How to apply for a Visa for Nepal

How to apply for a Visa for Nepal

By Carol WangUpdated May. 14, 2021

Everyone traveling to Nepal needs a visa, no matter whether it’s a recreational trip, business stay, or other purpose. There are two ways to get a visa to enter Nepal — you can either obtain a Visa on Arrival or get one at a Nepalese embassy.

A Visa on Arrival is only issued as a Tourist Visa. You can get one at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu or any border. For a non-tourist visa, the application must be done through a Nepalese embassy.

Quick Facts

  • A Visa on Arrival is valid for almost every traveler who arrives by air or overland.
  • The classic way of obtaining a visa from a Nepalese embassy is always an option.
  • A visa extension is obtained easily in Kathmandu and Pokhara. 
  • Don’t overstay your visa in Nepal.

Tourist Visa

A Tourist Visa is issued to people who are visiting for sightseeing purposes. The visa is multiple-entry with three validity options: 15 days, 30 days, or 90 days. A visa can be extended by up to 150 days at most after expiration.

If you go to Nepal for non-tourist purposes, you can still enter the country with a Tourist Visa. You must apply for a new visa based on your real purpose (such as business or study).

Closeup of Visa application form with ballpoint

Three Ways to Obtain a Tourist Visa

A Tourist Visa can be obtained as a Visa on Arrival at the airport, a Visa on Arrival at the border, and at Nepalese embassies or consulates abroad.

For those who are only traveling to Nepal, a Visa on Arrival is an efficient way to get a visa. If you will go back and forth between Nepal and India/China, however, it will be better to get a visa from a Nepalese embassy prior to arriving in the country.

It can save time rather than going through the visa procedure at the border.

  Visa on Arrival at the Airport Visa on Arrival at the Border Visa at a Nepalese Embassy
Type 15 days: multiple entry
30 days: multiple entry
90 days: multiple entry
15 days: multiple entry
30 days: multiple entry
90 days: multiple entry
15 days: multiple entry
30 days: multiple entry
90 days: multiple entry
Cost US$30, US$50, US$125
Free for children under 10 years old (except for US residents)
US$30, US$50, US$125 US$30, US$50, US$125
Application Process Online application form
Handwritten form
Kiosk machines at the airport
Handwritten form Online application form
Waiting Time Normally within 1 hour Normally within 1 hour but there are some queues during the peak tourist season In 4 business days after the application is received by the consulate

 

Visa on Arrival at the Airport

Tribhuvan International Airport is the only airport that issues Visas on Arrival. The procedure there is very simple and fast. In the peak season, however, the queue can be longer than normal.

First, you need to have the following items ready:

  • Passport: valid for at least 6 months with two blank pages
  • Photo: with a white background
  • Cash: USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, HKD, SGD, and JPY

 

Step 1: Fill in the Arrival Card

There are three ways to fill in the card.

  • Fill in the form in the immigration hall upon arrival at the airport.
  • Fill in the form through the official website before departure. Print out the receipt with a barcode and take it with you. Please note that you must enter within 15 days from the date the receipt is issued.
  • Fill in the form available from the kiosk machines in the arrivals hall.

 

Step 2: Make the Payment

When the form is completed, go to the first counter to make your payment. Cash is the only payment method accepted and USD is preferred.

ATMs and a currency exchange facility are available nearby if your currency is not accepted.

 

Step 3: Get Your Visa

Take the receipt to the next counter and provide all the documents including the entry card, photo, passport, and payment receipt. You will get your visa shortly afterward.

Visa on Arrival at the Border

For travelers arriving overland, a Tourist Visa can be obtained at the border. Nepal–India and Nepal–China are the main borders to Nepal. The visa application procedure is similar to the process at Tribhuvan International Airport.

The main differences are that USD is the only currency accepted at the border and the visa application form must be completed by hand as the border checkpoint does not have a kiosk or an online system.

