After spending ten weeks in India it was time I head out of the country to my next destination to avoid overstaying my visa. Having ended up in Varanasi at the time I was torn between Bangladesh or Nepal as the two nearest countries to go. Nepal Visa on arrival seemed hassle-free as Nepal offered a much more relaxed visa policy for an Egyptian passport holder like myself.
It didn’t take a very long time until I decided on Nepal as it offered a much more relaxed visa policy for an Egyptian passport holder like myself which was a visa on arrival; with three stay durations to choose from: 15, 30 , and 90 days. I had no issues getting a 90 day visa. Here is how.
1. Are you eligible for Nepal Visa on Arrival?
Everyone except for Indian needs a visa to enter Nepal. Citizens of most nations can get a Nepal visa on arrival.
However, there are a few countries whose citizens are not eligible for visa on arrival. They must get a Nepal visa in through a Nepal’s foreign consulates. They are :
If you are eligible, keep on reading.
2. What do You Need for Nepal Visa on Arrival
- A passport valid for 6 months.
- A passport size pic -(35mm x 45mm): You don’t need this if you are getting the visa at the airport through the machine or by filling in the online form. A must at a land border.
- Visa on arrival form
- Fees in cash : USD is best, especially at land crossings. You can also pay with EUR, CHF, GBP, AUD, CAD, HKD, SGD, and JPY.
Do You Need Onward Ticket?
They didn’t ask me about it. It’s not common to be asked about an onward ticket in Nepal, but it always helps to have one on you. There are many ways to get an onward ticket for cheap or for free.
Cost & Duration
90 day visas are multiple entry visas by default while the 15 and 30 day visas are Single Entry visas by default, however you could ask for a multiple entry visa for an additional cost (useful for going back-and-forth between Tibet & India).
You can also change your single-entry visa to a multiple-entry visa at Kathmandu’s Central Immigration Office by paying the extra fees.
|Duration of Stay||Cost|
|15 days||$30 USD|
|30 days||$50 USD|
|90 days||$125 USD|
Who doesn’t pay?
- For nationals of SAARC countries such as Pakistan, the first 30 days are free ( except for Afghanistan)
- Children below 10 years old don’t pay visa fees.
- Chinese citizens
3. Where to Get Nepal Visa on Arrival
You have two options to obtain the visa.
- At a land border entry point : Nepal shares land borders with China and India.
Nepal-India: Kakadvitta, Birganj, Belahia, Gaddachowki.
- At Kathmandu’s international airport (TIA)
Getting the visa at land border
I got my visa at the immigration office of Belahia which is at the Nepalese side of Sunali border crossing and the most common one among international travellers. For this, I went online and found a bus ticket from Varanasi all the way to Kathmandu for about $15 which should be cheaper if bought directly at the bus station. I was very excited about it having it been the first time I travel between two countries overland, and I made up my mind to go for a 90 day visa with high hopes I’d finally get to see the snow or at least some beautiful icy peaks emerging through the clouds.
My border crossing experience
My experience crossing the border from India into Nepal has been one of the smoothest and most relaxed crossing experiences ever! As an Egyptian traveler I get to have a VIP treatment half the time in “that” room at points of entry where one to three immigration officers would typically be shooting a ton of questions to validate my quest of getting into their country.
After an eight hour long ride I had to get off my bus right at Sunali border crossing and walk for a few meters to get my exit stamp from the Indian side and then walk for a minute to the Nepalese immigration office which was quite small and almost easy to miss.
Inside the office two officers were very welcoming and helpful. They asked where I was from, double checked if I qualify for a Visa On Arrival as they don’t see a lot of Egyptians passing by, asked how long I was planning to stay in Nepal then exchanged some laughs. I had to fill a visa form and provide one passport-sized photograph then pay $100 for a 90 day visa with multiple entries. The price has increased a bit since then. The whole process didn’t take more than 15 minutes though there were many travellers getting their visas.
This is what it looks like.
How to Get the Nepal Visa on Arrival at the Airport
Although I personally didn’t do it, I did some digging and talked to some expat friends. Here is the deal.
Once you are at the airport, head to the visa on arrival hall. Join the queue to the electronic registration machines that can read your passport, take your photo, and print out a completed form to submit to immigration. You might need to input some information, but generally, it is seamless and quick.
In case, the electronic option doesn’t work out or there is a long queue, you can pick one of the visa on arrival forms at the counter and fill it in manually as well.
After that make the payment, and head to immigration with the payment receipt, disembarkation card you got in the plane and the arrival form. Pay the fees and get the Nepal visa on arrival.
Apply Online in Advance ( since 2014)
Since 2014, you can also apply for a Nepal tourist visa online within 15 days of your date of arrival. You’ll need the address of your hotel and a recent digital version of a passport-sized photo to upload to the portal.
To apply online, visit the official website of Nepal: http://online.nepalimmigration.gov.np/tourist-visa
After you’ve submitted the form, print out the confirmation receipt and head straight to immigration. Show the receipt to the Immigration officer upon arrival along with your passport and the proper amount to pay for your visa.
This way you don’t have to queue up for an electronic registration machine or fill in a form manually.
Nepal Visa on Arrival Extension
A Nepal visa can be extended for up to 150 days at the Immigration Department in Kathmandu or Pokhara. Tourist visa extensions are done for a minimum of 15 days for $45, and $3 per day for any additional days.
You can show up there with your passport and a passport pic and fill in the application extension form and pay the fees. It’s pretty easy.
Usually, the turn-around is the same day.
After 70 days of great times in Nepal it was time to fly out of the country and it was also time I got to see those white icy peaks emerging through the clouds forming one of the most beautiful scenes I got to witness. It’s a country everyone should visit.