Kathmandu, March 14

The Ministry of Home Affairs, as per the recommendation of the Department of Immigration, has expelled or deported as many as 51 foreign citizens on the charge of overstaying in Nepal in the last three months. According to the Immigration Rules, if a foreigner overstays without renewing tourist visa in excess of the period of 150 days, s/he shall be expelled from the country. The offender is also liable to a fine of three US dollars per day and an additional fine of up to Rs 50,000.

Those facing expulsion included citizens of more than two dozen countries, said the DoI. Some of the foreigners overstaying in Nepal were found working without permit or converting Hindus to Christianity. Any foreign national residing temporarily in Nepal is not allowed to engage in activities other than the purpose for which the visa was issued.

The tendency among foreigners of overstaying has become a problem. The trend has increased for want of effective mechanism to keep tab on foreigners staying in Nepal. A DoI official said  thousands of foreigners, mostly Chinese and Bangladeshis, were suspected of living illegally in Nepal.

The DoI said immigration authorities were working in coordination with the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, district administration offices, police and tourism entrepreneurs to effectively monitor activities of foreigners visiting Nepal. The Foreign Nationals Monitoring Directives recently endorsed by the government envisages central level monitoring and regulation committee led by DoI director general and district level committee led by chief district officer to keep tab on and control illegal activities of foreigners staying in Nepal.

The DoI said it is going to establish state-of-the-art desks equipped with biometric and iris recognition technology to maintain scientific records of foreign passengers arriving in and departing from the Tribhuvan International Airport within one year.

The process of installing biometric gates is under way. Biometrics are an individual’s unique physical and behavioural characteristics.  Passengers would have their iris scanned along with their boarding pass at both the entrance and exit to the international departures lounge, making sure that the right person enters and leaves the airport.