Immigration Formalities at International Airport

Formalities at the time of departure :

There are different terminals for arrival and departure at international airports. When a passenger is going to a foreign country, then he should proceed to the departure terminal of the respective airline. Before entering, the tourist should ensure that he has all items of luggage with clear identification, passport, and ticket. Trolleys are available outside the airport building. There is no concept of coolie as it is found at the railway station.

Passengers should report at their respective airline at their mentioned Check-in time (report time), typically 3-4 hours before departure of the flight.

  • X-ray of Baggage- The passengers should put their baggage on an X-ray machine near the Check-in counter. These items of luggage are carried in an unaccompanied baggage section, i.e., the passenger will not take them personally inside the aircraft.
  • Check-in Counter- After X-ray of baggage, the passenger should proceed with his luggage, passport, and ticket to the respective check-in counter. The flight no. is displayed overhead of each counter. There are different check-in counters for first, business, and economy class passengers. So, the passenger should proceed to the right Check-in desk. At this moment, his bag and other possessions are with him. He should be aware of frauds and touts.
  • Check-in Counter- At the airline check-in counter, the passenger has to pay an airport tax and foreign travel tax.

The passenger should hand over his passport and air ticket to the Check-in staff who will check all other documents. At this point, the Check-in baggage will be weighed for respective classes, e.g., 40 Kgs. for First class, 30 Kgs. for Business class, and 20 Kgs. on Economy class.

If the baggage is more than the fixed weight, he will have to pay excess baggage charges of 1% of the First class one way fare per kg.

Besides, the passenger is allowed to carry one hand baggage (unchecked baggage) with the dimensions not exceeding 45 inches or 115 cms. (length + breadth + thickness) which will be kept on the overhead compartment.

The passengers traveling to the USA can carry two pieces of luggage, which dimensions are limited according to class (see baggage rules).

At the Check-in counter, the respective flight coupon will be uplifted by the airline staff, and instead, he will be given a Board Pass. The passenger should ensure that the team has uplifted the right coupon. In Board Pass the position of seats (window or aisle side), meal request (Veg./Non-veg./Jain Meal, Indian/continental/ Chinese) gate no. Etc.; are mentioned.

After all checks, the passenger is given an Embarkation Card to be filled up by him. Baggage Tags are attached to the checked-in baggage. These tags will show flight no., destination, and bar codes. A counterfoil of the label will be assigned on the passenger’s ticket. Thus, the passenger is checked in.

  • After Check-in, if the passenger has some Indian currency, then he should get foreign currency at Money Exchangers. Indian currency can not be carried out of India.
  • After Check-in (and money exchange), the passenger should proceed for immigration formalities at ‘IMMIGRATION COUNTER.’

The passenger should check all visas are in order with specified dates. Then hand over the passport, embarkation form, ticket, and boarding pass to the immigration officer. He will keep the embarkation form and stamp ‘EXIT’ on the passenger’s passport with date and time of departure from the respective international airport.

  • Thus, now theoretically, the passenger has left India. Soon he cannot return outside in any case; otherwise, he has to follow all procedures again.
  • Custom Counter: After Immigration, there is a custom counter. As mentioned earlier, no one carries the Indian currency outside the country. If the passenger has valuable items, then he should declare all these on a TBRE Form; otherwise, when the passenger will return to India, heavy custom duties may be imposed on the passenger.
  • Duty-Free Shops: After all this, there are duty-free shops. The foreigners find it very attractive because the goods are desirable at an attractive price (without sales tax).

Now the passengers should proceed to the boarding gate. The number of barriers is indicated on the boarding pass. Then proceed to the departure lounge till the announcement is made to board the flight.

Formalities at the Time of Arrival in India :

It has almost similar ceremonies in reverse sequence. The passenger should complete the disembarkation form, usually given by the airline staff on the Board of the aircraft, which is arriving in India. On arrival in India, the passenger should pass through Emigration (not Immigration). He should come to the customs hall for clearance. Passengers have a commonly required declaration by oral in respect of baggage and money. When they carry more than $1000 or equitant. They should deposit the disembarkation card. If an Indian is returning with valuable items taken from India, then he should show the TBRE form. There are two channels for clearance:

  • Green Channel- for those passengers who don’t possess any dutiable articles or baggage.
  • Red Channel- For those who have valuable and dutiable items. If they want to take it back, then they should fill up the TBRE form.

If the passenger has unaccompanied goods, then the passenger needs a ‘landing certificate’ from customs, to describe these items.

For those foreigners who want to stay more than 180 days, a registration certificate and residential permit should be obtained from the nearest Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) within 15 days of arrival. Four photographs are required for registration. Foreigners also needed to show health documents on demand.

Thus the information regarding arrival and departures should be well known to tourists or tour operators so that he can save oneself from unnecessary harassment and delay.

Reference: DDEKUK  content was written by “Prof Ravi Kumar Bhushan” DTHM, KUk

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