Restricted Areas

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The Foreigners (Protected Areas) Order 1958 states that a Protected Area Permit (PAP) is required for non-Indian citizens to visit certain areas in India (mainly in the North-East). Certain requirements have to be fulfilled in order to get this permit. Indian citizens, who are not resident in these areas need a Inner Line Permit (ILP) to enter these places. The Inner Line Permit is significantly easier to get.

In addition, the Foreigners (Restricted Areas) Order 1968 states that a Restricted Area Permit (RAP) is required for non-Indians to visit certain areas in India. As of 2009, RAPs are required for all visits to the Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and parts of the state of Sikkim. Unlike PAPs, RAPs 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. Indian citizens do not need special permission to visit Restricted Areas.

General Protected Area Permit requirements

  • Tourists have to travel in groups of at least 4
  • They have to travel with a registered travel agent
  • 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 has a duration of 10 days, with the option of extending for another 7 days. The PAP is issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs. However, the different authorities of the concerned Indian provinces can also issue the PAP, and also the Indian missions abroad. Normally the travel agent will take care of getting the PAP for the tourists.

Areas for which a PAP is required:

  • Parts of Jammu and Kashmir
  • Parts of Himachal Pradesh such as North Kinnaur & Spiti
  • Parts of Uttar Pradesh
  • All of Arunachal Pradesh
  • All of Nagaland
  • All of Manipur
  • All of Mizoram

Areas for which a RAP is required:

  • All of Andaman and Nicobar
  • Parts of Sikkim

Areas for which the PAP Requirement has been lifted:

  • Assam
  • Meghalaya
  • Tripura