Emergency Alert
September 17, 2017
Hurricanes Irma and Jose
Emergency Alert
October 2, 2017
Hurricane Maria

International Travel

English

Country Information

Nepal

Country Information

Nepal
Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal
Last Updated: August 21, 2017
ALL /
ALL /
Embassy Messages
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

Must have six months’ remaining validity or more at time of entry

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

One page required for entry visa

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

Yes

VACCINATIONS:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

5,000 USD

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

5,000 USD

ALL /
ALL /
Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Kathmandu

Maharajgunj
Kathmandu, Nepal
Telephone: +(977)(1) 423-4000 or 400-7200
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(977)(1) 423-4000
Fax: +(977)(1) 400-7272
Email: 

ALL /
ALL /
Destination Description

See the Department of State Fact Sheet on Nepal for information on U.S.-Nepal relations.

ALL /
ALL /
Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Requirements for Entry:

  • Passport must have six months or more validity remaining at the time of entry
  • Visa appropriate for purpose of travel

Tourist Visas:

Either apply for a visa at a Nepalese embassy or consulate before traveling, or purchase a tourist visa upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport (Kathmandu) or at the following land border points of entry:

  • Kakarvitta, Jhapa District (Eastern Nepal)
  • Birgunj, Parsa District (Central Nepal)
  • Kodari, Sindhupalchowk District (Northern Border– for group tourists only)
  • Belahia, Bhairahawa (Rupandehi District, Western Nepal)
  • Jamunaha, Nepalgunj (Banke District, Mid-Western Nepal)
  • Mohana, Dhangadhi (Kailali District, Far Western Nepal)
  • Gadda Chauki, Mahendranagar (Kanchanpur District, Far Western Nepal)

You may request:

  • 15-day multiple-entry tourist visa ($25 USD)
  • 1-month multiple-entry tourist visa ($40 USD)
  • 3-month multiple-entry tourist visa ($100 USD)

Visa fees are payable in USD. Money-changing and ATM services are available at the airport, but credit card payment is not a reliable option. Tourists may stay no more than 150 days in any given calendar year. See the Embassy of Nepal or Department of Immigration websites for additional visa information.

Other Visa Categories:

Check with the Nepal Department of Immigration for visa details and the online application for various types of visas, including student and work visas. Your purpose of travel will dictate what category of visa you will need to obtain.

Extending Your Visa:

The Department of Immigration (DOI) main office in the Kalikasthan neighborhood of Kathmandu and the Immigration Office in Pokhara are the only two offices that can extend visas. It is generally not difficult to extend your visa a few days after the printed expiration date, but long overstays can result in heavy fines and the very real possibility of arrest and detention pending formal deportation proceedings, followed by a seven year ban on re-entry.

Requirements for Exit:

You must have a valid visa before you will be allowed to depart Nepal. The Immigration Office at Tribhuvan International Airport is not authorized to extend visas. Some U.S. citizens who have tried to extend their visa at the airport have been sent to the Immigration Office in Kathmandu to pay the extension fee and, as a result, have missed their flights. You will not be allowed to depart Nepal until the visa is properly extended.

If you renew or replace your passport from the Embassy in Kathmandu, you will need to ask the Department of Immigration to transfer your Nepali visa by pasting a new visa into the new passport. See the Government of Nepal’s Department of Immigration website for additional immigration information.


Travel across the Nepal-China Border:

You may encounter immigration difficulties with Chinese authorities when traveling across the Nepal-China border on land in either direction. Chinese authorities often require U.S. citizens and other foreign tourists to organize "group" tours through established travel agencies as a prerequisite for obtaining visas and entry permits into Tibet.

The Chinese authorities have occasionally closed the border, especially around the anniversary of significant events in Tibet. For current information on border crossing status, check with the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Nepal.  Please read the Department of State’s travel information for China and check for current regulations on entry into Tibet.

HIV Restrictions:

The Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors or foreign residents of Nepal.

Surrogate Births:

Surrogacy is prohibited for foreigners in Nepal. Prospective parents should not begin surrogacy procedures in which any part of the process—from in vitro fertilization (IVF) to birth of the child—takes place in Nepal. The prohibition includes plans that rely on IVF in a third country with birth in Nepal. Newborn non-Nepali infants will not be able to depart Nepal without visa documentation after birth. 

U.S. Military Personnel and DOD Contractors:

DOD personnel must review the Foreign Clearance Guide (FCG) for travel to Nepal, available at https://www.fcg.pentagon.mil. All official travel and active duty personal travel must be submitted through an APACS request, via https://apacs.dtic.mil. Contact information for the Defense Attaché Office can be found in the FCG if you have additional questions.

Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

ALL /
ALL /
Safety and Security

We recommend that all U.S. citizens who visit or live in Nepal enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (“STEP”) to register their planned itinerary with the U.S. Embassy, and monitor the security situation before traveling.

U.S. government employees on official travel to Nepal must seek approval before traveling outside of Kathmandu Valley.

Bandhs:

Bandhs (general strikes) are a common form of political agitation in Nepal and across South Asia. Some important points about bandhs:

  • They can cause schools and businesses to close and can stop traffic.
  • Bandhs are unpredictable, may include violent incidents, and can occur with little notice.
  • Individuals not complying with bandhs may be harassed by organizers/supporters.
  • Avoid all unnecessary travel where bandhs are occurring.
  • If you plan air travel to or from Nepal during a scheduled bandh, please note that transportation may be affected. Usually bandh organizers allow specially marked buses operated by the Nepal Tourism Board to travel between the airport and major tourist hotels.
  • If you must travel during a bandh, you can check with local police by dialing “100,” or with traffic control by dialing “103.” The police can advise which routes and forms of transportations are most appropriate.
  • Consult the U.S. Embassy Kathmandu website for the latest security-related messages for U.S. citizens, as well as the Nepal Department of Tourism for the latest security information.

Political-Related Violence:

Violent political activity remains higher in the Terai, the southern plains region of Nepal bordering India, than the rest of the country. Demonstrations have on occasion turned violent, although these activities generally are not directed at U.S. citizens.

IEDs:

In the past, there have been small-scale improvised explosive device (IED) incidents in various parts of Nepal, particularly during periods of heightened political tension. These reported incidents were not directed toward westerners or western interests.

Crime:

Although still relatively low, crime in Kathmandu and throughout the country has risen in some categories.

Financial Crimes and Theft:

  • Criminals use sophisticated scams, such as ATM skimming, particularly in Kathmandu.
  • You should consider exchanging money only at banks and hotels.
  • Valuables, including passports and cash should be stored in the hotel safety deposit box and not carried. The Nepal Tourist Police recommend that you carry a copy of your passport when going out.
  • Pick-pocketing and bag-snatching may occur at major tourist sites, including the Thamel district of Kathmandu.
  • Avoid walking alone after dark, carrying large sums of cash, and wearing expensive jewelry.
  • See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Violent Crimes:

  • There are reports of sexual assaults involving foreigners, including popular tourist areas of Kathmandu and Pokhara.
  • Foreigners have occasionally had sedative drugs placed in their food or drink by individuals who seek to rob or otherwise take advantage of them. Solo travelers, especially women, should take extra precautions to ensure their personal safety.
  • Nepali police forces may have limited resources to deter and investigate crimes. Their services are often not up to Western standards. Many criminal cases reported to the police remain unresolved.
  • U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

Victims of Crime:

Report crimes to the local police by dialing “100.” This number is equivalent to “911” in the United States, and it is staffed 24/7 by the local police. When calling the emergency number, you should speak slowly and clearly so that your message gets across to the official without misunderstanding. Tourist Police have good English language capabilities and also stand ready to assist in popular tourism areas. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime. For additional general information, visit the State Department’s webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

U.S. citizen victims of crime in Nepal may always contact the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu for assistance. Sexual assault victims might be more comfortable contacting the embassy before reporting the crime to local authorities. In the event of a crime, the embassy can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

For Additional Information:

ALL /
ALL /
Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Arrests and Consequences:

You are subject to local laws. If you break local laws in Nepal, your U.S. passport will not help you avoid arrest or prosecution. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. If you are arrested in Nepal, the authorities may keep you in detention for weeks or even longer during the investigation stage, if a court so orders. Punishment for violations of criminal laws in Nepal range from fines to imprisonment, depending on the crime. Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification:

If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately.

Driving Under the Influence:

Driving in Nepal after consuming any amount of alcohol could land you in jail.

Firearms and Ammunition:

You may not bring any kind of firearm into Nepal under Nepali law. Violators who bring in firearms or ammunition – even imitations or in jewelry form – may be prosecuted.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES

TREKKING IN NEPAL

Solo Trekking:

The U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu strongly discourages U.S. citizens from hiking alone or becoming separated from larger traveling parties while on a trail. Solo trekking can be dangerous and has contributed to injuries and death. Solo trekkers are also more vulnerable to criminals. Nepali authorities periodically consider a ban on solo or independent trekking because of safety concerns. If a ban is implemented, all trekkers would be required to use approved guides and/or porters hired through authorized trekking agencies. Consideration of this policy comes in response to incidents over recent years in which a number of foreign visitors (including U.S. citizens) have been attacked or seriously injured while trekking alone, even on popular trails. Foreigners, including U.S. citizens, have also gone missing while trekking alone. Extensive search efforts are not always successful in tracing the trekker’s whereabouts. The safest option for trekkers is to join an organized group and/or use a reputable trekking company that provides an experienced guide and porters who communicate in both Nepali and English.

Natural Disaster Risks:

Trekking in Nepal comes with the risk of natural disaster. Trekkers should be alert to the possibility of avalanches, landslides, and falling rocks, even when trails are clear. These risks existed prior to the April 2015 earthquake and its aftershocks, which have further destabilized some mountainous areas, causing severe landslides in some affected areas. Monsoon rains, which generally begin in June and largely end in September, may destabilize steep slopes and mountainsides. During the monsoon season, floods and landslides regularly damage travel infrastructure and telephone services, complicating efforts to locate U.S. citizens and make arrangements for medical evacuations. We encourage travelers to consult carefully with their travel and trekking agencies for current, location-specific information and to heed warnings of potential danger. We recommend providing family or friends with a detailed itinerary prior to trekking and checking in at all police checkpoints where trekking permits are logged. U.S. citizens are also encouraged to check the Embassy Kathmandu website for the latest security information and to register their itinerary through the STEP enrollment process. Before leaving Kathmandu, trekkers can check with the Himalayan Rescue Association (phone: +977-1-444-0292/444-0293) for reliable information about trail conditions and potential hazards of traveling in the Himalayas.

Altitude Risks:

The U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu strongly recommends that U.S. citizens exercise caution when trekking at high altitudes. Many popular trekking routes in Nepal cross passes as high as 18,000 feet. Only experienced mountain climbers should tackle the Himalayas. Acclimatization is best achieved by walking slowly, rather than hurrying to cover the distance at high altitudes. Without acclimatization, trekkers of all ages, experience, and fitness levels can experience acute mountain sickness (AMS), which can be deadly. Speak with your doctor or medical professionals in Kathmandu for specific recommendations.

Lodging and Travel:

During peak trekking seasons, generally spring and autumn, hotel rooms may become scarce. U.S. citizens should make advance booking for hotel rooms and be aware of possible flight/airport delays. Domestic air flight cancellations and delays occur frequently because of bad weather, including to and from Lukla (gateway to the Everest Base Camp trek) and Jumla (gateway to the Mustang region). Travelers should leave ample time to catch their outbound international flights if they plan to connect from domestic flights. U.S. citizens should be aware that many hotels in Nepal do not meet international fire or earthquake safety standards.

TIMS Card:

The Government of Nepal has authorized the Trekking Agency Association of Nepal (TAAN) and the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) to implement a system for foreign hikers called the Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS). Foreign visitors on hiking trips in Nepal, including those not with organized hiking groups, are required to have a valid TIMS card issued by TAAN, its member agencies, or NTB. In case of an emergency, this system helps authorities ascertain the whereabouts of trekkers. TIMS cards cost the Nepali rupees equivalent of $20 USD (if applying individually) or the Nepali rupees equivalent of $10 USD (if applying in a group) through authorized trekking companies, the TAAN office in Kathmandu or Pokhara, and the NTB office. Local agencies that organize treks often will facilitate obtaining your TIMS card.

