With effect from July 2018 “Restricted Area Permit” is not required for foreigners visiting Andaman Islands. Now foreigners with valid tourist visa can visit Andamans and stay as per the visa validity. No more 30 days stay restriction is applicable for foreigners.
Do you know that Andaman Islands Restricted Area Permit is required to visit Andaman Islands?
If you are planning a trip to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, there are certain entry formalities which include the Andaman Islands Restricted Area Permit, that should be taken care off. A lot of would-be tourists seem to be not sure about Visas, Andaman Islands Restricted Area Permit(RAP) and many such concerns.
In this post, we, Andaman Holidays, being a trusted destination management company, will try and provide you relevant information about the various entry formalities. We will highlight the passport and visa issues, restricted area permit issues and places which are reserved and the ones that are not.
1. PASSPORT REQUIREMENT
a. Indian passport holders DO NOT require a permit to visit and stay in the populated areas of Andaman Islands, including Havelock Island.
b. If you happen to have a foreign passport, it must be valid for at least 6 months duration.
c. NRI, PIO and OCI card holders should also carry their passports.
a. If you are NOT Indian by nationality, you must have a valid Indian Visa. It can be obtained in your country of residence prior to arrival in India.
b. You can apply for Indian Visa at the Indian Embassy in the country where you are residing before arriving in India.
c. NRI, PIO and OCI card holders should also get a restricted area permit on arrival at Port Blair.
d. E - Visa is available for certain nationalities.
3. RESTRICTED AREA PERMIT
Andaman Islands Restricted Area Permit (RAP) is issued at Port Blair. You can obtain it on arrival easily. It is issued to all foreign travellers free of cost.
The Andaman Islands restricted area permit includes places where you are allowed to stay for the night.
Do note that the Andaman Islands Restricted Area Permit is issued on arrival and is a process of the Immigration department and no one can assist you in getting the same. In case of any complications, you will need to sort it out with the Immigration authorities. We would best advise you to check on the latest procedures and updates from the Immigration authorities to prevent any issues.
4. SPECIAL NOTE FOR FOREIGNERS REQUIRING RAP
a. Most foreigners arriving at Port Blair are given a 30-day permit.
b. Closer to the time of expiry (about 3 days ahead) the restricted area permit can be extended by another 15 days. This extension can only be done at the Immigration Office in Port Blair and you will need to show a confirmed return ticket (for a journey within the next 15 days) in order to get this extension.
c. Please note that it may not always be possible to get this extension in a few hours and you may need to stay overnight in Port Blair to obtain the extension.
5. APPROVALS REQUIRED
To visit Andaman Nicobar Islands (Restricted Area), prior approval of Ministry of External Affairs is required by the foreign diplomats and members of the United Nations and International Organisations holding Diplomatic (D)/Officials (O) or UN Official (UD) visa/passport.
6. FOR FOREIGN JOURNALISTS
Foreign journalists, TV cameraperson etc. including a foreign journalist already based in India (having Visa Type J), who desire to visit Andaman Nicobar Islands are advised to apply through Ministry of External Affairs (External Publicity Division) of special permit giving full particulars, inter alia, of the purpose and the date of the proposed visit. These applications will be processed in consultation with the agencies concerned and a permit may be issued or authorized by Ministry of Home Affairs.
7. CITIZENS OF CHINA, AFGANISTAN AND PAKISTAN
Citizens of Afganistan, China and Pakistan and foreign nationals of Pakistani origin are required to obtain prior approval of Ministry of Home Affairs to visit Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
Permitted Places for Visit and Stay
Once the formalities for Andaman Islands Restricted Area Permit to visit Andamans are done, foreigners holding a valid entry permit into the Andaman Islands are allowed to visit and stay in municipal areas of:
The islands of South Andaman and Middle Andaman (excluding tribal reserved area – 5kms away from Constance bay to Luis Inlet bay – western coast tribal reserve),
North Passage Island,
Little Andaman (excluding tribal reserve) and
All Islands in the Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park except Boat Island, Hobday island, Twins islands, Tarmugli, Malay and Pluto island.Tourists can also visit Jolly Buoy island, South Cinque island, Redskin island, Mount Harriet, Madhuban, Ross island, Narcondam island, Interview island, Brother & Sister islands and Barren island during the day. (Visit to Barren island is restricted on board the vessel with no landing ashore).
While planning your trip to the Awesome Andamans, take the necessary actions in regard to these concerns. It will help you in enjoying a carefree and hassle-free holiday in the Island.
Kindly note that this post is for information purpose only and you should check with the relevant authorities for the present regulations about the Andaman Islands Restricted Area Permit.