An Overview of Immigration Law in Nepal

The Immigration Law in Nepal has been predominantly governed by the Immigration Act, with the Immigration Rules of 2051 governing its procedural aspects. In accordance with Rule 4 to 11, the Eligibility, Criteria, Charges, and Fees for the various types of visas required to enter Nepal are directly related to the aspects of immigration.

1. What are the Governing Immigration Laws and Rules Rules of Nepal? 

Immigration Act 2049 has been the substantive Governing Law regarding Entry, Stay and Departure of Foreigners in Nepal. The Act has also dealt with Visas, its Types, Eligibility and other additional Provisions.  Immigration Rules 2051 is the Procedural Law behind Immigration. Additionally, The Immigration Procedure  2065 has also been Implemented in Nepal.  

The principal legal frameworks governing immigration in Nepal are the Immigration Act 2049 and, by extension, the Immigration Rules 2051. With the purpose of regulating the entry, stay, and departure of foreigners into Nepal, as well as the administration of NRNs and their departure from the country, the Immigration Act was implemented. Immigration is defined by the Act as the procedure by which foreigners enter Nepal, remain while present, and depart from the country. 

2.What are the Types of Visas issued in Nepal?

From Rule No. 4 to Rule No. 11, the Immigration Rules 2051 codified the categories of visas issued by Nepal; the authority to grant or deny a visa to a foreign national has been delegated to the Government of Nepal. Nepal has granted visa-free entry to citizens of favorable nations on the basis of reciprocity. The visa categories recognized and issued in Nepal are as follows:

  1. Diplomatic Visa:
  • Eligibility: Issued to individuals holding a diplomatic passport from any country, recommended by the respective foreign diplomatic mission.
  • Criteria: Based on reciprocity and extended for the term of assignment in Nepal.
  1. Official Visa:
  • Eligibility: Granted to individuals recommended by foreign diplomatic missions or specific categories, including administrative staff, technical staff, non-diplomatic staff, consultants, UN employees, and participants in government-organized events.
  1. Tourist Visa:
  • Eligibility: Issued to foreign tourists visiting Nepal.
  • Duration: Maximum of 150 days in a visa year.
  • Conditions: No extension if departed before expiry, but the remaining period can be used in the next visa year.
  1. Study Visa:
  • Eligibility: Granted to foreigners approved by the Government of Nepal for study, teaching, or research in Nepal.
  • Criteria: Financial capability proof required unless covered under specific scholarship programs or agreements.
  • Duration: Initially one year, extendable based on progress reports.
  1. Non-tourist Visa:
  • Eligibility: Issued for various purposes, including social or economic development activities, working on remuneration, family relations, and more.
  • Duration: Up to one year, extendable as necessary.
  1. Business Visa:
  • Eligibility: Granted on the recommendation of a concerned agency for investors, representatives, or traders.
  • Duration: Up to five years, extendable.
  1. Transit Visa:
  • Eligibility: Granted for one day to foreigners with confirmed air tickets transiting through Nepal or in case of an emergency landing.
  1. Non-residential Nepalese Visa:
  • Eligibility: Granted to foreigners of Nepalese origin for residence, trade, business, study, teaching, or research.
  • Duration: Up to ten years, extendable.
  1. Residential Visa:
  • Eligibility: Granted to individuals intending to spend life in Nepal based on international reputation, contribution to development, investment, or non-business residence.

3. Which governing bodies oversee visas in Nepal?

Rule 12 of the regulations governs the issuance, renewal, and regulation of visas in Nepal. Following are the Category of Visa and its issuing/renewing Authorities:

Diplomatic Visa: Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Immigration Officer or Mission may issue entry visa for up to 30 days)

Official Visa: Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Immigration Officer or Mission may issue entry visa for up to 30 days)

Tourist Visa: Immigration Officer (for entry visa – 15 days, 30 days, 90 days in a visa year); Director General (for extending the term and regulating visas of foreigners) (Immigration Officer may regularize visa for up to 15 days at departure point)

Study Visa: Director General

Non-tourist Visa: Nepalese embassy or permanent Nepalese diplomatic mission abroad (for Clause (g) of Rule 8); Director General (for Clause (l) of Rule 8); Director General (for other clauses of Rule 8)

Business Visa: Director General

Transit Visa: Immigration Officer

Residential Visa     

  1. For the first year: Department with approval of Ministry of Home Affairs
  2. For renewal: Department (Department may recommend renewal for foreign investors under clause (d) of sub-rule (1) of Rule 11)

Non-residential Nepalese Visa  

  1. For the first time: Mission or Director General (with approval of Ministry of Home Affairs)
  2. For renewal: Department

4. What Are the Fees and Applicable Charges for Obtaining a Visa in Nepal?

Visa for Tourists: 15 days$25 or the foreign currency equivalent

Visa for Tourists: 30 days$40 or a foreign currency equivalent

Visa for Tourists: 90 days$100 or a foreign currency equivalent

Visa for Tourists (SAARC nations)Free for the first thirty days

Visa for Study: 30 days$30 or a foreign currency equivalent

Visa for Study (Degree Program): $20,000 monthly

Visa for Study (Non-Degree Program): $700.00 monthly

Visa to Study in Bangladesh: $15 annually in reciprocity

Visa for Study (Maldives): Annually at $25 (reciprocity)

Visa to Study in Bhutan: Monthly payment of $10 (reciprocity)

Business Visa (investment less than $10 million): Multiple entry costs $10 per month, $100 annually, or $300 for five years.

Business Visa (investment of $10 million or more): Multiple entry costs $30 per month, $300 annually, or $1000 over five years.

Transit Permit: $5 or the foreign currency equivalent

Visa for Nepal that is not residential: $100 annually (multiple entry), $25 annually (student).

Visa for Residence (First Attempt): $200 (at the outset)

Visa for Residence (Renewal): $100 annually

Visa for Residents (Investors): $700 (onboarding fee), $1200 annually (renewal)

Multiple Entry vs. Single Entry: $20/$60 in equivalent Nepalese currency

Other Fees

1.5 times the standard fees for issuing tourist visas without a prior entry visa

Travel permit: $30

Visa certification for arrival, departure, or transfer: $200

Visa renewal: $30 per month in the absence of a renewed residential visa.

Non-Resident Nepalese Visa Renewal: $10 per month

5. Conclusion 

Immigration Act 2049 and Immigration Rules 2051 are the Governing Law for Immigration in Nepal where the types of Visas, its Eligibility, its length along with the specific procedures to be followed to be granted such visas have been mentioned. The Article has given a Short and Specialized Overview and Insight into the Immigration Law of Nepal. 

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