Sikkim is the dream destination of many avid travelers, but there are certain Sikkim travel restrictions that one must know about. Foreigners traveling to India need to get certain permits to enter Sikkim. Read below to get detailed information about the permit for Sikkim and where to get it from.
According to the Foreigners Act in India, foreigners are required to get a Protected Area Permit (PAP) and Restricted Area Permit (RAP) to visit specific areas in India. It is done in place due to security reasons. This permit is issued in addition to a valid Indian visa. To get this permit, the person has to meet few requirements. Not only foreigners but Non-Indian Residents also need a Restricted Area Permit (RAP), earlier known as Inner Line Permit (ILP). However, the NRIs who are staying abroad for more than 6 months and Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) holders are not eligible for Restricted Area Permit.
Protected Area Permit (PAP)
The Protected Area Permit (PAP) issued for places in Sikkim are as follows -
Permit to visit East Sikkim -
- Tsongo – Baba Mandir - Its permits are provided by the Police Check Post for Domestic Tourists. Foreign travelers are only allowed till Tsomgo Lake. An additional permit is issued by the Tourism & Civil Aviation Department and Police check post.
- Nathula Pass – Tourism Department and Police Check Post issue the permit for domestic tourists.
Permit to visit West Sikkim -
- Dzongri Trek – The permit is given by Adventure Cell of Tourism & Civil Aviation Department, Govt. of Sikkim.
- Singalila Trek – The Adventure Cell of Tourism & Civil Aviation Department, Govt. of Sikkim issues the permit.
Permit to visit North Sikkim -
- Yumthang – The permit is provided by the Police check post for domestic tourists and foreign travelers, the permit is given by the Tourism Department and Police Check Post.
- Yumesamdong - Police check post issues the permit for domestic tourists and Tourism Department and Police Check Post issues the permit for foreign travelers.
- Thangu-Chopta Valley – The permit is issued by the Police Check post for domestic tourists and is issued by the Tourism Department and Police check post for foreign travelers. Foreigners must apply through a Sikkim Tourism designated travel agent in groups of two people or more for visiting these areas.
- Gurudongmar – Permit is issued by Police check post for domestic tourists and Tourism Department issues permit for foreigners till Thangu.
- Green Lake Trekking Permit is issued by the Tourism Department after obtaining a valid permit from the Ministry of Home Department, New Delhi.
Permit to visit South Sikkim -
- Restricted Area Permit (RAP) is a valid permit for trekking anywhere in South Sikkim for foreigners.
- Alpine Mountaineering Expedition permit is granted by Tourism Department after obtaining a valid permit from Home Department, Government of Sikkim, Gangtok, for the following peaks as per the Home Department Notification no: 25/Home/2006 dated 20/3/2006 -
- TinchenKhang (5603 metres, West Sikkim)
- Mount Jopuno (5935m, West Sikkim)
- Mount Frey (5830m, West Sikkim)
- Lama Angden (5868m, North Sikkim)
- Brum Khangse (5433m, North Sikkim)
National park and Wildlife Sanctuary entry permits are issued by the Forest Department at Gangtok.
Cost of Restricted Area Permit
The Restricted Area Permit is issued free of cost by -
- Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, Lok Nayak Bhawan, New Delhi.
- All Foreigners Registration Offices.
- All Indian Mission Abroad.
- Immigration Offices at Airports at Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, and New Delhi.
- Deputy Director, SNT Complex, Siliguri, Tourism Department. (Phone number: 0353 - 2512646)
- Assistant Director – Tourism Department, Sikkim House, Panchasheel Marg, New Delhi, Tourism Department. (Phone number: 011-
- Assistant Director – Tourism Department, Sikkim Tourism Office, 4/1 Middleton Street, Kolkata. (Phone number: 033 22817905)
- Assistant Director– Tourism Department, Melli, Near Melli Police Check Post, South Sikkim. (Mobile number: 9775453611, 03595-248536)
NOTE - Restricted Area Permit can be issued between 8 am and 8 pm every day.
- Assistant Director, Tourism Department, Sikkim Tourism Office, Rangpo, East Sikkim. (Phone number: 03592-240818) Resident Commissioner, Government of Sikkim, Sikkim House, New Delhi.
- Deputy Commissioner, Darjeeling, West Bengal.
- Assistant Director, Tourism Department, Sikkim Tourism Office, Rangpo, East Sikkim. (Phone number: 03592-240818)
- Deputy Secretary/ Under Secretary, Home Department, Government of West Bengal, Kolkata.
- The citizens of Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Myanmar, and Nigeria will not be issued a permit without the prior consent of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi.
Formalities for Foreigners Entry
All foreign visitors must obtain a Restricted Area Permit (RAP) to visit Sikkim. This can be obtained from all Sikkim Tourism Offices at New Delhi, Kolkata, Indian Missions, District Magistrate's Office of Darjeeling, Siliguri, and Rangpo in addition to a valid Indian Visa.
RAP is issued for 30 days initially and then provided photocopies of the passport and visa along with 2 passport size photographs of the foreign applicant. This permit can be extended by the State Government by a further period of 30 days. It can be done from the Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) in Gangtok and the office of the Superintendent of Police of the North, West, and South Districts in Sikkim.
Further, for all high-altitude treks such as the Singalila Ridge and Dzongri, the Tourism and Civil Aviation issues an additional Protected Area Permit (PAP) at Gangtok. This permit for Sikkim allows foreigners to only enter permitted areas in groups of at least two accompanied by representatives of a registered travel company. Choose Indian Holiday Pvt. Ltd. to obtain Sikkim permits hassle-free.