Protected/Restricted Area Permit for India
The Foreigner (Protected Areas) Act requires foreigners to obtain a Protected Area Permit (PAP) to visit certain areas in India. This requirement is in addition to getting an Indian visa. In order to get this permit, you must meet certain requirements. Such restriction is in place due to security reasons.

Even Indian citizens who are not residents of those areas require an Inner Line Permit (ILP) to enter these places. The Inner Line Permit is significantly easier to get. However, 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.

However, most of these areas are remote and away from normal tourist destinations. Some tourists still visit the restricted areas because they are very beautiful and fascinating remote places.
The previous PAP requirements have been lifted for Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and the Darjiling area of West Bengal.

There is $30 fee for Protected/Restricted Area Permits for all nationalities.

Protect Area Permit Form

Please keep in mind that Protected/Restricted Areas are not necessarily dangerous to foreign travelers. However, there may be other parts of India that may be dangerous to foreign travelers, but no special permit may be required to visit those areas.

Requirements
Tourists must travel in groups of at least four people. However, in some places like Nagaland, this restriction does not apply to married couples. They must travel with a registered travel agent. Only certain entry/exit points are allowed in some areas. Non-Indians are not allowed to enter certain areas at all.

A PAP is normally issued for 10 days and has a option of a 7 day extension. The PAP is issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs. Also, different authorities of the concerned Indian states, FRROs, and Indian missions abroad can also issue such permit. Normally, your travel agent should be able to get the PAP for you.

Exception: Citizens of Pakistan, Bangladesh, China and Myanmar (Burma) can get the PAP only with the approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Issues
Hypothetically, a native of Arunachal Pradesh (one of the Protected Area) goes to the USA on H1B visa and stays for 6 years. While in the USA, he marries a US Citizen and has a child born in the USA, also a US citizen. If he wants to return to his native place for permanent settlement, his entire family can't settle there. This is because foreign citizens are given permission only for 10 days with possible extension of 7 more days. They are not allowed to permanently settle in Protected/Restricted Areas. Long-term or permanent permits are not given to non-Indian family members, not even to persons of Indian origin but foreign citizens now.

Restrictions for protected/restricted areas are in place for security reasons and to protect, from outside influence, the culture of native people living there. However, as it is easy to get an Inner Line Permit for Indian citizens, many Indians from other regions are moving to protected/restricted areas. It is unsure whether temporary visiting tourists would have more of a cultural impact to the native people than many Indians with significantly different cultural backgrounds from other areas of the country.

Areas
Andaman & Nicobar Islands
Restricted Area:
1). Municipal Area, Port Blair. 2). Havelock Island. 3). Long. 4). Neil Island. 5). Jolly Buoy. 6). South & North Cinque. 7).Red Skin. 8). Entire Island of center Andaman (excluding tribal reserve). 9). All Islands in Mahatma Gandhi Marine National except boat, Holoday, Twin Islands, Tarmugli Malay, and Pluto. 10). Entire Island of South Andaman (excluding tribal reserve). 11). Basatang Island. 12). North Passage Island. 13). Little Andaman Islands excluding tribal reserve. 14). Mayabunder. 15). Diglipur. 16). Rangat. 17). Mt. Harriet. 18). Madhuban. 19). Ross Island. 20).Narcondum Island. 21). Interview Island. 22). Brother Island. 23). Sister Island. 24). Barren Island restricted to visit on board vessels.

Permit Granting Authorities:
MHA & FRROS
All Indian Missions abroad
Chief Immigration Officer, Chennai
Immigration Officer, Port Blair

Remarks:
If arriving by air, permission to stay up to 30 days is issued on arrival at the airport in Port Blair.
If arriving by sea, permit is needed in advance, as it is required to buy the ticket.

Places from 1 to 8, day and night visit allowed.
Places from 14 to 24, only day visit allowed.
Night stay in 9 is subject to special permission of the U.T. Administration.
Individual tourists are permitted, 30 days allowed.

Arunachal Pradesh
Protected Area:
Itanagar, Ziro, Along, Pasighat, Miao, Namdapha and Sujesa (Puki) Bhalukpong.

