Prohibited items include narcotics, pornography, counterfeit and pirated goods, and antiquities. Restricted items include firearms and ammunition, live birds and animals, endangered species, gold and silver (other than ornaments), and Indian currency. Indian residents only may import up to Rs7,500.
Prohibited Exports: Prohibited items include narcotics, pornography, counterfeit and pirated goods, and antiquities. Restricted items include firearms and ammunition, live birds and animals, endangered species, and Indian currency. Indian residents only may export up to Rs7,500.

Travel Alerts

Last updated: 09/09/2021

Passengers who are not nationals or residents of India are generally not permitted to travel to India.

Please note that requirements regarding testing on arrival, quarantine and forms may vary on state level. For more information, please see below.

Entry restrictions

  • Passengers are not permitted to enter India.
  • This does not apply to the following passengers:
    • Nationals of India, Bhutan and Nepal,
    • All passengers holding a valid OCI (Overseas Citizenship of India) or PIO (Person of Indian Origin) card with a passport,
      • Passengers travelling from the following countries are not permitted to enter India with an OCI or PIO card if they are not a national of their departure country: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Canada, Japan, Maldives, Nigeria, Oman, Tanzania, United Kingdom or United States.
    • Healthcare professionals, health researchers, engineers and technicians for technical work at Indian health sector facilities (including laboratories and factories), provided holding a letter of invitation from a registered healthcare facility, pharmaceutical company or accredited university in India,
    • Engineering, managerial, design or technical specialists, provided holding an invitation from a registered Indian business entity,
    • Foreign diplomats, officials or staff of UN/International organisation accreted in India. This includes their family members,
    • Passengers holding a valid visa. Tourist visas and e-Tourist Visas for India are currently suspended,
    • Foreign children provided one of their parents is either an Indian national or an OCI card holder,
    • Foreign spouses who are married to Indian nationals,
    • Foreign nationals who are single parent of minor children holding an Indian passport or OCI card,
    • Foreign nationals who are persons of Indian origin, and are travelling for family emergency or critical medical reasons,
    • Foreign nationals stranded in a neighbouring country and are seeking to travel to their destination country through India.
  • Visa is not required for passengers holding a "Certificate of Registration - Overseas Citizen of India" or "Persons of Indian Origin Card" issued by India, provided they are one of the following
    • Minors born to Indian nationals abroad,
    • Passengers travelling for family emergencies, such as death in the family,
    • Spouses of Indian nationals, provided holding permanent residence in India,
    • University students whose parents are Indian nationals living in India.
  • Passengers holding a "Certificate of Registration - Overseas Citizen of India" or "Persons of Indian Origin Card" issued by India must also complete the registration online here prior to travel.
  • Tourist visas and e-Tourist Visa for India are currently suspended. E-Business Visa, e-Medical Visa, e-Emergency X-Mis Visa, e-Conference Visa and e-Medical Attend Visa are admissible.

Test and declaration form requirements

  • All passengers, including infants and children, travelling to India must submit the Self-Declaration Form (SDF) and a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test result obtained 72 hours prior to departure on the online Air Suvidha portal prior to travel. The form can be accessed here.
    • Failure to complete the online registration, including the RT-PCR report, could result in refusal for acceptance. Additionally, passengers need to carry the printed copies of the Self-Declaration Form for submission at port of entry in India.
    • Passengers travelling from or transiting through Europe, the Middle East, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, South Africa, or Zimbabwe to India must also declare their travel history of the past 14 days on the SDF and will be subject to a Covid-19 molecular test at their own cost on arrival. If a negative result is received, passengers are advised to self-monitor their health for 14 days. If a positive result is received, passengers will undergo treatment as per standard health protocol
  • Passengers travelling from or transiting through the United Kingdom, Brazil or South Africa to India must submit the Self-Declaration Form (SDF) and a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test result obtained 72 hours prior to departure on the online Air Suvidha portal prior to travel. Passengers must also declare their travel history of the past 14 days on the SDF. The form can be accessed here.
    • Failure to complete the online registration, including the RT-PCR report, could result in refusal for acceptance. Additionally, passengers need to carry the printed copies of the Self-Declaration Form for submission at port of entry in India.

