Inner Line Permits
(Frequently Asked Questions)
The entire State of Sikkim is under the restricted/protected area regime under the Foreigners (Restricted Areas) Order, 1963 and Foreigners (Protected Areas) Order, 1958. Under these two Orders issued under tha Foreigners Act, 1946 no foreigner can enter or stay in the State of Sikkim without obtaining permits from the designated authorities. These permits, officially termed Restricted Area permits/Protected Area Permits, are popularly known as Inner Line Permits.
The following competent authorities have been designated to issue inner line permits :
Clearly, there are numerous authorities from which to obtain inner line permits. If one plans in advance it is best to take an endorsement on the visa itself for permission to visit Sikkim from Indian Missions when applying for Visa to visit India. Once in India, it could be most convenient to approach Government of Sikkim authorities at Delhi, Calcutta and Siliguri.
Normally the Inner Line Permits are issued off-the-counter without any delay. The permits would however be available only on government working days. One requires to produce the passport and visa in original to the competent authority.
A fee of US$30 is levied presently for issue of inner line permits. This is in addition to visa fees that would have been paid.
Existing guidelines require that nationals of Pakistan, Bangladesh, China and Myanmar can be given Inner Line Permits only after approval from the Ministry of Home Affairs in New Delhi. Further all Bhutan nationals are exempt from the requirement of obtaining ILPs. They do not require to obtain permits to enter Sikkim. Permits to foreign diplomats and members of United Nations and International Organisations holding diplomatic/official passports are issued only at Delhi by the Ministry of External Affairs.
Normally the permits are issued for a duration of fifteen days for the specific purpose of tourism only. Once in Sikkim these permits can be further extended for 30 more days in two spells of 15 days each. These extensions are granted only at Gangtok by State Home Department. Extensions beyond the period of forty-five days are vary rarely given. Foreigners who wish to stay in Sikkim for purposes other than tourism for longer period of time are required to apply directly to the to Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi.
Individual foreign visitors may visit/stay at any of the following towns in Sikkim
Groups of foreigners (4 or more persons in a group) are allowed to visit following additional places/circuits. Permissions are granted for specific tour circuits as identified with definite entry and exit points and a specified mode of transport. Local tour operators only organize these trips and also provide a local Liaison Officer who accompanies the group.
It must be remembered that foreigners cannot stay at any place, which is not mentioned above. Violation of above instructions and conditions specified on permits are treated as an offence under the Foreigners Act and are punishable under law.
Foreign Visitors will have to apply for extension of ILPs to the Home Department, Government of Sikkim.
Download ILP Extension Form