Foreigners (Protected Areas) Order 1958 (India)
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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 an 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, RAP are required for all visits to the Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and parts of the state of Sikkim. Unlike PAP, RAP 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 2
- 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
As per the Circular dated 30.12.2010 issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the entire area of the States of Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland has been excluded from the Protected Area regime notified under the Foreigners (Protected Areas) Order 1958, initially for a period of one year w.e.f. 1.1.2011, subject to some conditions. The exemption has been extended upto 31st December, 2012 by MHA vide MHA ID Note No.13/6/99-NE.II Vol.V dated 23.3.2012 to 31st December, 2012 by MHA. 
- All of Nagaland
- All of Sikkim
- Parts of Arunachal Pradesh
- Parts of Himachal Pradesh
- Parts of Jammu and Kashmir
- Parts of Manipur
- Parts of Mizoram
- Parts of Rajasthan
- Parts of Uttarakhand
Areas for which a RAP is required
At the moment only a touristic visit is a widely accepted purpose for a non-Indian's visit to a protected area. However, there are also other legitimate reasons why a non-Indian would want to visit these areas, for example if such a person is married to a native person of this area to visit his/her in-laws. As a consequence native people from the concerned areas who are married to a non-Indian or having children of a different nationality cannot settle permanently in their native area with their family because it is not possible to get a permanent permit for their non-Indian family-members.
One of the intended purposes of this policy was to protect the culture of the native people living there.