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India - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in India due to a continuing threat of terrorist attacks throughout the country at all times.
Manipur and the border areas of Arunachal Pradesh - Avoid non-essential travel
Avoid non-essential travel to Manipur and the areas of Arunachal Pradesh that border with Myanmar, due to the threat of insurgency.
Regional Advisory - Avoid all travel
Avoid all travel to the following regions:
- Jammu and Kashmir, with the exception of Ladakh via Manali or by air to Leh, due to sporadic terrorist activity and violent demonstrations;
- areas in Assam bordering Bangladesh, and areas in Manipur and Nagaland bordering Myanmar, as they are significantly affected by insurgency;
- areas within the immediate vicinity of the border with Pakistan, in the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan and Punjab, due to the possibility of landmines and unexploded ordnance, as well as unmarked border areas. The Wagah border crossing and towns farther from the border, such as Amritsar in Punjab and Bikaner and Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, are excluded from this advisory.
Travel Health Notice - Zika virus
The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued advice for travellers on the Zika virus, recommending that Canadians practice special health precautions while travelling in affected countries. Pregnant women and those considering becoming pregnant should avoid travel to India. See Health for more information.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Jammu and Kashmir (see Advisory)
There are risks of civil disorder and acts of terrorism in many districts of Jammu and Kashmir, and the Indian army has been given special powers in this state. The prevailing security threat remains at a high level. There are sporadic violent clashes between militants and Indian security forces, and occasional terrorist attacks against Indian security forces, in the Kashmir valley and Jammu region of the state. Civilians have been killed or injured during such attacks. You could find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Street demonstrations by the general public are easily triggered and can become violent; in the past, some have resulted in fatalities. Curfews and other mobility restrictions can be imposed by local authorities on short notice.
A strong military presence remains on both sides of the Line of Control (the military control line between India and Pakistan). Unmarked border areas, landmines and unexploded munitions constitute a risk. Since September 2016, cross-border gunfire and shelling have been occurring sporadically along the LoC.
Demonstrations, large gatherings and unrest
Political rallies, large gatherings and demonstrations are frequent throughout the country, and can turn violent without notice, even when they are intended to be peaceful, particularly around elections. Both domestic and international political events can trigger large-scale demonstrations that may result in civil unrest. Curfews are occasionally imposed and significant disruptions to traffic and public transportation may occur.
Inter-communal violence occasionally occurs, and can escalate and spread quickly.
Stampedes have occurred during events with large crowds, including religious ceremonies, and have resulted in deaths and injuries.
Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.
There is a threat of terrorism. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time. Targets could include public transportation, government buildings, political rallies, schools, places of worship and public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels, and sites frequented by foreigners. Be particularly vigilant during election periods and in the lead-up to and during periods of national significance, such as Diwali, Republic Day (January 26) and Independence Day (August 15).
Be aware of your surroundings at all times in public places. If you see a suspicious package, immediately leave the area and report the package to authorities.
Maoist extremist groups, known as Naxalites, are most active in areas identified by the Government of India as left-wing extremist states, which include Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Naxalites, who are responsible for more terrorist attacks in India than any other organization, are usually based in rural and forested areas within the left-wing extremist states. They mainly target government and security forces; however foreigners have been kidnapped.
There are frequent bombings and attacks by extremist groups in the northeastern state of Manipur. The Manipur-Mayanmar, Assam-Bangladesh, Nagaland-Myanmar and Arunachal Pradesh-Myanmar border areas are also affected by insurgency. Trains and railway tracks are sometimes targeted. While tourists have not been specifically targeted, bystanders can be affected.
Petty crime, including pickpocketing and bag snatching, is common. Ensure that your passport and personal belongings are secure at all times, as passports and valuables have been stolen from luggage on trains and buses. Never leave food or drinks unattended or in the care of strangers. Be wary of accepting snacks, beverages, gum or cigarettes from new acquaintances, as they may contain drugs that could put you at risk of sexual assault and robbery.
