Nepal to introduce new visa regime

Nepal is set to introduce a new visa regime in an attempt to discourage foreign criminals from using Nepal as a transit point to sneak into a third country and also as a haven for refugees, an official said.

"We had started granting a 90-day visa on arrival to promote tourism but the provision now needs to be reviewed and we are in talks with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to amend it," Suresh Adhikari, director general of the Department of Immigration (DoI), told Saturday's The Kathmandu Post daily.

The new visa regime that will soon come into effect is likely to change existing visa regulations and citizens of more countries might not get visa on arrival, according Adhikari.
As of now, residents of all countries, except 11, can avail of a three-month visa on arrival, reported Xinhua.

The countries exempted from the arrival visa are Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Cameroon, Somalia, Liberia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan.

According to Adhikari, people visiting Nepal for trekking, expedition or mountaineering purposes will continue to get an arrival visa for 90 days, but those who come here for a visit will get arrival visa for 30 days.

As per the new proposal, citizens of China, the US and the European Union will be given priority in the new visa regime as these countries send thousands of tourists to Nepal annually, according to the daily.

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