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Guidelines for Trinidad and Tobago Nationals in India

Visiting India

Visa Requirements
  • Trinidad and Tobago nationals require a visa to visit India. It can be obtained from the High Commission of India in Port of Spain.
  • The Indian authorities are very strict with the validity of the visa. Visitors are only permitted to stay in India for the duration of their visa. If visitors intend to stay beyond the validity of their visa an extension should be sought in advance. The process can be time consuming depending on which city the visitor is in; it is recommended to attend to the matter as early as possible. See FAQs section.
  • If the visitor has a Tourist visa, it cannot be changed to another category nor can you extend your stay unless there is a credible reason (e.g. illness).
  • If the visitor overstays beyond the validity of his/her visa, Indian laws stipulate that s/he is subject to being arrested. There have been such incidents in the past where Trinbagonian nationals have been arrested and subject to court trial. The legal system is very lengthy, so please be attentive to your visa validity.

Health Precautions
  • Visitors require a yellow fever vaccination before obtaining an India visa. Make sure to keep the vaccination card on your person when you travel as you are sometimes required to produce it on demand by Indian authorities at the airport and elsewhere.
  • Other health issues to be concerned with include hepatitis, malaria and TB. It is recommended that vaccinations be obtained where possible.
  • Keep prescription medication and other drugs for flu, diarrhoea, headache and rehydration salts on hand.
  • If you must visit a doctor, ensure that s/he has at least an MBBS.
  • Consume only bottled water and avoid street foods due to poor sanitary conditions.
  • Summer heat can cause heat strokes, it is advisable to do drink lots of liquids and wear sun protective clothing.
Safety Precautions
  • Terrorism in the form of bombs is a reality in India. Tendencies have been to place bombs in crowded areas such as markets, malls and public shrines/monuments. Visitors are advised to be vigilant of their surroundings and take note of the daily news broadcasts.

Register of Nationals

  • The High Commission maintains a database of Trinidad and Tobago Nationals in India and other parts of Asia to facilitate the Missionís outreach programmes (events for nationals or hosting of other events) and in case of emergencies/disasters, location of nationals. While not mandatory, Registration is strongly recommended.
  • See the Downloads section of this website for the Register of Nationals form.

Getting Married in India

  • Nationals must obtain a Certificate of Fact from the Ministry of Legal Affairs in Trinidad and Tobago prior to getting married in India. This document is required for the registration of the marriage in India. The marriage must be registered in the court for it to be recognised in Trinidad and Tobago
  • If your Indian spouse is to accompany you back to Trinidad and Tobago make sure to apply for the Trinidad and Tobago Visa early as it takes 3 to 21 days to process. In addition to which, a transit visa is normally required and that process also takes more than 5 days.
  • See the Downloads section of this website for how to obtain a Certificate of Fact and the Trinidad and Tobago Visa.

