Nepal began issuing five-year, multiple-entry tourist visas to American travellers.
Consul of the US Embassy Mike Mussi joined Director General of Immigration Eshor Poudel to witness the handover of the first five-year, multiple-entry tourist visas issued by Nepal to American citizen travellers, according to a press release issued by the US Embassy in Kathmandu.
The United States has been issuing five-year visas to Nepali travellers for many years. With today’s handover, Nepal has adopted the same visa terms for American visitors, greatly facilitating the closer and deeper linkages between the US and Nepal.
“Visa reciprocity is a standard and long-standing principle in visa policies worldwide. The United States Government and the Government of Nepal have been working towards establishing reciprocity for all types of visas since October 2017,” read the press release.
Establishing parity in the visa regimes between the US and Nepal provides an opportunity to increase the number and frequency of American tourists and business representatives visiting Nepal, which will benefit Nepal’s economy. Tourism makes up a significant portion of Nepal’s economy. Over 90,000 US citizens visited Nepal last year, an increase of 15 per cent over fiscal year 2017. As Americans receive reciprocal tourist visas — multiple-entry, five-year validity — they will be able to come to Nepal easily and more often, according to the press release.
“Similarly, American students and scholars are eager to study and conduct research in Nepal. Parity in our visa regimes means that more Americans will have the opportunity to study and research at Nepali academic institutions and participate in educational and cultural exchanges,” read the press release.
Reciprocal visa regimes between the US and Nepal will also bring significant benefit to certain categories of Nepali visa applicants. For example, Nepali students who plan to study in the US will soon save $200 on each visa — more than 50 per cent savings — due to the removal of student visa issuance fees, the press release stated.
Speaking at the handover event, Mussi said, “Longer visa validity and lowered costs are good for both America and Nepal. It will increase economic activity and exchanges between our countries.”
A version of this article appears in print on April 02, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.