India travel advice
Latest updates: The Health section was updated - travel health information (Public Health Agency of Canada)
Last updated: ET
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- Safety and security
- Entry and exit requirements
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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:
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.
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:
This advisory excludes the Wagah border crossing.
Safety and security
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:
- 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.
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.
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
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
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.
Entry and exit requirements
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.
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.
You can apply for certain types of visas online.
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
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.
- e-FRRO online portal (for Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru) - India’s Bureau of Immigration
- FRRO Contact List - India’s Bureau of Immigration
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.
Children and travel
Learn more about travelling with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
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.
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 - 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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).
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 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.
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.
For destination entry and exit requirements, including for COVID-19 vaccination requirements, please check the Entry/exit requirements section.
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.
- 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 provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss your options.
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
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 put you at higher risk 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’re more likely to come in contact with animals.
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
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.
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
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
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
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 phone 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.
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.
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.
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
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
- Hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones 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.
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
- 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.
New Delhi - High Commission of Canada
Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Delhi, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Ladakh, Lakshadweep, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Pondicherry, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, and UttarakhandAppointment Book your appointment online
Bengaluru - Consulate General of Canada
Chandigarh - Consulate General of Canada
Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh and PunjabAppointment Book your appointment online
Mumbai - Consulate General of Canada
Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and MaharashtraAppointment Book your appointment online
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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