COVID-19 – Travel advice

A new variant of concern of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, Omicron, has been detected in several countries.

The Government of Canada is advising Canadians to exercise extra caution. Be sure to check for information on the presence of this new variant at your destination, which could impact your ability to return to Canada.

Community transmission of COVID-19 continues in many countries.

You should be fully vaccinated by completing a COVID-19 vaccine series in Canada or abroad at least 14 days before travelling. Be aware that although you are better protected against serious illness if you are vaccinated, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19.

If you’re unvaccinated, you remain at increased risk of being infected with and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 when travelling internationally. You should continue avoiding non-essential travel to all destinations.

Regardless of your vaccination status:

India Register Travel insurance Destinations

Last updated: ET

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Latest updates: Entry and exit requirements - Update of COVID-19 entry, exit and transit restrictions and requirements


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Risk level(s)

Risk level(s)

Flights from India

Direct flights from India to Canada have resumed.

Passengers eligible to enter Canada and travelling on those flights must:

  • obtain a pre-departure negative COVID-19 molecular test result from the Genestrings Laboratory, located above the metro station in the Airport Connect Building (ACB) at the Indira Gandhi International Airport
  • perform this test within 18 hours before their scheduled departure
  • present the test report with a QR code issued by this laboratory to the air operator before boarding

Alternatively, travellers who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 can present a positive molecular test issued by a certified laboratory in India. The date of collection must have been between 14 and 180 days before their scheduled departure to Canada.

Airlines will refuse boarding to any traveller who’s unable to meet these requirements.

Indirect flights

Passengers who travel from India to Canada via an indirect route still need to provide a pre-departure negative COVID-19 molecular test result from a third country before continuing their journey to Canada.

Keep in mind:

  • certain countries don’t allow entry or transit of passengers arriving from India or of passengers who have previously tested positive for COVID-19
  • COVID-19 testing for passengers in transit might not be available in all international airports or third countries
  • if you test positive during transit, you may face local quarantine regulations or be returned to your point of departure

Carefully consider your itinerary, transit options and entry requirements for third countries.

Useful links

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.

Parts of Northeastern India - Avoid non-essential travel

Avoid non-essential travel to the following states due to the risk of terrorism and insurgency:

  • Assam
  • Manipur

Safety and security situation

Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir - Avoid all travel

Avoid all travel to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir due to the unpredictable security situation. There is a threat of terrorism, militancy, civil unrest and kidnapping.

This advisory excludes travelling to or within the Union Territory of Ladakh.

Safety and security situation

Border areas with Pakistan - Avoid all travel

Avoid all travel to areas within 10 km of the border with Pakistan in the following states due to the unpredictable security situation and presence of landmines and unexploded ordnance:

  • Gujarat
  • Punjab
  • Rajasthan

This advisory excludes the Wagah border crossing.

Safety and security situation

Safety and security

Safety and security

COVID-19 - Preventative measures and restrictions

In an attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19, most governments have implemented preventative measures and restrictions.

These could include:

  • curfews, movement restrictions, or lockdowns
  • the obligation to wear a face-covering or a surgical mask in some circumstances
  • the obligation to present proof of vaccination or a COVID-19 test result to access public services and spaces

Foreign authorities might not recognize or accept proof of vaccination issued by Canadian provinces and territories. You may need to obtain a translation, a notarization, an authentication, or the legalization of the document.

Before travelling, verify if specific restrictions or requirements are in effect.

Foreign Representatives in Canada

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.

Terrorism

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
  • Bihar
  • Chhattisgarh
  • Jharkhand
  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Maharashtra
  • Odisha
  • Telangana
  • 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)
  • Eid
  • Independence Day (August 15)
  • Diwali

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

Crime

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

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

Scams

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

Romance scams

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.

Investment scams

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.

More about overseas fraud

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.

Women’s safety

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:

  • in Goa
  • in Delhi
  • 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.

Safe-travel guide for women

Forced marriages

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

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

More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Road safety

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

Public transportation

Trains

India has an extensive passenger train system. Rail accidents are common, mostly due to poor maintenance. Thefts are frequent on certain train lines.

Taxis

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 transportation

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

Piracy

Pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships occur in coastal waters. Mariners should take appropriate precautions.

