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What to Do if You Overstay Your Visa in Nepal

kathmandu airport departure

Your visa expired in Nepal… now what? 

I have had many types of visas for Nepal.  Sometimes tourist, sometimes resident depending on how long I will stay in the country for a year.  Last time, oops! I over-stayed my tourist visa by 2 whole days.

Is 1 month from 1st to 1st of month? 

That’s where I went wrong.  The first of November was actually 32 days from the my entry on the first of October, so I had a little trouble at the immigration desk when trying to leave.  Not too much trouble to be sure, but it could have been worse had I not had any USD cash on me as my flight was soon to board.

nepal visa extensionHave some cash in US dollars – always

My secret is out now, but whenever I am in Nepal, I always have a secret $100 bill stashed somewhere on me just for such emergencies (trust me, there are many situations you could get out of with some quick cash). I never allow myself to use this cash for shopping or anything, it is emergency only money. So, when I got to the immigration, and I had overstayed my visa, they said “no problem, just buy visa extension, that will be $40 USD cash please.” (They don’t have a price list, you just pay what they say. Prices may vary.) Nice and easy if you have the cash with you. Just pay, and be on your way.  Had I not had this extra money tucked away, I would have definitely missed my flight.

What if I don’t have cash on me?

They won’t take debit cards.  Last I checked, the only working ATM that you could access from there would be outside the airport near the snack stand or in the check-in area (because you can not proceed to the waiting lounge where the gift shops are).  In Nepal, ATMs are not always reliable, but if you needed to, you would have to go back out, get cash, back through security and back up to immigration.

What if you just want to stay longer in Nepal? 

The last I checked, you can stay in Nepal for 5 months in one calendar year on a tourist visa.  Many savvy travelers milk out a whole 10 months by starting their visa in August and ending December 31st, at which time the calendar year changes and they are eligible for another 5 months until May.   And then dear traveler, you are off to Thailand, Viet Nam or Bali, right?  Anyway, plan on spending a long, tedious day at the immigration office in Kathmandu – again have cash.   You can get a 90 days visa and then you will have to go back for a 60 days visa later.  I don’t work for the government, and in Nepal things are ALWAYS subject to change, but this has been the procedure for the last 5 years.