"Extending your Visa in kathmandu" Top 5 Page for this destination Permits/Papers Tip by into-thin-air
Permits/Papers, Nepal: 8 reviews and 11 photos
2012 update – The visa office has moved since I wrote this “Tip” in 2010, But it is still in the same area. Visa extensions are still the same price and the system of extending them is still more or les the same – I have updated as follows
1) Negotiate a taxi to The immigration office in Kathmandu in the morning – The office has recently moved, but it is still in the same area as the old one but just around the corner, My taxi was 200NPR each way from Thamel
2) Ignore all the touts that hang out at the immigration office, pick up a form from the desk in front of you as you enter the building and fill it in
3) Take you filled in form to the desk and hand it over with your passport photo
4) The extension fee is then calculated (This is $2 per day, minimum charge $30, so in effect you might as well always extend your visa for 15 days as less days will still be $30) in Nepali Rupees which you pay further along the counter and get a receipt
5) Return at the appointed time (Usually after 3pm) with our receipt to pick up you passport – But always check that the visa extension is correct before you leave the office – Also check that you have been given your own passport back – I was given the passport of a Dutch female my mistake, but when I pointed this out I was soon given my own ;-)
Since the new visa rules were introduced last year (2009) there has been a lot of confusion in what best to do with getting your visa and then extending it.
In this tip I will TRY and shed some light on this, As no doubt if you have read the new rules then these will have left you as confused as I was !!
OK – If you are coming to Nepal for more than 30 days but less than 60, If this is the case then it will pay you to Only get a 30 day $40 visa on arrival and then extend it. (Visa extensions cost $2 per day, Minimum charge of $30 (15 days) and then thereafter $2 per day. So if you are going for more than 60 days it pays you to buy the 90 days $100 Visa.
Visa Extension Office, This is now located in the outskirts of Kathmandu so it is best to get a taxi – From Thamel this cost me 75NPR on the meter, so Never pay more than around 150NPR.
What Should Happen
Head for the office at Baneshwor, Kathmandu around 13.30, This will give you time to fill in your visa extension form and pay for it as the cash desk closes at 14.00.
Once at the office you will have to fill in the visa extension form, This is straightforward enough, you will also need one passport sized photo. Then you present this form along with your passport to the guy on the right-hand side of the main desk (The one in front of you when you go through the door) He checks the form, then you go to the lady on the left hand side of the desk and pay your fee, This can Only be paid in NPR, The lady will tell you exactly how much it is based on the days exchange rates from US $'s. She will then give you Two prices of pink paper, One is a receipt for the fee and the other a receipt for your passport. You are now free to leave the office and go to the little café down the road – But make Sure that you keep your two prices of pink paper Very Safe.
Then after 16.00 you can head back to the office with the receipt for your passport.and pick up your passport along with your new visa extension – All Done, But Make Sure you check the dates on the visa extension BEFORE you leave the office !!
The Reality of what does happen
When you arrive at the office you might well be greeted by two “Officials”, these “Officials” will hand you your visa application form and you fill it out, then they ask you for the visa fee, But this isn't the equivalent of $30 (Assuming it is a 15 day extension that you are getting), It is more like the equivalent of $60 – If you are foolish enough to pay this then these “Officials” will give you your Two prices of pink paper and the rest is as above – Only it has now cost you Double – The “Officials” aren't really “Officials” but people who have an “Arrangement with the Officers who issue the visas, They give a proportion of the Baksheesh to the real Official Staff behind the counter and this saves you queuing up – But for the 10 minutes you might stand in the queue the $30 extra that you pay isn't good value for money.
Another “Trick” is that sometimes they will close the cash desk early, This happened to me when I had to extend my visa a second time because my flight was cancelled and then rescheduled due to the Iceland Volcano- Luckily I had my Nepali friend Nirmal with me and he argued the toss – Eventually the cash desk miraculously reopened – But if I hadn't been lucky enough to have Nirmal with me then I would have had no choice but to go back the next day.
Personally I think that the Nepal Government should clean this up as it will undoubtedly put people off returning to Nepal – Just another Sad case of Official Corruption in this Troubled but Beautiful country.
Good Luck to everyone who has to put themselves through this system, If you are in Pokhara then this is the place to get your visa expended, in March 2013; the whole process was hassle free and took less than ½ hour
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