So you’ve been dreaming of seeing the majestic Mount Everest and been wondering what it is like. Or maybe you’ve been longing to go somewhere exotic, far from the madding crowd but somewhere that will not burn a hole in your pocket. Well, Nepal is just one of the many places you might want to visit. But before you go, here are some of the things you might want to consider when applying for a visa on arrival in Nepal.
All nationalities except Indians require a visa to enter Nepal. Standard multiple entry visas are issued at the Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport. You can also apply at the borders in Kakadvitta, Birgunj, Bhairahawa, Nepalgunj, Gaddachowki on Nepal-India border and Kodari on Nepal-China border. Visas are valid from three to six months depending on the length of your stay but the shortest is for 15 days. If you have free time, you can always get your visa at the embassy/diplomatic office nearest you.
Visa Application Form – Some airlines provide the visa application form right on the flight. If not there are plenty of forms available in the airport, at the arrivals hall right before you go through customs/passport control.
USD 25 cash (exact if possible) – You must have USD 25 cash with you for the 15-day visa application, USD 40 for 30 days and USD 100 for 90 days. You can pay in Euro, Swiss Franc, Pound Sterling, US Dollar, Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Hong Kong Dollar, Singapore Dollar and Japanese Yen. Please note that credit card, Indian Rupee and Nepalese Rupee will not be accepted. So save your Nepalese Rupee for when you’re inside the country.
Return airfare – You must have a return ticket stating clearly your return date. They do not ask to see this but you’ll have to state your return date on the visa application form. Make sure you book your return flight before you arrive at the airport.
Hotel booking – Although they never ask to see your hotel booking, if you’re not staying with a friend in Nepal, you must have an address of where you plan to stay. This will also be required on the visa application form.
Pocket money – The visa application form requires you to state how much money you have as pocket money for your visit to Nepal. I recommend you state at least USD 500. Depending on your planned activities, where you will be staying and where you plan to eat, you may or many not spend USD 500. Nepal is relatively cheap compared to other Asian countries. You can easily get by at less than USD 50 per day.
Passport with at least six months’ validity – Like any country, Nepal requires that its visitors should have a passport with at least six months’ validity. Be sure you renew your passport way in advance if you know it’s expiring before your planned trip. Or delay your trip up until you have renewed your passport. Sadly some people do travel without checking their passports’ validity. Worse, some do not even look for their passports up until their departure date only to realize it’s missing.
Passport photograph – Be sure to have a spare passport photo with you on arrival. There is a photo booth at the Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport but the queue could be long and will hold you up unnecessarily. They’re not very strict about photos except that it has to be a professional one for obvious reasons and has a light background.
Your adventurous self – Nepal is almost synonymous with adventure so be prepared to have a blast whether things pan out the way you expect it or not. Have fun and I hope everything works out fine when you’re applying for a visa on arrival in Nepal!