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How to Get a Pet Passport India [2021 GUIDE]

Whether you are planning on traveling with a pet to or from India, there are strict rules that apply.

Getting an Indian Pet Passport to enter India in 2021 is easy and will just take 4 simple steps:

  1. Research – entry requirements can vary depending on your pet’s species, age and breed. There are different entry regulations for different pet species. It’s important to ensure that your pet is permitted. If you are flying, you need to ensure your fly into an airport that allows the import of pets. Furthermore, you will need additional paperwork if your pet is an endangered species.
  2. Visit the vet – dogs and need a microchip and rabies vaccinations, and all pets need a general health check and health certificate at minimum.
  3. Document endorsement – health certificates must be endorsed by your governing authority responsible for import and export of animals.
  4. Apply for NOC – you must apply for a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Animal Quarantine Station in India. You may also require a license to import from the the Directorate General of Foreign Trade.

Getting a Pet Passport to export pets from India in 2021 may be a little more complicated as entry requirements for different countries vary.

In this article we will discuss the requirements to get a India Pet Passport in 2021.


What is an India Pet Passport?

India does not have an official ‘Pet Passport’, however it is a term used to describe the documents that are required to travel to and from India with a pet. Customs officials will need to see these documents in order to clear your pet. Essentially, a pet passport demonstrates that your pet is fit and healthy to travel. With a India Pet Passport, in most circumstances, your pet will not have to face a lengthly quarantine period. Generally, your pet will require a microchip, rabies vaccination, health certificate and no objection certificate (NOC). To export pets from India, you may require additional vaccinations and documents, as each country has different import requirements. 


What does an India Pet Passport contain?

An India Pet Passport contains all the documents required to enter or leave India with your pet. Essentially, it will prove that your pet is fit and healthy enough to travel. Pet Passports are required to ensure imported pets don’t pose as a health threat to other animals.

An India Pet Passport can contain any of the following information:

  1. Details of ownership (name, address, passport number, telephone, etc.)
  2. Description of the animal (name, species, breed, date of birth, etc.)
  3. Official veterinarian’s details
  4. Rabies vaccination certificate
  5. Microchip details
  6. Health certificate
  7. Additional vaccinations recorded and treatment records
  8. An optional photo
  9. Rabies antibody titer test results
  10. Additional parasite treatment records
  11. Anti-echinococcus treatment record

At minimum, your India pet passport will contain those listed 1-7. These are compulsory in order to travel to India with a pet. Those listed 8-11 are potential requirements that your pet may need, whether you are traveling into India or if you are traveling outside of India. We will go into more detail below.

All records must be signed and stamped by your official veterinarian with official stickers from the medication used.


How do I get a Pet Passport India?

RESEARCH

TRAVELING TO INDIA

Find out entry requirements for your pet’s species.

There are specific requirements for different species entering India. For detailed information on the requirements of bringing pets to India, check the requirements section below.

For more details on specific requirements for different species skip to the ‘What are species-specific requirements for an India Pet Passport?‘ section.

TRAVELING FROM INDIA TO ANOTHER COUNTRY

Check the entry requirements for your destination country and pet species. 

It is likely that your pet will only require a rabies vaccination, health certificate and microchip. These are the general requirements to enter many countries with a pet.

However, many countries have additional requirements, including the following:

  • Tapeworm treatments
  • Additional vaccinations, i.e. parainfluenza, leptospirosis, parvovirus, bordetella, hepatitis and distemper
  • Import permits / licenses
  • Government endorsement

If traveling outside of India, find out the requirements of your destination country before visiting the vet. You will also need to check whether there are any requirements to return to your home country.

We will discuss the requirements in detail below.

VISIT YOUR VET

When booking the appointment, inform your vet where you and your pet are heading to, so they can prepare your pet’s vaccinations. If you are traveling outside of India, they may need to prepare additional vaccinations and treatments.

TRAVELING TO INDIA

All pets will need to have their health checked before traveling to India. You will need to show an endorsed health certificate to customs officials to enter India with a pet. Dogs and cats will also need vaccinations. 

