How to manage permits to enter North East Indian States (Updated 2020)

It was 2014, when I made my first trip to a North Eastern state. I was supposed to go to Ziro and was told that I need to get a permit made in advance. I looked online, went on the ILP website of Arunachal and got my permit approved.

In 2015 however, I failed to get my permit but then I got a fresh one made at Papum Pare check post. Getting a travel permit in Arunachal Pradesh has been a piece of cake and hardly anyone is stopped unless the mentioned papers are missing or there is something suspicious about you.

Train to Guwahati

Now, my further leg of journey awaits as I have to visit other North Eastern states. I have been reading about permits and many states have their own rule for approving the applications.

Fun Fact – You don’t need permits for every North Eastern state. Only 3 out of the 8 states in total have a permit rule. Sikkim asks for permits if you wish to enter the Northern Side and any travel agent in Gangtok will get you one made in hours. Meghalaya doesn’t require any sort of permit and neither does Assam.

Here is a quick guide to getting entry permits in North Eastern States.

If you are an Indian, you’ll need to apply for Inner Line permits for three states in North East. Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram have ILP rules for Indian citizens.

Arunachal Peadesh Ziro stay home

Foreigners, including those with Overseas Citizens of India card, need to get Protected Area Permits (PAPs) in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. They’ll need to register at police stations at Manipur, Mizoram, and Nagaland within 24 hours of their arrival. This can be done with the help of guest houses or travel agents they are travelling with.

There is no such thing at Inner Line permits in Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya for both Indians and foreigners.

How to get inner line permits in Arunachal Pradesh

There are multiple ways to get Arunachal ILP. If you are travelling alone then you can easily apply for ILP online and the approval comes within 15 days of application. If you are short on days then the check post at Assam – Arunachal Border at Papum Pare and the offices at Naharlagun station and Gumto station provide ILP and it takes half an hour for the permits to get approved.

You can apply for ILP in liaison offices at Shillong, and other designated places in Delhi, Guwahati, Tezpur, Dubrugarh, Jorhat and Lakhimpur.

Local Zro experience

Essential documents – Xerox of your ID proofs (passport, Driving license or adhaar card), travel agent email or a printed version of your itinerary and multiple copies of passport size photos. You need to disclose about the dates on which you’ll be travelling. Inner Line permits during Ziro Festival of Music may take a longer time because it gets really crowded during that week. The earlier you arrive, the easier you’ll be allowed inside.

You can download the form for Arunachal ILP from here. You can also apply for ILP online.

Foreigners can get their ILP made through these approved travel agents


How to get inner line permits for Mizoram

Mizoram doesn’t have the facility of applying for ILP online. One can download the form from their website and then reach their office for the approval of the entry permits.

Cherry Blossom Shillong (13 of 18)

For entry into Aizwal, you’ll need 2 copies of passport size photos. Application form costs INR 20 and processing fee costs INR 120. Other districts require 3 copies of passport size photos. ILP can be applied at Lengpui Airport, while you can also find their offices in Guwahati, Shillong, Silchar, Kolkata and New Delhi.

How to get Inner Line Permit for Nagaland

You can only apply for Nagaland permits in the designated offices. There is no facility of online application or download the form.

Meghalaya solo backpacking (1)

Foreigner tourists don’t need any protected area permits to enter Nagaland. They’ll need to register with Foreigner’s Registration Officer within 24 hours of arrival. For Indian visitors, the permits can be made in New Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Dimapur and Kohima. More details can be found here.

Permits limits for entry into various states

Every state has its own permit rules. Nagaland and Mizoram allow you to travel anywhere in the state with a single ILP, Arunachal Pradesh needs you to present a proper itinerary and the number of days you’ll be travelling.

Permits for Sikkim


Indians don’t require entry permits in Sikkim. However, certain formalities are needed to be done to enter Northern part of the state. Foreigner tourists need to get a PAP made and these approved travel agencies can help you get one. Indian tourists are needed to get permits from the same travel agencies if they wish to enter Northern part of the state.

Certain areas, closer to Indo-China border are open to Indians only.

Responsible travel is a way to explore the North East

North East India is very sensitive zone in ecological terms. Make your travel plans keeping the minimal use of plastic and bottles in mind. Don’t leave your garbage at the trails and make sure that you eat only local food, avoiding chips and packaged snacks.

Your contribution will matter a lot in maintaining the beauty of North East India.


Hope these tips helped you in getting a better understanding of travel in North East India.

Leave a Reply

This Post Has 28 Comments

  1. incalexandra

    This is a really interesting post! I am not familiar with the permits required, so I think a lot of people would also find this to be quite useful!

    1. ansh997x

      Thanks a lot for dropping by and sharing your thoughts.

  2. Lori

    Very informative article, and the pictures are beautiful!

  3. dalleynedvm

    That is interesting that you need permits to travel within a country. I wonder why that is?

    1. ansh997x

      That is because China, Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar Borders are in proximity

  4. Are these permits in addition to needing a passport? I live in the United States, so I’m just curious, because when we travel abroad usually Passports are sufficient enough.

    1. ansh997x

      Yes, these permits are other than passport because China and Myanmar border are nearby to this region.

  5. krish

    Very informative article ..will be useful for visitors to NE India….the pics are beautiful…NE ihas mesmerising beauty..

  6. With Love Moni

    This is so really great. You deserve a treat from me for this post. Beautiful about North east India-Actually the word ‘beauty’ suits perfectly to north east..!

    1. ansh997x

      Thanks a lot. I’ll wait for the treat 😛

  7. The J Teem

    Very interesting that you need permits to travel to various states in your country. Great share for those traveling the country.

  8. scrapbookadventures365

    I am sure this will be useful for many looking to enter. Great pics too!

  9. Sayanti

    Thanks for letting us know about the permits. Now whenever I visit Northeast Indian states, I will be prepared

  10. Rosey

    Since every state does have its own permit rules, it is nice to find help when we need it. It’s kind of you to give the info. for north-east India here!

  11. Kiwi

    Wow I never knew N.E. India could look like this. This is great info for people traveling there soon.

  12. Cara

    I’m not sure I would need this for myself but this is such a great resource! The photos are stunning!

  13. Kaitlynn

    This is very informative. I have not considered traveling to this part of India before. I am glad you brought this part of the country to my attention – it looks so interesting!

    1. ansh997x

      This part is true beauty. Must plan a trip here.