The Northeast Indian states tucked away in the remote part of the country consists of the Seven Sisters – Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and their only brother Sikkim. Sikkim is now also now a part of the Northeast Indian states and together the eight states are now called the “Ashta Lakshmi States”. To visit these beautiful states, the visitors require Inner Line Permit (ILP). So here we have tried to collate the information about ILP procedure in Northeast India for the travellers who wish to visit this unexplored paradise.

This economically and strategically important part of India shares its border with Bhutan, China, Myanmar and Bangladesh and is connected to the mainland India by a narrow 20 km wide corridor of land near North Bengal commonly known as Chicken’s neck.

Foreigners too need Restricted Area Permit (RAP) or Protected Area Permit (PAP) and Inner Line Permits (ILP) for visiting the northeast states. Although the Indian Government has relaxed permit requirements for foreign nationals in order to promote tourism, yet the requirement remains for Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.

What are Inner Line Permits?

As per Wikipedia, Inner Line Permit or ILP is an official travel document issued by the Government of India to allow an Indian citizen to travel into a protected area for a limited period. It is obligatory for Indian citizens from outside those states to obtain an official permit for entering into the protected state. ILPs are issued for travel related purpose only. Currently, Inner Line Permits are required to visit Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram. Manipur too has been trying to get ILP for itself and it has led to much agitations and controversy in the state.

These Inner Line Permits are primarily aimed at protecting the interest of the indigenous people of the covered area.

ILP Requirements in Northeast India

ILP Requirements for Northeast India statesHow to get ILP for Arunachal Pradesh?

For Indian Tourists

Indian Tourists require Inner Line Permit for visiting Arunachal Pradesh. The ILP can be obtained either online or offline. The Offline ILP are issued from Arunachal Bhawan in Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong, Tezpur, Dibrugarh, North Lakhimpur and Jorhat. Apply online ILP for Arunachal here.

ILP on arrival can be obtained from Naharlagun Railway station, Gumto Railway station and Guwahati Asom Paryatan Bhawan near Nepali Mandir and Guwahati LGBI Airport.

Things required for obtaining ILP:

  • Any proof of identity like PAN Card / Voter ID Card / DL / Passport
  • Passport size photograph

Fees for online Permit: INR 100 per person

Fees for offline permit: INR 400 (same day) and INR 200 (next day)

For Foreign Tourists

All foreign tourists are required have the Protection Area Permit or PAP for entering into Arunachal Pradesh. Protected Area Permit can be obtained from

  1. All Indian Missions abroad
  2. All Foreigners Regional Registration Officers (FRRO) at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chief Immigration Officer, Chennai, Home Ministry, Govt. of India
  3. Home Commissioner, Govt. of Arunachal Pradesh, Itanagar.

The processing time for the permit is around 2 to 5 working days. The PAPs are valid for not more than thirty days and for a group of two travellers or more.

Things required for PAP application:

  • Name
  • Copy of the Passport
  • A copy of your Indian visa and entry stamp
  • The filled in application form (the form can be obtained from the office)
  • Passport size photographs
  • You will also need to furnish details about your place of birth, profession, proposed duration of stay and purpose of visit.
  • The fee for the permit is USD 50 per head. The fees need to be paid upfront in Indian currency.
  • Applications for PAP can be submitted from Monday to Friday until 2 PM.

Know more about Arunachal Pradesh.

How to get ILP for Nagaland?

For Indian Tourists

Indian tourists require Inner Line Permits to visit Nagaland. The ILP can be obtained from Nagaland House in Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati and Shillong and Government of Nagaland Offices at Kohima, Mokokchung, Tuensang, Mon, Wokha, Zunheboto, Dimapur, Phek, Kiphire, Longleng, Peren.

Things required for obtaining ILP:

  • Any proof of identity like PAN Card / Voter ID Card / Adhar Card (Mandatory) and DL, Passport, Bank Passbook, Ration Card (Non-mandatory)
  • Passport size photograph.

Fees for obtaining ILP: INR 50 (from Nagaland House in Delhi) INR 140 (from Dimapur DC Office)

For Foreign Tourists

Foreign tourists no longer require Protected Area Permit for Nagaland. However, they must register themselves at the local Foreigner Registration Office (FRO) of the districts they visit within 24 hours of arrival. But residents of Pakistan, Afghanistan and China are still banned from visiting the PAP restricted area.

Know more about Nagaland.

