A Quick Note On Speeding Through Getting a Visa On Arrival at Kathmandu Airport

you will get an immigration form to fill out on the plane before landing at Kathmandu Airport in Nepal, but if you’re planning on getting a visa on arrival (as visitors from many countries can), you’ll need to fill out a second form BEFORE going to the foreigners line where you will pay the visa fee (e.g., $25 for 15 days). here’s the rub:

  • if you did NOT bring along a passport-sized photograph (note you will also need one if you want to get a prepaid SIM), wait in line for one of the computer kiosks in the customs hall (there are four machines, only three were operating today, long lines). you will fill out the form on the kiosk and it will snap a picture of you and print a receipt. bring this receipt to the payment desk along with your munnies (in dollars, euros, Nepalese rupees).
  • if you DID bring a passport-sized photograph, find a paper form along the wall with the windows that’s letter-sized and basically is an application for a visa (it might be on a pad that you just tear a sheet off of; there might also be someone handing them out). it’ll ask you exactly the same things as the form you filled out on the plane, but yes, you gotta fill this out too. bring this, the photo, and your munnies to the desk.

if you really want to be expedient you can try this online thingamajig, but i don’t know exactly how that works. i assume if you print it out, you can just skip all the lines and go to the payment desk.

after the payment desk wait for the next row of desks where they will actually issue the visa and stick it in your passport.

(then go downstairs and wait in the very slow x-ray/metal detector line before getting access to baggage claim.)

UPDATE: forgot to mention, keep your baggage claim ticket from when you checked your bag (if you checked your bag) — they will check it.

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