Special Permits:

Trekking in certain remote areas of Nepal and in national parks may require additional permits or fees. Travelers may consult with an experienced tour agency, or consult the website of the Nepali Department of Immigration for more information.

Other Outdoor Activities:

Nepal offers many exciting outdoor activities that come with a variety of risks. Several tourists have drowned while swimming in Phewa Lake near Pokhara and other lakes in Nepal because of flash floods triggered by monsoon rains, or after becoming entangled in submerged tree branches or roots. Incidents of boats capsizing on choppy water have also occurred. Visitors should wear life jackets. Paragliding and ultralight aircraft tourism have become popular in Pokhara and many new companies offer such services. U.S. citizens should weigh the risks involved with paragliding and ultralight aircraft travel; safety standards may or may not meet international best practices. There are also a number of deep and dangerous ravines not clearly visible to pedestrians in Pokhara city, mainly in the outlying areas. Some local residents and foreigners have fallen into these ravines and sustained serious injuries or died.

Volunteering:

Some visitors to Nepal wish to volunteer at orphanages or other organizations in an effort to help disadvantaged persons – especially children. Others try to help by donating cash or goods. While the Embassy applauds this generous spirit, we are aware of reports that many such opportunities – especially those involving volunteering at orphanages or “children’s homes” – are not in fact charities. Instead, they are for-profit enterprises set up to attract donations from abroad and financial support from volunteers. Many of the children are reportedly not orphans, and volunteering at such an organization may indirectly contribute to child exploitation. Prospective volunteers in Nepal may wish to read a recent report prepared by a U.S.-based NGO in Nepal regarding ethical volunteering, with a focus on issues relating to “voluntourism.” It can be difficult even for those with significant experience in Nepal to determine which organizations provide authentic and valuable opportunities for well-meaning volunteers, and which manipulate goodwill for profit. With respect to orphanages or children’s homes, the Nepali Central Child Welfare Board can help confirm an organization’s legitimacy. You can direct inquiries to Ms. Namuna Bhusal, namuna@ccwb.gov.np, +977-9851139474. The CCWB also handles complaints against children’s homes. U.S. citizens should be aware that the Government of Nepal has limited resources to monitor and regulate non-profit organizations. If you are not certain about an organization, you may want to consider routing contributions through a reputable national or international charity to avoid the possibility that your time and money could unknowingly support the exploitation of children. Learn more best practices for volunteering abroad.

Currency:

Nepal has a controlled or fixed currency exchange rate under which the Nepalese Rupee is pegged to the Indian Rupee. The Government of Nepal requires travelers to declare either the import or export of currency that exceeds $5,000 USD in value by filling out a customs declaration form. Travelers may also face difficulties if traveling with a large quantity of valuables, such as gold and jewelry. Carrying more than 50 grams of gold or 500 grams of silver may result in arrest at a port of entry. The Embassy is not aware of any banks or money exchange offices in Nepal that accept U.S.-issued travelers checks or cash U.S. checks. Accordingly, travelers should consider alternative methods of accessing local currency (e.g., exchanging cash U.S. dollars for Nepali rupees at a bank or money exchange office, or withdrawing rupees from an ATM). The Nepalese Department of Customs has reported an increased number of foreigners arrested for currency violations – generally for bringing in cash in excess of $5,000 USD without making a formal declaration. Travelers should ensure that they keep a copy of the declaration form after customs officials have put the official endorsement and appropriate stamps on the form to prevent any problems upon departure. Please note that this requirement is subject to change and travelers should contact the Embassy of Nepal in Washington, D.C. to obtain the latest information. Consequences for violating this requirement generally include seizure of all cash, gold, or jewelry carried, as well as fines and imprisonment. It is illegal to possess 500 or 1,000 Indian Rupee notes in Nepal. Accordingly, travelers coming to Nepal from India who hope to change Indian currency into Nepali Rupees are advised to bring 100 Indian Rupee notes or lower denominations only.

Customs:

Nepal customs regulations are complex. Customs authorities enforce strict regulations concerning importation (even temporary importation) into Nepal and exportation from Nepal of items such as:

  • valuable metals
  • articles of archaeological and religious importance
  • wildlife and related articles
  • drugs
  • arms and ammunition
  • communications equipment.

Items purported to be for donation to schools, hospitals, and other social organizations have sometimes been confiscated, or cleared only after payment of a significant fine for failure to obtain prior approval from the Ministry of Finance. Those wishing to donate items to a charity or any organization in Nepal must obtain prior approval for waiver of the custom fees from the Ministry of Finance by sending a formal request letter (not via email) to the following address: 

    Revenue Secretary
    Ministry of Finance
    Singha Durbar
    Kathmandu, Nepal
    Tel: +977-1-4211400
    Fax: +977-1-4211605

The request should include detailed information about the items to be imported, as well as the organizations receiving the donations. The Revenue Secretary will review the request and refer it to the Ministerial level for final decision and approval. Note that all requests are processed on a case-by-case basis. It is highly recommended that intended recipient(s) coordinate with the Ministry to get requests processed. Please see additional information about Customs and Import Restrictions.

Dual Nationality:

Nepal does not recognize dual nationality. Accordingly, when a Nepali citizen naturalizes as a U.S. citizen, he/she loses his/her Nepali citizenship. Some travelers who have tried to maintain both U.S. and Nepali passports have faced difficulties entering or exiting Nepal. U.S. citizens of Nepali descent may be eligible for a special visa called a “Non-Resident Nepali” or “NRN” Identity Card. The NRN Identity Card allows a holder to open a local bank account, invest, and own certain types of property, subject to certain restrictions. For more information, contact the Nepali Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Embassy of Nepal in the United States.

Natural Disasters:

Nepal lies on an active fault zone and is considered at high-risk for major earthquakes, as demonstrated by the April 2015 earthquake that caused extensive damage in the Kathmandu Valley and many other districts. Lack of adequate emergency response vehicles, equipment, and medical facilities, combined with building codes that are not strictly enforced, multiply the extent of possible catastrophic damage from a major earthquake, especially in the Kathmandu Valley. Nepal is also prone to flooding and landslides. The Government of Nepal’s ability to respond in the event of a natural disaster may be limited. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Faith-Based Travelers:

See the following webpages for details:

LGBTI Rights:

Same-sex sexual activity is not criminalized and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons in Nepal actively and openly advocate for their rights. Nepal, however, remains a conservative and traditional society. Discrimination exists and there have been reports of non-violent harassment of LGBTI persons. Accordingly, LGBTI travelers may wish to be discreet and avoid public displays of affection. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our  Human Rights report for additional details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance:

While in Nepal, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation difficult. Nepali law prohibits discrimination against persons who have physical and mental disabilities, including discrimination in employment, education, access to health care, and in the provision of other state services. The law mandates access to buildings, transportation, employment, education, and other state services, but these provisions generally are not enforced. Nepal’s poor infrastructure makes it impracticable in many cases for a mobility-impaired traveler to move around the country, including within the Kathmandu Valley. The government is largely ineffective in implementing or enforcing laws regarding persons with disabilities. Except for a few clinics and hospitals, Nepal mostly lacks accessible and appropriate accommodation for individuals with disabilities.

Students:

See the Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers:

See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

ALL /
ALL /
Health

General: Medical care in Nepal is limited and generally not up to Western standards. Medical facilities are often overwhelmed because of insufficient resources. Emergency medical services, especially in public hospitals, are of poor quality compared to that available in the United States. Routine medical issues and basic emergency surgeries can be performed by clinics in Kathmandu. Serious illnesses, however, often require evacuation to the nearest adequate medical facility in a neighboring country. There is minimal mental health care available in Nepal. U.S. citizens with mental health problems are generally stabilized and transported to the United States or to another regional center for care. The U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu maintains a list of local medical facilities and practitioners.

Malaria and intestinal tract diseases, including cholera, are present in the Terai region. Food hygiene and sanitary food handling practices are uncommon in Nepal and precautions should be taken to prevent water and food-borne illnesses.

Stray Dogs:

Stray dogs are common on the streets of Kathmandu. Visitors should be aware that stray dogs, monkeys, and other animals may be infected with rabies. The CDC’s “Preventing Dog Bites” webpage recommends that if you are bitten by a dog, get to a safe place, immediately wash wounds with soap and water, and seek medical attention.

Medical Insurance:

Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas. Learn more at the State Department webpage on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Serious medical issues and injuries suffered while hiking in remote areas may require evacuation by helicopter to Kathmandu. Those trekking in remote areas of Nepal should factor the high cost of a potential helicopter rescue into their financial considerations. We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation, as medical evacuations can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Payment will be expected in cash before the medevac can take place, if there is no insurance coverage. Neither the U.S. Embassy nor the U.S. government pays private medical bills overseas.

Prescription Medication:

Local authorities irregularly enforce restrictions on certain drugs that may regularly be prescribed by doctors in the United States or other foreign countries. To avoid problems, always carry prescription medication in the original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.

Vaccinations:

Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For further health information:

ALL /
ALL /
Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety:

In Nepal, vehicles are driven on the left-hand side of the road. U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions in Nepal that are significantly worse than those found in the United States. The information below is provided for general reference and may not apply in every situation.

In general, roads in Nepal are in poor condition and lack basic safety features, resulting in significant numbers of accidents and fatalities. Traffic is poorly regulated and traffic jams are common on major streets. The volume of vehicles on the roads is increasing faster than improvements in infrastructure. Many drivers are neither properly licensed nor trained, vehicles are poorly maintained, and public vehicles are often overloaded.

Nighttime Travel:

You should avoid nighttime road travel outside the Kathmandu Valley and minimize nighttime travel within Kathmandu because of insufficient street lighting and hazardous road conditions.

Motorcycle Travel:

Deaths from motorcycle accidents have risen dramatically in recent years, and U.S. citizens should consider avoiding riding motorcycles in Nepal, particularly on highways.

Buses:

Long-distance buses often drive recklessly, and bus accidents involving multiple fatalities are not uncommon. It is dangerous to travel on the roofs of buses as live electrical and other communications wires hang low in many places. Traffic police also impose fines and detain individuals for riding on the roofs of buses.

Taxis:

Visitors throughout Nepal, including in Kathmandu, are encouraged to use metered taxis and avoid public buses and microbuses. Many taxi drivers will refuse to use the meter, insisting on negotiating the price instead. In addition, there have been instances of taxi drivers tampering with the meters in an attempt to charge higher than normal fares. If you believe that you are being overcharged, you may wish to file a complaint with the traffic police on the street or at the nearest local police station.

Pedestrian Travel:

Sidewalks are nonexistent in many areas and drivers generally do not yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. Pedestrians account for a considerable portion of traffic fatalities in Nepal. 

For more information, please visit our Road Safety page. 

Aviation Safety and Oversight:

As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Nepal, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Nepal’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Domestic air safety is a concern. In recent years, there have been a number of fatal plane crashes on domestic routes in Nepal, including some crashes in which U.S. citizens have been killed.  Peace Corps Nepal prohibits Volunteers from flying into Nepal’s mountain airports, including Lukla and Jomson, which are notoriously dangerous due to challenging weather and terrain. As a result of Nepal’s poor aviation safety record, in December 2013 the European Union (EU) banned all Nepali airlines from flying into or within EU countries. Although Nepali domestic flights are insured, payments to the families of victims of a plane crash are minimal.  Domestic air travelers may want to consider flight insurance that will cover domestic flights in Nepal before leaving home.

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
No
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
No
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
ALL /
ALL /
Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Kathmandu

Maharajgunj
Kathmandu, Nepal
Telephone: +(977)(1) 423-4000 or 400-7200
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(977)(1) 423-4000
Fax: +(977)(1) 400-7272
Email: 

ALL /
ALL /
General Information

For information concerning travel to Nepal, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Nepal.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA). The report is located here.