How to get ILP for Mizoram?

For Indian Tourists

Indian tourists need Inner Line Permit to visit Mizoram and can be obtained from Liaison Officer, Government of Mizoram in Kolkata, Silchar, Shillong, Guwahati and New Delhi. ILP can also be obtained from Lengpui Airport at Aizawl, Mizoram for tourists coming in by flight.

Things required for obtaining ILP:

  • Any proof of identity like PAN Card / Voter ID Card / Adhar Card (Mandatory) and DL, Passport, Bank Passbook, Ration Card (Non-mandatory)
  • 2 to 3 Passport size photographs.
  • ILP for tourists are valid for 15 days and can be extended for another 15 days.

Fees for obtaining ILP: INR 140 (INR 20 for the application form and INR 120 as processing fees)

For Foreign Tourists

Foreign tourists no longer require Protected Area Permit for Nagaland. However, they must register themselves at the local Foreigner Registration Office (FRO) of the districts they visit within 24 hours of arrival. But residents of Pakistan, Afghanistan and China are still banned from visiting the PAP restricted area.

Know more about Mizoram.

How to get ILP for Manipur?

For Indian Tourists

Indian tourists do not require any ILP for visiting Manipur. However, visiting Manipur by road via Dimapur or Kohima, travellers require an Inner Line Permit to pass through Nagaland. This is available from any Nagaland House, or Government of Nagaland office.

For Foreign Tourists

Foreign tourists no longer require Protected Area Permit for Nagaland. However, they must register themselves at the local Foreigner Registration Office (FRO) of the districts they visit within 24 hours of arrival. But residents of Pakistan, Afghanistan and China are still banned from visiting the PAP restricted area.

Know more about Manipur.

Assam, Meghalaya & Tripura Permits

Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura do not require any ILP or PAP for both Indian and foreign tourists.

Is ILP needed for Sikkim?

For Indian Tourists

Indian Tourists do not require an ILP to visit Sikkim apart from certain areas. But to travel across the protected areas, travellers need to travel through a Sikkim Tourism registered Travel Agent.

The following places require permits for Indian Tourists 

East Sikkim

Tsomgo Lake, Baba Mandir and Nathula Pass

Kupup and Menmecho Lake

West Sikkim

Dzongri and Goechela Trek – Permits can be obtained from Adventure Cell of Sikkim Tourism & Civil Aviation Department. Trek operators can get the permits.

Singalila area – Here too permits are obtained from the Adventure Cell of Sikkim Tourism & Civil Aviation Department.

North Sikkim

Yumthang, Yumesamdong, Thangu and Chopta Valley. The permit is issued by Police check post for Domestic Tourists.

Gurudongmar Lake, Cholamu Lake.

Dzongu Reserve Area

South Sikkim

Permits are not required for Indian Tourists to visit any part of South Sikkim.

For Foreign Tourists

 Foreign Tourists require an Inner Line Permit to enter Sikkim. This permit can be readily obtained at the Melli and Rangpo border-crossing checkpoint on producing valid Indian Visa. Permits issued 8 AM to 7.30 PM. A 15-day permit is issued on presentation of photocopies of passport, Indian visa, and two passport sized photos.

Foreign tourist can apply for online ILP for Sikkim here.

Foreigners also require Protected Area Permits (PAP) separately for visiting the interior areas of Sikkim and for trekking in Sikkim. For visiting Protected Areas foreign travellers need to travel through Sikkim Tourism registered Travel Agent.

PAP is required for visiting the following places:

East Sikkim

Tsomgo Lake – Permit is issued by Sikkim Tourism & Civil Aviation Department. Foreign tourists are however not permitted to visit Baba Mandir and Nathula Pass.

West Sikkim

Dzongri and Goechela Trek – Permits can be obtained from Adventure Cell of Sikkim Tourism & Civil Aviation Department. Trek operators can get the permits.

Singalila Trek – Here too permits are obtained from the Adventure Cell of Sikkim Tourism & Civil Aviation Department.

North Sikkim

Yumthang, Yumesamdong, Thangu/Chopta Valley – Permits are issued by the Tourism Department

Gurudongmar Lake – Foreigners are not allowed to visit Gurudongmar Lake. PAP is issued only till Thangu.

South Sikkim

Only ILP is needed to travel through South Sikkim.

Foreign Nationals can apply ILP online at www.sikkimilp.in

Know more about Sikkim.