GENERAL INFORMATION FOR AUSTRALIAN TRAVELLERS IN INDIA

GENERAL INFORMATION FOR AUSTRALIAN TRAVELLERS IN INDIA

Most travellers experience no problems during their stay in India, but if they do, the Consular & Passport Section of the INDIAN VISA FOR AUSTRALIAN CITIZENS High Commission can provide a range of advice and assistance from issuing emergency passports, assist in cases of accident, serious illness or death, witness and certify documents, etc. However, we are unable to arrange any of your travel or hotel bookings, get you visas, pay private bills, legal costs or fines, get you out of goal or provide legal advice. The High Commission is however; always ready to assist in the case of an emergency. By law we must charge fees for certain services such as notarial acts, certifying documents, certificates of no impediment and producing introduction letters.

Travellers are recommended to observe precautions travelling in the country covered by the advice. For travel advice please visit: www.smartraveller.gov.au.

It is recommended that you register with the High Commission if you intend to stay in India for sometime. You can register yourself with the High Commission on-line at www.orao.dfat.gov.au.

The Australian Consulate-General in Mumbai & Chennai are also equipped to provide consular services. Contact details of the Australian Consulate-General in Mumbai & Chennai are –

Australian Consulate General, Chennai

9th Floor, Express Chambers
Express Avenue Estate, Whites Road, Royapettah
Chennai 600014
Tel: +91 44 4592 1300; Fax: +91 44 4592 1320

Australian Consulate General, Mumbai

Level 10, A Wing
Crescenzo Building
Opp MCA Cricket Club
G Block, Plot C 38-39
Bandra Kurla Complex
Mumbai 400 051
Tel: +91 22 6757 4900; Fax: +91 22 6757 4955

GENERAL INFORMATION:

WARNING: PRISON SENTENCES FOR POSSESSION OR USE OF NARCOTICS IN INDIA CAN BE SEVERE. IF CONVICTED OF AN OFFENCE UNDER INDIA’S NARCOTIC DRUGS AND PSYCHOTROPIC SUBSTANCES ACT (NDPS) 1985, THE MINIMUM SENTENCE IS TEN YEARS IN PRISON IN INDIA.

PASSPORTS:

Your passport is a valuable document which identifies you as an Australian citizen and provides evidence of your date of entry into India. It should be safeguarded with the utmost care. Many INDIAN VISA PORTS OF EXIT passports have been lost or stolen in India and can only be replaced after a thorough investigation. An application for a new passport must be lodged in person. In the absence of supporting documentation (e.g. birth, citizenship, marriage certificates etc), a limited validity passport is issued. You must report the theft/loss of an Australian passport to the police station that has jurisdiction for the area in which the passport was lost or stolen. This report is required for obtaining Indian visa in the replacement passport.

E-Passport

As part of Australia’s continuing strategy to combat identity fraud, crime and to protect the integrity of our passport issuing system, the Australian Government has, on 24 October 2005, introduced a new passport called an ‘ePassport’.

The ‘ePassport’ will contain a micro chip which will be embedded in the middle pages of the passport. The applicant’s digitised photograph is stored on the chip. The chip also stores the name, sex, date and place of birth, passport number, and the passport issue and expiry dates. This is the same information that appears on the passport data page of every passport. A digital key protects the stored data from alteration and mitigates the threat of photo substitution.

As the ePassport uses the applicant’s photograph to generate biometric information that is stored on the chip, it is essential that the photographs provided with the application comply with recognised international standards. If the photographs provided do not comply with standards the application will be delayed as new photographs will have to be submitted in the required format.

Note: If your passport is lost or stolen not only do you have to replace the passport, but you must apply at the nearest local Foreigners Registration Office for the replacement of your Indian visa. This can take some time to complete. The contact details for the New Delhi office is given below.

INDIAN VISAS

Australian nationals require a valid visa for entry into India, either as a tourist or in transit or in any other capacity. With effect from July 1990, persons coming to India for business purposes can be granted a business visa valid for five years subject to a cumulative stay of ninety days, but valid for multiple entries during the validity of the visa. A tourist visa cannot be converted to a student visa or a resident visa. You must re-apply for an entry visa outside India. This visa is then converted to a student or resident visa.

According Indian visa authorities, regsitration is required within 14 days of arrival in India for visas valid for more than 180 days. This can be done at the Foreigner’s Regional Registration Office (FRRO) closest to your base in India. Check with the FRRO in New Delhi which is located at East Block VIII, Level II, R K Puram, Sector -1 , Vivekananda Marg, New Delhi. Telephone: 26711443, Timings are 9.30 am to 4.00 pm (lunch 1.00pm to 1.30 pm) for details of any formalities with which you must comply.

Do not let your visa expire as you could be arrested, fined and jailed.