ALL /
ALL /
Hague Abduction Convention

Nepal is not a signatory to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention), nor are there any bilateral agreements in force between Nepal and the United States concerning international parental child abduction.

ALL /
ALL /
Return

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country. The government of Nepal maintains information about custody, visitation, and family law on the Internet.

Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Nepal and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.

The Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children's Issues provides assistance in cases of international parental child abduction. For U.S. citizen parents whose children have been wrongfully removed to or retained in countries that are not U.S. partners under the Hague Abduction Convention, the Office of Children's Issues can provide information and resources about country-specific options for pursuing the return of or access to an abducted child. The Office of Children's Issues may also coordinate with appropriate foreign and U.S. government authorities about the welfare of abducted U.S. citizen children. Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance.

Contact information:

U.S. Department of State 
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's Issues
CA/OCS/CI 
SA-17, 9th Floor 
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Website:  travel.state.gov
Email: NSB-IPCA@state.gov

Parental child abduction is not a crime in Nepal.  

Parents may wish to consult with an attorney in the United States and in the country to which the child has been removed or retained to learn more about how filing criminal charges may impact a custody case in the foreign court.  Please see Possible Solutions - Pressing Criminal Charges for more information.

ALL /
ALL /
Visitation/Access

 

 

ALL /
ALL /
Retaining an Attorney

Neither the Office of Children’s Issues nor consular officials at the U.S. Embassy or Consulates in Nepal are authorized to provide legal advice.

The U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal, posts a list of attorneys, including those who specialize in family law.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney.The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

ALL /
ALL /
Mediation

The Department is unaware of any mediation programs currently available for international child abduction cases in Nepal.

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
No
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
ALL /
ALL /
Hague Convention Information

Nepal is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention).  Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Hague countries are processed in accordance with 8 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 204.3 as it relates to orphans as defined under the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 101(b)(1)(F). Under the Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act (UAA), which became effective on July 14, 2014, the accreditation requirement and standards, which previously only applied in Convention cases, now also apply in non-Convention or “orphan” cases. The UAA requires that an accredited or approved adoption service provider acts as a primary provider in every case, and that adoption service providers providing adoption services on behalf of prospective adoptive parents be accredited or approved, or be a supervised or exempted provider. Adoption service providers and prospective adoptive parents should review the State Department’s Universal Accreditation Act of 2012 webpage for further information. Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Convention countries continue to be processed under the Orphan Process with the filing of the Forms I-600A and I-600. However, adoption service providers should be aware of the information on the USCIS website on the impact on Form I-600A and Form I-600 adjudications under the UAA, including the requirement that all home studies, including home study updates and amendments, comply with the Convention home study requirements, which differ from the orphan home study requirements that were in effect before July 14, 2014.

On August 6, 2010, the U.S. Department of State and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) suspended processing of new adoption cases from Nepal which involve children who are claimed to have been found abandoned.  Evidence presented in support of the claim that these children are abandoned in Nepal is overwhelmingly unreliable.  Cases involving relinquishment by known birth parent(s) are not affected by the suspension.

Due to concerns regarding the reliability of Nepal's adoption system, any relinquishment cases received by the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu will require complex investigations, which may include birth parent interviews and DNA testing. Although we have not yet received any such cases, and cannot estimate the amount of time needed for any individual investigation, we caution that investigations may require significant time and expenses that would likely raise the overall costs for prospective adoptive parents.

In addition, Nepal’s Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare announced that an approval for intercountry adoption of so-called “foundling” children from the street would not be granted effective January 5, 2011 (2067.9.21 BS) onwards. (See Inter-country Adoption Management Development Board (ICAB) website.)  This ban on adoption of “foundling” street children does not apply to children found abandoned in other contexts (e.g., a child abandoned in a hospital).

Prospective adoptive parents are strongly encouraged to read the August 14, 2012 notice concerning adoptions in Nepal before making a decision to pursue an adoption in Nepal.

U.S. IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTIONS

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Nepal, you must meet eligibility and suitability requirements.  The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines who can adopt under U.S. immigration law.

Additionally, a child must meet the definition of orphan under U.S. immigration law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States on an IR-3 or IR-4 immigrant visa.

ALL /
ALL /
Who Can Adopt

In addition to U.S. immigration requirements, you must also meet the following requirements in order to adopt a child from Nepal:

  • Residency:  None.
  • Age of Adopting Parents:  The age difference between the prospective parents and the prospective adoptive child must be at least 30 years.
  • Marriage:  The couple must have been married for at least four years prior to filing an adoption application.  Single women between the age of 35 and 55 may also adopt.  Single men may not adopt.  Nepal will not approve adoptions to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex couples.
  • Income:  Prospective adoptive parents must submit financial statements that certify property and income sources.  No minimum amount of income is stated in the requirements.
  • Other:  Prospective adoptive parents who currently have a biological or adopted child living in their home may only adopt a child of the opposite sex who is younger than the child living in their home.  The only exception is if the prospective adoptive parents are adopting the sibling of a child who they have previously adopted.
ALL /
ALL /
Who Can Be Adopted

In addition to U.S. immigration requirements, Nepal has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption:

  • Relinquishment:  Nepal will process intercountry adoptions for relinquished children.
  • Under Nepali law, single mothers, or married mothers who have been left by their husbands, must meet stringent requirements regarding the relinquishment of their children for adoption.  Birth fathers have twelve years from the child's birth to claim the child and assert custody rights.  Unless a mother identifies the father and he agrees, in writing, to the child's adoption, the child will not be eligible for adoption.  This can result in uncertainties as to a whether a child is actually eligible for adoption and may result in further investigations and delays.

    Birth parent(s) may not relinquish their child directly to an orphanage.  They must relinquish the child to the Child Welfare Authority at the Chief District Office (CDO) of each district.  The Child Welfare Authority operating under the CDO, rather than the courts, has the authority to determine the subsequent legal guardianship of the child.  The court system in Nepal does not have jurisdiction over legal guardianship or adoption issues.  Each CDO reports directly to the Nepal Home Ministry (central government).  There are 75 districts in Nepal, and each of the districts has a CDO.  It is the understanding of the U.S. Embassy that the Child Welfare Authority of the CDO will assign guardianship to an orphanage or children’s home before the child is eligible for intercountry adoption.

  • Abandonment:  On January 5, 2011, the Government of Nepal, Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare in its Notice No. 1 announced that children found by the police will not be available for intercountry adoption until further notice.
  • Age of Adoptive Child:  Children under the age of 16 may be adopted.  Please note that in order for a child to meet the definition of orphan under U.S. immigration law, a Form I-600 petition must be filed on the child’s behalf while the child is under the age of 16 (or under the age of 18 if adopted or to be adopted together with a biological sibling under the age of 16).
  • Sibling Adoptions:  If the prospective adoptive parents already have a child or children, Nepal government regulations state that only a Nepali child of the opposite sex of their biological child or children can be matched.  Siblings of the opposite sex can be adopted together if other qualifications are met.  The Government of Nepal does not have a policy to keep siblings together.
  • Special Needs or Medical Conditions:  Children with special needs or medical conditions can be adopted by prospective adoptive parents who are approved to adopt special needs children.
  • Waiting Period or Foster Care:  Children are required to have been in the orphanage or children's home for a minimum of 90 days before they are eligible to be matched for intercountry adoption.

Caution:  Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that not all children in orphanages or children’s homes are adoptable.  In many countries, birth parents place their child(ren) temporarily in an orphanage or children’s home due to financial or other hardship, intending that the child return home when this becomes possible.  In such cases, the birth parent(s) have rarely relinquished their parental rights or consented to their child(ren)’s adoption.

ALL /
ALL /
How to Adopt

Nepal’s Adoption Authority
Intercountry Adoption Management Development Board, under the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare

The Process

The process for adopting a child from Nepal generally includes the following steps:

  1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider
  2. Apply to be found eligible to adopt
  3. Be matched with a child
  4. Adopt the child in Nepal
  5. Apply for the child to be found eligible for orphan status
  6. Bring your child home

1.  Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider

For most prospective adoptive parents, the recommended first step in adopting a child is to decide whether or not to use a licensed adoption service provider in the United States that can help you with your adoption.  Adoption service providers must be licensed by the U.S. state in which they operate.  The Department of State provides information on selecting an adoption service provider on its website.  Nepal requires all adoption applications (dossiers) to be submitted either by a Nepali approved international adoption service provider or through a foreign diplomatic mission (embassy) in Nepal.

Note:  While Nepali law permits authorized adoption service providers and foreign diplomatic missions to submit adoption dossiers on behalf of prospective adoptive parents, the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu cannot execute “cover letters” or submit dossier documents to the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MOWCSW) on behalf of prospective adoptive parents.  Accordingly, the only method available at this time to submit an application for adoption of a Nepali child is to engage an adoption service provider that is authorized by MOWCSW to facilitate adoptions in Nepal.  A list of U.S. adoption service providers authorized to facilitate adoptions in Nepal is available at the Inter-country Adoption Management Development Board (ICAB) website. Before embarking on an adoption in Nepal, prospective adoptive parents are strongly urged to confirm that their adoption service provider is currently authorized to facilitate adoptions in Nepal.

2.  Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt

In order to adopt a child from Nepal, you will need to meet the requirements of the Government of Nepal and U.S. immigration law.  You must submit an application to be found eligible to adopt with the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare of Nepal.

You may also file an I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition with U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to be found eligible and suitable to adopt. As of July 14, 2014, unless an exception applies, the home study must comply with the requirements in 8 CFR 204.311 and 22 CFR Part 96.47

Prospective adoptive parents will sign many documents throughout the adoption process.  Many of these documents are in Nepali, and English translations are not routinely provided.  Parents are encouraged to have documents translated before they are signed.  The U.S. Embassy requires both the original and the official translation of all case documents at the time of the immigrant visa interview.  Prospective adoptive parents may contact the U.S. Embassy in Nepal at adoptionsnepal@state.gov for a list of the required documents, which may differ depending on how the child became orphaned.

3.  Be Matched with a Child

If you are eligible to adopt, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, the Ministry of Women and Child Social Welfare will provide you with a referral.  Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of and provide a permanent home for a particular child.

The child must be eligible for adoption according to Nepal’s requirements, as described in the Who Can Be Adopted section. The child must also meet the definition of orphan under U.S. immigration law.

