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Protected and restricted areas in India and Protected area permit (PAP)

If you are planning to the travel to India as an immigrant there are several areas of expertise that you will need to perceive to help with the immigration process. Indian visa are needed to enter the country for purposes of travel, study or work.

What is the restricted or protected area in India?
There are certain places/regions in India that are designated as Restricted or Protected areas to which access is limited and requires a special permit. Visa applicants who wish to visit a restricted/protected area are required to fill an additional form. The processing of such applications can take up to 15 days and in some cases, even longer.

Protected / restricted area permit for india
The foreigners(protected area) act requires the non-Indian citizen to obtain a Protected area permit (PAP) to visit certain areas in India. Certain requirements have to be fulfilled to get this permit.

The List Restricted / Protected of areas are as follows

  • Whole state of Nagaland
  • Sikkim
  • Some parts of the states of Manipur
  • Mizoram
  • Uttaranchal
  • Jammu and Kashmir
  • Rajasthan
  • Himachal Pradesh

General PAP requirements

  • Travel with a registered travel agent.
  • Travel in a group of 2 at least
  • The PAP has a duration of 10 days, with and an option of extending it for another 7 days. Normally the travel agent you have hired will take care of the PAP.

In addition, Restricted Area Permit(RAP) is required by non-Indian citizens to visit the union territory of Andaman and Nicobar islands and parts of the state of Sikkim

The power to issue this permit vests with the Ministry of Home Affairs. Such restrictions are imposed due to security reasons.

Leh-Sabo-Digar, La-Digar-Labab-Kanguru, Gampa-Tangar (Only for trekking conducted by approved tour operators and accompanied by State Police Personnel).

Health Regulation

(A) For entry into India:-
Any person, Foreigner or Indian, (excluding infants below six months) arriving by air or sea without a vaccination certificate of yellow fever will be kept in quarantine isolation for a period up to 6 days if :
He arrives in India within 6 days of departure/transit from a yellow fever endemic area. Has come on a ship which has started from or transited at any port in a yellow fever endemic country within 30 days of its arrival in India provided such ship has not been disinfected in accordance with the procedure laid down by WHO.

(B) General Instructions
Pakistan nationals other than those on Diplomatic Visa (For Assignment), Non-Diplomatic Visa, SAARC Visa Exemption Sticker, and SAU Visa are required to carry a Visa application form (duplicate copies) which will be issued in addition to regular Visa on their passport by the Indian Mission concerned.
On presentation at Immigration check post, they are issued Regular Residential Permit and are required to report at the FRRO/FRO or concerned Police Station in their places of stay within 24 hours unless and until they are officially Exempted from Police Reporting.
As an employer, you can find help in understanding how to employ an immigrant and what procedures have to be followed to make the employee official.

(C) General Information/Instruction Immigration check is operated for all passengers, Indians or foreigners, both at the time of arrival and departure. The passports are duly stamped at the time of arrival as well as departure. Passengers should be careful to see that their passports are duly stamped before leaving the immigration counter. Foreigners arriving in India are expected to fill Arrival Cards only while Indians have to fill Departure Cards at the time of Departure. The following information is required to be provided by the passengers in these cards:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Passport Number
  • Address in India
  • Flight Number, Date of Arrival / Date of Boarding

If unintentionally in, an immigration stamp is not attached by the counter officer at the immigration check-post, the passenger may immediately contact the concerned FRRO/FRO/SSP and get the same affixed on his/her passport to avoid inconvenience at the time of next travel abroad.

(D) Foreigners
Foreign Nationals coming to India are required to possess a genuine and valid national passport or any other internationally recognized travel document establishing his/her nationality and identity and the bearing photograph of the foreigner.
Nepal and Bhutan nationals if entering India by land or air from the Nepal or Bhutan border respectively do not require a passport for entering into India. However, they are required to possess, authorized identity proof. Further, if they are entering India from a place other than their own country then possession of their national passport is a must.

(E) Indian Passengers visit to Protected and restricted areas in India
Indian nationals traveling abroad require a valid Indian passport and travel authority for the destination country. The travel authority is normally in the form of Visa, which is obtained prior to the journey, except in the case of countries where “Visa on Arrival” is available. For further details see the separate topic on ECNR/ECR/POE. Even for re-entry into the country, an Indian national is required to be in possession of a valid Indian passport or travel document issued by Govt. of India.

Identity documents required for Indian Citizen going to / coming from Nepal by Air:-

  • Valid National Passport.
  • Photo Identity card issued by the Government of India/State Govt./UT Administration in India to their employees or Election ID card issued by the Election Commission of India.
  • Emergency Certificate issued by Embassy of India, Kathmandu.
  • Identity Certificate issued by Embassy of India, Kathmandu.
  • Persons in the age of the group of above 65 years and below 15 years would be exempted from the requirement of approved identity documents mentioned at SL. No. (i), (ii), (iii) and (iv). However, they must have some documents with photographs to confirm their age and identity such as PAN card, Driving license, CGHS card, Ration card etc.
  • Children between the age group of 15 to 18 years may be allowed to travel between India and Nepal on the strength of Identity certificate issued by the principal of the school in the prescribed Performa.
  • In case of a family (family means husband, wife, minor children and parents) traveling together, the approved identification documents at SL. No. (i), (ii), (iii) and (iv) would not be insisted from all the family members if one of the adult members of the family has in possession of one of the prescribed identification documents at SL. No. (i), (ii), (iii) and (iv). However, the other family members must have some proof of their identity with photograph and their relationship as a family viz. CGHS card, Ration card, Driving license, ID card issued by school/college etc.

Note: Rules change rapidly Please check update details with the respected government offices or embassy.

4 responses to “Protected and restricted areas in India and Protected area permit (PAP)”


    I want to travel Andaman Nicobar, far India. Do I requried any specail visa or Indian e-Tourist Visa can work?

    • PBK
      Hi, does anyone who whether I need to apply for anymore than the usual Evisa to visit Andaman? If so please can you send me a link. Thanks
    Do I need a permit (PAP or RAP) to travel to Nagaland during my tour of India?
    I’m trying to apply for a Restricted Area Permit to visit my In-Laws in Rajasthan. I’m having so many issues. Is there an online application form? Thank you.

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