Under the Restricted Area Permit regime, foreigners need to obtain a special permission in order to visit Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and parts of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Jammu & Kashmir among others. But very soon all that may change. The Union Home Ministry is currently examining whether the rules can be relaxed. The main idea would be to promote tourism and in turn create job opportunities for locals in the State. However, the relaxations will not apply to tourists from Pakistan and China.
It will make it convenient for travellers as the power to issue such permits has not been delegated to a subordinate authority by the Union Government. The application had to be referred to the MHA for prior approval, at least eight weeks before the date of the expected visit.
In cases of foreign diplomats, including the members of the United Nations and international organisations holding diplomatic or official passports, special permits are issued by the Ministry of External Affairs.