(a) A homestead entry permit entitles an applicant to enter land within an area designated under AS 38.09.010 and to survey, occupy, and improve the land in order to qualify for a patent under this chapter.

(b) An applicant for a homestead entry permit shall personally stake the corners and flag the boundaries of the land entered under this chapter and shall personally file with the commissioner a description of the land entered. A homestead entry shall be described by aliquot parts unless otherwise permitted by the commissioner. The commissioner may require the applicant to establish a deposit for the costs of survey before issuing the homestead entry permit.