On-arrival visas scrapped till April 30


Kathmandu, March 13

As a precautionary measure against the spread of novel coronavirus in the country, the Department of Immigration today extended travel restrictions for foreigners.

Taking into account the fact that the World Health Organisation has declared the virus outbreak a ‘pandemic’, the DoI announced that it would suspend visa-on-arrival facility for all foreigners entering the country through Tribhuvan International Airport from March 14 to April 30.

The DoI has also decided to close all land ports of entry for foreigners arriving from third countries during the aforementioned period and requested all to use TIA only.

Earlier, the government had restricted tourist visas only for a few virus-affected countries, including China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, Japan, France, Germany and Spain.

According to the notice issued by DoI, 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 non-resident Nepalis, who have to visit Nepal for any compelling reason, must contact Nepali diplomatic missions abroad. The notice also states that those applying for a visa must mandatorily submit a health certificate of polymerase chain reaction test that has been conducted at least seven days back at the concerned diplomatic mission.

The on-arrival-visa (gratis) facility granted to non-resident Nepalis has also been suspended for the aforementioned period. All foreign nationals with a business, study or work visa who are either arriving for the first time or returning from some assignment abroad must self-quarantine themselves for 14 days. This rule also applies to foreigners with diplomatic or official visa.

Nepalis, including NRNs, have been asked to quarantine themselves at home for 14 days from the date of their arrival.

DoI has also urged all Nepali nationals residing abroad to avoid non-essential travel and to follow precautionary measures.

A meeting of the high-level coordination committee formed to discuss the prevention and control of the COVID-19 outbreak held yesterday took a decision to this effect. It was also decided to talk with the Indian government to allow only a few checkpoints for people’s movement.

Meanwhile, labour permits for all countries have also been suspended until further notice. Even workers, who are back home on holiday, will be denied labour permits to return to their work destinations. The no-objection certificate for students travelling abroad for studies has also been suspended till April 30. The meeting also directed to halt all international seminars, conferences and events till May 31.