4.  Adopt the Child in Nepal:

The process for finalizing the adoption in Nepal generally includes the following:

  • Role of the Adoption Authority:  The Intercountry Adoption Management Development Board (ICAB), under the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, is designated as the central authority for all issues relating to intercountry adoptions for the Government of Nepal.  ICAB is responsible for accepting and processing all applications for intercountry adoptions and determining whether prospective adoptive parents are eligible and suitable to adopt a Nepali child.  They are also responsible for overseeing the matching of Nepali children by either the Central Child Welfare Board (CCWB) or the Nepal Children’s Organization (Bal Mandir) with prospective adoptive parents, granting adoptions. and issuing all final adoption and travel documents.
  • Role of the Court:  None.
  • Role of Adoption Agencies:  Adoption service providers that have been approved by the Government of Nepal to facilitate the processing of intercountry adoptions are responsible for submitting the prospective adoptive parents’ dossier and other required documents through their local representative to the Ministry of Women and Child Social Welfare.  Adoption service providers must also act as the main point of contact for the Ministry as the adoption process proceeds.  They provide the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu with any documents required in connection with the filing of either the prospective adoptive parents’ Form I-600 petition or immigrant visa application.  Adoption service provides may also fill other significant roles during the adoption process.
  • Adoption Application:  A Nepali approved U.S. adoption service provider should submit the prospective adoptive parents’ application to adopt a Nepali child (dossier) to Nepal’s Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare.
  • Time Frame:  The process, from the approval of the I-600A to the approval of the adoption by the Nepali government, varies in length and is impossible to predict.  Changes in the security situation or the government may cause additional delays.
  • Adoption Fees:  The Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare charges a fee of $3,000 for the adoption of an orphan from Nepal.  Orphanages charge a $5,000 fee.  Many adoptive parents have reported that orphanages have charged them additional, unexpected fees after they arrived in Nepal.  Prospective adoptive parents are advised to obtain detailed receipts for all fees and donations paid to orphanages, either by the parents directly or through their U.S. adoption service provider.  The U.S. Embassy requires a copy of receipts and information on fees paid in the United States and in Nepal at the time of the immigrant visa interview. The UAA and the Intercountry Adoption Act (IAA) make it unlawful to improperly influence relinquishment of parental rights, parental consent relating to adoption of a child, or a decision by an entity performing Central Authority functions.
  • Documents Required:
    • The Nepal Government requires all prospective adoptive parents to submit a so-called "Guarantee Letter.”  This letter, which becomes part of the dossier that is submitted to the Ministry of Women and Child Social Welfare, serves to confirm for the Nepal government that the prospective adoptive parents are approved by the U.S. government to be adoptive parents and that, if legally qualified, the child will be eligible to immigrate to the United States.  To request the issuance of a “Guarantee Letter”, please email the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu at adoptionsnepal@state.gov and include the subject line, “Guarantee Letter Request” in your message.  (Please note that this “Guarantee Letter” is not the same as the dossier “cover letter” also required by the Ministry.  Issuance of a “cover letter” is discussed above under “Choose an Adoption Service Provider.”)
    • The full names of the prospective adoptive parents, dates of birth, passport numbers, and permanent legal address are required for inclusion in the Guarantee Letter.  In addition, the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu needs to have on file a valid, approved I-600A before it can issue a Guarantee Letter.
    • At an unspecified time after accepting a referral, the Government of Nepal will issue a “travel authorization” letter to the prospective adoptive parents.  It is only upon receipt of this “travel authorization” that the Government of Nepal will allow the prospective adoptive parent to complete the adoption.

Note:  Additional documents may be requested.

  • Authentication of Documents:  You may be asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic.  If so, the Department of State, Authentications Office may be able to assist.

5.  Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Orphan Status

The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must determine whether the child meets the definition oforphan under U.S. immigration law.  You will need to file a Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative.  USCIS has implemented special instructions for filing a Form I-600 on behalf of a Nepali child.  Under these special instructions, prospective adoptive parents are required to file their Form I-600 petition with the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu, and the Embassy must  complete a Form I-604 Determination on Child for Adoption (informally referred to as the “orphan investigation”) before the Form I-600 petition can be approved.  If the consular officer determines that the Form I-600 petition is not clearly approvable, it must be sent to the USCIS office in New Delhi, India for further review and action.  Please refer to uscis.gov for Special Instructions for How and When to File Adoption Petitions on Behalf of Nepali Children.

6.  Bring Your Child Home

Once your adoption is complete, you need to apply for several documents for your child before you can apply for a U.S. immigrant visa to bring your child home to the United States:

Birth Certificate
Adoptive parents must have the child’s original Nepali birth certificate.  This is the “Birth Registration Certificate” that is included in your child’s dossier for adoption that is kept on file at your child’s orphanage.

Each municipality issues birth certificates.  Municipalities will not issue an amended birth certificate showing the adoptive parents as the child’s legal parents.  Copies of the original birth certificate will not be released by the municipality to the adoptive parents.  Parents can obtain a copy of their child’s birth certificate from the Children’s Home where their child resided before adoption, or, if they require multiple copies, may seek the assistance of a Nepali notary who can obtain copies for a nominal fee.

Nepali Travel Document
Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Nepal.  Once the adoption is finalized, the Intercountry Adoption Management Development Board will issue the adoption decree and a letter addressed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs requesting a travel document for your child.  Generally, the Nepali travel document is valid only for one-way travel to the United States and countries en route.  Please note that this is not a Nepali passport; the travel document is a limited document allowing passage only to the country where the adoptive parents reside.

U.S. Immigrant Visa
After you obtain the new birth certificate and Nepali travel document for your child, and you have filed Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, you then need to apply for a U.S. immigrant visa for your child from the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu.  This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you.  As part of this process, the Consular Officer must be provided the Panel Physician’s medical report on the child. At the time you file your Form I-600 petition, the adjudicating officer will determine whether the UAA applies or if your case is UAA grandfathered. For more information on UAA grandfathering and transition cases, please see Universal Accreditation Act of 2012. Unless an exception applies, you must identify a primary provider in your case and the adjudicating officer may ask for the name and contact information of the primary provider if not provided in your Form I-600 petition. This information is required and, without it, your Form I-600 petition cannot be approved.

You can find instructions for applying for an immigrant visa on the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu’s website.

Note:  You must have an approved Form I-600 petition before an IR-3 or IR-4 immigrant visa may be issued.  You may file your Form I-600 petition at the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu, provided you have a valid, approved Form I-600A on record.  Please refer to uscis.gov for Special Instructions for How and When to File Adoption Petitions on Behalf of Nepali Children.

U.S. citizens should make appointments with the Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu by calling (+977-1- 423-4500) or emailing (adoptionsnepal@state.gov) in advance.  The Consular Section is open for routine American Citizen Services Monday through Friday (except U.S. Federal and certain Nepali holidays) from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

U.S. Embassy Kathmandu accepts payments for consular services by cash, either in U.S. dollars or Nepal rupees, or by most credit cards.  Payments are only accepted at the U.S. Embassy Kathmandu’s Consular Section and should not be paid to a third party.

Note:  Visa issuance after the final interview generally takes at least three working days and it will not normally be possible to provide the visa to adoptive parents on the day of the interview.  Adoptive parents should not make final travel arrangements before they receive the visa.

Prospective adoptive parents should also be aware that high levels of visa fraud in Nepal include fabricated documents and genuine documents fraudulently obtained.  As a result, the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu must carefully investigate all orphan visa cases to determine whether the child meets the definition of orphan under U.S. immigration law.  The need for investigations may result in delays in the visa process.  Cases deemed not clearly approvable by the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu will be referred to the USCIS office in New Delhi, India for review.

Since there are no direct flights to the U.S. from Nepal, the U.S. Embassy recommends that adoptive parents confirm with the countries they plan to transit enroute to the U.S. regarding that country’s transit visa requirements, if any, for their Nepali child.  Because your child will travel to the U.S. on a Nepali travel document (not a Nepali passport), visa requirements may vary from those of U.S. citizens.

Child Citizenship Act

For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s entry into the United States:  A child will acquire U.S. citizenship upon entry into the United States if the adoption was finalized prior to entry and the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

For adoptions finalized after the child’s entry into the United States:  An adoption will need to be completed following your child’s entry into the United States for the child to acquire U.S. citizenship.

*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible.  Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting.

Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

ALL /
ALL /
Traveling Abroad

APPLYING FOR YOUR U.S. PASSPORT

U.S. citizens are required by law to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport.  Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy.  The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.

OBTAINING A VISA TO TRAVEL TO NEPAL

In addition to a U.S. passport, you may also need to obtain a visa.  A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit.  Where required, visas are affixed to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation.  To find information about obtaining a visa for Nepal, see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information.

All visitors to Nepal must obtain an entry visa, although in most cases, visas are available upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu.  To find information about obtaining a visa for Nepal, see the Department of State's Country Specific Information.

STAYING SAFE ON YOUR TRIP

Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country you intend to visit.  The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

STAYING IN TOUCH ON YOUR TRIP

When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to enroll with the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  Enrollment makes it possible to contact you if necessary.  Whether there is a family emergency in the United States or a crisis in Nepal, enrollment assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

ALL /
ALL /
After Adoption

Nepal requires that the adopting parents send a yearly progress report relating to the maintenance, education, and health of the adopted child, along with a recently taken postcard sized photograph of the child until the child reaches 16 years of age. Adoptive parents can submit these reports through their adoption agency.

We strongly urge you to comply with Nepal’s post-adoption requirements in a timely manner.  Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process.  Your cooperation will contribute to that country’s positive experiences with U.S. citizen parents.

Post-Adoption Resources
Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption.  There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families.  There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin.  Take advantage of all the resources available to your family— whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.

Here are some places to start your support group search:

Note:  Inclusion of non-U.S. government links does not imply endorsement of contents.

ALL /
ALL /
Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Nepal
Maharajgunj
Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel.:  +977-1- 423-4500
Fax:  +977-1-400-7281
E-mail:  adoptionsnepal@state.gov
Internet:  https://np.usembassy.gov/

Nepal's Adoption Authority
Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare
Singha Durbar
Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel:  +977-1-420-0408
Fax:  +977-1-420-0116
Email:  mail@mowcsw.gov.np
Website:  www.mowcsw.gov.np
(Please note that as of this posting, the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare’s website is under construction.)

Intercountry Adoption Management Development Board (also known as Intercountry Adoption Board)
Singha Durbar
Kathmandu
Nepal
Tel:  +977-1- 420-0328
Fax:  +977-1-420-0328
Email:  contact@icab.com.np
Website:  http://www.icab.gov.np/
ICAB accepts and does the processing of the intercountry adoption applications

Embassy of Federal Republic of Nepal
2131 Leroy Place, N.W.
Washington, D.C.  20008
Tel:  202-667-4550
Internet:  nepalembassyusa.org

Office of Children's Issues
U.S. Department of State
CA/OCS/CI, SA-17A, 9th Floor
Washington, D.C.  20522-1709
Tel:  1-888-407-4747
E-mail:  adoption@state.gov
Internet:  adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures:
National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
Tel:  1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
Internet:  uscis.gov

For questions about filing a Form I-600A or I-600 petition:
National Benefits Center
Tel:  1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-816-251-2770 (local)
Email:  NBC.Adoptions@dhs.gov

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 60 Months
A-2 None Multiple 60 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 24 Months
B-1 None Multiple 60 Months
B-2 None Multiple 60 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 60 Months
C-1 None Multiple 60 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 60 Months
C-2 None Multiple 60 Months
C-3 None Multiple 60 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 60 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2C 2 None Multiple 24 Months
F-1 $200.00 Multiple 60 Months
F-2 $200.00 Multiple 60 Months
G-1 None Multiple 60 Months
G-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-3 None One 3 Months
G-4 None Multiple 12 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 12 Months
H-1B None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-2A None N/A N/A 3
H-2B None N/A N/A 3
H-2R None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 36 Months 3
I None Multiple 60 Months
J-1 4 $200.00 Multiple 60 Months
J-2 4 $200.00 Multiple 60 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 $55.00 Multiple 60 Months
L-2 $55.00 Multiple 60 Months
M-1 $200.00 Multiple 60 Months
M-2 $200.00 Multiple 60 Months
N-8 None Multiple 12 Months
N-9 None Multiple 12 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 None Multiple 36 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 36 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 36 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 36 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 36 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 36 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 36 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 36 Months
R-2 None Multiple 36 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
ALL /
ALL /
Country Specific Footnotes

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

ALL /
ALL /
Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

ALL /
ALL /
General Documents

A person born before 1974 can present his/her citizenship card in order to obtain a birth certificate from the VDC, municipality, sub-metropolitan office, or metropolitan office of each district office.

A person born in or after 1974 can obtain a birth certificate from the birth and death registration office of the concerned municipality, sub-metropolitan office, metropolitan office, or Village Development Committee (VDC) where the person is residing or was residing at the time of his/her birth or death.

Birth, marriage and death certificates contain:

  1. the name of the concerned person(s)
  2. the name of the concerned person’s/persons’ father
  3. the name of the concerned person’s/persons’ mother
  4. the concerned person’s/persons’ place of birth
  5. the concerned person’s/persons’ date of birth
  6. the date the certificate was issued

A marriage certificate (in the case of social marriage) is produced by the concerned VDC or municipality.  A marriage certificate in the case of a civil marriage is produced by the Chief District Office (CDO).

