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Guidelines for media coverage of General Elections 2024

Posted on: May 08, 2024 | Back | Print

  1. Regarding issue of visa

(I) All foreign nationals coming to India for election coverage must obtain J visa (or special permit in case of OCI cardholders).

(ii) J visa will issued to applicants by Mission subject to usual check as per the provisions of Visa Manual with appropriate endorsement to cover general elections. Cases requiring prior clearance will be referred to XPD Division.

(iii) OCI Cardholders who wish to travel to India to cover elections are advised to apply on the OCI Portal for special permit to undertake journalistic activities. J visa may not be issued in such cases.

(iv) Applicants are advised to focus their reportage as per the purpose outlined in their visa application.

(v) Applicants are advised to refer to the Election Commission of India’s guidelines on Media Coverage during General Elections available at the following link: doc202442328201.pdf (pib.gov.in)

May also Click here to see the Guidelines of The Election Commission of India  

  1. Travel to Restricted Areas

Foreign journalists (J visa and OCI cardholders with special permit to undertake journalistic activities) who wish to travel for election coverage to Restricted areas such as Northeastern States, Union Territories of J&K, Ladakh, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep and certain parts of Himachal Pradesh, parts of Uttarakhand, border areas and other sensitive locations etc may apply for permit as per the process outlined at https://www.mea.gov.in/facilitation-of-foreign-media.htm


  1. Authority letter by Election Commission of India (ECI) for coverage inside polling booth and counting centre

Foreign journalists are allowed to cover polling booth and counting centre. For this, they need an Authority Letter from ECI. Please refer to PIB’s circular dated 8 April 2024 (https://pib.gov.in/NewsDetail.aspx?NewsID=518)

As per Section(e), Foreign National Journalist not based in India and coming specifically for limited time period for coverage of Indian Elections may submit their request for issue of Authority Letter for Polling and Counting during General Elections, directly to the External Publicity Division of MEA.

Click here to download the Application Form 

The application form may be printed on the letter head of the media organization. Duly filled-in ink signed hard copy of the form along (i) copy of passport, (ii) copy of J visa or OCI Card with permission for undertaking journalistic activities, (iii) media organization card and (iv) three stamp size photographs (2.5 cm x 2.5 cm), may be sent to the XPD Division by post or delivered by hand at the following address:-

Publicity Officer (XFM)



140-A, A Wing,

Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi-110001

Tel: 0091 (011) - 23385193

Email : [email protected] , [email protected]