Sikkim is renowned as a state with an abundance of natural beauty. The state is proud of its rivers, lakes, and mountains, which draw travellers from all over the world.
However, all visitors must go through an admission procedure, with the exception of Indian citizens. Apart from limited locations, there are no requirements for Indian citizens. However, in order to enter Sikkim, foreigners must hold an Inner Line Permit (ILP).
An official travel document issued by the Indian government is called a “Inner Line Permit.” In addition to being a document, the ILP represents the Indian government’s efforts to control access to particular areas close to its international boundary.
In actuality, the British government was the one who first developed the ILP. In order to protect their business interests, it was done. However, the ILP is still being utilised in India to formally conserve tribal customs.
Additionally, there are various ILP types, one for visitors and the other for those planning lengthy stays. These are often for employment-related reasons.
For foreign nationals seeking the ILP, the Government of Sikkim has created a fairly straightforward procedure that, as stated on the Sikkim Government website, “is as simple as 123.”
Here is a detailed explanation of the entrance requirements.
Obtaining an ILP is essentially a formality and is free for foreign nationals. All you need to do is bring a photo that is the size of a passport and copies of your passport and visa. You can provide these documents and get the entrance at checkpoints.
Permits are issued at the entry checkpoints at Melli and Rangpo between the hours of 8 am and 7:30 pm.
Tourism for Sikkim at Bagdogra Airport: In this location, permits are issued from 10 am to 4 pm.
Sikkim House is open every day during business hours in Delhi or Kolkata. Bank holidays are when the home is closed.
The Sikkim Tourist Office in Siliguri is open during regular business hours. Bank holidays are when the home is closed.
Additionally, permits are accessible at the Pakyong Airport. In truth, entrance permits may also be obtained in Darjeeling, but the procedure there is more drawn-out and difficult. In Darjeeling, the procedure consists of two steps: first, provide the passport copy at the Foreigners’ Registration Office (FRO), and then cross the town to the District Commissioner’s Office (DCO).
Also available at the Indian Embassies overseas are 15-day Sikkim permits that foreign nationals can get.
Furthermore, there isn’t a checkpoint at Jorethang, thus no permits are given out and foreigners aren’t allowed to enter or exit West Bengal.
ENTRY PERMIT APPLICATION ONLINE
You may apply for entrance permits online in a world where most people use the internet to get things done.
Filling out an online application will get you an Inner Line Permit (ILP). Even so, until you have the stamp on it, it will still be regarded as a provisional inner line permit. You may purchase this stamp at any of Sikkim’s border checkpoints.
WHO CAN GRANT ENTRY PERMITS?
The people who can provide admission permits are listed below:
Indian missions worldwide
Home Affairs Ministry
Registrars of Foreigners
Airport immigration agents in Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, and New Delhi
Darjeeling Deputy Commissioner
Kolkata-based Deputy Secretary/Under Secretary, West Bengali government, home department
Administration of Sikkim
Gangtok’s Chief/Home Secretary
Gangtok’s Secretary of Tourism
Gangtok’s I.G.P. of Police
Sikkim House Resident Commissioner, New Delhi
Siliguri’s deputy secretary of tourism
Kolkata-based Resident Commissioner STCS
Rangpo’s tourism officer
Any ILP’s validity is only good for 15 days. If a visitor from outside the country wants to prolong their stay, it can be done upon request, but only temporarily.
Only the State Government, however, has the authority to double the stay’s original 30-day duration. This permission renewal may be applied through the Gangtok Foreign Registration Office (FRO) as well as the North, West, and South District Superintendent of Police offices.
The Entry Permits may be revoked within two hours of any military activity or other security issues. This can occur with no warning and cannot be contested.
Additionally, in such a scenario, the Entry Permit fee paid will not be returned.
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