Effective March 2013, documents such as birth, death, marriage and divorce registration certificates are issued in both Nepali and English.  In most cases, the top half of the document will be in Nepali and the bottom half will be in English.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates    

  • Available/Unavailable:  Available
  • Fees:  The Government of Nepal’s rate for civil document registration is 50 Nepali rupees. In addition to the 50 Nepali rupee fee, the VDC, municipality, sub-metropolitan office or metropolitan office may add its own local fees to raise revenue.
  • Document Name:  Birth Registration Certificate / Recommendation Certificate / Birth Verification Certificate
  • Issuing Authority: VDC, municipality, sub-metropolitan office, or metropolitan office of each district office
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:  There are several valid formats of typewritten, handwritten, or hybrid (typewritten and handwritten) birth certificates, generally marked with the black-and-white rubber seal or color self–ink stamp of the issuing authority.  The different formats are widely divergent because birth certificates are issued by four different types of offices in each of Nepal’s 75 districts.  Some birth certificates are in English, some are in Nepali, and some are in both languages.  There is no single special seal, color, or format that is uniform across all Nepali birth certificates.
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title: VDC secretary, local registrar, administrator, or chief administrator
  • Registration Criteria: Birth registration certificates are issued at the request of the concerned person or the concerned person's family. Despite the legal requirement, very few parents register the birth of their children at the time of their children’s birth. Birth registration certificates are often issued long after an individual’s actual birth. Birth records issued by hospitals are not considered legal documents, but can be used to obtain a legal birth certificate.
  • Procedure for Obtaining: Registrants must print the required form using the link below and submit it to the one of the appropriate offices at the VDC, municipality, sub-metropolitan office, or metropolitan office where the applicant was born or is currently residing.  The certificate generally contains the parents’ and grandparents’ names, applicant’s name, date, and place of birth. The forms are available online at kathmandu.gov.np.
  • Certified Copies Available: No
  • Alternate Documents: Nepali citizenship card
  • Exceptions: N/A
  • Comments: N/A

 

Death, Burial Certificates

  • Available/Unavailable:  Available
  • Fees:  The Government of Nepal’s rate for civil document registration is 50 Nepali rupees. In addition to the 50 Nepali rupee fee, the VDC, municipality, sub-metropolitan office or metropolitan office may add its own local fees to raise revenue.
  • Document Name: Death Registration Certificate
  • Issuing Authority: VDC, municipality, sub-metropolitan office, or metropolitan office of each district office
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There are several valid formats of typewritten, handwritten, or hybrid (typewritten and handwritten) death certificates, generally marked with the black-and-white rubber seal or color self–ink stamp of the issuing authority.  The different formats are widely divergent because death certificates are issued by four different types of offices in each of Nepal’s 75 districts.  Some death certificates are in English, some are in Nepali, and some are in both languages.  There is no single special seal, color, or format that is uniform across all Nepali death certificates.
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title: VDC secretary, local registrar, administrator, or chief administrator
  • Registration Criteria: Death Registration Certificates are issued at the request of the concerned person's family.
  • Procedure for Obtaining: Registrants need to print the required form using the link below and submit it to the appropriate office at the VDC, municipality, sub-metropolitan office, or metropolitan office where the deceased person was born or resided.  The certificate generally contains the parents’ and grandparents’ names, deceased person’s name, date, and place of birth. The forms are available online at kathmandu.gov.np.
  • Certified Copies Available: No
  • Alternate Documents: Death certificate issued from hospital
  • Exceptions: N/A
  • Comments: N/A
Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates        

  • Available/Unavailable: Available
  • Fees: The Government of Nepal’s rate for civil document registration is 50 Nepali rupees. In addition to the 50 Nepali rupee fee, the VDC, municipality, sub-metropolitan office or metropolitan office may add its own local fees to raise revenue.
  • Document Name: Marriage Registration Certificate
  • Issuing Authority:  Marriage Certificates (in case of social marriage) should be obtained from the concerned VDC or municipality. A marriage certificate in the case of civil marriage can be obtained only at the Chief District Office (CDO).
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There are several valid formats of typewritten, handwritten, or hybrid (typewritten and handwritten) marriage certificates, generally marked with the black-and-white rubber seal or color self–ink stamp of the issuing authority.  The different formats are widely divergent because marriage certificates are issued by four different types of offices in each of Nepal’s 75 districts.  Some marriage certificates are in English, some are in Nepali, and some are in both languages.  There is no single special seal, color, or format that is uniform across all Nepali marriage certificates.  Even the orientation of Nepali marriage certificates (landscape versus portrait) varies.
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title: VDC secretary, local registrar, administrator, or chief administrator.
  • Registration Criteria: A man and woman seeking to marry must submit an application in the prescribed format at least fifteen days prior to their marriage. At least one member of the couple must have resided in the registration area for at least fifteen days prior to submitting the application.
  • Procedure for Obtaining: Registrants must print the required form using the link below and submit it to the appropriate municipality or VDC registrar’s office for processing.  The forms are available online at kathmandu.gov.np.
  • In order for a Nepali citizen to enter into a legal marriage in Nepal with a U.S. citizen, U.S. Local Permanent Resident, Refugee, or Asylee, the Nepali citizen must first obtain an Affidavit of Eligibility to Marry (also known as a “no objection letter”), which the applicant must submit with the Marriage Certificate Application Form to the CDO in his/her home district, or in the district where the marriage will occur.  An Affidavit of Eligibility is available at the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu at the cost of 50 United States dollars or the equivalent in Nepali rupees.  Please see the following site for additional details: nepal.usembassy.gov.  The CDO will also require witnesses to execute affidavits confirming that the parties are free to marry.  It takes a minimum of 15 working days for the CDO to process the application and issue a marriage certificate.
  • Certified Copies Available: No
  • Alternate Documents: N/A
  • Exceptions: N/A
  • Comments: N/A

 

Divorce Certificates

  • Available/Unavailable:  Available
  • Fees: The Government of Nepal’s rate for civil document registration is 50 Nepali rupees.  In addition to the 50 Nepali rupee fee, the VDC, municipality, sub-metropolitan office or metropolitan office may add its own local fees to raise revenue.
  • Document Name: Divorce Certificate
  • Issuing Authority: VDC, municipality, sub-metropolitan office, or metropolitan office of each district office
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There are several valid formats of typewritten, handwritten, or hybrid (typewritten and handwritten) divorce certificates, generally marked with the black-and-white rubber seal or color self–ink stamp of the issuing authority.  The different formats are widely divergent because divorce certificates are issued by four different types of offices in each of Nepal’s 75 districts.  Some divorce certificates are in English, some are in Nepali, and some are in both languages.  There is no single special seal, color, or format that is uniform across all Nepali divorce certificates.
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title: VDC secretary, local registrar, administrator, or chief administrator
  • Registration Criteria: Please follow this link: kathmandu.gov.np.
  • Procedure for Obtaining: In order to receive a divorce certificate, an individual must present a copy of a valid, court-issued divorce decree to the VDC, municipality, sub-metropolitan office, or metropolitan office of the district office.
  • Certified Copies Available: No
  • Alternate Documents: N/A
  • Exceptions: N/A
  • Comments:  N/A
Adoption Certificates
  • Available/Unavailable: Available
  • Fees:  The Adoption Processing Fee is US$3,000, payable to the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MOWCSW), plus a US $5,000 Child Care Contribution to the orphanage.  After these fees are paid, the MOWCSW issues a Final Adoption Decree.
  • Document Name:  Final Adoption Decree
  • Issuing Authority: Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:  The color of the decree is white, the title is printed in red, and the document bears the seal of MOWCSW.
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title:  Legal Officer, MOWCSW
  • Registration Criteria:  Please refer to icab.gov.np 
  • Procedure for Obtaining:  Formal, written request to Legal Officer, MOWCSW
  • Certified Copies Available:  No
  • Alternate Documents:  N/A
  • Exceptions: In the rare case when an adoption is legally formalized between Nepali citizens, the Land Revenue Registrar can issue documentation.
  • Comments:   On August 6, 2010, the U.S. Department of State and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) suspended processing of new adoption cases from Nepal which involve children who are claimed to have been found abandoned.  Evidence presented in support of the claim that these children are abandoned in Nepal is overwhelmingly unreliable.  Cases involving relinquishment by known birth parent(s) are not affected by the suspension.  For more information, please see travel.state.gov
ALL /
ALL /
Identity Card
  • Available/Unavailable: Available
  • Fees:  No Fee
  • Document Name:  Citizenship Certificate (also sometimes referred to informally as “National ID”)
  • Issuing Authority: District Administration Office
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Typewritten or handwritten letter with the black-and-white rubber seal of the issuing authority.
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title: District Administration Office
  • Registration Criteria: An applicant may obtain a Citizenship Certificate from the District Administration Office after presenting the birth certificates and Citizenship Certificates of the applicant’s parents. For more information, please see the following site:  moha.gov.np 
  • Procedure for Obtaining:  Please follow this link: daokathmandu.moha.gov 
  • Certified Copies Available: No
  • Alternate Documents: N/A
  • Exceptions: N/A
  • Comments:  Citizenship certificates are issued by all 75 District Administration Offices in Nepal.
Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

  • Available/Unavailable: Available to both foreign nationals and Nepali citizens
  • Fees:  No Fee
  • Document Name:  Character Verification Certificate
  • Issuing Authority:  The Nepal Police Headquarters, Character Verification Section, Naxal, Kathmandu
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Typewritten letter with office letterhead, hologram, and the black-and-white rubber seal of the issuing authority.
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Deputy Superintendent of Police / Inspector of Police
  • Registration Criteria: See “Procedure for Obtaining”
  • Procedure for Obtaining:  Follow this link for information and the application form to request a Character Verification Certificate: cid.nepalpolice.gov.np.  Individuals in Nepal may submit their application at any Nepal Police Office listed below. The application will be processed and forwarded to the Police Headquarters, Character Verification Section, Naxal, Kathmandu.


In Kathmandu:

° Sub Unit of Police HQ, Character Verification, Naxal
° Metro Police Commissioners Office, Ranipokhari
° Metro Police Circle Office, Maharajgunj
° Metro Police Range, Bhaktapur
° Metro Police Range, Lalitpur

Outside Kathmandu:

° Police Regional Office, Biratnagar
° Police Regional Office, Hetauda
° Police Regional Office, Pokhara
° Police Zonal Office, Nepalgunj
° Police Zonal Office, Dhangadi

For individuals residing abroad, a family member or relative in Nepal may apply on their behalf at the Police Headquarters, Character Verification Section, Naxal, Kathmandu, Nepal.

  • Certified Copies Available: No
  • Alternate Documents: N/A
  • Exceptions: N/A
  • Comments: N/A

 

Prison Records

  • Available/Unavailable: Generally unavailable.
  • Fees: No Fee
  • Document Name:  Prison Record
  • Issuing Authority: Department of Prison Management (DOPM) / Individual Prison Centers
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:  Office Stamp
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Director General, Director, or Jailer
  • Registration Criteria: N/A
  • Procedure for Obtaining: Applicants must issue a formal request for official purpose
  • Certified Copies Available: No
  • Alternate Documents: N/A
  • Exceptions: N/A
  • Comments:  N/A
Military Records
  • Available/Unavailable: Available for all current and former employees of the Nepal Army.
  • Fees: No fee
  • Document Name:  Military Record
  • Issuing Authority:  Adjutant General, Army Headquarters
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Typewritten or handwritten letter with black and white rubber seal of the issuing authority.
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title:  Adjutant General
  • Registration Criteria: Applicants may submit their applications at the Nepal Army Headquarters or at the Nepal Army Offices where the applicant served.
  • Procedure for Obtaining:  Applicants can submit their applications at the Nepal Army Headquarters or at the Nepal Army Offices where the applicant served.
  • Certified Copies Available: No
  • Alternate Documents: N/A
  • Exceptions: N/A
  • Comments: N/A
Passports & Other Travel Documents
  • Types Available (Regular, Diplomatic, Official, etc.): There are four types of Nepali Travel Documents.  The regular Nepali passport is green, official passport is blue, diplomatic passport is red, and travel document is black.  The validity of regular Nepali passports is ten years.  The validity of diplomatic passports is five years.  The maximum validity of an official passport is ten years; however, the passport expires on the date of the passport holder’s retirement from Nepali government service.  The validity of a travel document is determined on a case-by-case basis but generally will be for one year, and only for a single journey.
  • Fees: 5,000 Nepali rupees to obtain documents on the regular time frame of the District Administration Office and 10,000 Nepali rupees per document for expedited handling (generally within one week).
  • Document Name: Passport / Travel document
  • Issuing Authority:  Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Department of Passports
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Green, red, blue, and black types (see above), all with various security features described below. The latest versions of machine-readable travel documents and Nepali passports share the same security features. These include:
    • Micro printing on the lines on page 2 (biometrics page) that form the data boxes and on page 3 on the signature line and the three lines for "name and address of the next of kin." Visible under magnification, the micro printing reads in Nepali script “Nepal Passport.” This microprinting will smudge if photocopied or scanned.
    • The laminate covering page 2 contains a row of five blue Nepalese coats of arms along the bottom border. Another row of five coats of arms along the top border of the page is visible only under ultraviolet (UV) light. If the laminate is lifted (as happens when a photograph is switched), this top row will be disturbed.
    • All pages feature four Nepalese coats of arms, one in each corner, visible under ultraviolet light, and each page's number is visible in the center of the page under UV light.
    • The thread holding the book together will also fluoresce under UV light.
    • Each page has a watermark with the letters “SN.”
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title: District Administration Office
  • Registration Criteria:  Please follow the link at: daokathmandu.moha.gov 
  • Procedure for Obtaining:  Information on obtaining a Nepali passport can be found at: nepalpassport.gov.np 
  • Alternate Documents: N/A
  • Exceptions: N/A
  • Comments: N/A
Other Records