VISA EXTENSIONS UP TO 6 MONTHS: You should contact the Foreigners Regional Registration Office, East Block VIII, Level II, R K Puram, Sector – 1, Vivekananda Marg, New Delhi. Telephone: 91-11-26711443.

VISA EXTENSIONS OF MORE THAN 6 MONTHS: Ministry of Home Affairs (Foreigner’s Division), NDCC-II Building, Jai Singh Road, Off Parliament Street (Near Jantar Mantar) New Delhi 110001. Tel: +91 11 23438034, 23438037, 23438048, Fax: +91 11 23438033, 23438046, Email: visasupport@nic.in, Website: http://mha.nic.in/ForeigDiv/ForeigHome.html.
A personal appearance is absolutely necessary.

CURRENCY: If you arrive with USD2,500 or more (or the equivalent) you should declare it on arrival on a currency declaration form which is to be attested by a Customs Officer. Import or export of Indian Rupees is prohibited.

AIRPORT TAX: An airport departure tax is Rs.500 per person, check to see whether this fee has been included in the price of your ticket. If not, you will be required to pay the departure tax. If travelling to neighbouring countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Maldives Islands, Nepal, Pakistan, Myanmar and Sri Lanka) and coming back to India then it is Rs.150 otherwise it is Rs.300.

TRANSFER OF FUNDS IN INDIA: The speed and reliability of a transfer of funds from a bank in Australia to a bank in India will often depend on the specific bank concerned and whether the Indian bank is an agent of the transmitting bank. If it is not, the transfer may take considerably longer and can go astray.

Telegraphic transfers from Australia can however generally be arranged within two working days although in cases of emergency it can sometimes be done within 24 hours. Western Union (Travelex in Australia) will transfer funds quickly and can be waiting for you in 2 hours from the time of deposit in Australia.

Main issuing Banks and Agents:

 

American Express
A-Block, Conn aught Place,
Hamilton House
New Delhi.
Tel: 95124 2801 800 / 98109 00800
Thomas Cook Limited
Hotel Imperial,
Janpath,
New Delhi
Tel: 23342171, 23360564.
Western Union, (SITA)
F-12 Conn aught Place,
New Delhi.
Tel: 2331 1122.
Visa
Signature Towers,
Ground Floor, South City -1, NH-8
Gurgaon – 122001
Haryana
Tel: 95124 2581 937 / 2581 934
Fax: 95124 2581 935
Email: zmdel@andhrabank.co.in
MasterCard
Central Bank of India,
Link House,
Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg,
New Delhi.
Tel: 2331 9280.

 

LOST CREDIT CARDS OR TRAVELLERS’ CHEQUES – Emergency numbers

Contact your bank directly if your credit card is stolen or misused. Bank websites may provide specific information on credit card security or loss, along with contact numbers.

Please note the following numbers can be called reverse charges (through an operator) and 24 hours a day, except where noted.

Banks

ANZ Bank + 61 3 9683 7043 (reverse charges from overseas)

http://www.anz.com/personal/credit-cards/existing-card-holders/how/lost-stolen-cards/

Commonwealth Bank
61 2 132221 (free call 8am – 8 pm Sydney time)
61 2 9768 1078 (24 hours, but no reverse charges)

National Australia Bank (Mastercard – see MasterCard Global) (Visa – see Visa Emergency Assistance)

St George Bank
61 2 9553 5883
61 2 9845 4060 Green Cards and Advance-branded cards

Westpac 61 2 9374 7082 ATM Problems: 61 2 929 392 62

Colonial State Bank of NSW 61 2 9841 7911

Bank Of Melbourne 61 2 9374 7082

Bank West 65 345 1345 Visa, 1 314 275 6690 MasterCard, 61 8 9449 7000 Bankcard (24 hours, but not reverse charges)

Currency exchange and money transfer services:

American Express (lost cards) contact your nearest American Express Travel Service or Representative Office. (Lost travellers’ cheques) contract a travellers’ cheques worldwide refund service centre from the list of toll-free telephone numbers received on purchase of your travellers’ cheques

MasterCard Global 1 314 542 7111

Thomas Cook 44 1733 318 950

Travelex Australia
61 1300 367 390 (free call)
61 2 9223 6196 (7.30 am – 7 pm Sydney time, not reverse charges)

Visa Emergency Assistance 65 345 1345

Western Union
61 1300 367 390
61 2 9223 6196 (7.30 am – 7 pm Sydney time, not reverse charges)

MEDICAL/HEALTH

Note: The Australian High Commission cannot act as guarantor for the competence of the institutions/individuals mentioned below nor accept any responsibility whatsoever in regard to the consequences of accepting medical advice. Medicare Australia does not cover medical/hospital costs incurred overseas.

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