Whether your pet needs vaccinations depends on its species. Only dogs and cats require a rabies vaccination. Other pet’s such as rabbits, rodents and birds do not require vaccinations.

At your appointment, your vet will complete any vaccinations, if required, and perform a basic health examination to ensure your pet is well enough to travel. Dogs must show no signs of any clinical sign of any disease including rabies, canine distemper, parvo virus infection, leptospirosis, Infectious Canine Hepatitis, Scabies and Leishmaniasis.

Once the veterinarian is happy your pet is ready for travel, they will review and stamp all your paperwork. The appointment should take no longer than half an hour.

For more detailed information on the requirements skip to ‘What are the requirements for an India Pet Passport?‘.

TRAVELING FROM INDIA

If you are traveling from India with a pet, your pet will likely need additional treatments. At minimum your pet will need a microchip, a rabies vaccination and health check. Once your vet is happy that your pet is healthy enough for travel, they will review and stamp your paperwork.

Some countries also require that pets have a rabies titer test or rabies blood test, before entry. If your destination country requires a blood test then your vet will need to take a blood sample from your pet, before sending it off to a laboratory for testing.

We will discuss entry requirements for an India Pet Passport in more detail below. Skip ahead here.

DOCUMENT ENDORSEMENT

TRAVELING TO INDIA

As mentioned above, you will need a health certificate to enter India with pets. Your pet’s health certificate must also be endorsed by your home country’s Governing Authority responsible for the import and export of animals.

For example, if you are traveling from the US, you will need your documents endorsed by the USDA. If you are traveling from Canada, you will need to have your documents endorsed by CFIA.

You can apply for document endorsement by contacting your local governing body. If you are in the USA, you can find your local USDA endorsement office here. If you are traveling from Canada, you can check your local animal health office here.

You will usually require the following information:

  • Original health certificate, signed and dated by an accredited veterinarian.
  • Rabies vaccination certificate
  • Import permit
  • Payment for endorsement services
  • Prepaid shipping label to return documents

TRAVELING FROM INDIA

Whether you will need your documents endorsed, depends on the country you are visiting. Different countries have different entry requirements.

APPLY FOR IMPORT PERMIT & NOC

TRAVELING TO INDIA

You will need to apply for a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Animal Quarantine Station prior to entering India. This is required for all pets entering India. You may also need to apply for a License to Import from DGTF (the Directorate General of Foreign Trade).

All pets entering into India under any circumstances must be issued a NOC from the Animal Quarantine Station in India whether accompanied or unaccompanied, prior to entering India. The NOC must be applied for in person by the owner or a representative of the owner.

The NOC from the Animal Quarantine Station in India must be obtained by your local clearing agent in India. It is required to be obtained in person and cannot be applied for online. The NOC is sent to the Shipper by fax or a scanned copy by email. The original must be presented to the Airline in India at the port of entry of the pet before the pet has been loaded in the other country.

If you are bringing more than 2 dogs or cats to India, or if you are traveling with another pet species, you will also need to apply for a License to Import from DGTF (the Directorate General of Foreign Trade). You can apply online at dgft@nic.in and http://dgft.gov.in.

These document take about 5-10 working days to obtain.

TRAVELING FROM INDIA

You may require an import permit, depending on where you are exporting your pet to. Different countries have different entry requirements, many of them require an import permit. You will need to check the specific requirements for the country you are visiting.


What are the requirements for a Pet Passport India?

Depending on your pet’s species, age and where you are traveling from/to, the requirements for an India Pet Passport can be any of the following:

  1. Microchip
  2. Rabies Vaccination
  3. Additional vaccinations – e.g. distemper, parainfluenza, leptospirosis, parvovirus, bordetella, hepatitis
  4. Health certificate
  5. Permits & licenses
  6. CITES permit

MICROCHIPPING

Dogs and cats must be microchipped in order to obtain an India Pet passport. It is also a requirement for entering most countries. 

A microchip is a permanent method of electronic identification. The chip is around the size of a grain of rice – and is implanted just under your pet’s skin between its shoulder blades. Each chip has a unique number that is detected using a microchip scanner.

