Non-Indian citizens are not allowed to visit certain protected areas in India (mainly North-East) according to the Foreigners (Protected Area) Order 1958. They need to obtain a Protected Area Permit (PAP) to visit these protected areas. Indian citizens who are not resident in these areas are also required to get an Inner Line Permit (ILP) to enter these places.
According to the Foreigners (Restricted Area) Order 1968, non-Indian citizens are not allowed to visit certain restricted areas in India. They are required to obtain a Restricted Area Permit (RAP) to visit these areas in India. As of 2009, non-Indians need RAP to visit Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and parts of the state of Sikkim.
Why Should One Get Protected / Restricted Area Permit
- For security reasons and protection.
- To disallow permanent stay of Foreign Citizen who find it difficult to settle with their family abroad and want to settle permanently in Protected/Restricted Areas of India.
- For tourism.
Note- Long-term or permanent permits are not given to non-Indian family members, not even to NRIs (persons of Indian origin but foreign citizens now).
Areas for which a Protected Area Permit is required :
1. All of Nagaland
2. All of Sikkim
3. Parts of Arunachal Pradesh
4. Parts of Himachal Pradesh
5. Parts of Jammu and Kashmir
6. Parts of Manipur
7. Parts of Mizoram
8. Parts of Rajasthan
9. Parts of Uttarakhand
Areas for which a Restricted Area Permit is required :
1. All of Andaman and Nicobar
2. Parts of Sikkim
The Restricted Area Permit can be issued by :
- Ministry of Home affairs, Government of India, LoK Nayak Bhawan, New Delhi
- All Foreigner Regional Registration Offices (FRRO) at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Amritsar, Hyderabad and Bangalore
- All Indian Mission Abroad
- Chief Immigration Officer
- Immigration Officer
The Protected Area Permit can be issued by :
1. Ministry of Home affairs, Government of India, LoK Nayak Bhawan, New Delhi
2. All Foreigner Regional Registration Offices (FRRO) at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Amritsar, Hyderabad and Bangalore
3. All Indian Mission Abroad
4. In addition, following can also issue Protected Area Permit in Sikkim
- Chief Secretary/Home Secretary/Secretary (Tourism) of the State Govt
- IG Police
- Assistant Director Deputy Director (Tourism), Govt. of Sikkim, New Delhi
- Resident Commissioner, Govt. of Sikkim, New Delhi
- Assistant Resident Commissioner, Govt. of Sikkim
- Tourism Officer, Deputy Commissioner, Darjeeling
5. Deputy Secretary/Under Secretary, Home Department, Govt. of West Bengal, Kolkata.
Application Process: How to Get Protected / Restricted Area Permit
1. Download the PAP application form from here - http://www.in.ckgs.us/resources/pdf/rap-permit-form.pdf and RAP application form from here - http://www.indischebotschaft.de/downloads/RAP-form.pdf
2. Submit the application form in person or by post to the nearest Indian Mission in your country before coming to India. If you are in India submit the requisite application to any of the authorities, delegated the powers to issue such a special permit.
3. On arrival, you are required to report at FRRO office of the district you are visiting within 24 hours of the arrival. You will be issued the PAP/RAP with a limited days validity depending upon the state you visit.
Documents required for Protected / Restricted Area Permit
- 3 copies of Filled-in Application Form
- 2 Copies of the applicant’s passport
- 2 passport photographs
Protected / Restricted Area Permit Fees -
1. If you are applying through Indian Mission or Ministry of Home Affairs, you will be charged INR 1395, and
2. If you apply through delegated authorities, you will be charged according to the state government.
General Protected Area Permit Requirements -
- Tourists have to travel in groups of at least 4.
- Married couples need not to travel in group but have to travel with a registered travel agent.
- Unlike PAP, RAP are generally available for individual travellers and can be issued by overseas embassies or even, in some cases such as Port Blair's Vir Savarkar Airport, on the spot.
- In some areas only certain entry/exit points are allowed.
- In certain areas non-Indians cannot enter at all.
- Citizens of Pakistan, Bangladesh, China and Myanmar can get the PAP only with approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
- Normally the PAP is valid for 10 days, but also has an option of extending for another 7 days.
- NRIs (Indians who are staying abroad for more than 6 months), PIO Card holders, and OCI holders are not eligible for Inner Line Permit. They will have to apply for a regular Protected/Restricted Area Permit.
- Indian citizens do not need special permission to visit Restricted Areas.
- Apply at least 8 weeks before the date of expected visit.