Arrival at the International Airport

Immigration

As your flight approaches Mumbai (Bombay), you will receive a disembarkation card to be filled out before landing. The word "surname" is your last name. The term "port of embarkation" on the card refers to the city in your own country where the international flight originated. The form also asks for the city where the passport was issued, usually stamped on the photograph as part of its validation. The form also asks the purpose of your visit. Select either "tourist" or "holidaying."

At the airport, you will enter an immigration area. Stand in line for the appropriate counter and keep your passport, disembarkation card, and health documents (if any) ready for inspection. The immigration officer will stamp your passport and keep the lower part of the disembarkation card. Since mistakes can happen, make sure the customs official dates and stamps your passport properly. A visa isn't valid unless it is dated and stamped here.

Customs

Next, you'll enter the baggage and customs area. Trolleys (rolling metal carts) are available, free of charge, to carry your luggage. You'll see two sets of counters. As a tourist, you'll probably use the green channel:

Customs declaration form

If you brought in foreign currency valued at more than the limit, you will be asked to declare the amount on a currency declaration form. If the officer asks if you have a camera, tape recorder, or radio, and you have such items, explain that you are using these items on your tour and will take them out of India when you leave.

T.B.R.E. form

The customs officer may record certain expensive items on a tourist baggage re-export (T.B.R.E.) form and write the form identification number on your passport. This is to prevent you from selling or leaving the items in India. If you should receive either of these two forms, make sure that you don't lose them. The T.B.R.E. form is especially important if you plan to leave India from a city other than the one where you entered.

Currency exchange

Just outside customs are the currency exchange counters. Change as much money here as you will need to get to Ahmednagar. The suggested minimum amount is at least U.S. $100, or the equivalent in Rupees. Get at least Rs. 100 in small bills. You'll need these for porters, taxis, and buses. Before leaving the counter, count your money quickly and put most of it away in a safe place. Keep a smaller amount handy.

Save your receipts from all currency exchanges. You may need them later to change any Indian rupees back into your own country's currency when you leave. If any business asks to keep your encashment receipts, request that they make a photocopy. You are entitled to receive them back.

Per Meher Baba's instruction, exchange money only through authorized dealers, such as banks or currency exchanges. Selling money or possessions to an un-authorized person is not only illegal, but also involves the risk of receiving counterfeit money.

Exiting the airport

Transportation inbound

Even though you may be tired, take extra care when leaving the airport in Mumbai after your arrival.