Travel updates and recent experiences of visitors to Nepal
3/1/2021 Important note posted by SitRep about transit through India for U.S. Citizens
“Travellers coming from the US via United with a short transit in Delhi and on to the Indigo flight to Kathmandu were just refused some hours ago from boarding in the US because transit in Delhi is not acceptable now it seems. Lack of clarity is causing major hassles to travellers. Loss of ticket, extra transits, new expensive tickets, re PCR, extra hotel nights, rebooking quarantine hotels, and loss of holiday time…”..
2/17/2021 From Stephanie Thornton, posted on the Nepal Tourism Think Tank Facebook group:
I wanted to share that I had a relatively smooth and easy experience getting my tourist visa from Nepal Embassy in US (I’m an American citizen currently in US)! The steps are laid out here: https://us.nepalembassy.gov.np/tourist-visa/ , but in case it’s useful I’ve summarized process here as well. You just need to:
1) Complete two online applications: 1 for Nepal Embassy in US (http://nepalembassyusa.org/submit-your-details/ ) and 1 for Nepal Immigration (https://nepaliport.immigration.gov.np/onlinev.application)
2) Once you receive your confirmation for the 2nd application above (which I received pretty much immediately after submitting it), you need to print it out and send to the Nepal Embassy in Washington DC along with your passport and all other application materials and payments listed on Embassy of Nepal link above). To summarize, in envelope you will send: (1) passport, (2) application print out, (3) money order for cost of 15, 30, or 90 day visa (make sure to address in Embassy of Nepal, and include your name and return address on the money order), and (4) Pre-paid return envelope (with tracking number!) for them to send back passport.
3) Once the Embassy of Nepal receives all your materials they will update the status of your application and send you text messages when they do this. I was impressed by this!
4) Once they approve and issue visa, your status will be updated to “Shipped to your address”. This is a good thing and means your passport with visa is on its way!
And that’s it! From sending my materials to the Embassy in DC (I did 2-day shipping from California), to them reviewing the application and issuing visa, to getting my passport back at my doorstep, all took just under 2 weeks.
I fly into Nepal in a couple weeks with Qatar Airlines and will make sure to share my experience with this as well!
Exerience of arriving in Nepal at the end of February:
Hello again! I just arrived this morning to Nepal on Qatar Airways from Los Angeles, USA. I’m a US citizen and arrived with my husband (who is Nepali) and I already had my tourist visa, which I had applied for through Nepal Embassy in US (detailed in a previous post). Here is my experience from LAX airport through arriving in Tribhuvan Airport in Kathmandu:
1. Checking in with Qatar Airways at LAX. I needed to show my: a) passport + nepali tourist visa, b) Negative Covid test (I did within 72 hours of the final leg of flight, from Doha to KTM, because that is what it said on Qatar Airways website. I’m not sure if this was absolutely necessary, but if doable, I’d say do this just in case!), and c) Printed barcode receipt from Nepal’s CCMC online form (https://ccmc.gov.np/arms/person_add.php) FYI: Nepalis need this too. That was it! They didn’t ask for hotel reservation, insurance or return ticket here.
2. In flight. a) Flight from LAX to Doha was not full, but they needed to squish everyone in rear cabin for take-off (weight balancing), and then right after reaching altitude, you could make a dash to claim an empty row at front of plane. They give you masks and sanitizer and advise you to keep them on, but didn’t seem particularly strict on reminding people to keep masks on. Flight attendants super nice and accommodating, wine and drinks served first thing ! b) Flight from Doha to KTM: Pretty jammed packed, probably 95% Nepalis. Safety protocols stated, not strictly enforced. Seemed like everyone kept masks on besides eating, although social distancing was kind of impossible.
3. Arriving in KTM and getting through Nepal immigration: a) Right off plane, everyone squeezed through the entrance to the arrival terminal, where you must present the printed barcode page of the CCMC form and printed Covid negative test result proof. b) In the terminal it was a bit confusing with all the lines piling up to wait for immigration. With my tourist visa already in my passport, I went to the “15-30-90 day Tourist/Transit visa” line and got through in about 15 minutes. They only looked at my visa, didn’t ask for anything else, and stamped my passport. Looked like you could also stand in “Foreigner with visa” line. c) Baggage claim was a hot mess, but managed to find luggage in pile already removed from baggage belt, and pretty quickly exited airport through new arrival area from there. The whole process was relatively painless, just dealing with poor logistics and crowd management through airport. No one ever asked for travel insurance, hotel reservation, return ticket, nor was was there any mention of quarantine whatsoever at any point. *I did notice that the “visa on arrival” kiosks looked open and several foreigners were using them upon arrival. I didn’t get any more info than this though, so not sure if they had recommendation letters, from non-variant counties, etc.
In summary, arriving with the tourist visa already in my passport made for a fairly easy and stress free arrival in Nepal. It seems like the most “critical” point in the journey is with checking in at the airport with your airline, as they seem to be the ones checking things most carefully and adhering closely to Nepals current written travel protocols (tourist visa needed ahead of time or not, negative covid test proof, CCMC form completed). So maybe just double checking all requirements with them way ahead of traveling, in addition to talking to your in-country Nepal Embassy if possible, is the best route for ensuring you’ve got all your ducks in a row for successfully entering Nepal
[Editors’ note: Visas on arrival are available only to diplomats and foreigners working in Nepal, i.e. on non-tourist visas.]