Live piracy report - International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

General information about foreign domestic airlines

Water activities

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

Trekking

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

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.

Entry/exit requirements

Entry/exit requirements

COVID-19 - Entry, exit and transit restrictions and requirements

Most governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions and requirements for their territory due to COVID-19.

Foreign authorities might not recognize or accept proof of vaccination issued by Canadian provinces and territories. You may need to obtain a translation, a notarization, an authentication, or the legalization of the document.

Before travelling, verify if the local authorities of both your current location and destinations have implemented any restrictions or requirements related to this situation.

Restrictions imposed could include:

  • entry bans, particularly for non-residents
  • exit bans
  • quarantines of 14 days or more upon arrival, some in designated facilities, at your own cost
  • health screenings and certificates as well as proof of adequate travel health insurance
  • border closures
  • airport closures
  • flight suspensions to/from certain destinations, and in some cases, all destinations
  • suspensions or reductions of other international transportation options

Additional restrictions can be imposed suddenly. Airlines can also suspend or reduce flights without notice. Your travel plans may be severely disrupted, making it difficult for you to return home. Consider even your transit points, as transit rules are in place in many destinations.

  • Monitor the media for the latest information
  • Contact your airline or tour operator to determine if the situation will disrupt your travel plans
  • Contact the nearest foreign diplomatic office for information on destination-specific restrictions

You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance to change your travel plans.

Useful links

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.

Passport

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.

Official travel

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 diplomatic mission for your destination.

Useful links

Visas

Tourism visa: required
Work visa: required
Business visa: required
Student visa: required

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.

E-visas

You can apply for certain types of visas online, including tourist visas.

Ensure you apply at least 4 days before travelling, and you meet the eligibility requirements. Carry a copy of the e-visa at the time of travel.

E-visas - Government of India

Residency registration

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).

Useful links

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.

Dual citizenship

If you hold an Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) card, you must present it upon entry and exit.

Departure

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.

Useful links

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

Poliomyelitis

You may need to produce proof of polio vaccination if you are arriving in India from:

  • Afghanistan
  • the Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Ethiopia
  • Kenya
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Somalia
  • Syria

Confirm this requirement with the nearest Indian diplomatic office before travelling.

Useful links

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

Children and travel

Learn about travel with children.

 

Health

Health

Related Travel Health Notices
Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Vaccines

Routine Vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.

Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Vaccines to Consider

You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.

COVID-19

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 in Canada before travelling. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.

Influenza

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.

Japanese encephalitis

Japanese encephalitis is a viral infection that can cause swelling of the brain. It is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Risk is low for most travellers. Vaccination should be considered for those who may be exposed to mosquito bites (e.g., spending a large amount of time outdoors) while travelling in regions with risk of Japanese encephalitis.

Measles

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.

Rabies

Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).

Typhoid

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.

Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements

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.

Risk

  • 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.

Recommendation

  • 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.

Food/Water

Food and Water-borne Diseases

Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.

In some areas in South Asia, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in South Asia. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!

Cholera

Risk

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
  • 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

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 typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.


Insects

Insects and Illness

In some areas in South Asia, certain insects carry and spread diseases like chikungunya, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasismalaria and Zika virus.

Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.

Chikungunya

There is currently a risk of chikungunya in this 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

Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever is a viral disease that typically causes fever, bleeding under the skin, and pain. Risk is generally low for most travellers. It is spread to humans though contact with infected animal blood or bodily fluids, or from a tick bite. Protect yourself from tick bites and avoid animals. There is no vaccine available for Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever.

Dengue
  • 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.
Leishmaniasis, viceral

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

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.

Zika Virus

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.

Travel recommendations:

  • 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


Malaria

Malaria

  • There is a risk of malaria in certain areas and/or during a certain time of year in this country.
  • Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
  • Antimalarial medication may be recommended depending on your itinerary and the time of year you are travelling. See a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss your options.

Animals

Animals and Illness

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas in Southern Asia, like avian influenza and rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.


Person-to-Person

Person-to-Person Infections

Crowded conditions can increase your risk of certain illnesses. Remember to wash your hands often and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette to avoid colds, the flu and other illnesses.

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV are spread through blood and bodily fluids; practise safer sex.

Tuberculosis

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

COVID-19 - Testing facilities

Consult the following links to find out where you can get a COVID-19 test:

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

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.

