35 NRNs, foreigners deported

Kathmandu, March 16

Around 35 non-resident Nepalis (NRNs) and foreigners have been deported by the immigration office at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) after they failed to comply with the new travel advisory of the government.

Sagar Acharya, chief of TIA immigration office, informed that these people were deported to their respective nations since March 9 from when the government imposed its travel advisory. As a precautionary measure against the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country, the government had stopped issuing on-arrival visas to foreigners of eight coronavirus-affected nations while it had imposed a blanket restriction on on-arrival visas effective from March 13 till April 30.

Under the new travel restriction, all foreigners who already have a visa to enter the country are required to submit a health certificate of polymerase chain reaction test, issued at least seven days prior to their arrival, at the immigration office at TIA.

Foreign nationals and NRNs, who have to visit Nepal for any compelling reason, must get a visa from Nepali diplomatic missions abroad and it has been made mandatory for them to submit a health certificate of polymerase chain reaction test conducted at least seven days prior to their visa application.

“All those who have been deported had either sought on-arrival visa from TIA immigration or had not carried the health certificate of polymerase chain reaction test. As a result, we had to deport them,” informed Acharya.

Those who have been deported by the TIA immigration include nationals from countries including France, China, United Kingdom, Japan, the Netherlands, Italy, Israel, Mexico, Hong Kong, Afghanistan and Australia, among others.

Taking into account the fact that the World Health Organisation has declared the virus outbreak a ‘pandemic’, the government had decided to suspend visa-on-arrival facility for all foreigners entering the country through TIA or any other land port till April 30.

Meanwhile, Eshor Raj Poudel, director general of Department of Immigration, urged all Nepalis and foreigners to strictly go through the country’s travel advisory before planning to visit Nepal.