HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Foreigner travellers seeking to extend their stay in Nepal will soon have to file applications online.
From February 1, the Department of Immigration (DoI) will mandate foreigners seeking to extend their tourist visas to file applications through its website www.online.nepalimmigration.gov.np.
“Once the application is filed, we will inform applicants when to collect their visas or whether additional documents are required,” DoI director general Sharad Chandra Poudel said. “However, people should report to the immigration authority within 15 days of filing the application, as the system does not preserve requests made prior to that period.”
The latest decision comes few days after making it compulsory for foreigners seeking non-tourist visas, except diplomatic and official, to file applications online. Beginning January 20, DoI had made it mandatory for those applying for non-tourist visas, such as business, working, residential and study, among others, to file applications through its portal.
“However, foreigners travelling to Nepal via Tribhuvan International Airport have the option of either filing tourist visa applications online or in person once they land at the airport,” he said.
But since the service is only available at the DoI and TIA, travellers arriving from other ports and border points will have to pursue paper-based application process.
Tourism service fee doubled
KATHMANDU: The government has doubled the tourism service fee for foreigners exiting Nepal via Tribhuvan International Airport.
The government, from March 1, will levy a fee of Rs 1,000 — exclusive of value added tax (VAT) — on every foreigner departing the country from the only international airport located in Kathmandu, says a statement issued by Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) today. Currently, foreigners are paying tourism service fee of Rs 500 prior to leaving the country.
The decision to revise the fee was taken by the executive committee of NTB. It was later approved by the Ministry of Finance.
The income generated from the fee will be used by NTB to promote Nepal in the international arena and for development of domestic tourism.
“With a bigger budget, NTB will now prepare and implement a five-year plan to penetrate the international market that has remained unexplored,” said acting chief executive of NTB Subash Nirola in a statement.
“I now urge all members of Nepali travel trade industry to join hands with us in promoting, expanding and developing Nepali tourism industry by focusing on increasing tourists’ length of stay, tourist arrivals and average income per visitor per day.”
The tourism service fee was introduced in 1999 to fund promotional activities of NTB. At that time, a service charge of two per cent was levied on tourism services. However, in January 2005, the government started levying a flat fee of Rs 500 on all outgoing foreign travellers departing from Tribhuvan International Airport. The fee has not been revised