Rights of Non-Resident Nepali (NRN) in Nepal
20 April 2022
This questionnaire covers matters relating to the rights of Non-Resident Nepali (“NRN”) under the laws of Nepal.
1) What are the laws governing the rights relating to NRN?
The following laws govern and regulate the rights relating to NRN:
- The Constitution of Nepal;
- The National Civil Code, 2017;
- Non-Resident Nepali Act, 2008;
- Non-Resident Nepali Regulations, 2009;
- Nepal Citizenship Act, 2006;
- Immigration Act, 1992;
- Immigration Regulations, 1994; and
- Foreign Investment and Transfer of Technology Act, 2019 (“FITTA”).
2) Who are NRNs?
NRN Act categorizes NRNs into two type’s viz. (a) foreign citizen of Nepalese origin and (b) Nepali citizen residing in foreign country.
- A foreign citizen of Nepalese origin includes any individual who, at any time in the past, was a citizen of Nepal, or whose father, mother, grandfather, or grandmother was a citizen of Nepal, and has acquired citizenship of any other foreign country that is not a member of the South Association of Regional Cooperation (“SAARC”).
- A Nepali citizen residing in foreign country includes any Nepali citizen who has lived in a foreign country for at least two years and is engaged in any profession, occupation, business, or employment, unless he or she is a Nepalese citizen residing in a SAARC member country or serving in a diplomatic mission or consulate situated in a foreign country under the assignment of the Government of Nepal and studying in an academic institution situated in a foreign country.
3) What is the process for recognition as NRN?
Persons desiring to be recognized as NRNs can apply for obtaining an NRN identification card from the relevant authority.
The process for obtaining recognition as NRN is illustrated below:
4) What are the types of visa facilities available to NRN?
NRNs, who are foreign citizens of Nepalese origin, are generally issued two different types of visas in Nepal. NRN is provided a tourist visa upon arrival in Nepal. Subsequently, NRN visa can be obtained after applying for a visa extension at the Department of Immigration. The tourist visa is issued for certain number of days whereas NRN visa is issued for a maximum of 10 years.
The documents required for obtaining NRN visa are as follows:
- An online visa application form available at the Department of Immigration;
- NRN ID Card issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (“MOFA”) or its overseas missions (original and photocopy); and
- Current Nepalese visa and valid passport.
5) Can NRN get married in Nepal?
Yes. NRN can get married in Nepal as per the requirements provided under the National Civil Code.
6) Can NRN open a bank account in Nepal?
Yes, NRNs with NRN ID Card can open and operate an account, for the amount earned in convertible currency in any commercial bank/financial institution.
7) Can NRN reacquire Nepalese citizenship?
Yes, NRN can reacquire Nepalese citizenship by relinquishing their foreign citizenship. An application can be submitted to the MOFA or the relevant Chief District Officer who previously issued the person’s Nepalese citizenship certificate.
8) What are the provisions concerning property acquisition for NRN?
NRNs who are foreign citizens of Nepalese origin can acquire property in Nepal by following process:
- By Purchase: Foreign citizens of Nepalese origin can purchase immovable property for residing in Nepal for themselves or their family. The applicable land ceiling for purchase of land are as follows:
Exception: The aforementioned land ceiling is not applicable to foreign citizens of Nepalese origin who had acquired land while being a Nepali citizen.
- By inheritance: Foreign citizens of Nepalese origin can inherit ancestral property from both Nepalese and foreign citizens of Nepalese origin without seeking approval from Government of Nepal. Further, a foreign citizen of Nepalese origin must possess an NRN ID Card in order to inherit immovable property.
9) What are the provisions regarding foreign investment for NRN?
NRNs are categorized as a foreign investor under FITTA. NRNs can make foreign investment in Nepal using convertible foreign currency within the regime of FITTA to foreign countries.
The following are included in the FITTA definition of foreign investment:
- investment in shares in foreign currency;
- re-investment of profits derived from foreign currency or shares;
- lease finance;
- investment in a venture capital fund;
- investment in listed stocks through the secondary securities market;
- investment in a Nepali company by acquiring shares or assets;
- technology transfer (licensing of foreign intellectual property, franchise, management, technical and marketing services); and
- investment through the establishment and expansion of industry in Nepal.
10) What are the conditions for NRN to make foreign investment in Nepal?
NRN seeking to make foreign investment in Nepal must fulfill the following conditions:
- investment of at least NPR 50 million (Nepalese Rupees Fifty Million) in equity shares of company;
- proposed sector of business must not fall under the Negative List of FITTA; and
- proposed sector of business must fall under category of an “Industry” as enlisted in Industrial Enterprises Act, 2020.
11) What is the validity period of NRN ID Card?
The NRN ID Card is valid for a period not exceeding 10 years for foreign citizens of Nepalese origin and up to 2 years for Nepali citizens residing in foreign country.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and shall not be construed as legal advice, advertisement, personal communication, solicitation or inducement of any sort from the firm or its members. The firm shall not be liable for consequences arising out of actions undertaken by any person relying on the information provided herein.
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