Mountaineering visa is granted to those foreigners who intend or wish to visit Indian Himalayan mountain ranges and peaks which fall under restricted areas for climbing mountain peaks. However, the applicant should have to obtain permission from the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF), C/O Ministry of Defense, Government of India, and New Delhi. The applicant also needs to show all documents of mountaineering so that the government may grant Mountaineering Visa for Himalayas mountain range climbing.
The applicants also need to request (in triplicate) for such expeditions addressed to the Ministry of Defense, Government of India, and should submit the documents at the Embassy at least before four months with complete details of the expedition. The mountaineering visa will be issued then by the authority.
List of documents which you need to submit for mountaineering visa
- You must have your original passport with a minimum of 6 months validity and the passport should also have 3 blank visa pages.
- You need to carry your passport data page, which shows your name, address, date of birth, nationality, etc.
- Bring two passport size photographs (2X2 inch) with you and be sure to paste the photos to the form. You must paste one photo on the first page in the box provided to you and the second photograph on the bottom right-hand corner of page 2.
- However, you also need to submit an Indian Government visa application form online with complete data. To fill the application, visit at e-visaindia.com. Once you complete the application, then you need to sign on the same. The signature must be the same and should match your passport signature. Once you did with these all, accept the declaration signing at the bottom of your form page 2.
However, here are some of the additional documents which you need to submit:
A letter from the organization or institute where you plan your expedition and explain everything about your mountaineering to the Embassy of India specifying or mentioning the exact purpose of your visit to the Himalayas and expected start and end dates. This letter should be on the organization’s or institute’s letterhead with which you are coming. You should explain everything in English with a stamp and signature.
Once you do this all, you then need to fill your application for climbing the Indian Himalayas by Foreigners (3 copies) so that you get clearance from the Indian Mountaineering Foundation and MHA.
If the applicant (who desires to climb Himalaya) is of Indian origin (born Indian) and has an Indian passport from the Government of India in the past, then he or she needs to attach the documents with the application form.
- However, the applicant also needs to have a copy of his or her ‘Surrender Certificate or NOC’.
- And a canceled Indian passport
- The applicant also needs to have a ‘Sworn Affidavit’, which the applicant needs to bring at the Embassy of India.
If the applicant took birth in India and granted with a nationality, then the applicant needs to mention it by attaching one of the document of India with the application, such as:
- A copy of Indian passport
- A copy of Nationality Certificate, mention current nationality or naturalization
- A affidavit which can obtain from the Indian Embassy
If in case, you were born in India but are not of Indian origin.
- In this scenario, you should have a letter where you must explain your birth in English by addressing the consular services providing all the details and reasons or the facts of your birth in India.
If in case, you are born in any foreign nationals except India and one of your parents are Indian, and then you need to submit these documents:
- An applicant has to write a letter in English mentioning that you have never had an Indian passport or Indian nationality with the signature of parents and applicant.
If the applicant holds dual nationality and passport, then;
- He or she needs to submit a copy of the second passport.
If you have a foreign passport or you are a Pakistani origin, then you need to submit these:
- A Reference Form as per your current nationality.
- And additional documents as per your current or previous citizenship.
In case, if you are holding a Travel document (refugee passport), then you need to show or submit these documents—
- Account statements that must be older for at least 3 months in your name.
Procedure of grant of Mountaineering Visa clearance
All visa applicants or requests for climbing expeditions should be addressed and mentioned to the Indian mountaineering Foundation (IMF) at least prior 4 months in advance with full details. A copy of the application or requests may even be dispatched to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
In order to help in making regional arrangements and many others, a liaison officer might be assigned to every expedition (at its cost) by the Indian Mountaineering Foundation. No expedition shall be allowed without a liaison officer or prior clearance.
Climbing expeditions may not be authorized if the height or peak to be climbed and/or the procedure location or area lies in the restrained/protected areas, without obtaining the integral prior permission from the authorities involved.
For climbing expeditions, the Missions may provide mountaineering (‘MX’) visas for some specific period.
Peaks open for mountaineering professionals
A list of 104 peaks opened for mountain climbing expeditions in Jammu & Kashmir (Leh area) is in Appendix VIII.
Prior permission of the Central Government isn't required with the aid of a foreigner or group of foreigners for mountain climbing 113 hiking and Trekking Peaks as in Appendix IX.
However, prior permission of the Central Government will probably be required if the expedition team includes nationals of China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. That is subject to the Indian Mountaineering Foundation specifying the routes, attaching a liaison officer, and imposing such restrictions as it will deem imperative.
Rules and Regulations for Foreign mountain climbers
A foreign expedition team desirous of mountain climbing or peaks in India shall follow to the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) on the application form with a prescribed amount with handling expenses and Liaison Officer expenses minimal 90 days before to the deliberate excursion. As soon as the proposal is acquired from the expedition staff, the IMF books the height(s) provisionally, subject to the availability on "first-come-first-serve" and informs the party accordingly.
The IMF allows a Registration number to the mountaineering expedition which ought to be quoted in all future correspondence. The climber team must indicate an alternative peak-in request at the same time sending the idea or proposal. Permission from the government of India to climb is important and the Indian mountaineering foundation will take steps to acquire this permission on receipt of an application or visa type with full info and documents. On receipt of intimation of provisional booking from the IMF, the staff should ship the entire amount through bank transfers at the earliest. IMF accepts application for provisional booking of peaks before three years in advance.
The expedition will comply with the route authorized via the IMF and NO deviation is permissible besides in an emergency and that too with the prior written approval of the Liaison Officer (LO).
Abandoning the expedition: as soon as the leader decides to abandon the excursion, the entire team will return to Delhi along with the LO and inform Director-IMF instantly.
Splitting of the team: Splitting of expedition workforce or team into two or extra sub-organizations or group isn’t allowed for any motive instead of to climb the summit in the form of ropes/sub-organizations past the base camp.
Import/ Export of Mountaineering Equipment
Equipment, non-consumable and consumable, imported through an occasion into India, will probably to the following conditions:
The team of climbers can take 18 equipment’s and it will be allowed without customs duty so that the work or project must furnish via the chief of the expedition and team. However, the team must return the climbing equipment to the IMF once the project is completing. In case failing in the same, then the expedition staff or team will have to pay customs duty.