Getting to Aravind
- A Visa is necessary for you to travel to India. Please contact your local Indian Embassy or Consulate for the proper forms and information. Note: As of 2007, Indian visas for visitors from the USA are being outsourced to Travisa India. See the "https://indiavisa.travisaoutsourcing.com" section for website information. Be sure to apply for your visa early enough. You will need to send your passport together with the necessary payment.
- Foreign nationals desirous of coming to India are required to possess a valid passport of their country and a valid Indian visa. There is no provision of Visa on Arrival in India and no fee is charged for immigration facilities at the airports. Foreign passengers should ensure that they are in possession of valid Indian Visa before they start their journey to India except nationals of Nepal and Bhutan who do not require visa to enter India.
- The Government of India has issued a rule requiring people with multiple entry tourist visas to wait for a period of two months before returning to India. Initially, it was deemed relevant only to those holding five and 10 year tourist visas. So, even if you have a six month multiple entry tourist visa and you leave India, you most likely wont be allowed to return to India for two months. Exceptions can be made by applying for special permission from the Mission/Embassy abroad.
- Depending on the length of your stay it may be necessary to obtain a Residential Permit from the Police Department in Madurai on arrival.
- It is advisable to carry additional copies of your visa/ passport/ residential permit. Having spare passport-sized photographs with you will also be useful.
- It is advisable to obtain a travel insurance policy to cover theft, loss and medical problem before leaving for India. There are a wide range of policies, and your travel agent can advise you. Be sure to check the small print that covers things such as an emergency flight home with a medical escort and the ambulance costs. Keep a copy of this policy apart from the original.
- Before leaving your own country you should visit your doctor to receive information on the precautions and vaccinations needed for travel in India.
- Since India can be quite dusty, contact lens wearers may find it difficult, especially in the rural areas. It is advisable to bring along a pair of sunglasses and some sunscreen lotion. It also advisable to bring along some mosquito repellant or use electric mosquito repelling devices..
- When making your flight arrangements, try to find a travel agent familiar with India. Some inexpensive flights can be found, both from the major carriers and also from some of the new budget carriers in India.
- For travel to India from the USA, you can purchase a TSA approved travel lock with a strap to go around your suitcase, minimizing the chances of items disappearing from your luggage.
- Planes are sometimes double-booked and confirmation of booking and flight time is important.
- When checking your luggage for your journey to Aravind, you can usually check your baggage all the way to Chennai (or other major international airports). After going through customs inspection, you can re-check your bags for the remainder of your journey.
- For local flights within India, in addition to the other items you normally carry in your checked baggage, transfer all extra batteries from your hand baggage to your checked baggage otherwise they will be seized by airport security during check-in.
- Most Indian airports with international facilities have two separate terminals, one for international and one for domestic flights. When scheduling connecting flights, be sure to allow enough time for immigration, customs inspection, and transfer to the other terminal.
- Retain the baggage tags that you receive when you check in, as security may require you to show the tags when you leave the destination airport.
- If you have to stay overnight in Chennai, between connecting flights, we recommend the Hotel Mount Heera as a safe place to stay.
- Retiring rooms are also usually available at the Chennai airport. The cost is 750 rupees for one bed in a two-bed room, or around 500 rupees for a bed in the eight-room dormitory. These retiring rooms cannot be booked in advance. When you arrive at the Chennai airport, go to the Airport Managers offices, mid-way between the domestic and international terminals, and enquire whether space is available. This is a convenient, clean, and safe way to spend the night if youre leaving on a flight the next day. The airport restaurant is located above these rooms, on the next floor.
Foreigners entering India on a Student, Employment, Research or Missionary Visa, which is valid for more than 180 days, are required to register with the Foreigners Registration Officer under whose jurisdiction they propose to stay. This should be done within 14 days or arrival in India, irrespective of their actual period of stay.
Foreigners visiting India on any other category of long term VISA that is valid for more than 180 days are not required to register themselves if their actual stay does not exceed 180 days on each visit. If such a foreigner intends to stay in India for more than 180 days during a particular visit, he/she should get registered within 180 days of arrival in India.
The following categories of foreign nationals are exempt from registration:-
- (A) Those visiting India on any short term VISA i.e. valid for 180 days or less,
- Pakistan nationals are required to register within 24 hours of their arrival in India. Afghanistan nationals are required to register within 7 days of their arrival in India.
- There is no fee charged for registration. However, US$ 30 (Rupees equivalent amounting to Rs. 1395/-) is charged for over-stay and/or late registration, if overstay is condoned by the competent authority.
- Registration facilities are not provided at the airport. Registration is done in the offices of FRROs/CHIO or the Superintendents of Police/districts.
Formalities to be observed by registered foreigners:
A registered foreigner is issued a registration booklet containing his latest photograph, details of residence etc. An endorsement is made in the passport also regarding registration. The foreigner is required to intimate any permanent change in his address to the Registration Authorities. A foreigner is also required to inform the registration officer if he proposes to be absent from his registered address for a continuous period of 8 weeks or more. Similarly, a foreigner, who stays for a period of more than 8 weeks at any place other than the district of his registered address, shall inform the Registration Officer of that district of his presence.
Registration formalities for foreigners are guided by the Registration of Foreigners Act, 1939 and Registration of Foreigners Rules, 1992
Form to be filled up by foreigners staying at hotels:
Foreigners visiting India on Tourist Visa and not staying continuously for more than six months in India are not required to register themselves. However, all foreigners including even tourists and others who are not required to register, are required to fill up a form called Form-C (Rule-14, Registration of Foreigners Rules, 1992) at the time of their stay in any hotel (which includes any boarding-house, club, rest house, paying guest house, sarai and other premises of like nature).
Documents required at the time of registration:
- Registration form.
- 4 photographs.
- Proof of residential address in India
- Photocopy of main pages of passport i.e. those containing the photograph, personal particulars, Indian Visa and latest arrival stamp in India.