Entry Requirements for Andaman & Nicobar Islands

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Embark on a journey to the pristine and enchanting Andaman and Nicobar Islands, where turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, and vibrant coral reefs await. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the intricate details of ferries and permits, unraveling the essential information that ensures a seamless and memorable exploration of this tropical paradise. Discover the nuances of island hopping, navigate through the ferry systems, and unravel the intricacies of permits, unlocking the gateway to an unforgettable island adventure in the Andaman and Nicobar archipelago.

Is Passport Required for Andaman Islands?

The short answer is No. Indians do not require a permit, passport or Visa to enter Andaman and Nicobar Islands. 

For Indians

Ensure you have a current government-issued ID, such as an Aadhar Card, Passport, Voter ID, etc., as it is essential for entry and various activities, including hotel check-ins.

For Foreigners 

All foreign residents visiting the Andaman and Nicobar Islands must get a RAP (Restricted Area Permit). It is a 30-day permit issued to Non-Indians at the Port Blair Airport upon their arrival. Additionally, foreign nationals must possess a valid Indian visa before arriving in India, ensuring a smooth entry to the Andaman Islands (Please note that none of the hotels in the Andaman Islands will offer accommodation to foreign citizens without a RAP. So, acquiring this permit is a compulsory formality.)

Burmese nationals are not allowed to visit Mayabunder and Diglipur without prior permission from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Entry fees charged from Indians for attractions differ from Foreigners.

Indian visitors typically encounter minimal entry fees for specific monuments, buildings, islands, or protected areas, varying based on the destination's significance. In contrast, foreign tourists may incur higher entry fees when visiting the same attractions or islands.

What is a Restricted Area Permit (RAP)?

A Restricted Area Permit (RAP) is a travel document that foreign nationals must obtain to visit certain restricted or protected areas within a country. In the context of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in India, a RAP is required for foreigners to visit these islands. It is issued by the Immigration Authorities and is usually valid for 30 days, with the possibility of extension in certain cases. The RAP is essential for foreigners to gain entry to specific locations within the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, ensuring controlled access to sensitive areas.

Restricted Area Permit (RAP) Entry Formalities & Other Details 

  • Availability: Obtainable on arrival at Port Blair by flight or ship.
  • Validity: 30 days, extendable for another 15 days with permission from the Superintendent of Police, FRO/CID, Port Blair. It is also obtainable from Indian Missions overseas and Foreigners Registration Offices in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata.
  • Airports: RAP can be obtained from the Immigration Authorities at New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata airports.
  • Verification: Foreign tourists arriving at Port Blair must show their passport at Immigration counters for verification.
  • RAP form : https://www.andamantourism.gov.in/docs/RAP-form.pdf

Exemption for 30 Islands

Foreigners will not require RAP for visiting the following Islands in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. These islands can be identified as East Island, North Andaman, Smith Island, Curfew Island, Stewart Island, Landfall Island, Aves Island, Middle Andaman, Long Island, Strait Island, North Passage, Baratang, South Andaman, Swaraj Dweep, Shaheed Dweep, Flat Bay, North Sentinel Island, Little Andaman, Chowra, Tillanchong Island, Teressa, Katchal, Nancowry, Kamorta, Pulomilo, Great Nicobar, Little Nicobar, Narcondam Island, Interview Island, and Viper Island (Day visit only).

Essential Tips to Visit Andaman & Nicobar Islands

  • The ferries get cancelled at times because of bad weather, so be mindful of that while booking the hotels.
  • Ensure to book the ferry with a time gap of 1.5-2 hours after landing.
  • While debit and credit cards are accepted, due to poor internet connectivity it's advised to keep INR 10,000-15,000 in cash to avoid failed transactional situations.
  • Apart from BSNL, the Airtel network is now available in Port Blair and Andaman and at a few points in Neil Island. It will be difficult to get connectivity for any other cellular service.
  • Islands like Jolly Buoy Island & Ross Island, are one or half-day trips from Port Blair only offer cucumbers and coconut water so make sure to carry some snacks with you.
  • Always keep your vital documents like your passport, RAP, and driver's license handy. It is advisable not to leave them at the hotel or resort as every time you will arrive at Havelock or other islands.

This post was published by Alma Rosina

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FAQs on Andaman

Do Indians need a passport to visit the Andamans?

No, Indian citizens do not need a passport to visit the Andamans. A valid photo ID, such as Aadhar Card, Passport, or Voter ID, is sufficient.

Do I need special permission to visit the Andamans?

Foreign nationals require a Restricted Area Permit (RAP) to visit certain areas in the Andamans. This permit is usually obtained on arrival.

Is it safe to visit the Andamans?

Yes, the Andamans are considered safe for tourists. However, like any travel destination, it's advisable to follow local guidelines and take necessary precautions.

What is the Andaman restricted area permit?

The Restricted Area Permit (RAP) is a travel document required for foreign nationals to visit specific restricted areas in the Andamans.

Can I go to Andaman without a tour package?

Yes, you can visit the Andamans without a tour package. Independent travel is allowed, and you can plan your itinerary accordingly.

Do I need a diving license to dive in the Andamans?

No, you do not need a diving license for recreational diving. However, you should undergo basic scuba training with a certified diving instructor.

What documents are required for Andaman?

For Indians, a valid photo ID (Aadhar Card, Passport, or Voter ID) is required. Foreign nationals need a passport and a Restricted Area Permit (RAP).

Which island is not allowed in Andaman?

Certain islands in the Andamans require special permits for visitation. Foreigners need to check the list of permitted islands under the RAP.

How long is the cruise to the Andamans?

The duration of the cruise to the Andamans varies based on the departure location. Typically, it takes around 2-3 days for a cruise from mainland India to Port Blair.

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