Reports of serious assault, rape and sexual aggression against foreign women have increased. Staring, vulgar comments and groping are not uncommon. Foreign women are often a target for unwanted attention. Avoid travelling alone, particularly at night, on public transportation, taxis and auto-rickshaws, as well as in less populous and unlit areas, including city streets, village lanes and beaches. Dress conservatively and respect local customs. Should you feel threatened, dial 100 (112 from cellular telephones) to reach police. See Her own way - a woman’s safe-travel guide for travel safety information for Canadian women.
Scams involving the export of jewels and/or carpets have occurred. Taxi drivers may approach you offering money to export such items. Do not accept any offer, no matter how convincing. Beware of offers for cheap transportation or accommodation. See Overseas fraud: an increasing threat to the safety of Canadians for more information on scams abroad.
Be very careful when crossing the street, even at pedestrian crossings. Travel by road is dangerous. Most roads, including major highways, are poorly maintained and traffic is congested. Drivers have little regard for traffic regulations and do not follow safe driving practices. After dark, avoid travelling outside urban centres as well as any travel by motorcycle or scooter. Use only officially marked taxis, pre-negotiate the far, and seek information from authorized service counters at airports or railway and bus stations. There is a possibility of mob anger when accidents cause serious injury. In such cases, remain in your vehicle and drive to the nearest police station to report the accident.
The four land links between India and Pakistan are highly restricted. See the Travel Advice and Advisories for Pakistan if you plan on travelling to that country. Border crossings (road and rail) are open on a limited basis only, and travellers should inquire in advance.
Rail accidents are common in India, mostly due to poor maintenance. Air and rail traffic in northern India is sometimes affected by cancellations and rescheduling in December and January, due to fog.
Maritime accidents are also common and are often caused by poor safety practices. Do not board vessels that appear overloaded or unseaworthy.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Pirate attacks occur in coastal waters and, in some cases, farther out at sea. Mariners should take appropriate precautions. For additional information, consult the Live Piracy Report published by the International Maritime Bureau.
If you intend to trek:
a) never trek alone;
b) always hire an experienced guide and ensure that the trekking company is reputable;
c) buy travel health insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation;
d) ensure that you are in top physical condition;
e) advise a family member or friend of your itinerary;
f) know the symptoms of acute altitude sickness, which can be fatal;
g) register with the nearest Canadian government office in India; and
h) obtain detailed information on trekking routes before setting out.
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 foreign diplomatic missions and consulates 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 at least 6 months from your date of entry into India and contain two blank pages for use by immigration officials. You must also present an onward or return ticket.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
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.
Canadians must obtain a visa for India prior to arrival or will be refused entry into the country. 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. If you hold an Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) card, you must present it upon entry into India.
Canadians can obtain an e-Tourist Visa for tourist visits not exceeding 60 days, if they are entering through one of the designated international airports or seaports. You can apply online for an e-visa, at least 4 days prior to travelling. Carry a printed copy of the email confirmation of your e-visa.
E-tourist visa – Government of India
If you are in possession of a tourist visa, you can only stay in India for up to 180 consecutive days, even when the validity of the visa exceeds 180 days. Foreign nationals going to India to execute projects or contracts must enter on an employment visa.
If you are staying in India for more than 180 days, you must register within 14 days of arrival with the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) closest to your place of residence. General information regarding the Indian visa rules, including the contact information for the FRROs is available on the website for the Bureau of Immigration. District Superintendents of Police are designated Foreigners Registration Officers (FROs) in certain cities. Canadian-Pakistani citizens are subject to different visa application and registration procedures.
- FRRO Contact List – India’s Bureau of Immigration
- Online registration – India’s Bureau of Immigration
- e-FRRO online portal (for services offered at the FRROs in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru) – India’s Bureau of Immigration
If your passport is lost or stolen, an exit visa is required to leave India. You can obtain an exit visa by presenting the FRRO/FRO with a police report, two current passport-size photographs and 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. Entry details must be verified by the FRRO before an exit visa can be issued. This process can take several days.