Authorisation requirements

  • Passengers must register with the nearest Embassy of India prior to departure.
    • Passengers arriving from the Netherlands can register here.
    • Passengers arriving from France can register here.

Application requirements

  • Passengers may be required to download the Aarogya Setu app onto their phone.

Quarantine and testing on arrival

  • Passengers are advised to self-monitor their health for 14 days on arrival.
  • Passengers may be required to quarantine for up to 28 days on arrival in India.
  • Passengers travelling from or transiting through the United Kingdom, Brazil or South Africa to India will be subject to a Covid-19 molecular test at their own cost on arrival in India. If a negative result is received, passengers must quarantine for 7 days and will regularly be followed up by the relevant state or district Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP). Passengers will be subject to another test on the 7th day, and if a negative result is received from this second test, passengers will be released from quarantine but must continue to monitor their health for a further 7 days. If a positive result is received from the test on arrival, passengers will be quarantined in an institutional isolation facility for 14 days, after which they will be subject to another test. The passenger will remain in the isolation facility until a negative result is received, and then will undergo treatment as per standard health protocol.
    • The requirement to undergo a Covid-19 molecular test on arrival in India does not apply to crew members.

Departure requirements   

  • Passengers are not permitted to travel from India.
  • This does not apply to the following:
    • Nationals or residents of a European Union or Schengen Area member state,
    • Nationals of India with a valid visa issued by a Schengen Area member state, provided their destination is a European Union or a Schengen Area member state,
    • Passengers holding a permanent residence permit issued by a European Union or a Schengen Area member state, provided they are travelling accompanied or are returning to their home country. This includes spouses of these passengers,
    • Seamen of foreign nationalities,
    • Indian seamen subject to clearance from Ministry of Shipping,
    • Passengers travelling with a student visa for study purpose, provided their final destination is a European Union member state, or
    • Foreign nationals provided their destination is a European Union or a Schengen Area member state.
  • Passengers departing India who require a negative Covid-19 PCR test to enter their destination country must ensure the test report has a QR code linking to the original report.

Location specific regulations

  • Passengers travelling to Jammu and Kashmir must fill in an Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) form and take a mandatory Covid-19 test on arrival. They must wait in quarantine until they receive a negative test result.
  • Passengers travelling to Punjab must register with the COVA app. Passengers may download the app on their phone or register here and print out a copy of their QR code.
  • Passengers travelling to Chandigarh must fill in a Health Declaration Form. Residents of Punjab may be required to submit to random Covid-19 testing on arrival.
  • Passengers travelling to Uttar Pradesh must register with the state government. Passengers may register here, or call 1800-180-5145 prior to leaving the arrival hall. Passengers visiting Uttar Pradesh for less than 7 days and holding evidence of their further travel details, are not subject to quarantine requirements.
  • Passengers travelling to Uttarakhand must register with the state government online. The registration form can be accessed here.
  • Passengers travelling to Chhattisgarh must register for an e-pass here prior to arrival.
  • Passengers travelling to Mizoram must register with the state government online prior to arrival. The registration form can be accessed here.
  • Passengers travelling to Kolkata must fill in and submit the declaration form using the Sandhane app.
  • Passengers travelling to Goa not holding a negative Covid-19 certificate, obtained within 48 hours prior to arrival, must either submit to a test on arrival at a cost of INR 2000 or quarantine for 14 days. Passengers must also fill in a declaration form prior to or on arrival in Goa.
  • Passengers travelling to Gujarat must download the Indore 311 app on their phone and register with the state government online here prior to arrival in Gujarat.
  • Passengers travelling to Rajasthan must fill in a Self-Health Declaration Form on arrival.
  • Passengers travelling to Aurangabad, Shirdi, Nagpur, Mumbai, and Kolhapur in the state of Maharashtra must fill in a Health Declaration Form on arrival. Passengers visiting for less than 8 days must hold evidence of their onward journey.
  • Passengers travelling to Karnataka must comply with the following requirements:
    • Register with the state government here prior to arrival,
    • Fill in a self-declaration form on arrival in Karnataka,
    • Undergo a Covid-19 test upon arrival.
    • Passengers departing from the United Kingdom, including those who have transited in other airports outside the United Kingdom before arriving in Bangalore International Airport (BLR), will be subject to a RT-PCR test for Covid-19 upon arrival. These passengers shall be under strict home quarantine for 14 days if they test negative for Covid-19 upon arrival, and shall be under hospital isolation if they test positive.
    • Passengers may find more information regarding the testing facilities at Bengaluru Kempegowda International Airport (BLR) online here.
  • Passengers travelling to Kerala must register with the state government here and obtain an e-pass prior to arrival. Passengers must also fill in a self-declaration form on arrival in Kerala.
  • Passengers travelling to Andhra Pradesh must register with the state government here and obtain an e-pass prior to arrival.
  • Passengers travelling to Tamil Nadu must register with the state government here and obtain an e-pass prior to arrival. Passengers should provide onward travel details if travelling to Tamil Nadu for 48 hours or less.
  • Passengers travelling to Mumbai are required to undergo a RT-PCR test for Covid-19 on arrival in Mumbai Airport (BOM) at their own expense. Passengers may find more information regarding the testing on arrival online here.
  • Passengers arriving in Mumbai Airport (BOM) are required to undergo home quarantine for 14 days at their own cost if they are travelling from or transiting through the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East, South Africa, and Brazil.  
  • Passengers arriving at Delhi Indira Gandhi Airport (DEL) may find more information regarding the testing facilities online here.

