Before travelling to Nepal, it’s important to understand what visas are required and how you can obtain them in order to enter the country. For the purposes of trekking, you’ll need a Tourist Visa, and there are two ways of obtaining this visa.
1. On Arrival
When you visit Nepal, you'll arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport, the only International airport currently serving the country. The Department of Immigration Office, TIA (Tribhuvan International Airport) facilitates tourists by providing them with 'Visas' on their arrival. The procedure is quick and won't take much of your time; however, sometimes, you might wait in queue for your turn.
You can also enter Nepal at one of the many Immigration Entry/Exit points on the land border between Nepal and India. These are also regulated by the Department of Immigration, and any foreigner leaving or entering Nepal by land must report himself to the Immigration Office or Entry/Exit points to complete the Arrival and Departure requirements and obtain a visa if necessary.
Indian nationals visiting Nepal from India through the land/border have the special privilege of not being required a visa to enter. Unlike other tourists, Indian nationalists need not to keep/show their passport upon entering Nepal.
2. Before Arrival
Some tourists also choose to obtain their visa from the Nepalese Diplomatic Mission from their home country before their visit. In this case, you must enter Nepal within six months from the permit/visa issued date. Your stay will be counted from the day you arrive in Nepal.
Every tourist visiting the country requires a Tourist Visa. Even if you're visiting for purposes other than tourism (ie. travel, sightseeing, mountaineering, trekking, or visiting friends/ acquaintances). After your arrival, you can change it as per your stay and the purpose of visiting the country if you need to.
You can extend your visa at the Department of Immigration in Kalikasthan/Kalika Marg if required. Typically, you can get a Tourist Visa for 15, 30, or 90 days (15USD, 50USD, 125USD, respectively (as at 2021) - please check the Department of Immigration website for updated costs).
Tourists can stay in Nepal for a maximum of 150 days in a given calendar year, including multiple entries.
Let's make it simple…
Suppose you get a visa, and stay in Nepal for 30 days in January, then come back a few months later in June and stay 60 days, and pay another visit in October to stay another 60 days. You will have stayed 150 days in total, which is the maximum number of days you can stay for that calendar year. You won’t be able to re-enter after your October stay until January the following year.
Now, say you took a 90-day visa in June, but only stayed for 60 days. When you arrive again in October, you’ll need to get another visa when you arrive, but you won’t have lost the extra 30 days you didn't use!
How To Get Visa Upon Your Arrival
It is always advisable to bring payment in USD, as the ATMs at the airport sometimes malfunction. If you haven't acquired your visa before boarding, you can follow these steps to get your visa at Tribhuvan International Airport.
Fill in Arrival Card (available upon arrival at TIA)
Fill in the Online Tourist Visa form. You can fill this in before leaving for Nepal by visiting the official website of the Department of Immigration, or you can fill it by using Kiosk machines upon your arrival at the airport. If you fill it in on the website, you will get a submission receipt barcode that you can print and bring along for acquiring your visa. But remember, it works for only fifteen days and becomes obsolete afterward, and you have to fill it again (which you can easily do on arrival).
Make the visa payment at the counter according to the tenure of your stay - ie. 15/30/90 days, and get the receipt.
Though there are various modes of payment at visa collection, we encourage you to have some spare cash to be on the safe side.
Tourists from the following countries also can obtain their visas from the Embassy of Nepal or the Consulate General in their respective countries.
Visa Requirements for SAARC Citizens
The visa requirements for tourists from SAARC countries are pretty simple. Visa on arrival is issued free of cost for citizens of SAARC countries except for Afghanistan. Also, Indian citizens don't need a visa to visit or stay in Nepal.
Disclaimer: The provided information is subject to change. For up-to-date information, and all COVID-related entry requirements, it is the visitor's responsibility to check the Department of Immigration website before traveling to Nepal.