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Moving with your pet to India

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If you are looking forward to moving to India with your pet, make sure you seek all the relevant information beforehand so that you don't miss out anything important. Whether it’s a cat or a dog, your pet must comply with certain specific regulations to be permitted to enter India. As per the pet import regulations, you are authorised to import a maximum of two pets to India, regardless of your nationality.

Conditions and requirements

You must be able to show that you will spend at least two years in the country to import a pet. Anyone who travels to India for a shorter stay on a tourist visa or business visa is not entitled to bring a pet along. There is also an age restriction on pets entering India; any pet that is to be imported must be more than three months old, otherwise, it will not be allowed to leave your home country.

Moreover, all pets entering the country must be issued a non-impediment certificate from your home country's veterinary service before travelling. For this, you can also hire a specialist who can handle all the paperwork and formalities.

Procedure

To apply for the non-impediment certificate you will have to produce following documents:

  • a statement issued by your employer (based in India) that you are making a stay of at least two years in the country
  • a pet import application letter (so that it can be transported as luggage)
  • a duly filled and signed pet health certificate issued seven days before your scheduled travel date by a licensed veterinary, indicating your name, as well as that of your employer
  • your pet's rabies vaccination certificate
  • a copy of your passport and visa
  • your pet's passport
  • your travel tickets, along with your flight plan
  • photos of your pet (on which you have mentioned its name, breed, colour and sex)
  • information on your pet's identification microchip
  • fees applied

Also note that entry of the pet must be accompanied by a No Objection Certificate (NOC), issued by the Animal Quarantine Station in India. The owner, spouse or an authorised agent has to apply for the NOC in person.

Before you leave

A proper health certificate that states the vaccinations received and gives clearance that the pet has no signs of any disease is important. Note that the rabies vaccination certificate must have been issued less than a month before your pet's scheduled arrival date in India. A blood test is also required in order to determine the effectiveness of the rabies vaccinations.

Make sure to enquire about the travelling conditions for pets with your carrier before you set off. A pet is required to travel in an appropriate cage according to its size and weight, if travelling as freight. However, those weighing less than five kg can travel in the cabin in an agreed bag (depending on your airline).

It is better to hire a specialist pet relocation company that may help you move your pet in the most appropriate way to India. They will not only help you with complicated paperwork and formalities, but also provide necessary help for transportation of your pet, such as arranging suitable travel containers.

Arrival in India

Pets must reach the country within 30 days of their owner's first immigration stamp as shown in their passport after a proper work or spouse/dependent visa has been issued. In the case of unaccompanied travel, they are entitled to enter between seven to 14 days after their owner.

 Good to know:

The owner's original passport will be held until your pet clears customs.

Tips for travelling to India with your pet

On arriving in India, your pet will be assessed by the Indian customs department. In order to ensure a hassle-free experience, make sure you carry all important documentation with you.

The climate and environment in India are different, and so it may cause some discomfort to your pet. High temperatures and humidity may be difficult for your pet to handle. Hence, it is important that you keep your pet hydrated and take extra care in the first days of its arrival. Make sure to give your pet regular treatment against fleas, ticks, tapeworms, and other types of parasites which may be prevalent.

When taking your dog out for a walk, make sure it is on a leash, especially in the streets and in gardens. You may encounter stray dogs, which could pose a risk to your dog, so a leash will ensure your dog will remain in your sight and out of trouble.

 Useful links:

In Defense of Animals – IDA
Animal Welfare Board of India
Pet Animal Welfare Society – PAWS
Indian Railways
Central Board of Excise and Customs

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.
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