This Information is intended as a Guideline.

Issuing Authorities

a) Consulate-General of India
No. 1 Eton Road, Cnr. Jan Smuts and Eton
Roads, Parktown 2193
P O Box 6805 Johannesburg 2000
Tel: (011) 581 9800 - 9998 
Fax: (011) 482-8492 / 4648
Website: www.hcisouthafrica.in
E-mail: vccons@indconjoburg.co.za

Applications and phone calls received from 09h00 - 1700

b) Consulate General of India
1 Kingsmead Blvd, 2nd Floor, Kingsmead Office Park
Durban 4001
Tel: (031) 335 0300 / 0325
P O Box 3276 Durban 4000
Hours :  09h00-12h00 (Mon-Fri)
E-mail: cpv@cgidbn.com
Web: http://www.hcisouthafrica.in

c) Indian High Commission
852 Frances Baard Street, Cnr Frances Baard & Eastwood Street, Arcadia
Tel: (012) 342-5392/93/94/95
Fax: (012) 342 5310
Hours: 0900-1730
Web: http://www.hcisouthafrica.in

d) Consulate General of India
The Terraces
34 Bree Street, Cape Town
Tel: (021) 419 8110
Office Hours: 0900-1730
E-mail: admin@hcict.org.za

 

ALL VISAS ARE TO BE APPLIED FOR THROUGH VFS INDIA.
VFS Global Johannesburg : (Residents of Gauteng, North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces should apply at the VFS Global Centre in Johannesburg. When filling out the online application residents should select the Indian Mission as “SOUTH AFRICA – JOHANNESBURG” )
2nd Floor, Harrow Court 1
Isle of Houghton Office Park
Boundary Road
Park Town, Johannesburg

VFS Global Durban: ( Residents of KwaZulu Natal, Free State and Eastern Cape provinces should apply at the VFS Global Centre in Durban. When filling out an online application residents should select the Indian Mission as " SOUTH AFRICA - DURBAN")
Cowey Park, Essenwood, Office 401, 4th Floor
91-123 Cowey Road, Essenwood
Durban


VFS Global Cape Town: ( Residents of Northern Cape and Western Cape provinces should apply at VFS Global Centre in Cape Town. When filling out an online application, residents should select the Indian Mission as "SOUTH AFRICA - CAPE TOWN") 
1st Floor, 47 Strand Street
Cape Town

VFS Office hours : Submissions Mon-Fri 0800-1600 (except public holidays)
Collections Mon-Fri 1100-1700 (except public holidays)
Tel: (012) 425 3007
E-mail: info.inza@vfshelpline.com
Web: www.vfsglobal.com/india/southafrica

The length of stay on an e-visa has been increased from 30 days to 60 days , for double entry on tourist and business visas . For more info see https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html

 

 

 

 

Visa Requirements

The  e-Visa is free for South African passport holders. Biometrics will be done on arrival at the Airport in India.

