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I hold an Afghanistan Passport and I am travelling from Kabul to the USA with two different airlines. I have a connection in Delhi of less than 24 hours and I won't exit the airport, but I need to claim my baggage myself from my first airline and re-check them to my second airline Delhi-USA. Do I need an Indian Transit Visa?

I called the Indian Embassy in Kabul a few days ago and told them the situation, and the Embassy answered that I don't need a transit visa since my stay is less than 24 hours and I am not exiting the airport. But still I am not sure.

  • I have added the most relevant tags to your question, please leave them unaltered as it will help other users who are able to answer your question find it. – mts Aug 30 '16 at 18:29
  • Possible duplicate of Do I need a visa to transit India? – JonathanReez Aug 30 '16 at 18:39
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    @JonathanReez OP has two different tickets and will need to collect his luggage. Not the case for the other question. – Revetahw Aug 30 '16 at 19:01
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    If you need to collect your luggage and re-check it, then you will be "entering" India because baggage belts are normally after immigration. It is immaterial whether you plan to exit the airport or not. – RedBaron Aug 31 '16 at 8:32
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As you need to collect your luggage, you will be exiting the "air-side" of the airport and hence need a Visa. The fact that you don't plan to exit the airport complex does not matter.

As answered here, India does not require a Visa if you only stay air-side (which is what happens if your luggage is checked all the way through to your final destination).

If you need to collect your luggage, you will have to pass through immigration (Source: map on official website and this writeup) and as Afghanistan ordinary passport holders are not exempt from visa requirements, you will need a visa.

You may be able to request the transfer desk to issue you a boarding pass and collect your luggage for you (as said by some people in linked question), but shouldn't rely on it. To be safe just get a Visa.

UPDATE: I have been browsing a few forums and people have recounted stories of how the transfer desk staff collected and checked-in their luggage when they arrived without a Visa (this, this and this). So it seems that it may be possible. I Think you can get in touch with your airlines (The one that flies you from Delhi-US) and ask them if they have any such arrangement at Delhi.

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