As of 2019, Arunachal Pradesh was the only Northeast state requiring foreign visitors to obtain a permit – in this case the Protected Area Permit (PAP), without which you cannot enter the state. The permit is valid for 30 days from its specified starting date and lists the areas that the foreigner may visit. The application form asks for your destinations in Arunachal and your date of initial entry to the state.
A minimum of two foreigners must apply together for the PAP, except for visits to Tawang (and places en route such as Bomdila and Dirang) and the Ziro Valley, for which solo travellers can obtain permits. In general, permits have to be applied for by registered tour operators – see the list at www.arunachaltourism.com/tour-operators.php. If you are organising your trip with a tour operator, they will normally obtain your PAP for you. Some tour operators will obtain PAPs for tourists who are not using any other services from them, usually for a cost of around ₹3000. Tour operators may also be able to help solo travellers obtain permits for areas beyond the Tawang route and the Ziro Valley.
Independent travellers can obtain PAPs without tour-operator sponsorship at the Arunachal Pradesh Deputy Resident Commissioner's offices in Guwahati and Kolkata. At research time the Guwahati office was also able to put separate solo travellers together on one group permit, thus enabling them to visit areas beyond Tawang and Ziro.
The PAP costs the rupee equivalent of US$30 (US$60 for single-person permits). Processing time is normally two working days or less.
Indians visiting Arunachal Pradesh must obtain an Inner Line Permit (ILP), available online (www.arunachalilp.com) or at the Guwahati airport, Naharlagun train station or Arunachal Pradesh government offices in Delhi, Kolkata, Shillong, Guwahati and several other Assam towns (see www.arunachaltourism.com/inner.php). The ILP costs from ₹30 to ₹400 depending where and how you apply.
Once you have your permit, make several copies of it.