Traveling to India from Canada was Safe in 2022?

Avoid non-essential traveling to India from Canada due to the risk of the Omicron variant that causes COVID-19.

This advisory overrides all other advisories on this page, with the exception of those where we advise against all travel.

Continue to avoid all cruise ship travel outside of Canada.

Useful links

Flights from India

Direct flights from India to Canada have resumed.

Passengers eligible to enter Canada and traveling on those flights must:

  • obtain a pre-departure negative COVID-19 molecular test result from the Genestrings Laboratory, located above the metro station in the Airport Connect Building (ACB) at the Indira Gandhi International Airport
  • perform this test within 18 hours before their scheduled departure
  • present the test report with a QR code issued by this laboratory to the air operator before boarding

Alternatively, travelers who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 can present a positive molecular test issued by a certified laboratory in India. The date of the collection must have been between 10 and 180 days before their scheduled departure to Canada.

Airlines will refuse boarding to any traveler who’s unable to meet these requirements.

Indirect flights

Passengers who travel from India to Canada via an indirect route still need to provide a pre-departure negative COVID-19 molecular test result from a third country before continuing their journey to Canada.

Keep in mind:

  • certain countries don’t allow entry or transit of passengers arriving from India or of passengers who have previously tested positive for COVID-19
  • COVID-19 testing for passengers in transit might not be available in all international airports or third countries
  • if you test positive during transit, you may face local quarantine regulations or be returned to your point of departure

Carefully consider your itinerary, transit options, and entry requirements for third countries.

Safety and security

COVID-19 – Preventative measures and restrictions

In an attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19, most governments have implemented preventative measures and restrictions.

These could include:

  • curfews, movement restrictions, or lockdowns
  • the obligation to wear a face-covering, a surgical or respirator mask in some circumstances
  • the obligation to present proof of vaccination or a COVID-19 test result to access public and private services and spaces, including transportation, restaurants and cultural sites

Foreign authorities might not recognize or accept proof of vaccination issued by Canadian provinces and territories. You may need to obtain a translation, a notarization, an authentication, or the legalization of the document.

Before traveling, verify if specific restrictions or requirements are in effect.

Foreign Representatives in Canada

Entry/exit requirements

COVID-19 – Entry, exit and transit restrictions and requirements

Most governments have implemented special entry and exit restrictions and requirements for their territory due to COVID-19.

Foreign authorities might not recognize or accept proof of vaccination issued by Canadian provinces and territories. You may need to obtain a translation, a notarization, an authentication, or the legalization of the document.

Before traveling, verify if the local authorities of both your current location and destinations have implemented any restrictions or requirements related to this situation.

Restrictions imposed could include:

  • entry and exit bans, particularly for non-residents
  • quarantines of 14 days or more upon arrival, some in designated facilities, at your own cost
  • quarantines before your planned departure if you test positive for COVID-19, resulting in a delayed departure
  • health screenings and certificates as well as proof of adequate travel health insurance
  • border and airport closures
  • flight suspensions to/from certain destinations, and in some cases, all destinations
  • suspensions or reductions of other international transportation options

Additional restrictions can be imposed suddenly. Airlines can also suspend or reduce flights without notice. Your travel plans may be severely disrupted, making it difficult for you to return home. Consider even your transit points, as transit rules are in place in many destinations.

  • Monitor the media for the latest information
  • Contact your airline or tour operator to determine if the situation will disrupt your travel plans
  • Contact the nearest foreign diplomatic office for information on destination-specific restrictions

You should not depend on the Government of Canada for assistance to change your travel plans.

Health

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.

Laws & 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.

Drugs

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.

Alcohol

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
  • elections
  • national holidays

Smoking

It is prohibited to import, possess or use e-cigarettes, vaporizers, and their refills.

Beef consumption

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.

Religious proselytism

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

Satellite phones

It’s illegal to carry or use a satellite phone in India.

Photography

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:

  • firearms
  • antiquities
  • 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

Family law

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 custody, guardianship, and visitation rights.

Commercial surrogacy

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 traveling 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.

LGBTQ2 travellers

Indian law doesn’t criminalize sexual acts or relationships between persons of the same sex.

However, LGBTQ2 travelers could be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

Dual citizenship

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.

General information for travelers with dual citizenship

Identification

You must carry your passport and Indian visa at all times.

Driving

Traffic drives on the left.

You must carry an international driving permit.

More about the International Driving Permit

Money

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 & climate

Monsoon

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.

Cyclones

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

Seismic activity

Parts of India are located in active seismic zones. Earthquakes occur.

In the event of an earthquake, follow the instructions of local authorities.

What to do during an earthquake

Air pollution

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

Avalanches

In mountainous regions, avalanches present a risk and have resulted in fatalities.

  • Monitor local media and weather forecasts
  • Follow the advice of local authorities

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 the 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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