Not only is it a requirement to enter India with a pet, it is highly recommended your pet is microchipped. This is because if you were to lose your pet while, a microchip makes it far more likely that you will be reunited.

We recommend that microchipping your pet is the first step in the process of obtaining a pet passport. This is because in many countries your pet’s rabies vaccination won’t be valid unless your pet is microchipped first.

RABIES VACCINATION

Dogs and cats (above the age of 3 months) require rabies vaccinations when traveling to most countries, including India. If your pet is not a dog or cat, he or she will not need a rabies vaccination. Instead, your pet may require an official health certificate to travel to India. Please see below for more information on health certificates.

In order to obtain an India Pet Passport, dogs and cats will need to have their rabies vaccination between 30 days and 12 months prior to entering India.

India recognises both 1-year rabies vaccinations, and 3-year vaccinations.

You can get your pet’s rabies vaccination at your local vet, alternatively some charities offer this service for free or for a discounted price.

ADDITIONAL VACCINES

In order to get an India Pet Passport to import pets to India, dogs and cats must also have additional vaccines, on top of their rabies vaccine. 

For an India pet passport, dogs should be vaccinated against the following:

  • Distemper
  • Leishmaniasis
  • Parvovirus
  • Leptospirosis

For an India pet passport, cats should be vaccinated against the following:

  • FVRCP including Feline Enteritis
  • Feline Pan Leukopenia

These vaccinations must be administered between 30 days and 12 months prior to entering India.

If you are exporting pets from India, your pet may require additional vaccinations.

This is dependent on the country that you are visiting, as different countries and territories have different requirements.

For example – Turkey requires that all dogs need vaccines against parainfluenza, leptospirosis, parvovirus, bordetella, hepatitis and distemper before being allowed into the country. 

Check whether your destination country requires additional vaccinations.

PERMITS & LICENSES

In order to import pets to India you will need a Notice of Objection Certificate (NOC). You may also require a License to Import (DGFT License).

NOTICE OF OBJECTION CERTIFICATE (NOC)

All pets entering into India under any circumstances must be issued a NOC from the Animal Quarantine Station in India whether accompanied or unaccompanied, prior to entering India.

The NOC can only be applied for in person by the owner or a representative of the owner, you cannot apply for this document online. If you are unable to obtain the certificate in person yourself, you best option is getting in contact with an agent in India.

You must obtain this within 15 days of your arrival in India, and the document will take around 5 days to obtain. Once approved, the NOC is sent to you or your agent by fax or a scanned copy by email. The original must be presented to the Airline in India at the port of entry of the pet before the pet has been loaded in the other country.

If the pet is coming accompanied, the owner of the pet must carry the NOC copy with him at all times. If the pet is coming as manifest cargo , the NOC copy must be attached on the crate in a transparent pouch to protect it from damage.

DGFT LICENSE (LICENSE TO IMPORT FROM THE DIRECTORATE GENERAL OF FOREIGN TRADE

You will need a DGFT License if:

  • If you are traveling to India with a pet other than a dog or cat
  • If you are planning on bringing more than two dogs or cats 
  • If pets are entering India due to change of ownership – dogs and cats must be accompanied by a License to Import issued by DGFT in India is required. For cats or dogs entering India due to a change in ownership, 30 days of quarantine in an approved quarantine facility in the originating country is required.

Unlike the NOC, you can apply for a License to Import from the Directorate General of Foreign Trade online at dgft@nic.in and http://dgft.gov.in.

Dogs are not permitted to enter India for breeding or commercial purposes.

You may need an import permit if you are exporting pets from India to another country.

Many countries require import permits when visiting with pets, these usually must be issued from your destination country or province.

For example, if you are traveling to Thailand with your pet, you must obtain a import permit from the Thai Department of Livestock Development (DLD).

Check whether your destination country requires an import permit.

HEALTH CERTIFICATE

In order to obtain an India Pet Passport to import your pet to India, you will need a health certificate. You will likely need a health certificate to export pets from India too, as it is a entry requirement for many countries. 

