Kathmandu, November 18
Nepalis, who wish to travel abroad on tourist visa, will now have to produce documents such as two-way tickets to ensure prompt return of the visitors from destination countries.
The government has introduced strict provisions for Nepalis by revising the rules for travelling abroad. New rules also require Nepali tourists to produce proof that they possess currency equivalent to USD 1,000, sponsor letter from their family members and document to prove accommodation arrangement such as hotel, in the destination country.
The rules also state that the individuals traveling abroad need to be verified if he/she is black listed by the government and securities agencies in the country. Also, the immigration department can now deny permission for visiting particular countries if they feel the travelling routes are suspicious.
Visitors need to produce boarding passes up to final destination country. Officials of DoI said that if the travellers had to change flight at the transit, they should show the documents that clearly state about transit airports before reaching the destination.
The new rule has categorised destination countries into eight groups with separate rules for them. The categorisation is done for the first time in the country, which according to DoI will ensure safety of passengers and prevent them from indulging in illegal activities.
Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa endorsed the new rules a few days ago on November 12. Department of Immigration which has published the new rules on its official website, said the new rules were introduced in a bid to stop Nepalis from traveling illegally and regulate their visits.
Countries like Canada, USA, Europe, Australia, Japan and South Korea have been categorised in Group-A, where the visitors are required to be verified if they are black listed or are travelling through suspicious transit points.
China and Thailand are categorised in Group-B, where the authorities can stamp, ‘only for that particular country’ if found necessary. Nepalis visiting SAARC countries except India and Afghanistan are also required to produce two way tickets and currency equivalent to USD 1,000, among other documents.
In case of India, authorities can stamp ‘Only India’ in the passport, if they suspect that the visitors will travel other countries from there. According to Eshor Raj Poudel, Director General of DoI, the rule of stamping ‘particular country’ was introduced in a bid tackle growing cases of human trafficking, where human trafficking victims are often found to have reached another country rather than the destination country.
These rules will be applicable for all countries except African countries where there are provisions of on-arrival visa system.
Nepalis travelling gulf countries to visit their siblings will also have to produce relationship verification letter provided by local authorities along with the sponsor letter sent by their family members. If they are travelling from travel agencies, legal documents like tour package list needed to be produced before the authorities at the airport.
DoI’s DG Poudel said new rules would be helpful in curbing human trafficking and to ensure that the people visiting other countries on visiting visa would return to their home country on time.
A version of this article appears in print on November 19, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.