Citizenship Certificate

At the completion of age sixteen, a Nepalese subject can apply to the CDO for a citizenship certificate. This document contains the person's name, the father's name (husband’s name in the case of a married woman if the subject so chooses), the date of birth, and the district where the person resides. The citizenship certificate is the most reliable proof of identity in Nepal. 

Visa Issuing Posts
  • Post Title:  Embassy of the United States of America, Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Address:  Maharajgunj, Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Phone Number:  +977-1-423-4000
  • Visa Services: All visa categories
  • Comments / Additional Information: N/A
Visa Services

All visa categories.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 667-4550 (202) 667-5534

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Kathmandu
Maharajgunj
Kathmandu, Nepal
Telephone
+(977)(1) 423-4000 or 400-7200
Emergency
+(977)(1) 423-4000
Fax
+(977)(1) 400-7272
Nepal Country Map

Learn about your destination
Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

Country Information

Nepal
Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal
ALL /
ALL /
Embassy Messages
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:

Must have six months’ remaining validity or more at time of entry

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:

One page required for entry visa

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

Yes

VACCINATIONS:

None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:

5,000 USD

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:

5,000 USD

ALL /
ALL /
Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Kathmandu

Maharajgunj
Kathmandu, Nepal
Telephone: +(977)(1) 423-4000 or 400-7200
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(977)(1) 423-4000
Fax: +(977)(1) 400-7272
Email: 

ALL /
ALL /
Destination Description

See the Department of State Fact Sheet on Nepal for information on U.S.-Nepal relations.

ALL /
ALL /
Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Requirements for Entry:

  • Passport must have six months or more validity remaining at the time of entry
  • Visa appropriate for purpose of travel

Tourist Visas:

Either apply for a visa at a Nepalese embassy or consulate before traveling, or purchase a tourist visa upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport (Kathmandu) or at the following land border points of entry:

  • Kakarvitta, Jhapa District (Eastern Nepal)
  • Birgunj, Parsa District (Central Nepal)
  • Kodari, Sindhupalchowk District (Northern Border– for group tourists only)
  • Belahia, Bhairahawa (Rupandehi District, Western Nepal)
  • Jamunaha, Nepalgunj (Banke District, Mid-Western Nepal)
  • Mohana, Dhangadhi (Kailali District, Far Western Nepal)
  • Gadda Chauki, Mahendranagar (Kanchanpur District, Far Western Nepal)

You may request:

  • 15-day multiple-entry tourist visa ($25 USD)
  • 1-month multiple-entry tourist visa ($40 USD)
  • 3-month multiple-entry tourist visa ($100 USD)

Visa fees are payable in USD. Money-changing and ATM services are available at the airport, but credit card payment is not a reliable option. Tourists may stay no more than 150 days in any given calendar year. See the Embassy of Nepal or Department of Immigration websites for additional visa information.

Other Visa Categories:

Check with the Nepal Department of Immigration for visa details and the online application for various types of visas, including student and work visas. Your purpose of travel will dictate what category of visa you will need to obtain.

Extending Your Visa:

The Department of Immigration (DOI) main office in the Kalikasthan neighborhood of Kathmandu and the Immigration Office in Pokhara are the only two offices that can extend visas. It is generally not difficult to extend your visa a few days after the printed expiration date, but long overstays can result in heavy fines and the very real possibility of arrest and detention pending formal deportation proceedings, followed by a seven year ban on re-entry.

Requirements for Exit:

You must have a valid visa before you will be allowed to depart Nepal. The Immigration Office at Tribhuvan International Airport is not authorized to extend visas. Some U.S. citizens who have tried to extend their visa at the airport have been sent to the Immigration Office in Kathmandu to pay the extension fee and, as a result, have missed their flights. You will not be allowed to depart Nepal until the visa is properly extended.

If you renew or replace your passport from the Embassy in Kathmandu, you will need to ask the Department of Immigration to transfer your Nepali visa by pasting a new visa into the new passport. See the Government of Nepal’s Department of Immigration website for additional immigration information.


Travel across the Nepal-China Border:

You may encounter immigration difficulties with Chinese authorities when traveling across the Nepal-China border on land in either direction. Chinese authorities often require U.S. citizens and other foreign tourists to organize "group" tours through established travel agencies as a prerequisite for obtaining visas and entry permits into Tibet.

The Chinese authorities have occasionally closed the border, especially around the anniversary of significant events in Tibet. For current information on border crossing status, check with the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Nepal.  Please read the Department of State’s travel information for China and check for current regulations on entry into Tibet.

HIV Restrictions:

The Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors or foreign residents of Nepal.

Surrogate Births:

Surrogacy is prohibited for foreigners in Nepal. Prospective parents should not begin surrogacy procedures in which any part of the process—from in vitro fertilization (IVF) to birth of the child—takes place in Nepal. The prohibition includes plans that rely on IVF in a third country with birth in Nepal. Newborn non-Nepali infants will not be able to depart Nepal without visa documentation after birth. 

U.S. Military Personnel and DOD Contractors:

DOD personnel must review the Foreign Clearance Guide (FCG) for travel to Nepal, available at https://www.fcg.pentagon.mil. All official travel and active duty personal travel must be submitted through an APACS request, via https://apacs.dtic.mil. Contact information for the Defense Attaché Office can be found in the FCG if you have additional questions.

Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

ALL /
ALL /
Safety and Security

We recommend that all U.S. citizens who visit or live in Nepal enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (“STEP”) to register their planned itinerary with the U.S. Embassy, and monitor the security situation before traveling.

U.S. government employees on official travel to Nepal must seek approval before traveling outside of Kathmandu Valley.

Bandhs:

Bandhs (general strikes) are a common form of political agitation in Nepal and across South Asia. Some important points about bandhs:

  • They can cause schools and businesses to close and can stop traffic.
  • Bandhs are unpredictable, may include violent incidents, and can occur with little notice.
  • Individuals not complying with bandhs may be harassed by organizers/supporters.
  • Avoid all unnecessary travel where bandhs are occurring.
  • If you plan air travel to or from Nepal during a scheduled bandh, please note that transportation may be affected. Usually bandh organizers allow specially marked buses operated by the Nepal Tourism Board to travel between the airport and major tourist hotels.
  • If you must travel during a bandh, you can check with local police by dialing “100,” or with traffic control by dialing “103.” The police can advise which routes and forms of transportations are most appropriate.
  • Consult the U.S. Embassy Kathmandu website for the latest security-related messages for U.S. citizens, as well as the Nepal Department of Tourism for the latest security information.

Political-Related Violence:

Violent political activity remains higher in the Terai, the southern plains region of Nepal bordering India, than the rest of the country. Demonstrations have on occasion turned violent, although these activities generally are not directed at U.S. citizens.

IEDs:

In the past, there have been small-scale improvised explosive device (IED) incidents in various parts of Nepal, particularly during periods of heightened political tension. These reported incidents were not directed toward westerners or western interests.

Crime:

Although still relatively low, crime in Kathmandu and throughout the country has risen in some categories.

Financial Crimes and Theft:

  • Criminals use sophisticated scams, such as ATM skimming, particularly in Kathmandu.
  • You should consider exchanging money only at banks and hotels.
  • Valuables, including passports and cash should be stored in the hotel safety deposit box and not carried. The Nepal Tourist Police recommend that you carry a copy of your passport when going out.
  • Pick-pocketing and bag-snatching may occur at major tourist sites, including the Thamel district of Kathmandu.
  • Avoid walking alone after dark, carrying large sums of cash, and wearing expensive jewelry.
  • See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Violent Crimes:

  • There are reports of sexual assaults involving foreigners, including popular tourist areas of Kathmandu and Pokhara.
  • Foreigners have occasionally had sedative drugs placed in their food or drink by individuals who seek to rob or otherwise take advantage of them. Solo travelers, especially women, should take extra precautions to ensure their personal safety.
  • Nepali police forces may have limited resources to deter and investigate crimes. Their services are often not up to Western standards. Many criminal cases reported to the police remain unresolved.
  • U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

Victims of Crime:

Report crimes to the local police by dialing “100.” This number is equivalent to “911” in the United States, and it is staffed 24/7 by the local police. When calling the emergency number, you should speak slowly and clearly so that your message gets across to the official without misunderstanding. Tourist Police have good English language capabilities and also stand ready to assist in popular tourism areas. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime. For additional general information, visit the State Department’s webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

U.S. citizen victims of crime in Nepal may always contact the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu for assistance. Sexual assault victims might be more comfortable contacting the embassy before reporting the crime to local authorities. In the event of a crime, the embassy can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

For Additional Information:

ALL /
ALL /
Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Arrests and Consequences:

You are subject to local laws. If you break local laws in Nepal, your U.S. passport will not help you avoid arrest or prosecution. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. If you are arrested in Nepal, the authorities may keep you in detention for weeks or even longer during the investigation stage, if a court so orders. Punishment for violations of criminal laws in Nepal range from fines to imprisonment, depending on the crime. Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification:

If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately.

Driving Under the Influence:

Driving in Nepal after consuming any amount of alcohol could land you in jail.

Firearms and Ammunition:

You may not bring any kind of firearm into Nepal under Nepali law. Violators who bring in firearms or ammunition – even imitations or in jewelry form – may be prosecuted.

SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES

TREKKING IN NEPAL

Solo Trekking:

The U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu strongly discourages U.S. citizens from hiking alone or becoming separated from larger traveling parties while on a trail. Solo trekking can be dangerous and has contributed to injuries and death. Solo trekkers are also more vulnerable to criminals. Nepali authorities periodically consider a ban on solo or independent trekking because of safety concerns. If a ban is implemented, all trekkers would be required to use approved guides and/or porters hired through authorized trekking agencies. Consideration of this policy comes in response to incidents over recent years in which a number of foreign visitors (including U.S. citizens) have been attacked or seriously injured while trekking alone, even on popular trails. Foreigners, including U.S. citizens, have also gone missing while trekking alone. Extensive search efforts are not always successful in tracing the trekker’s whereabouts. The safest option for trekkers is to join an organized group and/or use a reputable trekking company that provides an experienced guide and porters who communicate in both Nepali and English.

