Can I transit through India without a visa?
An Indian Transit Visa is required if your stopover in India is between 24 and 72 hours. If your stopover in India is longer than 72 hours, you will require an appropriate visa, such as a Visa on Arrival. Please keep in mind that even if your stopover is less than 24 hours, you will need a visa to enter the country. It might be a transit visa or another sort of visa, such as the India e-Tourist Visa (eTV).
You can pass through India without a visa if you satisfy all of the requirements listed below. The requirements are as follows:
- A layover of fewer than 24 hours, based on anticipated arrival and departure schedules;
- With confirmed plane tickets to a third country;
- Remaining in the Transit Area (no need to clear immigration or re-check your bags).
However, for one reason or another, you will frequently need to leave the transit area and cross customs. For example, if the airline does not re-check your bags to the final destination, or if your connecting flight does not depart on the same day and you wish to stay the night at a hotel outside the region, etc. In all of these circumstances, you must apply ahead of time for an entry and stay visa in order to transit through India.
This is why we usually recommend that visitors get a Transit Visa in advance or at the very least book the connecting aircraft on the same ticket as the journey to India. A single reservation allows you to connect from one aircraft to the next without having to cross immigration and reclaim your bags. If you book the connecting flight separately, it is very likely that your luggage will not be transferred (unless the airlines are codeshare and have an interline agreement for luggage transfer); in this case, you will need to reclaim your bags, go through customs, and, as a result, require a visa.
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