If you have overstayed your visa, the local police must provide clearance to FRRO to issue an exit visa which can be a lengthy process.
You are required to schedule an online appointment with the Bureau of Immigration before visiting the FRRO/FRO for your visa related issues.
Schedule an online appointment – India’s Bureau of Immigration
Tourist visa: Required
Employment visa: Required
Business visa: Required
Student visa: Required
Special permits are required to visit certain parts of India designated as restricted or protected areas.
Children and travel
Learn about travel with children.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
You must produce proof of polio vaccination if you are arriving from Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Israel, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan or Somalia. Contact the High Commission for the Republic of India in Ottawa or the closest Indian consular office for more information.
All passengers boarding flights in India must present their tickets or printouts of their e-tickets, along with photographic identification, to be allowed into the departure terminals.
Posted: May 28, 2018
Nipah virus in India
On May 19, 2018, an outbreak of Nipah virus was reported in India in the state of Kerala. There have been 29 cases reported and 11 associated deaths.
Nipah virus can be spread to humans through:
- contact with infected animals, particularly pigs and bats
- consumption of food and drinks contaminated by infected animals
- close contact with infected people
If you travel to India, it is recommended that you:
- avoid contact with animals, particularly pigs and bats
- protect yourself from the spread of germs by washing your hands with soap and water frequently
- avoid close contact with sick people and their body fluids
- do not drink raw date palm sap/toddy/juice, partly eaten fruits, or other food or drink potentially contaminated by fruit bats
Please visit the World Health Organization's regional office for South East Asia (SEARO) webpage for more information on Nipah virus outbreaks in the WHO South-East Asia Region.
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 provider about which ones are right for you.
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 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.
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 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 is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world.
Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
There is a risk of polio in this country.
- Be sure that your vaccination against polio is up to date. Polio is part of the routine vaccine schedule for children in Canada.
- One booster dose of the polio vaccine is recommended as an adult.
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 (i.e., close contact with animals, occupational risk, and children).
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Travellers to countries in South Asia should speak to a health care provider 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.
- 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 provider.
- There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.
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 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 is a risk in parts of this country. Most travellers are at very low risk.
For protection of cholera
All travellers should practise safe food and water precautions.
Travellers at higher risk should discuss with a health care provider the benefits of getting vaccinated.
Travellers at higher risk include those:
- visiting, working or living in areas with limited access to safe food, water and proper sanitation
- visiting areas where outbreaks are occurring.
- 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 pediatric travellers, travellers going to rural areas, visiting friends and relatives or travelling for a long period of time. Travellers visiting regions with typhoid risk, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care provider about vaccination.
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 filariasis, malaria and Zika virus.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
- Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- The risk of dengue is higher during the daytime, particularly at sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue 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.
Zika virus infection
Zika virus infection is a risk in this country. Recent or ongoing cases of Zika virus have been reported in this country.
All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites day and night.
Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects such as abnormally small heads (microcephaly). Zika virus can also be sexually transmitted.
Travellers who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy:
- Should avoid travel to this country
- If travel cannot be avoided follow strict mosquito bite prevention measures.
- Talk to your health care professional about the risk of Zika infection in pregnancy.
- Use condoms or avoid having sex for the duration of the pregnancy, if you are pregnant and your partner has travelled to this country.
- Female travellers: wait at least 2 months after returning from this country before trying to conceive (get pregnant) to ensure that any possible Zika virus infection has cleared your body.
- Male travellers: wait 6 months after returning from this country before trying to conceive. Use condoms or avoid having sex during that time.
See travel health notice: Zika virus: Advice for travellers
- 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.
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.
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 provider.
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 medical services and facilities varies throughout the country. Medical facilities are generally good in major centres, but are usually limited or unavailable in rural areas. Private facilities often provide a higher level of care, which can be expensive. Most hospitals require up-front payment or confirmation of insurance coverage prior to commencing treatment. Government hospitals provide services free or at minimal cost
There are decompression chambers in Goa and in the Andaman and Nicobar islands.