The following borders are popular with travelers:

Nepal–India

1. Katarbhitta–Darjeeling is on the Indian side. It is the most popular gateway from Nepal to northeast India. It's about 15 hours’ drive from Kathmandu but it's very close to Chitwan. If you plan to go to India after a trip to Chitwan National Park, this border is more convenient.

2. Birgunj–Bihar is on the Indian side. It is the most frequent gateway for people to reach Kolkata in India. It takes 6–7 hours to drive from Kathmandu and 8 hours to drive from Pokhara.

3. Bhairahawa–Sonauli is on the Indian side. This is the closest border to New Delhi in India. It is a long way from Kathmandu, however, and requires about 15–17 hours’ drive. Most travelers like to go to New Delhi through this border because the road is full of villages.

The other borders also provide a Visa on Arrival but travelers seldom use them because they are in western Nepal and are hard to get to.

Nepal–China

1. Kodari–Zhangmu is on the Chinese side. This border has been closed to tourists since 2017.

2. Rasuwa–Gyirong is on the Chinese side and is the replacement for Kodari. It requires a 6-hour drive from Kathmandu. This is the only tourist border and a lot of travelers go there at the end of their Tibet tours and extend their stay in Nepal.

Visa at a Nepalese Embassy or Consulate

Some travelers prefer to apply for a visa in their own country before going to Nepal. You can deliver a visa application to the Nepalese embassy or consulate by express mail or in person.

Before submitting the visa application, you need to fill in your personal information on the official website. Then follow the steps detailed below:

  • After successfully filling in the information online, you will receive an e-mail to ask you to confirm your information.
  • Fill in the visa application form online and print it out.
  • Get these items ready: a visa application form, your passport, your photo, a money order or cashier’s check, and a prepaid return envelope with the tracking number.
  • Mail or deliver the above documents.
  • Receive your visa by express mail. The embassy or consulate will issue your visa within 4 working days after receiving your application. Please note that you must enter Nepal within 6 months.

Visa Extension

Visa extensions can only be done at the immigration offices in Kathmandu or Pokhara. This cannot be done at the immigration department in the airport. The procedure is simple and fast. You just need to submit your passport, photo, and cash for the extension.

Get these items ready before you queue. If you don't have any photos, don't worry. Photo shops are everywhere in Kathmandu and Pokhara, and the cost is not very expensive. The visa extension is for a minimum of 15 days up to a maximum of 150 days in a year. The visa fee is US$45 for 15 days and US$3 per extra day.

Normally, you can finish this process within one day. If you have booked a guided tour with Asia Highlights, your tour guide will be happy to provide any help. 

Overstaying

A visa expiration can be an extremely serious problem, particularly when leaving the country, even if it’s by accident and you didn’t realize your visa had expired. You have to pay a penalty to the Nepalese government. For an overstay within 30 days, the penalty is $5 per day.

For an overstay of more than 30 days, you may be arrested. The best solution is not to let your visa expire.

Entry and Exit Requirements

1. Please be sure you are eligible for entry with a passport that’s valid for 6 months and has two blank pages for your visa.

2. Traveling with an embassy visa, you must enter Nepal within 6 months from the visa issue date.

3. The visa must be within the validity period at the time of departure.

4. The airport has no right to deal with a visa extension. It requires you to go to the immigration office in Kathmandu. It’s possible that you may miss your international flight.

5. Fill in the boarding card at departure.

6. If your passport was renewed during the trip, please ask the immigration officer to move the visa to your new passport.

Explore Nepal with Asia Highlights

As you can see, the procedure for a Nepal visa is very convenient and simple. This can attract a lot of travelers from around the world. When you plan your Nepal tour with us, we will help you avoid any hassle.

Travel with us and be prepared for the most unforgettable vacation in Nepal. Contact us if you have any questions!

Why Travel with Asia Highlights

  • Tailor-made experience: All of your ideas/needs will be carefully considered to create your ideal trip.
  • Worry-free planning: Every step of your trip, you will be looked after by your 1:1 travel consultant based in Asia.
  • No-risk booking: We refund as much as we can and adapt flexibly to unexpected changes.

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