Medical tourism

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.

Laws and culture

Laws & culture

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.

Drugs

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.

Useful links

Alcohol

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
  • elections
  • national holidays

Smoking

It is prohibited to import, possess or use e-cigarettes, vaporisers and their refills.

Beef consumption

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.

Religious proselytism

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

Satellite phones

It’s illegal to carry or use a satellite phone in India.

Photography

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:

  • firearms
  • antiquities
  • 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

Family law

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 custody, guardianship and visitation rights.

Commercial surrogacy

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.

LGBTQ2 travellers

Indian law doesn’t criminalize sexual acts or relationships between persons of the same sex.

However, LGBTQ2 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

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.

General information for travellers with dual citizenship

Identification

You must carry your passport and Indian visa at all times.

Driving

Traffic drives on the left.

You must carry an international driving permit.

More about the International Driving Permit

Money

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.

Natural disasters and climate

Natural disasters & climate

Monsoon

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.

Cyclones

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

Useful links

Seismic activity

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

Air pollution

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
  • follow the instructions of local authorities

Useful links

Avalanches

In mountainous regions, avalanches present a risk and have resulted in fatalities.

  • Monitor local media and weather forecasts
  • Follow the advice of local authorities
Assistance

Assistance

Local services

Emergency services

In case of emergency, dial:

  • police: 100/112 from cellular telephones
  • firefighters: 101
  • medical assistance: 102
  • victims of sexual harassment: 1091

General services

The Indian Ministry of Tourism offers 24-hour general advice for tourists.

Dial: 1-800 111-363.

Consular assistance

Due to the ongoing pandemic, our consular services could be limited. Contact us by email or telephone before visiting our offices.

New Delhi - High Commission of Canada
Street Address7/8 Shantipath, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110 021, IndiaTelephone+91 11 4178 2000Fax+91 11 4178 2023Emailindia.consular@international.gc.caInternetwww.canada.ca/CanadaAndIndiaServicesPassport Services AvailableFacebookHigh Commission of Canada to IndiaTwitter@CanadainIndiaConsular districtIndia (Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Delhi, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Ladakh, Lakshadweep, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand), Nepal and Bhutan
Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) - Consulate General of Canada
Street AddressWorld Trade Center, 22nd Floor, 26/1, Dr. Rajkumar Road, Malleshwaram West, Yeshwantpur, Bangalore 560055, Karnataka, IndiaTelephone+91 80 4924 7000Fax+91 80 4924 7005Emailindia.consular@international.gc.caInternetwww.canada.ca/CanadaAndIndiaServicesPassport Services AvailableFacebookCanada in India (High Commission of Canada)Twitter@CanadainIndiaConsular districtAndhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu and Telangana.
Chandigarh - Consulate General of Canada
Street AddressC413-C416, 4th Floor, Elante Office Complex, Plot No. 178-178A, Industrial & Business Park, Phase 1, Chandigarh 160002, IndiaTelephone+91 172 505 0300Fax+91 172 505 0323Emailindia.consular@international.gc.caInternetwww.canada.ca/CanadaAndIndiaFacebookCanada in India (High Commission of Canada)Twitter@CanadainIndiaConsular districtChandigarh, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab
Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) - Consulate of Canada
Street AddressDuncan House, 31 Netaji Subhas Road, Kolkata 700 001, IndiaTelephone+91 33 2242 6820Fax+91 33 2242 6828Emailindia.consular@international.gc.caInternetwww.canada.ca/CanadaAndIndiaFacebookCanada in India (High Commission of Canada)Twitter@CanadainIndiaConsular districtWest Bengal
Mumbai (Formerly Bombay) - Consulate General of Canada
Street AddressOne International Centre, Tower 2, 21st Floor, Senapati Bapat Marg, Elphinstone Road West, Mumbai 400 013, IndiaTelephone+91 22 6749 4444Fax+91 22 6749 4454Emailindia.consular@international.gc.caInternetwww.canada.ca/CanadaAndIndiaFacebookConsulate General of Canada in MumbaiTwitter@CanadainIndiaConsular districtGoa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra

For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada in India, in New Delhi, or the Consulate General of Canada in Bengaluru, Chandigarh or Mumbai, 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.

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