Govt suspends on-arrival visas for all foreigners, to quarantine travelers arriving in Nepal



KATHMANDU, March 13: The government of Nepal has decided to suspend the on-arrival tourist visas to all foreign nationals in order to prevent the possible outbreak of the coronavirus.

Issuing an urgent notice on Friday, the Department of Immigration said that the suspension will come into effect from March 14 till April 30.

Earlier, the government had decided to temporarily suspend the on-arrival visas from eight countries including China and its special administrative regions, Iran, Italy, Korea, Japan, France, Germany and Spain.

The decision comes two days after the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 a global pandemic, the virus has infected 132,567 people in 123 countries and territories and killed 4,947, as of Friday.

The decision has been taken “considering the declaration of the World Health Organization regarding the scale of COVID-19 spread as a global pandemic, following the recommendations and countermeasures to be taken by the countries to cope with the pandemic and assimilating the International Health Regulation (IHR) 2005, Protocols and Prescriptions” said the department.

According to the Immigration Department, the foreigners with a prior valid visa of Nepal have to submit a swab test PCR health certificate issued a maximum seven days before their arrival date to Nepal to the immigration office at the Tribhuvan International Airport.

The on-arrival visas approved to Non-Resident Nepalese cardholders have also been suspended till April 30.

If any foreign nationals including the NRNs are willing to visit Nepal for compelling reasons, they have to contact to the Nepali diplomatic missions abroad and submit a recent swab test PCR health certificate issued maximum seven days before their arrival along with visa application, according to the department, and the health certificate has to be submitted at the immigration office TIA.”

Likewise, All the foreigners (including foreigners with diplomatic and official visa entering Nepal for the first time or traveling back to Nepal; and foreigners with business, study and working visas traveling back to Nepal) and Nepali nationals including NRNs entering Nepal since March 14  will be subjected to stay in self-quarantine or home-quarantine for 14 days from the date of their arrival. 

The government has also advised the Nepalis living abroad to avoid non-essential travel and urged them to follow high precautionary measures.

Likewise, the government has requested the foreigners from third countries to use TIA only to enter Nepal as “all the land ports of entry in Nepal will remain closed for arrival in Nepal during the aforementioned period”.

The government has also suspended all the permits for mountaineering expeditions issued and to be issued for the spring 2020 season.

Earlier, the Department of Foreign Employment also suspended “all types of labor approval for foreign employment until further notice” to prevent the outbreak.