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TRAVEL FORMALATIES AND REGULATIONS
PASSPORTS: Introduction: Passports are the property of a Nation, and are issued by an arm of the Government of a country attached to the Foreign Ministry or the Ministry of External Affairs as is the case in India. Passports form the basis of identity and a traveler must carry one that is valid if that person wishes to go across the border of one’s own country for any reason. The basic credentials for international travel are: 1. Passport 2. Visa 3. Other permits like Visitors permit, Entry permit, Tourist Card., International Driving permit. 4. Health and immunization requirements 5. Customs clearance 6. Airline ticket The passport sets forth the identity and nationality of the traveler and authorizes him or her to enter a foreign country. Each person traveling abroad must have his or her passport. An Indian ordinary passport has a validity of 10 years ; a 20-year passport can also be applied for incase a traveler frequently goes abroad since it has more pages(60 pgs.) . The fee for a 20-year passport is higher. To obtain an Indian Passport, application forms may be purchased from the City Head Post Office or the Regional Passport Office.. The following documents are required to apply for a passport in India: 1) Proof of citizenship: A birth Certificate duly photocopied and notarized (attested). 2) Passport size photographs: These photos must be no more than 6 months old; 2 each per form is required. Dimensions of 3.5 cm X 3.5 cm in color. Should fit the box exactly. 3) Proof of Identity: A previously issued passport, or driving license, PAN card, ration card which has a stamped photo identity of the applicant. 4) Proof of Date of Birth: A previously issued passport, a 10th pass high school certificate or a Birth certificate. (attested copies will be attached to the application form) 5) FEE: For a fresh passport, Rs. 1000/- is the fee - 10 year validity (36 pages) For a renewal passport , the fee is also Rs.1000/- (60 pages) For a 20 year passport, the fee is Rs.1500/Duplicate Passport 36 pgs.(in lieu of lost ,stolen or damaged pp.) Rs. 2500/Duplicate passport in lieu of lost, stolen or damaged pp= Rs. 3000/For Children below 18 years of age ,the fee is Rs.600/The DD favoring the Regional Passport Officer of the State or District should be attached to the application when sending it. 6) Proof of Residence: If the applicant has been at the present address for over a year, then it is valid; otherwise, the previous address (within last 3 years) need to be written on the application form. An official from the Local Intelligence Unit (LIU) will visit and verify the Permanent & Present address of the applicant and speak to the applicant in person. This is called ‘Police Verification”.
2|Page Note: It is against the Law to give false information when submitting the details requested in the application form. DIPLOMATIC PASSPORT: This type of passport is issued to members of the Diplomatic Corps only who are posted to an Embassy or High commission of India overseas. When in a foreign country and working for the Indian government, personnel enjoy diplomatic immunity. This means that the laws of the foreign country do not apply to them and they can not be prosecuted in any way by their courts and Law. UN /UNESCO PASSPORT: This type of passport has a BLUE COVER which is the color of the United Nations. Whenever an Indian citizen working with the Armed Forces or attached to the UN to represent India , the United Nations, headquartered in New York, USA issues a ‘Special UN Passport’ which may be used by that person for the duration of his or her duty in another country . It signifies that that person is working for the United Nations. For example, the UN Peacekeeping Forces employed worldwide have that privilege. Also NGO’s involved in relief and aid work like the International Red Cross. JOINT OR FAMILY PASSPORT: A family passport may include the name of the spouse as well as the name or names of children below the age of 13 years. It must be noted that a person included in the passport of another may not use the passport for travel unless he is accompanied by the bearer /passport holder. VISAS: Besides a Passport, a person requires a valid VISA to travel to other countries. A visa is an endorsement placed in the passport by a consular officer located in one’s country. Embassies and High Commissions in New Delhi and Consulates in Metro cities like Mumbai & Chennai have the consular officers who provide diplomatic services and issue visas. When a visa is stamped on the passport, it indicates that the traveler is authorized to enter another country. Visas must be obtained in the country of residence prior to departure. All countries charge a VISA FEE which needs to be paid upon delivery of the visa. Application forms for visas are available from the Embassies concerned. Some countries require supporting documents like proof of finance (e.g. - UK and USA) Where-in one has to show how he or she will support themselves in another country. Sometimes letters from sponsors who state that you will be their guest is sufficient. In the US & UK Embassies for example, the traveler has to undergo a lengthy interview as well. Important is purpose of visit, place of residence in that country, duration of stay etc. Some countries which are tourism intensive have visas for travelers available on arrival at the airport, given by the local immigration officers. Airlines that carry passengers out of India also have the responsibility to check if the passenger carries a valid visa, otherwise it is their responsibility to bring the passenger home (at the Airline’s cost) incase the destination country refuses entry.