As mentioned above, you will need a health certificate to import pets to India. You can obtain a health certificate from your veterinary clinic.

Your pet’s health certificate must also be endorsed by your home country’s Governing Authority responsible for the import and export of animals. For example, if you are traveling from the US, you will need your documents endorsed by the USDA. If you are traveling from Canada, you will need to have your documents endorsed by CFIA.

You can apply for document endorsement by contacting your local governing body. If you are in the USA, you can find your local USDA endorsement office here. If you are traveling from Canada, you can check your local animal health office here.

If you are exporting pets from India, it is likely that your pet will need a health certificate.

A health certificate is a compulsory requirement to enter many countries, including the US. In some cases, your health certificate will also need to be endorsed by the country’s authority responsible for the import and export of animals.

Check the specific entry requirements for your destination country.

CITES PERMIT

If your pet is covered by CITES regulations, then it is subject to 30 days of quarantine in the originating country and will be subject to 30 days of quarantine in India. Currently, birds are not permitted for import to India due to Avian Influenza.

CITES is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

If your pet is an endangered species, you will need to apply for a CITES Permit. If your pet is not a dog, cat or ferret, and especially if it is a turtle or parrot, you should verify that it is not protected under CITES. You can check whether your pet is protected here.


What are species-specific requirements for taking pets to India?

TAKING DOGS TO INDIA

For an India pet passport to take dogs to India you require the following:

  • Microchip
  • Rabies vaccination (1 year and 3 year vaccinations are accepted)
  • Distemper vaccination
  • Leishmaniasis vaccination
  • Parvovirus vaccination
  • Leptospirosis vaccination
  • Notice of Objection Certificate (NOC)

Dogs must be over the age of 3 months to travel to India.

TAKING CATS TO INDIA

For an India pet passport to take cats to India you require the following:

  • Microchip
  • Rabies vaccinations (1 year and 3 year vaccinations are accepted)
  • FVRCP including Feline Enteritis vaccinations
  • Feline Pan Leukopenia vaccination
  • Notice of Objection Certificate (NOC)

Cats must be over the age of 3 months to travel to India.


TAKING RABBITS, RODENTS, REPTILES & AMPHIBIA TO INDIA

Invertebrates, reptiles, amphibia, mammals such as rodents and rabbits may be imported to India as air cargo with a DGFT license as long as they are not classified as endangered under CITES. Refer to the CITES section above for more information.

They do not need any vaccinations, or a microchip.


TAKING BIRDS TO INDIA

Unfortunately, no birds are permitted to enter India, due to Avian Influenza.


Flying into India with a pet

Whether you are flying with your pet or it will be flying without you, it is important to choose an airline that serves the entire route from beginning to end. Before selecting an airline you will need to check their pet policies to ensure that they will allow your pet to fly. Will the airline allow your dog or cat to fly in the cabin with you? What are the restrictions? Will your pet need to travel in the cargo hold? Another option for airline pet travel is by private charter. Although this is more expensive than commercial airlines, pets will fly in the cabin with their owners in luxury, regardless of their size.

BEFORE YOU FLY

Pets must arrive within 30 days of their owners – all dogs and cats must arrive within 30 days of their owner’s first immigration stamp as displayed on their passport after issued a proper work or spouse/dependent visa. If your pet is traveling unaccompanied, they must enter between 7 and 14 days after you. Your original passport will be required and held until your pet clears customs.

You are permitted to bring up to two dogs or cats with you – if you are planning on bringing more you will need to apply for a DGTF license.

Book your flight into an approved port of entry – pet animals can only enter India through the ports of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Ensure you have the correct carrier – pets are required to travel in an appropriate cage according to its size and weight if travelling as freight. The requirements will differ depending on your airline, and whether your pet will travel in the cabin or the cargo. Generally, only dogs and cats weighing less than 5 kg can travel in the cabin in an agreed bag (depending on your airline).

ONCE YOU LAND

Clinical examination and document check – after arrival you will need to bring the your pet, along with the original health documents, to the Quarantine Station. The quarantine officer will verify your pet’s veterinary health certificate and vaccination records. Additionally, your pet will have a clinical examination/quarantine observation to ensure your pet is healthy and disease free. The animal/(s) will be examined clinically at the Quarantine Station for issuing Provisional Quarantine Clearance Certificate.