India is issuing 10-year multi-entry visas for South African business travellers.The length of stay on an e-visa has been increased from 30 days to 60 days with double entry on tourist and business e-visas  For more information see: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html
Travellers are to carry a copy of the ETA during the time of travel and must confirm that its status was shown as "granted" on the website prior to travelling. 
Applicants can apply for visas through VFS Global Centres in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town www.vfsglobal.com/india/southafrica/

 


NB Print the checklist that corresponds with the visa category you are applying for  and attach it with your application. It is to be  filled in and signed. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

TOURIST VISA
1.Original Passport valid for a minimum of 6 months from date of return and having at least 3 blank pages.
2.2 passports sized coloured photographs conforming to Indian Government norms as per specifications.
3.Online application form submitted to the correct Indian Mission.
4.Return airline reservation with detailed itinerary.
5.Certified copy of the passport.
6.Proof of residence in South Africa, such as utility bill/ FICA documentfor South Africans & Foreign nationals
7.3 months bank statement of applicant with applicants name.
8.Applicants of Indian Orgin require proof of surrendered documentation(if previous nationality was Indian).
9.Original proof of payment. Use passport number as reference for the payment .

BUSINESS VISA:

1.Original signed passport with3 blank pages & with more than 6 months validity from return date from India.
2.Signed online application form submitted to correct INDIAN MISSION.(online form link:https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/info1.jsp)
3.2 coloured photographs (2 inX2 insize).
4.Return airline reservation with detailed itinerary.
5.Copy of the passport.
6.Proof of residence in South Africa, such as utility bill for South Africans & Foreign nationals. If the physcial residential address appears on the bank statement, a utility bill is not required.
7.6 month bank statement of applicant is mandatory (applicant’s personal bank statement).
8.Applicants of Indian Orgin require proof of surrendered documentation(if previous nationality was Indian)
9.Proof of EFT payment, (Only card payment accepted at the centre). 
10. Original/Fax copy of invitation letter from a recognized Indian company bearing the purpose of the visit, complete passport details of the applicant as well as travel dates.
11. Recommendation letter from the company of applicant giving a brief introduction of the South African company as well as the purpose of the visit, complete passport details of the applicant and to include travel dates , Certificate of Incorporation of the South African company Please note that there should be two signatures on the form. (One is on the first page below photograph and second is on next page below declaration)

TRANSIT VISA:
All tourism requirements plus detailed itinerary booking or evidence of onward journey from India Airport / India port

IF APPLICANT IS A MINOR

1.Signed consent letter from both parents authorizing minor to travel.
2.Certified copy of Unabridged Birth certificate.
3.Certified copies of parents as proof of identification
For all other visa applications see www.vfsglobal.com/india/southafrica

Visa Processing Time

Minimum 5 working days

Visa Cost

Check out www.vfsglobal.com/india/southafrica

Payments can be made through credit card or debit card. Deposit into bank account as per bank details below : 
Please note: EFT payments are not accepted.

Bank: Nedbank
Account Holder: VFS Visa Processing SA (PTY) Ltd
Account Number: 1012505804
Branch Code: 198765
Ref: Use passport number as beneficiary reference 

SA Representative

S.A. High Commission, B18 Vasant Marg, Vasant
Vihar, New Delhi, 110057, India
Tel: 0091-11-2614-9411-19
E-mail: dhc@sahc-india.com

Travel Health

Compulsory:  Yellow Fever (Dependant on Country of Origin/Stopover)
Recommended Travel Vaccines:  Hepatitis A & B, Japanese Encephalitis (Not available in SA), Rabies, Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio
  Malaria Risk