Permit Granting Authorities:
Home Commissioner, Government of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar
All FRROs at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chief Immigration Officer, Chennai
All Indian Missions abroad

Remarks :
Tourist groups may travel on identified tour circuits only.
Individual tourists not permitted, 10 days allowed.

Additional Trekking Routes Opened-up for Foreign Tourists:
Pasighat-Jengging-Yingkion, Bhalukpong-Bomdilla-Tawang, Roing-Mayodia-Anini, Tezu-Hayuling.

Apply at least 4 weeks in advance of anticipated travel dates.

Himachal Pradesh
Partially Protected Area:
1. Poo-Khab-Sumdho-Dhankar-Tabo-Gompa-Kaza
2. Morang-Dabling

Permit Granting Authorities:
MHA
Government of H.P.
DM/SDM concerned
ITBP Special. Commissioner (Tourism) / Resident Commissioner, Govt. of H.P.
Director General of Police, H.P. Shimla.

Remarks:
For Trekking only. Individual tourists not permitted.

Kashmir
Restricted Area:
  1. Khaltse Sub-Division:
    (Drokahpa Area)Khaltse-Dunkhar-Sroduchan Hanudo-Biana-Dha
  2. Nubra Sub Division:
    • Leh-Khardung La-Khalsar-Tirit up to Panasik
    • Leh-Khardung La-Khalsar up to Hunder
    • Leh-Sabo-Digar La-Digar-Labab-Khungru Gampa-Tangar (Only for trekking conducted by approved tour operators and accompanied by State Police personnel)
  3. Nyona Sub Division:
    • Leh-Upshi-Chusathang-Mahe-Puga-Tso-Moari Lake/Kozok
    • Leh-Upshi-Debring-Puga-Tso-Moari Lake/Korzok.
    • Leh-Karu-Chang La-Durbuk-Tangtse-Lukung-Spanksik.
    • Pangong Lake up to Spanksik
Permit Granting Authorities:
MHA
District Magistrates

Remarks:
Individual tourists not allowed.
7 days permitted.
Tourist groups are to travel on identified tour circuits only.

Note: Groups should consist of 4 to 20 numbers and should be accompanied by a liaison officer. For more information, contact Indian Missions abroad or the Ministry of Tourism, Delhi, India.

Lakshadweep Islands
Protected Area:
Bangaram, Suheli Islands.

Permit Granting Authorities:
Lakshadweep Administration, Willingdon Island, Harbour Rd, Kochi-3.

Remarks:
For Agatti Island, Indian nationals and foreigners need to obtain the entry permit.

Manipur
Protected Area:
Lohtak Lake, Imphal, Moirang INA Memorial, Keibul Deer Sanctuary and Waithe Lake Kongjam War Memorial.

Permit Granting Authorities:
All Indian Missions abroad
All FRROs & MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs)
State Government of Manipur (Home Commissioner, Manipur)

Remarks:
Calcutta to Imphal by air only.
Individual tourists not permitted, 6 days allowed.

Additional areas opened up:
  • Imphal-Bishnupur-Phubala, Moirang-Sendra-Keibul-Lamjao-Imphal.
  • Imphal-Moirang-Lake Keibul-Lamjao-Chur-Chanderpur-Khuga-Imphal.
  • Imphal-Litan-Ukhral-Shiroy-Sangsak-Imphal.
  • Imphal-Thoubal-Waithu-Lake, Khonjam-Kakching-Thingjao-Waikhong-Sugnu-Imphal.
  • Imphal-Khonghampat-Kanglatombi-Kangpokpi-Senapati-Karong-Mao Gate-Imphal.
  • Imphal-Nonoh-Khongsang-Nungba-Jiribam-Imphal.
Foreigners allowed only in groups of 4 or more, 10 days allowed. Entry by road allowed on NH39 & NH53 for Dimapur-Kohima-Imphal-Jiribam-Silchar.

Mizoram
Protected Area:
Vairangte, Thingdawl and Aizawl.

Permit Granting Authorities:
Home Commissioner, Government of Mizoram, Aizawl
All FRROs at Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata, Chief Immigration Officer, Chennai
All Indian Missions abroad

Remarks:
Tourist groups may travel on the identified tour circuits only.
Individual tourists not permitted, 10 days allowed.