If the dog or cat is/are free from any clinical illness as well as the documents including veterinary certificate/ vaccination records are found in order, quarantine isn’t usually required. However, if the pet is detected with any signs of clinical illness during inspection, then they will be placed in quarantine for up to 30 days.

FLIGHT OPTIONS

Accompanied cargo / in the cabin – generally, small inoffensive domestic pets such as dogs, cats and birds, accompanied by valid Health and Rabies vaccination certificates, will be accepted on domestic flights in the cabin or in cargo hold at owner’s risk and subject to requirements of the carrier. This is usually not an option for international flights, however it differs between airlines.

Manifest cargo – manifest cargo is a system wherein the import of pet is done using the airline cargo. If the pet is being transported in this manner, the documents must include of copy of the passport of the owner/caretaker, a copy of the owner/caretaker’s e-ticket and a copy of the air way bill.


What airlines allow flying a pets to India?

Most airlines allow flying pets to India. However, depending on the airline you fly with, pet policies differ.

When flying with a pet, it’s important to check airline pet policies before booking any travel. Different airline’s have different rules for flying with pets, including which breeds are allowed, the size and weight of pets that are permitted, and the number of pets they allow. Fees also vary between airlines.

Most airlines will allow pets to fly in the cargo section of their planes, in a climate controlled, comfortable pet zone. Although some pet owners think this will be stressful for their pets, it can actually be a lot calmer than flying in the cabin.

Some airlines will allow pets to fly in the cabin with their owners, but generally only small dogs and cats that weigh under 8kg are permitted. This is because they must fly inside an airline-approved carrier that fits under the seat in front of their owners.

For a list of airlines that allow pets to fly in the cabin with their owners, check:

For a list of airlines that allow other pets on their planes, check: 


Guidelines for Pet Carriers

If you are flying to India with a pet, it is important that you use a pet carrier that is approved by your airline. Different airlines have different pet carrier policies, which often vary between aircrafts and routes. Check that your pet carrier is approved for your chosen airline, aircraft and route. 

The rules and regulations have been set out by International Air Transport Association (IATA) ensure that dogs are comfortable when travelling. Thus, inside their travel carriers, pets must be able to stand up, turn around and lie down in a natural position in their kennel (without touching any side or the top of the container).

iata carrier guidelines

Furthermore, the rules for pet carriers also vary depending on whether your pet will be flying in the cabin or cargo area of the plane.

If you are travelling in the cabin with your dog or cat, then you will need to ensure that the carrier fits under the seat in front of you. This is why, generally, only small dogs and cats weighing under 7-8kg are permitted in the cabin.

Additionally, if traveling with a dog, airlines often require that he or she is be obedient to your commands and can behave appropriately in public. Thus, he mustn’t bark or growl at other passengers or staff. If your dog does not behave in an appropriate manner, some airlines may transfer him to the cargo hold at an additional cost, or refuse to transport him all together. Some airlines require a consent form to ensure your pet is flight-ready.

MOST AIRLINES ONLY ACCEPT CAGES THAT COMPLY WITH THE FOLLOWING IATA REGULATIONS:

  • The cage must not have wheels
  • It must have a solid roof
  • The screws and nuts that hold the lower and upper parts of the cage must be properly installed and tightened – because yes, the cage must consist of two sections, made of solid and rigid plastic
  • The cage must also include bowls firmly attached to its lower wall containing food and water
  • It must be clean, but also and above all waterproof and covered with materials capable of absorbing liquid materials
  • It must be well ventilated, with openings in all 4 sides of the cage
  • The cage must also be properly closed, using a lock that cannot be opened from the inside
  • Finally, it must bear a label distinguishing the top from the bottom and another indicating that the cage contains a live animal

For a list of airlines that allow dogs to fly in the cabin with their owners, check 13 Airlines That Allow Flying With Dogs In-Cabin [2021 Prices & Policies].

