Northeast India, bordering Bhutan, China, Bangladesh and Myanmar, is strategically located. Due to its sensitive geographical location, it comes under protected area. To visit North-East India, tourists require ILP (for Indian Nationals & Foreign Nationals) and PAP (Only for Foreign Nationals) permits for a few selected states.
However, no permits (ILP and PAP) are required to visit Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura for both Indian Nationals and foreigners. The government has modified rules on permits to promote tourism in the region. You still need to check on the states for permit information before you plan your first North East India trip.
1. It’s important to know that foreign nationals can apply for ILP and PAP if they have an E-Visa for India. It is not mandatory to have a regular Tourist Visa for applying permits for Northeast India.
2. You must know that the Overseas Citizen of India card holders are classified as foreigners and they must obtain permits to visit North Eastern states.
The north-eastern states like Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim require ILP for Indian tourists and PAP for Foreign Nationals. For states like Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland, Foreign nationals need to register themselves at the local Foreigner Registration Office (FRO) of the districts they visit within 24 hours of arrival.
It is to be noted that Nathula Pass and Gurudongmar Lake are restricted for foreign nationals completely. Also, citizen of Afghanistan, China, and Pakistan require prior approval from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, before entering the state of Mizoram.
The cost of the permits are nominal. The basic requirements for ILP and PAP for foreign nationals are copies of passport, visa, passport size photographs, and flight tickets. For Indian nationals, you need to produce copies of passport size photographs and valid photo identity proof (Voter ID/ Aadhaar Card).
Details about ILP & PAP permits for North East India (All States)
Here I am giving you details about the permits and how to obtain it. There are two kinds of permits. One is ILP permit (Inner Line Permit) which is basically for Indian nationals. There is also PAP Permit (Protected Area Permit) for foreign nationals.
Permits for Assam, Meghalaya & Tripura
Indians and Foreigners do not require any kind of permit to visit Assam, Meghalaya & Tripura in North East India.
Permits for Arunachal Pradesh
Inner Line Permit (ILP)
Duration: ILP is issued for 15 days initially and can be extended.
Requirements: One needs copies of passport size photographs and an Identity Proof ( Aadhaar Card/ Voter ID)
Cost: INR 100
Indian tourists need to obtain permit to visit Arunachal Pradesh. You can apply for the permit ONLINE or you can get it done by the issuing authorities of Government of Arunachal Pradesh which have offices in Delhi, Kolkata, Shillong, Guwahati, Tezpur, Dibrugarh, and Jorhat.
You may also like : Basar Confluence in Arunachal Pradesh: A Unique Cultural Festival in North East India
PAP (Protected Area Permit)
The foreign nationals require PAP (Protected area Permit) to enter Arunachal Pradesh. They can obtain the PAP from All Indian Missions Abroad, All Foreigners Regional Registration Officers (FRRO) in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Home Ministry, Govt of India, and Home Commissioner, Govt. of Arunachal Pradeshand Itanagar.
Duration: The validity for PAP is 30 days and it can’t be extended under any circumstances.
Requirements: It is to be noted that PAP can’t be applied ONLINE. It is advised that the foreign nationals contact Registered Tour Operators in Arunachal Pradesh for the permits.
Cost: The PAP costs $30 USD
Note: If you are a foreign national and want to travel independently, you must apply for the permits at Arunachal Pradesh Deputy Resident Commissioner’s Office in Kolkata or Guwahati. These two places have the authority to issue PAPs to independent foreign tourists and single tourists.
You may also like : Why Basar in Arunachal Pradesh Should Be On Your Bucket List ?
Permits for Sikkim
The Indian nationals do not require permit to enter Sikkim. But the ILP (Inner Line Permit) is still required to visit the below mentioned places.
East Sikkim: Tsongo Lake, Nathu La, Kupup, and Menmecho Lake.
North Sikkim: Chungthang, Lachung, Yumthang Valley, Yumesamdong, Lachen, Thangu, Chopta, and Gurudongmar Lake.
ILP and PAP can be obtained from All Indian Missions, Sikkim Tourism Offices in Delhi, Kolkata, and the District Magistrate’s Office of Darjeeling, Siliguri and Rangpo.
The Foreign Nationals require ILP (Inner Line Permit) to enter Sikkim. They also require PAP (Protected Area Permit) for trekking in the interior regions of the state. It is issued for certain specific areas for groups consisting of two or more, conditioned by the fact that the trekking program is arranged through a registered travel agency.
Duration: PAP is issued 30 days for foreign nationals initially. If you wish to extend your stay in Sikkim, it can be obtained from FRO at Gangtok and Office of Superintendent of Police of the North, West and South Districts.
Requirements: For PAP, copies of Passport, Visa, Passport Size Photographs and Flight Tickets. Applicant must be present during the application.
Restrictions: Nathula Pass and Gurudongmar Lake are restricted for foreign nationals completely.
Permits for Nagaland
The Indian Nationals need an Inner Line Permit. You can obtain it from the Office of Deputy Resident Commissioner in Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, and Shillong.
Duration: ILP is issued for 30 days only.