See Receiving medical care in other countries if you are contemplating undergoing a medical procedure in India.
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
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect fines and a minimum jail sentence of 10 years.
Laws on purchasing and consuming alcohol, including the legal drinking age, differ from state to state. Seek local advice.
There are strict regulations on the temporary import or export of items such as firearms, antiquities, electronic equipment, local currency, ivory, gold objects, pornographic materials and other prohibited materials. Non-residents are prohibited from importing or exporting the Indian rupee, while limits are imposed on residents. For more information, consult the Customs Guide for Travellers of India’s Central Board of Excise and Customs.
The Government of India requires the registration of antique items with local police, along with a photograph of each item. Contact the High Commission of Canada to India in New Delhi for specific information regarding customs requirements.
It is illegal to carry or use a satellite phone in India.
Photographing military installations, airports and dams is prohibited.
You must carry your passport at all times.
Traffic drives on the left.
An International driving permit is required. Helmets must be worn by motorcycle and scooter drivers and passengers.
The laws of India prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to India.
A proposed Indian government ban on foreign commercial surrogacy could affect Canadians considering travel to India for the purpose of entering into a surrogacy agreement. If you are considering this option, you should seek independent legal advice to ensure you are eligible and well informed regarding both Canadian and Indian laws and requirements. If you have already entered into a surrogacy arrangement, you should also seek advice from a local lawyer on how you could be affected. Consult the High Commission for the Republic of India in Ottawa and the High Commission of Canada in New Delhi for more information.
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.
If detained, Canadian citizens with dual citizenship of another country should notify the local authorities about their Canadian citizenship if they would like to receive consular assistance.
Dress conservatively, behave discreetly and respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities. Physical contact, such as holding hands, between men and women in public is frowned upon.
A number of Canadians have been involved in marital fraud and dowry abuse in India. Some cases involve misuse of India’s Dowry Prohibition Act. This law, enacted to protect women by making dowry demands a crime, is sometimes used to blackmail men through false allegations of dowry extortion. Individuals facing charges may be forced to remain in India until their cases have been settled or must compensate their spouses in exchange for the dismissal of charges. To avoid such problems, register your marriage in India along with a joint declaration of gifts exchanged, and consider a prenuptial agreement, as well.
The currency is the rupee (INR), which is not fully convertible. Credit cards are accepted in major cities. Check with your bank to find out whether your debit and credit cards will work in India.
On November 8, 2016, the government of India removed 500- and 1,000-rupee bank notes from circulation. More information can be found on the Reserve Bank of India’s website. If you find yourself short of funds, seek establishments that will accept your foreign credit card or mobile wallet application (load with a local card only). If you plan to travel to India, do not depend on cash as the sole method of payment, as ABMs continue to run out of cash.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
Cyclones and monsoon
The rainy (or monsoon) season in western and southwestern India extends from June to September. Severe rainstorms can cause flooding and landslides, which can cut off affected areas.
India’s coastline is subject to cyclonic storms. Heavy rain can cause flooding throughout the country, resulting in significant loss of life and extensive damage to infrastructure, and hampering the provision of essential services.
Keep informed of regional weather forecasts, avoid disaster areas and follow the instructions of local authorities.
Parts of India are located in active seismic zones. If you find yourself in or around an area affected by an earthquake, monitor local media for the latest developments and follow the advice of local authorities.
Many cities in India frequently experience high levels of air pollution, and dust storms occur across northern India.
- 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 - World Health Organization
In the summer, northeastern India periodically experiences heat waves. Keep informed of regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly.
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 100 / 112 from cellular telephones
- medical assistance: 102
- firefighters: 101
New Delhi - High Commission of Canada
Chandigarh - Consulate General of Canada
Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) - Consulate of Canada
Mumbai (Formerly Bombay) - Consulate General of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the High Commission of Canada in New Delhi 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, express 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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