Apply at least 4 weeks in advance of anticipated travel dates.

Nagaland
Protected Area:
1. Dimapur District : Dimapur Town, Chumudima Sethikima and all places on the National Highway No. 39 en route to Kohima Town.
2. Kohima District : Kohima Town, Khonoma Dzulakie Kigwema , Jakhama Viswema, Khuzama, Japhfu, Dzuku Valley.
3. Mokochong District : Mokochong Town, Lungkhum, Ungma, Impur Mopungohukit, Chuchlyimlang, Tuli, Chani.
4. Wokha District: Wokha Town , Doyang , Vankhosand, Tsunki, Governor's Camp and Mount Tlyi.

Permit Granting Authorities:
All India missions abroad
MHA, FRRO Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai, The Chief Officer Immigration Officer Chennai
The Home Commissioner, The State Government of Nagaland, Kohima
Resident Commissioner, the State Government of Nagaland, Kohima

Directorate of Tourism, Nagaland, Kohima
Phone: +91 (370) 21607-22214/21945

Secretary, Tourism, Nagaland, Kohima
Tele-Fax: +91 (370) 33067

Rajasthan
Partially Protected Area:
Western Side (up to Indo-Pak border) of NH No.15 running from Sriganganagar to Sanchore via Sriganganagar, Suratgarh, Lunkaransar, Bikaner, Gajner, Kolayat, Phalodi, Khera, RamDevra, Pokaran, Lathi, Jaisalmer, Sangad, Fatehgarh, Sheo, Bhadewa, Kapoordi, Barmer, Hathitala, Sanwara, Lookho, Gandhwa, Dhamuna subject to following exceptions: (1)The peripheral areas of cities, towns and villages on the NH N0. 15 through which it passes; (2) The city limits of Suratgarh, Bikaner, Phalodi, Pokaran, Jaisalmer, Barmer and Sanchore; (3) The following villages and areas of tourist interest in the district of Jaisalmer, Amarsagar, Ludrawa, Kuldara, Bada Bagh (black bar), Akal, Sam & Unda.

Permit Granting Authorities:
MHA & DM concerned

Sikkim
Partially Protected Area:

1. Gangtok, Rumtek, Phodang, Pemayangtse Khecheperi & Tashiging.


Permit Granting Authorities:
MHA, all FRROs
All Indian Missions abroad
Immigration Officers at airports at Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai and New Delhi
Chief Secretary/Home Secretary/Secretary (Tourism) Government of Sikkim
Gangtok Inspector General Of Police, Government of Sikkim
Siliguri, Deputy Directors (Tourism)
Sikkim Government, New Delhi
Assistant Resident Commissioner, Government of Sikkim
Calcutta, Tourism Officer
Rangpo, Deputy Commissioner
Darjeeling Deputy Secretary/Under Secretary Home Department
Government of West Bengal, Kolkata

Remarks: Individual tourists permitted, 15 days allowed.

2. Zongri (West Sikkim)

Permit Granting Authorities:
MHA and all issuing authorities of Government of Sikkim and its representatives at Kolkata, Siliguri & Rangpo

Remarks: Groups allowed for 15 days trekking and are to be accompanied by a liaison officer.
Individual tourists not permitted, 16 days allowed.

3. Tsangu (Chhangu Lake in East Sikkim)

Permit Granting Authorities:
Home Secretary, Government of Sikkim, Gangtok

Remarks: Individual tourists not permitted. Day visit only.

4. Mangan, Tong, Singhik, Chungthang, Lachung and Yumthang

Permit Granting Authorities:
Home Secretary, Government of Sikkim
Secretary (Tourism), Government of Sikkim

Remarks: Individual tourists not permitted, 5 days allowed.

Uttaranchal
Partially Protected Area:
1. Nanda Devi Sanctuary, Niti Ghati and Kalindi Khal in Chamoli, Uttar Kashi Districts.
2. Adjoining areas of Milam Glacier.

Permit Granting Authorities:
MHA
Government of Uttaranchal
DM/SDM concerned ATBP

Remarks:
Individual tourists not permitted.