TYPES OF VISAS 1. Transit Visa 2. Tourist Visa
3|Page 3. Student Visa 4. Business Visa 5. Immigration Visa 6. Single Entry Visa 7. Double Entry Visa 8. Multiple Entry Visa The Visa clearly shows the date of issue of the Visa, the last date (expiry) of the visa, the name & passport number of the traveler. Travel Agents may arrange the visas as well as airline tickets for clients wishing to travel overseas on holidays. It forms part of a package Travel Agents advertise to promote their business and attract clients to destinations overseas. SOTC, Raj Travels, Thomas Cook, Kuoni are some such Travel Agents. HEALTH AND IMMUNISATION REQUIREMENTS: The WHO (World Health Organization) in collaboration with the United Nations require that all International Travellers get a Health & Immunization Booklet; these booklets are available with Airline Offices as well as Travel Agents since most countries require an international certificate of vaccination against small pox, cholera, yellow fever, while in some regions,travelers are advised to take anti-malaria medication prior to travel. (E.g.-Africa and South America) If a traveler has transited in an African country, yellow fever vaccination is required, and it should be mentioned on the ‘Health Certificate’ booklet all passengers must carry as part of their travel documents. Vaccinations however are not required for TRANSIT passengers, not leaving the Airport. The validity of vaccination certificates and the incubation period are given below: (i) Small Pox Not less than 8 days and valid for 3 years. Incubation period – 14 days (ii) Cholera Not less than 6 days , valid for 6 months. Incubation period- 5 days. (iii) Yellow fever Not less than 10 days, valid upto 10 years. Incubation period –6 days. UPON revaccination: (a) Smallpox on date of revaccination itself it is valid (b) Cholera immediately valid but must be done within 6 months of the previous one. (c )Yellow fever Valid immediately provided done before expiry of the 10 year period.
CUSTOMS CLEARANCE: When goods are brought into a country, Government Fees called Custom’s duties are charged to the owner. However all countries have their own rules and “Free Baggage Allowance” up to a certain value or quantity.
4|Page In the plane itself, before landing a passenger must declare the value of goods on a ‘customs declaration form,’ which airlines are supposed to carry and hand out to passengers .Personal effects such as clothing, jewelry, or small cameras belonging to the owner do not have to be declared, unless the owner intend to sell them on entering the country. Limits of quantity are placed on cigarettes and alcoholic beverages. Most countries like India for example allow 2 ltrs. of bottled liquor and 200 cigarettes as free allowance. India customs also allow Rs. 20,000 per person free baggage allowance for dutiable goods being brought into India. On arrival there are 2 channels through which passengers pass. The Green Channel for those who have nothing to declare as dutiable goods or are within their free allowance limits. The Red Channel for those who have sophisticated electronics etc, or have exceeded their allowance. Which needs to be declared? Foreign Currency over and above USD 5000.00 needs to be declared at the Customs counter and a declaration form must be signed and a certificate obtained. This is applicable to returning Indian Nationals and applies to Cash or Travellers Cheques only. There is no limit of how much currency one can bring into India provided it is declared upon arrival.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HIGH COMMISSION & AN EMBASSY:
These are two names for the same thing. Every country maintains and runs a Diplomatic Mission in other countries. They are located in the Capital cities of all countries. The main reason for their presence is that they are a link or liaison between the Government of their own country and the Country they are in. The people who work in them are called ‘diplomats.’ All countries who are part of the COMMONWEALTH; that is part of the British Empire at one time or another call their Missions abroad “High Commissions” while all other Nations call their mission’s “EMBASSIES”. Therefore it is an “Indian High Commission” doing the same thing as the “US Embassy”. Or the “Kenyan High Commission” or the “South African Embassy”. +++++++++++++++++++++++++
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