Foreign Nationals no longer require Restricted Area Permit (RAP) to visit Nagaland. However, they still need to register themselves at the local Foreigner Registration Office (FRO) of the districts they visit within 24 hours of arrival.
You may like: In Pictures: Fascinating Faces From Hornbill Festival in Nagaland
The Indian Nationals need an ILP (Inner Line Permit) for Mizoram. You can obtain it from the Liaison Officer, Government of Mizoram from the following cities –Guwahati, Kolkata, Silchar and New Delhi.
Duration: ILP is issued for 15 days initially and can be renewed once after 15 days. However, one can obtain an ILP for 6 months in Mizoram, upon showing the sponsorship from a local resident or a Government department. It can also be renewed after completion of 6 months.
Cost: INR 120 and for renewal you have to pay INR 20 for temporary ILP. For regular ILP, the fee is INR 220 and renewal is additional INR 100.
Requirement: Copies of passport Size Photographs and Photo Identity Proof.
Foreign Nationals no longer require Restricted Area Permit (RAP) to visit Mizoram. However, they still need to register themselves at the local Foreigner Registration Office (FRO) of the districts they visit within 24 hours of arrival. However, citizens of Afghanistan, China, and Pakistan require prior approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, before entering the state.
The Indian Nationals travelling to Manipur by road via Dimapur or Kohima require an Inner Line Permit to cross Nagaland. You can obtain it from any Nagaland Government Office or any Nagaland house.
Duration: ILP is issued for 30 days only.
Foreign Nationals no longer require Protected Area Permit (PAP) to visit Manipur. They still need to register themselves at the local Foreigner Registration Office (FRO) of the districts they visit within 24 hours of arrival.
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Thank you for sharing this post! Very informative and useful
This one is a detailed information with good content. Thanks for sharing the information.Gerry
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Thanks a lot for this awesome article.
Awesome! Its pleasure to visit here,This blog is good to sharing the information which is useful for many of them
Thanks for sharing this post as I have been meaning to visit North East and the whole permit system has been a mind field. It is a bit complicating but our post has made it very clear where you could go without a permit and the states and places where you would need one. Sad to find out that overseas indian citizens are classed as Foreign Nationals and need to go through the process of obtaining a pass. It makes me think why but guess there are reasons. Thanks for sharing a very informative post as always.
Thank you. Unfortunately, there are a few rules that can’t be questioned due to the security of the Northeastern states. I can imagine what people go through thinking about permits for Northeast India. The best way to deal with it to contact a registered tour agent who will take care of the paper work, though your presence is needed.
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This is quite a useful post about the permits required for visiting the northeast states of India. Northeast is a beautiful region and proper information is going to be helpful for all the travellers.
Thank you. I hope that it helps people to plan their Northeast India trip.
Very useful and informative post.
I was traveling around this part of India and this was a real nuisance. There aren’t a lot of information about it, at least not clear and traveling as a solo traveler was very difficult because a lot of these permits are issued in couples (for some reason)… Anyway, I wish there was an article like this before I visited 🙂
Glad to know that you found it useful. I hope that you will come back again soon to Northeast. Now you know the details about the permits
The devil is in the details, but in this case you broke it down and made it understandable. Everytime I read about India , it is fascinating but i have not come across the North-East till now. Thanks for the intro and my starting point would be Assam, Meghalaya & Tripura as no permits are required!!
I hope that you will plan your Northeast Trip soon.
This is awesome information Parnashree. North -east is a beautiful region of India but these details are not known to many. I loved your pictures as usual.
I am so glad to know. Northeast is a unique land and absolutely fascinating
I find Tourist Visas to be so confusing and tend to avoid countries that require them. Your explanation makes the process understandable. I like that the PAP is for 30 days, that seems to be more than enough time to visit without worry of time running out and the requirements are straightforward. Your image of Laktak Lake, Manipur is gorgeous, bonus that I would only have to register at the local Foreigner Registration Office.
Come to Incredible India and explore Northeast India. Trust me, you will go with a bag full of memories and surprises. India is fascinating land and Northeast India is unique
Very helpful post, Parnashree.
Thank you, Niranjan
This one is a detailed information with good content. Thanks for sharing the information.
This is such detailed information and a phenomenal resource on ILP and PAP permits! I love how you break this information down by country of citizenship, trip duration and ability to extend. Based on your photos, it looks definitely worth the while to visit these culturally rich areas!
Trust me, its worth your time to explore this part of India. You will be spellbound
I really can’t wait to visit India. The mountains in Mechuka look stunning. Even if it requires extra effort to visit North East India it seems it would definitely be worth it. Thank you for the detailed requirements on what you need to do!
You will be blown away by the scenic beauty of Mechuka. Its a stunner in a remote part. Plan your India trip soon
Well, this is good to know. I had no idea that we would be required to get special permits to visit. Thank you for sharing this. Will definitely keep this in mind for future trips.
I am glad that you found the post helpful
I really want to find some time to look at all of your posts -as it is I have only seen your Reflected egrets – beautiful! Looks as though Teddy found a nice view! Belated Happy T Day – I had friends around yesterday to try and finish the book we started in a workshop! Hugs, useful site
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