India visa requirements and travel health insurance
January 03, 2019
India is a place that awakens all of the senses, its filled with diversity, colorful surroundings, magnificent scenery and tasty cuisine. There’s a lot to get excited about when thinking of visiting India. With all the excitement and opportunity to explore, travel insurance will not be your first priority, but it’s important to think about organising your travel insurance policy so you can relax and enjoy your vacation.
Aside from finding the right cover for you, here are some other important travel tips to be aware of before you set off on your adventure:
Visa Information for India
Do I Need a Visa to Visit India?
You will need to apply for a tourist visa before your visit to India. You will also need a valid U.S. passport; it must be valid for a minimum of 6 months beyond your date of departure from India and it should have at least 2 blank pages for stamping.
Health and Medical Advice
Before jetting off on your travels, you should check for any required vaccinations or any epidemic breakouts occurring in India. It’s also a good idea to find out where the nearest hospital is in case of an emergency.
Do I Need to be Vaccinated When Travelling to India?
We would suggest that you get the following vaccinations before your trip to India:
• Hepatitis A and B
• Japanese Encephalitis
• Yellow Fever
Make sure to also update your routine vaccinations. The standard vaccines are:
• MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella)
• Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis
Book an appointment at your local practitioner or find your local passport health clinic. You should book an appointment at least four to six weeks before your trip.
Travel Health Updates in India
Currently, there are no reported epidemics occurring in India.
To keep up to date on any breakouts, visit the CDC website.
Emergency Contact Information
No one ever wants to have to call the emergency services while they’re on vacation, but unfortunately accidents happen and it’s important to be prepared for when they do.
• Police Emergency Number in India: 100
• Fire Emergency Number in India: 101
• Medical Emergency in India: 102
India Local Laws and Customs
• Drinking alcohol is prohibited in Bihar, Gujarat, Kerala, Manipur, Nagaland and Lakshadweep. If you are caught drinking or in possession of alcohol in these areas you can be arrested and may be charged with a lengthy prison sentence.
• Drug use or possession is illegal in India and there is a minimum 6-month sentence if you are caught.
• In India, it’s customary to eat with your hands. As such, in some restaurants or when you are eating with locals you may not be provided with cutlery initially but you can ask for some.
Safety and Security
The risk of terror attacks is a global concern. Terrorist groups are likely to try to carry out attacks in India. Attacks have been carried out by insurgent groups like Lashkar-e Tayyiba and Indian Mujahideen. The main focus of attacks has been against Indian government interests but there is also a threat of attack in popular tourist spots like religious sites, beaches and festivals. It’s important to stay vigilant, especially in public places.
Here are a few tips listed from the Travel State Government Website:
• Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings when traveling to popular tourist locations and large crowded public places.
• Follow the instructions of local authorities.
• Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
• Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
• Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
• U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
Petty Theft and Crime
Like any popular tourist areas, pickpocketing and petty theft are common. Be alert and keep your belongings with you at all times, especially in crowded areas like train stations and popular tourist spots.
Women should exercise caution when travelling in India even if they are in a group. Over the last few years, reported cases of sexual harassment and assault against women have increased. This includes female tourists. Dress modestly and avoid going anywhere alone.
U.S. Embassy in India
U.S. Embassy New Delhi
New Delhi – 110021
Telephone: +(91) (11) 2419-8000
Email: [email protected]
Useful Tips for India
Official Languages: Hindi
India has 22 official languages, but the most prominent and nationally spoken is Hindi which is the primary language of about 40% of India’s population and many more people have it as their second language. English is also widely spoken, especially in major cities and in the majority of tourist spots.
Currency: Indian rupee
Before your trip, make sure to exchange enough rupees for your spending requirements. It’s always a good idea to take some traveller checks with you too.
Indian Plug Sockets: Types C, D and M
The standard voltage and frequency are 230 V and 50 Hz. You will need a plug adapter for your appliances and devices.
You can determine if you need a converter or a transformer by looking at the appliance rating plate. A dual voltage rated appliance will display for example ‘INPUT: 110 - 240 V’ on the appliance body. In this case, you wouldn’t need a converter or transformer.
© 2018 UnitedHealth Group Incorporated. For informational purposes, UHG does not guarantee the correctness or completeness of the information.