Natural Disaster Risks:

Trekking in Nepal comes with the risk of natural disaster. Trekkers should be alert to the possibility of avalanches, landslides, and falling rocks, even when trails are clear. These risks existed prior to the April 2015 earthquake and its aftershocks, which have further destabilized some mountainous areas, causing severe landslides in some affected areas. Monsoon rains, which generally begin in June and largely end in September, may destabilize steep slopes and mountainsides. During the monsoon season, floods and landslides regularly damage travel infrastructure and telephone services, complicating efforts to locate U.S. citizens and make arrangements for medical evacuations. We encourage travelers to consult carefully with their travel and trekking agencies for current, location-specific information and to heed warnings of potential danger. We recommend providing family or friends with a detailed itinerary prior to trekking and checking in at all police checkpoints where trekking permits are logged. U.S. citizens are also encouraged to check the Embassy Kathmandu website for the latest security information and to register their itinerary through the STEP enrollment process. Before leaving Kathmandu, trekkers can check with the Himalayan Rescue Association (phone: +977-1-444-0292/444-0293) for reliable information about trail conditions and potential hazards of traveling in the Himalayas.

Altitude Risks:

The U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu strongly recommends that U.S. citizens exercise caution when trekking at high altitudes. Many popular trekking routes in Nepal cross passes as high as 18,000 feet. Only experienced mountain climbers should tackle the Himalayas. Acclimatization is best achieved by walking slowly, rather than hurrying to cover the distance at high altitudes. Without acclimatization, trekkers of all ages, experience, and fitness levels can experience acute mountain sickness (AMS), which can be deadly. Speak with your doctor or medical professionals in Kathmandu for specific recommendations.

Lodging and Travel:

During peak trekking seasons, generally spring and autumn, hotel rooms may become scarce. U.S. citizens should make advance booking for hotel rooms and be aware of possible flight/airport delays. Domestic air flight cancellations and delays occur frequently because of bad weather, including to and from Lukla (gateway to the Everest Base Camp trek) and Jumla (gateway to the Mustang region). Travelers should leave ample time to catch their outbound international flights if they plan to connect from domestic flights. U.S. citizens should be aware that many hotels in Nepal do not meet international fire or earthquake safety standards.

TIMS Card:

The Government of Nepal has authorized the Trekking Agency Association of Nepal (TAAN) and the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) to implement a system for foreign hikers called the Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS). Foreign visitors on hiking trips in Nepal, including those not with organized hiking groups, are required to have a valid TIMS card issued by TAAN, its member agencies, or NTB. In case of an emergency, this system helps authorities ascertain the whereabouts of trekkers. TIMS cards cost the Nepali rupees equivalent of $20 USD (if applying individually) or the Nepali rupees equivalent of $10 USD (if applying in a group) through authorized trekking companies, the TAAN office in Kathmandu or Pokhara, and the NTB office. Local agencies that organize treks often will facilitate obtaining your TIMS card.

Special Permits:

Trekking in certain remote areas of Nepal and in national parks may require additional permits or fees. Travelers may consult with an experienced tour agency, or consult the website of the Nepali Department of Immigration for more information.

Other Outdoor Activities:

Nepal offers many exciting outdoor activities that come with a variety of risks. Several tourists have drowned while swimming in Phewa Lake near Pokhara and other lakes in Nepal because of flash floods triggered by monsoon rains, or after becoming entangled in submerged tree branches or roots. Incidents of boats capsizing on choppy water have also occurred. Visitors should wear life jackets. Paragliding and ultralight aircraft tourism have become popular in Pokhara and many new companies offer such services. U.S. citizens should weigh the risks involved with paragliding and ultralight aircraft travel; safety standards may or may not meet international best practices. There are also a number of deep and dangerous ravines not clearly visible to pedestrians in Pokhara city, mainly in the outlying areas. Some local residents and foreigners have fallen into these ravines and sustained serious injuries or died.

Volunteering:

Some visitors to Nepal wish to volunteer at orphanages or other organizations in an effort to help disadvantaged persons – especially children. Others try to help by donating cash or goods. While the Embassy applauds this generous spirit, we are aware of reports that many such opportunities – especially those involving volunteering at orphanages or “children’s homes” – are not in fact charities. Instead, they are for-profit enterprises set up to attract donations from abroad and financial support from volunteers. Many of the children are reportedly not orphans, and volunteering at such an organization may indirectly contribute to child exploitation. Prospective volunteers in Nepal may wish to read a recent report prepared by a U.S.-based NGO in Nepal regarding ethical volunteering, with a focus on issues relating to “voluntourism.” It can be difficult even for those with significant experience in Nepal to determine which organizations provide authentic and valuable opportunities for well-meaning volunteers, and which manipulate goodwill for profit. With respect to orphanages or children’s homes, the Nepali Central Child Welfare Board can help confirm an organization’s legitimacy. You can direct inquiries to Ms. Namuna Bhusal, namuna@ccwb.gov.np, +977-9851139474. The CCWB also handles complaints against children’s homes. U.S. citizens should be aware that the Government of Nepal has limited resources to monitor and regulate non-profit organizations. If you are not certain about an organization, you may want to consider routing contributions through a reputable national or international charity to avoid the possibility that your time and money could unknowingly support the exploitation of children. Learn more best practices for volunteering abroad.

Currency:

Nepal has a controlled or fixed currency exchange rate under which the Nepalese Rupee is pegged to the Indian Rupee. The Government of Nepal requires travelers to declare either the import or export of currency that exceeds $5,000 USD in value by filling out a customs declaration form. Travelers may also face difficulties if traveling with a large quantity of valuables, such as gold and jewelry. Carrying more than 50 grams of gold or 500 grams of silver may result in arrest at a port of entry. The Embassy is not aware of any banks or money exchange offices in Nepal that accept U.S.-issued travelers checks or cash U.S. checks. Accordingly, travelers should consider alternative methods of accessing local currency (e.g., exchanging cash U.S. dollars for Nepali rupees at a bank or money exchange office, or withdrawing rupees from an ATM). The Nepalese Department of Customs has reported an increased number of foreigners arrested for currency violations – generally for bringing in cash in excess of $5,000 USD without making a formal declaration. Travelers should ensure that they keep a copy of the declaration form after customs officials have put the official endorsement and appropriate stamps on the form to prevent any problems upon departure. Please note that this requirement is subject to change and travelers should contact the Embassy of Nepal in Washington, D.C. to obtain the latest information. Consequences for violating this requirement generally include seizure of all cash, gold, or jewelry carried, as well as fines and imprisonment. It is illegal to possess 500 or 1,000 Indian Rupee notes in Nepal. Accordingly, travelers coming to Nepal from India who hope to change Indian currency into Nepali Rupees are advised to bring 100 Indian Rupee notes or lower denominations only.

Customs:

Nepal customs regulations are complex. Customs authorities enforce strict regulations concerning importation (even temporary importation) into Nepal and exportation from Nepal of items such as:

  • valuable metals
  • articles of archaeological and religious importance
  • wildlife and related articles
  • drugs
  • arms and ammunition
  • communications equipment.

Items purported to be for donation to schools, hospitals, and other social organizations have sometimes been confiscated, or cleared only after payment of a significant fine for failure to obtain prior approval from the Ministry of Finance. Those wishing to donate items to a charity or any organization in Nepal must obtain prior approval for waiver of the custom fees from the Ministry of Finance by sending a formal request letter (not via email) to the following address: 

    Revenue Secretary
    Ministry of Finance
    Singha Durbar
    Kathmandu, Nepal
    Tel: +977-1-4211400
    Fax: +977-1-4211605

The request should include detailed information about the items to be imported, as well as the organizations receiving the donations. The Revenue Secretary will review the request and refer it to the Ministerial level for final decision and approval. Note that all requests are processed on a case-by-case basis. It is highly recommended that intended recipient(s) coordinate with the Ministry to get requests processed. Please see additional information about Customs and Import Restrictions.

Dual Nationality:

Nepal does not recognize dual nationality. Accordingly, when a Nepali citizen naturalizes as a U.S. citizen, he/she loses his/her Nepali citizenship. Some travelers who have tried to maintain both U.S. and Nepali passports have faced difficulties entering or exiting Nepal. U.S. citizens of Nepali descent may be eligible for a special visa called a “Non-Resident Nepali” or “NRN” Identity Card. The NRN Identity Card allows a holder to open a local bank account, invest, and own certain types of property, subject to certain restrictions. For more information, contact the Nepali Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Embassy of Nepal in the United States.

Natural Disasters:

Nepal lies on an active fault zone and is considered at high-risk for major earthquakes, as demonstrated by the April 2015 earthquake that caused extensive damage in the Kathmandu Valley and many other districts. Lack of adequate emergency response vehicles, equipment, and medical facilities, combined with building codes that are not strictly enforced, multiply the extent of possible catastrophic damage from a major earthquake, especially in the Kathmandu Valley. Nepal is also prone to flooding and landslides. The Government of Nepal’s ability to respond in the event of a natural disaster may be limited. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Faith-Based Travelers:

See the following webpages for details:

LGBTI Rights:

Same-sex sexual activity is not criminalized and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons in Nepal actively and openly advocate for their rights. Nepal, however, remains a conservative and traditional society. Discrimination exists and there have been reports of non-violent harassment of LGBTI persons. Accordingly, LGBTI travelers may wish to be discreet and avoid public displays of affection. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our  Human Rights report for additional details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance:

While in Nepal, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation difficult. Nepali law prohibits discrimination against persons who have physical and mental disabilities, including discrimination in employment, education, access to health care, and in the provision of other state services. The law mandates access to buildings, transportation, employment, education, and other state services, but these provisions generally are not enforced. Nepal’s poor infrastructure makes it impracticable in many cases for a mobility-impaired traveler to move around the country, including within the Kathmandu Valley. The government is largely ineffective in implementing or enforcing laws regarding persons with disabilities. Except for a few clinics and hospitals, Nepal mostly lacks accessible and appropriate accommodation for individuals with disabilities.

Students:

See the Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers:

See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

ALL /
ALL /
Health

General: Medical care in Nepal is limited and generally not up to Western standards. Medical facilities are often overwhelmed because of insufficient resources. Emergency medical services, especially in public hospitals, are of poor quality compared to that available in the United States. Routine medical issues and basic emergency surgeries can be performed by clinics in Kathmandu. Serious illnesses, however, often require evacuation to the nearest adequate medical facility in a neighboring country. There is minimal mental health care available in Nepal. U.S. citizens with mental health problems are generally stabilized and transported to the United States or to another regional center for care. The U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu maintains a list of local medical facilities and practitioners.

Malaria and intestinal tract diseases, including cholera, are present in the Terai region. Food hygiene and sanitary food handling practices are uncommon in Nepal and precautions should be taken to prevent water and food-borne illnesses.

Stray Dogs:

Stray dogs are common on the streets of Kathmandu. Visitors should be aware that stray dogs, monkeys, and other animals may be infected with rabies. The CDC’s “Preventing Dog Bites” webpage recommends that if you are bitten by a dog, get to a safe place, immediately wash wounds with soap and water, and seek medical attention.

Medical Insurance:

Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas. Learn more at the State Department webpage on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Serious medical issues and injuries suffered while hiking in remote areas may require evacuation by helicopter to Kathmandu. Those trekking in remote areas of Nepal should factor the high cost of a potential helicopter rescue into their financial considerations. We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation, as medical evacuations can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Payment will be expected in cash before the medevac can take place, if there is no insurance coverage. Neither the U.S. Embassy nor the U.S. government pays private medical bills overseas.

Prescription Medication:

Local authorities irregularly enforce restrictions on certain drugs that may regularly be prescribed by doctors in the United States or other foreign countries. To avoid problems, always carry prescription medication in the original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.

Vaccinations:

Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For further health information:

ALL /
ALL /
Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety:

In Nepal, vehicles are driven on the left-hand side of the road. U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions in Nepal that are significantly worse than those found in the United States. The information below is provided for general reference and may not apply in every situation.

In general, roads in Nepal are in poor condition and lack basic safety features, resulting in significant numbers of accidents and fatalities. Traffic is poorly regulated and traffic jams are common on major streets. The volume of vehicles on the roads is increasing faster than improvements in infrastructure. Many drivers are neither properly licensed nor trained, vehicles are poorly maintained, and public vehicles are often overloaded.

Nighttime Travel:

You should avoid nighttime road travel outside the Kathmandu Valley and minimize nighttime travel within Kathmandu because of insufficient street lighting and hazardous road conditions.