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How much does a Pet Passport India cost in 2021?

The cost of a India Pet Passport can vary drastically. The price you pay will depend on the following:

  • Your home country
  • Where you are traveling to
  • The veterinary clinic that you visit
  • The species of your pet
  • Whether your pet already has a microchip and rabies vaccination

Firstly, different countries and veterinary clinics will have different prices for veterinary treatments and vaccinations. If you want to save some money, check the prices of a few different veterinary clinics.

Furthermore, different countries have different requirements for importing pets.

Additionally, some pets species may require more treatments and vaccines than others. For example, dogs require more vaccinations than cats, when traveling to India. Alternatively, rodents, rabbits, reptiles and amphibians do not require any vaccinations.

If your pet already has a microchip, and a recent rabies vaccination, you will probably pay less for your India pet passport. Generally, a microchip and rabies vaccination both costs between $20-60 each, in the USA.


How long does it take to get a Pet Passport India?

It may take up around 1 month to get your pet an India pet passport to import a pet to India.

Getting your pet’s microchip, vaccinations and health certificate shouldn’t take long, just a quick appointment at the vet. However, you will need to wait at least 30 days after getting your pet’s rabies vaccination, before you can enter India.

Furthermore, you will need to apply for a NOC, which must be obtained in person in India. The certificate generally takes 5 working days to obtain, however it can take longer.

To save time, when making an appointment be sure to advise the veterinarian staff that you want to get a pet passport. This will ensure that they have everything required in stock and will allow them time to prepare.

To export a pet from India, it may take you longer than a day to get your complete pet passport.

Different countries have different requirements for importation of pets, so the time depends on where you are traveling to. For example, if you are traveling to a country that requires a rabies titer test (rabies blood test), the process will take longer. In these cases, you should allow yourself at least 4 months to prepare. This is because you must wait 30 days after your pet’s rabies vaccination to have their blood sample taken. Once you have your results back, you must then wait an additional 3 months before your pet is permitted to travel.

Give your veterinary clinic a call to confirm roughly how long it will take them based on where you are going.


Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

What are the requirements to return to India after travel?

The same requirements apply to dogs or cats that originated from India. Thus, your dog or cat will need a microchip, proof of current rabies vaccination, a health certificate, and licenses.

Can my pet travel to India with an EU Pet Passport?

An EU Pet Passport permits pets to travel to EU countries and listed non-EU countries without having to face quarantine. India is not listed as a country that accepts EU pet passports, however as long as your pet's rabies vaccinations are up to date, you can use an EU Pet Passport. You will just require additional documents, such as a NOC.

Can I bring my puppy or kitten to India?

Yes, however they must be older than 4 months old. Dogs and cats under the age of 3 months are not permitted to enter India. Additionally, your dog or cat will need a rabies vaccination, after which you will need to wait 30 days before entering India.

Can I relocate to India with my pet?

Yes, many people relocate to India each year. As long as you follow the guidelines above then moving to India with a pet should be simple. This means, making sure that your pet has any required vaccinations and has all the documents required to enter India.


Bottom Line

Obtaining an India pet passport to bring your pet to India can be a little complicated. Firstly, your pet (dogs and cats) will require a microchip. They will also need a valid rabies vaccination, one that has been administered between 30 days and 1 year prior to entering India, and a health certificate. Pet species other than dogs and cats will not require microchipping or a rabies vaccination, however they will require a DGTF certificate or license. All pets will also require a NOC. This is the complicated part, as a NOC will need to be applied for in person, in India. Therefore, you may need to hire an agent to complete this part for you.

When organising travel, ensure that your chosen airline allows your pet to fly on their planes. Different airlines have different pet policies, some may allow your pet to travel with you in the cabin, where others will only allow pets in the cargo area.

Quarantine in India is not common, however if your pet is shown to have any signs of disease upon clinical inspection, they will be quarantined for up to 30 days.

If you are exporting a pet from India to another country, the requirements vary a lot as each country has its own entry requirements. However, it is likely that your pet will need a microchip, rabies vaccination and health certificate.

Hope you have found this helpful – happy travels!

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