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I have a flight to India booked, and I want to separately book a connecting flight to Hong Kong that leaves from India the same day. The issue is that I don't have a visa for India.

If I book a connecting flight to Hong Kong separately from my inbound Indian flight, could my lack of Indian visa be a problem during that day waiting in the Indian airport?

I'm a Canadian citizen coming into New Delhi airport.

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Yes, it could be a problem. As always it is impossible to answer if it is a problem, unless you care to tell us what citizenship you have. It may also matter on which airport you are transiting. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Jul 27 '14 at 13:09
    
@Tor-EinarJarnbjo I'm a Canadian citizen coming into New Delhi airport. – Nick Budden Jul 27 '14 at 15:27
up vote 6 down vote accepted

The biggest factor will be if the two airlines have an interline agreement, which will determine if you can check your baggage through to your final destination. It would be wise to check with your originating airline to find out who they have agreements with (often listed in the baggage info section of their website) before buying your HK ticket.

If they can check your bags through AND you are transiting through a major airport like Delhi, Mumbai, etc AND you will be in country less than 24 hours, then you can remain airside in the transit lounge without a visa.

If they can not check your bags through or if you are transiting via one of India's secondary international airports without a sterile transit area, you will need a visa. But India does offer transit visas for this purpose.

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This has happened to me before. I had two separate flights Bangkok->London through India, two different airlines and Mumbai I think. My belief was that I would be able to not leave the transit zone and just remain there until the next flight.

When checking in in Thailand at the check in desk they noticed my lack of visa and said I can not proceed without one. They did, however, email the airport and asked specifically about my case whether they would allow to me board flight to India since I have a proof for flight in and out and whether they could make an exception. I didn't have main luggage so didn't have to worry about that. People from Indian airport replied that they can't do it so I was forced to buy another flight back home.

Not sure maybe things changed now. It sure was a big inconvenience and somehow I think I should have researched more before assuming that trip will be permitted within some sets of rules. Also I was travelling on British passport.

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