Nepal E-visa v/s Visa-on-Arrival
This post covers everything you need to know about the Nepal Tourist Visa for US citizens. This post includes the application process, costs, and processing time.
I never really thought about the consequences of overstaying my welcome in Nepal. In fact, it was my choice to overstay even though my visa had expired. To be honest, that was one of the biggest travel mistakes I have ever made. My worst fear - not being able to travel back to the US - almost became a reality...
Before we jump into the visa extension I want to tell you about an app I found. Atlys is an app you can download to apply for your Nepal visa. This app guides you through the entire application process. All you need to do is choose your destination, complete the application form, upload your documents, and pay the visa fee. It's as easy as that!
Now let's get down to reason you're here:
Not so long ago, I planned my first trip ever to Nepal. What an amazing country, I might add! First, I easily applied for my Nepal Tourist Visa through Atlys and within a few short weeks, I was on my way to my next travel adventure in Nepal.
During that time, I applied for the 30 day Nepal Tourist Visa. As the name suggests, I was allowed to stay in Nepal for a maximum of 30 days. While applying for my visa, I didn't think I would need to stay any longer. But, as you already know, that was not the case.
Anyway, while visiting Nepal, I met this fantastic couple (they were engaged to be more specific). To my surprise, we became the best of friends in a short amount of time. They were kind, generous, and adventurous people.
Because we became so close, they invited me to their wedding, which was due 2 weeks after my visa expired. At that time, I wasn't really thinking about the consequences of overstaying my visit. All I wanted to do was celebrate them at their wedding.
After attending their wedding, I was ready to return to the United States. After booking my flight, I arrived at the airport and started the process of boarding my flight. Suddenly, border officials asked me to step aside and answer some questions.
To be honest, "answer some questions" felt more like an interrogation. In short, the reason why authorities called me aside was that my Nepal Tourist Visa had expired, and I had overstayed for 20 days. I was informed that I should have extended my visa if I had planned an extended stay in Nepal. Also, they told me I was lucky they didn't arrest me for my negligence. Furthermore, I was told to pay my fine (for overstaying) and extend my visa at the Department of Immigration.
Quick note: You're not allowed to board your return flight if your visa has expired.
Stressed and relieved at the same time, I thanked them for not arresting me and assured them that the first thing I would do was go and extend my Nepal Tourist Visa.
That is why I decided to write this blog, to help others understand the importance of extending their Nepal Tourist Visa...
As a general rule, you're not allowed to stay in Nepal longer than the duration indicated on your Nepal Tourist Visa. So, for example, if your visa allows a stay for 90 days, you're only allowed to stay for 90 days. You're required to travel back to your home country before your visa expires. However, you won't be allowed to depart to your home country if your visa has already expired. So it's important that you extend your visa before you plan to travel back.
There are 2 ways to extend your Nepal Tourist Visa:
On Nepal's official website, under visas, you'll find a tab that says Online Visa Application.
Once you click on "Online Visa Application", you'll be redirected to the following page:
On the top right-hand corner, you'll find a clickable button that says "Visa Extensions". Once you click there, you'll be redirected to a new page that offers Nepal's Online Visa Extension services. There, all you need to do is fill in your details. Afterward, you need to print the form and keep it with you for later.
For your convenience, I'll link the page directly, so you don't have to go through the entire process to find it.
Once you have completed the online form, you'll need to travel to the Department of Immigration in Kathmandu or the Immigration Office in Pokhara. After arriving at the Immigration Office, you'll need to submit your printed application form alongside the other required documents.
You can opt to start the entire extension process at one of the Immigration Offices in Nepal. The 2 Immigration Office's are as follow:
Before traveling to one of the Immigration Office's, you'll need to gather the required documents listed. After gathering all the documents, you can travel to one of the offices and start the visa extension process. There you'll need to fill out the application form and submit all your supporting documents.
When you travel to the Immigration Office to extend your Nepal Tourist Visa, you need to submit the following documents:
The following Visa Extensions are available (visa extension fees included):
Keep in mind that these amounts listed above can change at any moment. If you want to know the exact amount, you should call the Department of Immigration you plan to visit to learn more.
You can pay for your visa extension using USD or Rupees. Note that children under the age of 10 are exempt from paying any visa extension fees.
The exact time it takes for the visa extension process is not clear. However, the process usually doesn't take too long. You can expect to wait around 2 hours for your visa to be extended.
As I previously mentioned, overstaying your Nepal Tourist Visa can cause some unwanted problems. I highly recommend you extend your Tourist Visa as soon as possible. The consequences for overstaying include:
Foreign nationals (like US citizens) who overstay their visa for less than 30 days are required to pay " a penalty fine" for each overstayed day. Here's how it works:
For each day you have overstayed without extending your visa, you'll need to pay $3/day plus an extra $2/day for the extension fee. In my case, I had to pay $100 because I stayed 20 days without extending my visa.
Quick note: The amount you need to pay may be different depending on your situation.
It's worth mentioning that you can't pay this fee at the Tribhuvan International Airport. Instead, you have to travel to the Department of Immigration office in Kathmandu or the Immigration office in Pokhara and pay the fees there. This can cause you to miss your flight (this is what happened to me). Therefore, ensure that you extend your visa before you depart.
If you overstay for more than 30 days, you'll be liable for heavier fines and, in worst-case scenarios, imprisonment.
Realistically, there is no way to avoid the penalties for overstaying in Nepal. The best way to prevent penalties is to extend your visa before it expires or not overstay in Nepal on an expired Tourist Visa.