I'm taking a couple of trips in February 2016 and the cheapest flights I've found go through New Delhi. I wound up with a few different options which meant booking nearly all my flights through separate airlines on separate bookings. I know a transit visa is required to go through Customs to get checked baggage and go back through to your next flight.

Is going through Customs required if you have no checked luggage, only carry ons?

The three airlines I will be using through New Delhi are Emirates, Southern China Air, and either India Air or IndiGo (to go to Kathmandu, haven't purchased this ticket yet). All my layovers will be in the 2-6hr range. Obviously if I have to go through Customs I will have to extend my shorter layovers, but I hope that is not the case and I am able to do gate check-in for each airline.


1 Answer 1


You can transit without a visa in India provided you remain airside in the transit section of the airport, and you stay for less than 24 hours:

Then, when can I transit through India without a visa?

If you meet all of the following conditions, you can transit through India without visa. The conditions are:

  • Layover time less than 24 hours as determined by scheduled arrival and departure times;
  • With confirmed plane tickets to a third country;
  • Staying in the specific Transit Area (means no clearing immigration, no re-checking your luggage).

If you wish to stay for a longer layover, and are thinking of leaving the airport, you must apply for a transit visa allowing you to stay up to 72 hours:

Transit visa is granted for the sole purpose of enabling the visa holder to travel through India to reach his/her ultimate destination. Change of purpose is not allowed.


Transit Visa is valid for single journey or two journeys. It would be valid for entry within 15 days from date of issue specified by Indian Mission.

Duration of stay during each visit by foreign nationals passing through India should not exceed 3 days.

The applicant should possess confirmed ticket to his destination beyond India.

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