Indian Immigration Issues

Visas
  • The Indian authorities are very strict with the validity of the visa. Visitors are only permitted to stay in India for the duration of their visa. If visitors intend to stay beyond the validity of their visa an extension should be sought as early as possible. The process can be time consuming depending on which city the visitor is in; it is recommended to attend to the matter as early as possible. See FAQs section.
  • Holders of Tourist visas (T) cannot change the type of visa while they are in India.
Registration at Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO)
  • Trinidad and Tobago nationals require a visa to visit India. It can be obtained from the High Commission of India in Port of Spain.
  • The Indian authorities are very strict with the validity of the visa. Visitors are only permitted to stay in India for the duration of their visa. If visitors intend to stay beyond the validity of their visa an extension should be sought in advance. The process can be time consuming depending on which city the visitor is in; it is recommended to attend to the matter as early as possible. See FAQs section.
  • If the visitor has a Tourist visa, it cannot be changed to another category nor can you extend your stay unless there is a credible reason (e.g. illness).
  • Some visitors are required to Register their presence at the nearest FRRO. This usually applies to visitors staying longer than 180 days in India. You must Register within 14 days of arrival in India. There are penalties for late registration.
  • It is advisable to constantly update the FRRO of your whereabouts especially if you move residences, intend to travel out of India and move to another city within India.
  • If you move to a different city within India your file should be transferred to the FRRO in the new city.
  • It is advisable to keep copies of all correspondence given to the FRRO as in some cases files are misplaced or even lost and it is important to have evidence of when you registered with the FRRO.
  • FRRO offices are located in the Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Amritsar. In cities where there is no FRRO, you are to report to the District Superintendent of Police.
Person of Indian Origin (PIO) Programme
  • The PIO scheme was introduced in 2002 for persons of Indian origin from foreign countries except Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Sri Lanka (or any other country specified by the Government of India) who can show that:
    • S/he held an Indian passport in the past
    • S/he or either of her/his parents, grandparents or great gran parents was born in India or permanent resident in India provided that neither was at any time a citizen of another country
    • S/he is the spouse of a citizen of India or holder of PIO card holder
  • Benefits of the PIO card holder include:
    • No visa required to visit India for the validity of the PIO card. The PIO card is normally valid for 15 years.
    • No registration with FRRO required for stays up to 180 days. If stay exceeds 180 days, PIO cardholder should register within 30 days of the expiry of 180 days.
    • Does not require a student visa or an employment visa.
    • Enjoy parity with Non India Residents (NRI) with respect of economic, financial and education fields except in matters relating to acquisition to agriculture plantation/properties and political rights.
  • Applications for the PIO card can be made at the nearest High Commission of India or at the Ministry of Home Affairs in New Delhi, India
Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) Programme
  • The OCI programme was introduced in 2005 for foreign nationals who was eligible to become citizen of India on 26.01.1950 or was a citizen of India on or at anytime after 26.01.1950 or belonged to a territory that became part of India after 15.08.1947 and his/her children and grand children, provided his/her country of citizenship allows dual citizenship in some form or other under the local laws, is eligible for registration as an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI). Minor children of such persons are also eligible for OCI. However, if the applicant had ever been a citizen of Pakistan or Bangladesh, he/she will not be eligible for OCI.
  • Registered OCIs shall be entitled to following benefits:
    • Multiple entry, multi-purpose life long visa to visit India;
    • Exemption from reporting to Police authorities for any length of stay in India;
    • Parity with NRIs in financial, economic and educational fields except in the acquisition of agricultural or plantation properties.
    • A person registered as OCI is eligible to apply for grant of Indian citizenship under section 5(1)(g) of the Citizenship Act, 1955 if he/she is registered as OCI for five years and has been residing in India for one year out of the five years before making the application.
  • FAQs about OCI
    • Can parents of children wherein one of the parents is eligible for Overseas Indian Citizenship (OCI) apply for OCI? Yes
    • Can OCI be granted to foreign nationals who are not eligible for OCI but are married to persons eligible for OCI? No
    • What are the advantages of OCI when compared to PIO card holders?
      - An OCI is entitled to life long visa with free travel to India whereas for a PIO card holder it is only valid for 15 years.
      - A PIO cardholder is required to register with local police authorities for any stay exceeding 180 days in India on any single visit wheras an OCI is exempted from Registration with police authority for any length of stay in India.
      - An OCI gets a specific right to become an India citizen whereas the PIO cardholder does not have this.
    • Would the Indian civil and criminal law be applicable to OCI? Yes
    • Can renounce your OCI? Yes
    • Can a PIO cardholder apply to for OCI? Yes, once you meet the requirements.

Useful Websites on India

Government of India portal : www.india.gov.in
Ministry of Home Affairs : www.mha.nic.in
Immigration Bureau : www.immigrationindia.nic.in
Person of Indian Origin : www.immigrationindia.nic.in
Overseas Citizen of India : www.mha.nic.in
Ministry of Tourism : www.tourism.gov.in
* Information provided is meant as guidance and to make Trinidad and Tobago nationals in India and the region aware of certain issues which can become major incidents. Information provided is based on the High Commissionís experience since establishment.