Inner Line Permit (ILP)

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    10th Dec, 2019


In the run-up to the likely introduction of the Citizenship Amendment Bill during the current session of Parliament, the concept of Inner Line Permit has been part of the conversation.


  • The Inner Line Permit concept comes from the colonial area. Under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act, 1873, the British framed regulations restricting the entry and regulating the stay of outsiders in designated areas.
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) is an official travel document issued by the Government of India to allow inward travel of an Indian citizen into a protected area for a limited period.
  • It is obligatory for Indian citizens from outside those states to obtain a permit for entering into the protected state.
  • The document is an effort by the government to regulate movement to certain areas located near the international border of India.
  • There are different kinds of ILP's, one for tourists and others for people who intend to stay for long-term periods, often for employment purposes.

Where is it applicable?

  • The system is in force today in three North-eastern states:
    • Arunachal Pradesh
    • Nagaland
    • Mizoram
  • No Indian citizen can visit any of these states unless he or she does not belong to that state, nor can he or she overstay beyond the period specified in the ILP.

Relation between ILP and Citizenship Amendment Bill

  • The Citizenship Amendment Bill seeks to amend the existing Citizenship Act, 1955 to enable non-Muslim refugees — specifically Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis and Christians — from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to obtain Indian citizenship.
  • If the bill is passed and implemented, with the ILP system also in place, it would mean the refugees who are granted citizenship under the new act will not be permitted to settle in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram.
  • Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland are not among those drastically affected by migration from Bangladesh.
  • Mizoram shares a border with Bangladesh.
  • The three states that have seen the highest migration, however, are Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya, none of which has an ILP system.

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