Nepal Visa for US Citizens: How to get a Nepal Visa for United States?
For the citizens of the United States traveling to Nepal, a visa is one of the requirements for entry into the country. Nepal visas are required for the citizens of almost every country in the world, despite there being a massive tourist industry catering to western trekking enthusiasts. Its western neighbor, India, is the only country whose residents do not need to have a visa to get into the country, and neither do they need a passport, as long as they have government ID. For everyone else, a visa is required.
Getting the Nepal Visa for the United States Tourists
There are two ways to get a visa for entry into Nepal, and for American nationals, the visa can be obtained in advance at an embassy or on arrival at certain entry ports into Nepal from neighboring countries.
The main requirement for obtaining a visa is to have a passport that is valid for at least six months after the expected date of travel. Passports with less than six months validity remaining will not be accepted for visa applications, even if you are applying on your arrival at the border or airport. It must be stressed that visas with a short validity will mean a refusal of entry, and you will have to exit the country or return across the border at your own expense.
A 30-day Nepal Visa
You will also need to have a completed application form and two passport-sized photos, for both embassy applications and Visa on Arrival services. The visa fee for all paid visas to Nepal for American nationals is US$ 25 for a 15-day visa, US4 40 for a 30-day visa, and US$ 100 for a 90-day visa. Payment for the visa can be in U.S. Dollars, or the equivalent cost in Euros, Swiss Francs, Pounds Sterling, Australian Dollars, Canadian Dollars, Hong Kong Dollars, Singaporean Dollars, and Japanese Yen. Credit cards and Indian rupees are not accepted as payment at embassies, consular offices, and for the Visa on Arrival services.
If you are planning side-trips to Bhutan, India, or Tibet, you can make your application for a multiple-entry visa, which costs an additional US$ 20. You can also change your single-entry visa to a multiple-entry visa at the Central Immigration Office in Kathmandu for the same amount. Visas can be extended for up to 150 days stay in Nepal, though if your extension is set to exceed 120 days, you will need to show proof of onward travel out of Nepal, such as a pre-booked flight ticket.
It is advisable not to overstay your visa in Nepal, as there is a three-dollar fine per day for overstaying for up to 30 days, plus an additional two dollars per day extension fee. This can also delay your departure from Nepal ,and you could end up missing your flight and paying more again.
At the Embassy
Once the only way to get a visa, the Embassy of the Federal Democratic republic of Nepal can still issue a visa prior to your departure from the United States, and the visa offices in the US are located in Washington DC; Sun Valley, Idaho; San Francisco, California; Chicago, Illinois; Boston, Massachusetts; Baltimore, Maryland; and Manhattan in New York City. Visas obtained from the embassy or consular offices are valid for six months from the date of issue, and valid for periods of up to 90 days in Nepal.
Applying for Nepal Visa at the Embassy
Visa applications through an embassy or consular office, whether by mail or drop-off, must first complete the online application process at https://us.nepalembassy.gov.np/tourist-visa/. Once you have completed the online application form, which includes a tracking number for the mailing of documents to the embassy or consular offices, you can either send the documents by registered mail or courier, or by dropping them off at the nearest embassy or consular office with the fee included. If sending the documentary requirements by mail, you will need to include a prepaid return envelope.
Payment of the visa fee when applying through the embassy must be made with the application forms and required documents and must be in the form of a money order with at least a one-year validity period. The money order must be made payable to the Embassy of Nepal and have your full name and address on the back.
Nepal Visa on Arrival for US Tourists
For those applying for the visa on arrival at the borders or entry points into Nepal, including the Tribhuvan International Airport, there are two ways of doing this.
The simplest way, and the method used by most people, is to make the application once you arrive. To help bolster its tourism industry, Nepal facilitates the quick processing of a visa on your arrival at the airport and several border crossing points around the country. This makes it much easier to get the visa without making the longer application through the embassy or consular office before you leave. On Arrival visas are restricted to tourist visas only, and all other types of visa must be applied for in advance at the Embassy of Nepal in Washington DC.
Applying for the visa on your arrival at the airport
To make the application on arrival, you can fill up the application form at the kiosks at Tribhuvan International Airport or by using your mobile phone or tablet to fill it out at the website of the Department of immigration at http://nepalimmigration.gov.np/. If you use the official website to fill out the application form before you travel, you can also upload a digital photo to serve as your visa photo, and you will receive a barcode to print and present to the immigration desk on your arrival. This barcode is valid for fifteen days from the date of completing the application and will expire at midnight at the end of the fifteenth day. If you use the kiosks, your application will be processed to the terminal at the immigration desk and will be matched to your passport number and printed slip. The kiosks also take a digital photo for your visa, so passport photos are no longer required.
With the website application, you can make the payment for the visa at the nominated bank given in the email confirmation sent to your listed email address. You will get a receipt for the payment from the bank, which will serve as your proof of payment once you reach Nepal.
For those paying for their visa on their arrival in Nepal, you will need to have cash available for the visa fee. While the website of the Nepal Embassy does give multiple currencies for the visa fee, the most accepted currency is US dollars, and it is advisable to carry enough cash to cover the fee. There are ATMs available at the airport, although they do charge a high fee for dispensing dollars, as do the few money-changers available in airport. There are, however, no ATMs or money changers at the border crossings, so you must have the cash with you.
If you have applied online and made the payment at the bank, you simply need to take your barcode and payment receipt to the immigration desk along with your passport, and they will issue your visa. You should keep an eye on the visa dispensing end of the immigration desk for your passport and visa to be returned to you, as many Nepalese officials have problems pronouncing western names, and will simply hold up your passport with the photo page showing for you to collect.
Applying for the visa Kathmandu airport may wait a little longer
For those with applications made through the kiosks, you need to take your printed slip and passport to the immigration desk along with your cash payment for the fee. Once processed, your visa will be issued in the same way as above, often without calling out your name and just holding up your passport photo page. Processing of visas at the airport normally takes around 30 minutes but be prepared to wait a little longer if there are a lot of inbound passengers requiring a visa on arrival at the airport.
When entering the country through one of the overland border checkpoints, you will find that the process is a little different. The border checkpoints do not have kiosks for applications, and you will need to obtain the visa application form from the immigration officer and complete it by hand. Once you have completed the form, take it to the immigration officials along with your passport, photos, and fee in dollars (the land border checkpoints prefer to receive the fee in dollars only), and your visa will be processed. The processing time at the border checkpoints is normally fairly fast, and you can be through in as little as fifteen minutes, though this can take longer if there are a lot of people crossing at the same time.
Ports of Entry for Visa on Arrival
The main port of entry for most people traveling to Nepal is at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. There are also land border crossing points at Nepalgunj, Birgunj/Raxaul Bazaar, Sunauli, Kakarbhitta, Mahendranagar, and Dhangadhi when traveling from India, and the Chinese border at Gyirong Port/Rasuwagadhi Fort.