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International travel during the COVID-19 pandemic: How to prepare for travel from Canada to India

Under the COVID-19 pandemic, India has suspended all tourist visas, leaving only OCI cardholders (Overseas Citizens of India), commonly known as dual citizenship, and Indian nationals who are stranded in Canada as eligible for travel. The current protocol for travel to India requires proof of double vaccination, a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test report prior to departure and a negative RT-PCR test report prior to return to Canada. Depending on the requirements of your destination country, you may not be required to take a COVID-19 test prior to entry. Please prepare for your travel according to the entry requirements of your specific destination.

Prior to departure

  1. COVID-19 testing

Travellers to India must obtain a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test report within 72 hours of their flight’s departure. The PCR nose-swab test results can take up to 24 hours, or up to 12 hours for the more expensive “Rush” PCR test. Be sure to print a copy of your test report to present at the airline check-in counter.

2. Online registration on entry

Most countries require its visitors to fill out a digital registration form via website/app prior to arrival. International travellers to India must upload a self-declaration form along with their negative PCR test on the Air Suvidha Portal.

On arrival

You may be required to take an RT-PCR test on arrival to your destination at your own expense, as regulated by your destination country. Upon landing at Indian airports, passengers arriving from or transiting through the United Kingdom, Europe, West Asia, South Africa, Bangladesh, Bostwana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand or Zimbabwe have to take another PCR test.

Return trip

As of September 27, 2021, passengers travelling from India can fly directly to Canada. India-Canada travel via indirect route still requires a negative RT-PCR test from a third country prior to entry to Canada.

Return via direct flight

Passengers travelling from India to Canada directly will need to take a COVID-19 molecular test 18 hours before their scheduled departure. The test can be taken at the Genestrings Laboratory, located above the metro station in the Airport Connect Building (ACB) at the Indira Gandhi International Airport. Travellers must present their negative test report with a QR code issued by the laboratory upon boarding the flight to Canada.

Return via indirect route

Passengers travelling from India to Canada via indirect route must obtain a negative RT-PCR test from a third country prior to their flight to Canada. In most cases, this requires an overnight stay in the third country, with a hotel booking at your own expense. It is important to note the possibility that COVID-19 testing for transiting passengers is not available at all international airports.

  1. COVID-19 testing

All travellers (above the age of 5) to Canada must obtain a negative COVID-19 PCR test report within 72 hours of their flight’s scheduled departure. Be sure to print a copy of your test report to show at the airport check-in counter. Keep a paper or digital version of your vaccine documentation (for each dose received) with you as well.

2. Arrival in third country

If you are transiting through a third country, you must complete the digital registration as required by the country by uploading your negative PCR test report along with your proof of vaccination at the applicable website of the third country. Online registration for passengers traveling to or transiting through Germany can be completed at

Upon arrival in the third country, be prepared to present your proof of vaccination and return ticket for your onward journey to Canada. Still at the airport, you can then proceed to completing your RT-PCR test. The COVID-19 test centre of the Frankfurt Airport offers RT-PCR tests with results in 1, 6, 12, or 24 hours. Be sure to have your PCR negative test result ready to present upon boarding your flight to Canada.

Arrival in Canada

Within 72 hours of your arrival to Canada, submit your travel details, pre-arrival negative test result, and proof of vaccination on Canada’s ArriveCAN app. Be ready to show your ArriveCAN receipt (as an email, screenshot, or printout) to the Canada Border Services Officer upon arrival in Canada.


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