Motorcycle Travel:

Deaths from motorcycle accidents have risen dramatically in recent years, and U.S. citizens should consider avoiding riding motorcycles in Nepal, particularly on highways.

Buses:

Long-distance buses often drive recklessly, and bus accidents involving multiple fatalities are not uncommon. It is dangerous to travel on the roofs of buses as live electrical and other communications wires hang low in many places. Traffic police also impose fines and detain individuals for riding on the roofs of buses.

Taxis:

Visitors throughout Nepal, including in Kathmandu, are encouraged to use metered taxis and avoid public buses and microbuses. Many taxi drivers will refuse to use the meter, insisting on negotiating the price instead. In addition, there have been instances of taxi drivers tampering with the meters in an attempt to charge higher than normal fares. If you believe that you are being overcharged, you may wish to file a complaint with the traffic police on the street or at the nearest local police station.

Pedestrian Travel:

Sidewalks are nonexistent in many areas and drivers generally do not yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. Pedestrians account for a considerable portion of traffic fatalities in Nepal. 

For more information, please visit our Road Safety page. 

Aviation Safety and Oversight:

As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Nepal, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Nepal’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Domestic air safety is a concern. In recent years, there have been a number of fatal plane crashes on domestic routes in Nepal, including some crashes in which U.S. citizens have been killed.  Peace Corps Nepal prohibits Volunteers from flying into Nepal’s mountain airports, including Lukla and Jomson, which are notoriously dangerous due to challenging weather and terrain. As a result of Nepal’s poor aviation safety record, in December 2013 the European Union (EU) banned all Nepali airlines from flying into or within EU countries. Although Nepali domestic flights are insured, payments to the families of victims of a plane crash are minimal.  Domestic air travelers may want to consider flight insurance that will cover domestic flights in Nepal before leaving home.

Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
No
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
No
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
ALL /
ALL /
Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Kathmandu

Maharajgunj
Kathmandu, Nepal
Telephone: +(977)(1) 423-4000 or 400-7200
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(977)(1) 423-4000
Fax: +(977)(1) 400-7272
Email: 

ALL /
ALL /
General Information

For information concerning travel to Nepal, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Nepal.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA). The report is located here.

ALL /
ALL /
Hague Abduction Convention

Nepal is not a signatory to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention), nor are there any bilateral agreements in force between Nepal and the United States concerning international parental child abduction.

ALL /
ALL /
Return

Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country. The government of Nepal maintains information about custody, visitation, and family law on the Internet.

Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Nepal and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.

The Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children's Issues provides assistance in cases of international parental child abduction. For U.S. citizen parents whose children have been wrongfully removed to or retained in countries that are not U.S. partners under the Hague Abduction Convention, the Office of Children's Issues can provide information and resources about country-specific options for pursuing the return of or access to an abducted child. The Office of Children's Issues may also coordinate with appropriate foreign and U.S. government authorities about the welfare of abducted U.S. citizen children. Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance.

Contact information:

U.S. Department of State 
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's Issues
CA/OCS/CI 
SA-17, 9th Floor 
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Website:  travel.state.gov
Email: NSB-IPCA@state.gov

Parental child abduction is not a crime in Nepal.  

Parents may wish to consult with an attorney in the United States and in the country to which the child has been removed or retained to learn more about how filing criminal charges may impact a custody case in the foreign court.  Please see Possible Solutions - Pressing Criminal Charges for more information.

ALL /
ALL /
Visitation/Access

 

 

ALL /
ALL /
Retaining an Attorney

Neither the Office of Children’s Issues nor consular officials at the U.S. Embassy or Consulates in Nepal are authorized to provide legal advice.

The U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal, posts a list of attorneys, including those who specialize in family law.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney.The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

ALL /
ALL /
Mediation

The Department is unaware of any mediation programs currently available for international child abduction cases in Nepal.

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
No
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
ALL /
ALL /
Hague Convention Information

Nepal is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention).  Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Hague countries are processed in accordance with 8 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 204.3 as it relates to orphans as defined under the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 101(b)(1)(F). Under the Intercountry Adoption Universal Accreditation Act (UAA), which became effective on July 14, 2014, the accreditation requirement and standards, which previously only applied in Convention cases, now also apply in non-Convention or “orphan” cases. The UAA requires that an accredited or approved adoption service provider acts as a primary provider in every case, and that adoption service providers providing adoption services on behalf of prospective adoptive parents be accredited or approved, or be a supervised or exempted provider. Adoption service providers and prospective adoptive parents should review the State Department’s Universal Accreditation Act of 2012 webpage for further information. Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Convention countries continue to be processed under the Orphan Process with the filing of the Forms I-600A and I-600. However, adoption service providers should be aware of the information on the USCIS website on the impact on Form I-600A and Form I-600 adjudications under the UAA, including the requirement that all home studies, including home study updates and amendments, comply with the Convention home study requirements, which differ from the orphan home study requirements that were in effect before July 14, 2014.

On August 6, 2010, the U.S. Department of State and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) suspended processing of new adoption cases from Nepal which involve children who are claimed to have been found abandoned.  Evidence presented in support of the claim that these children are abandoned in Nepal is overwhelmingly unreliable.  Cases involving relinquishment by known birth parent(s) are not affected by the suspension.

Due to concerns regarding the reliability of Nepal's adoption system, any relinquishment cases received by the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu will require complex investigations, which may include birth parent interviews and DNA testing. Although we have not yet received any such cases, and cannot estimate the amount of time needed for any individual investigation, we caution that investigations may require significant time and expenses that would likely raise the overall costs for prospective adoptive parents.

In addition, Nepal’s Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare announced that an approval for intercountry adoption of so-called “foundling” children from the street would not be granted effective January 5, 2011 (2067.9.21 BS) onwards. (See Inter-country Adoption Management Development Board (ICAB) website.)  This ban on adoption of “foundling” street children does not apply to children found abandoned in other contexts (e.g., a child abandoned in a hospital).

Prospective adoptive parents are strongly encouraged to read the August 14, 2012 notice concerning adoptions in Nepal before making a decision to pursue an adoption in Nepal.

U.S. IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTIONS

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Nepal, you must meet eligibility and suitability requirements.  The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) determines who can adopt under U.S. immigration law.

Additionally, a child must meet the definition of orphan under U.S. immigration law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States on an IR-3 or IR-4 immigrant visa.

ALL /
ALL /
Who Can Adopt

In addition to U.S. immigration requirements, you must also meet the following requirements in order to adopt a child from Nepal:

  • Residency:  None.
  • Age of Adopting Parents:  The age difference between the prospective parents and the prospective adoptive child must be at least 30 years.
  • Marriage:  The couple must have been married for at least four years prior to filing an adoption application.  Single women between the age of 35 and 55 may also adopt.  Single men may not adopt.  Nepal will not approve adoptions to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex couples.
  • Income:  Prospective adoptive parents must submit financial statements that certify property and income sources.  No minimum amount of income is stated in the requirements.
  • Other:  Prospective adoptive parents who currently have a biological or adopted child living in their home may only adopt a child of the opposite sex who is younger than the child living in their home.  The only exception is if the prospective adoptive parents are adopting the sibling of a child who they have previously adopted.
ALL /
ALL /
Who Can Be Adopted

In addition to U.S. immigration requirements, Nepal has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption:

  • Relinquishment:  Nepal will process intercountry adoptions for relinquished children.
  • Under Nepali law, single mothers, or married mothers who have been left by their husbands, must meet stringent requirements regarding the relinquishment of their children for adoption.  Birth fathers have twelve years from the child's birth to claim the child and assert custody rights.  Unless a mother identifies the father and he agrees, in writing, to the child's adoption, the child will not be eligible for adoption.  This can result in uncertainties as to a whether a child is actually eligible for adoption and may result in further investigations and delays.

    Birth parent(s) may not relinquish their child directly to an orphanage.  They must relinquish the child to the Child Welfare Authority at the Chief District Office (CDO) of each district.  The Child Welfare Authority operating under the CDO, rather than the courts, has the authority to determine the subsequent legal guardianship of the child.  The court system in Nepal does not have jurisdiction over legal guardianship or adoption issues.  Each CDO reports directly to the Nepal Home Ministry (central government).  There are 75 districts in Nepal, and each of the districts has a CDO.  It is the understanding of the U.S. Embassy that the Child Welfare Authority of the CDO will assign guardianship to an orphanage or children’s home before the child is eligible for intercountry adoption.

  • Abandonment:  On January 5, 2011, the Government of Nepal, Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare in its Notice No. 1 announced that children found by the police will not be available for intercountry adoption until further notice.
  • Age of Adoptive Child:  Children under the age of 16 may be adopted.  Please note that in order for a child to meet the definition of orphan under U.S. immigration law, a Form I-600 petition must be filed on the child’s behalf while the child is under the age of 16 (or under the age of 18 if adopted or to be adopted together with a biological sibling under the age of 16).
  • Sibling Adoptions:  If the prospective adoptive parents already have a child or children, Nepal government regulations state that only a Nepali child of the opposite sex of their biological child or children can be matched.  Siblings of the opposite sex can be adopted together if other qualifications are met.  The Government of Nepal does not have a policy to keep siblings together.
  • Special Needs or Medical Conditions:  Children with special needs or medical conditions can be adopted by prospective adoptive parents who are approved to adopt special needs children.
  • Waiting Period or Foster Care:  Children are required to have been in the orphanage or children's home for a minimum of 90 days before they are eligible to be matched for intercountry adoption.

Caution:  Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that not all children in orphanages or children’s homes are adoptable.  In many countries, birth parents place their child(ren) temporarily in an orphanage or children’s home due to financial or other hardship, intending that the child return home when this becomes possible.  In such cases, the birth parent(s) have rarely relinquished their parental rights or consented to their child(ren)’s adoption.

ALL /
ALL /
How to Adopt

Nepal’s Adoption Authority
Intercountry Adoption Management Development Board, under the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare

The Process

The process for adopting a child from Nepal generally includes the following steps:

  1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider
  2. Apply to be found eligible to adopt
  3. Be matched with a child
  4. Adopt the child in Nepal
  5. Apply for the child to be found eligible for orphan status
  6. Bring your child home

1.  Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider

For most prospective adoptive parents, the recommended first step in adopting a child is to decide whether or not to use a licensed adoption service provider in the United States that can help you with your adoption.  Adoption service providers must be licensed by the U.S. state in which they operate.  The Department of State provides information on selecting an adoption service provider on its website.  Nepal requires all adoption applications (dossiers) to be submitted either by a Nepali approved international adoption service provider or through a foreign diplomatic mission (embassy) in Nepal.

Note:  While Nepali law permits authorized adoption service providers and foreign diplomatic missions to submit adoption dossiers on behalf of prospective adoptive parents, the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu cannot execute “cover letters” or submit dossier documents to the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MOWCSW) on behalf of prospective adoptive parents.  Accordingly, the only method available at this time to submit an application for adoption of a Nepali child is to engage an adoption service provider that is authorized by MOWCSW to facilitate adoptions in Nepal.  A list of U.S. adoption service providers authorized to facilitate adoptions in Nepal is available at the Inter-country Adoption Management Development Board (ICAB) website. Before embarking on an adoption in Nepal, prospective adoptive parents are strongly urged to confirm that their adoption service provider is currently authorized to facilitate adoptions in Nepal.

2.  Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt

In order to adopt a child from Nepal, you will need to meet the requirements of the Government of Nepal and U.S. immigration law.  You must submit an application to be found eligible to adopt with the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare of Nepal.

You may also file an I-600A, Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition with U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to be found eligible and suitable to adopt. As of July 14, 2014, unless an exception applies, the home study must comply with the requirements in 8 CFR 204.311 and 22 CFR Part 96.47

Prospective adoptive parents will sign many documents throughout the adoption process.  Many of these documents are in Nepali, and English translations are not routinely provided.  Parents are encouraged to have documents translated before they are signed.  The U.S. Embassy requires both the original and the official translation of all case documents at the time of the immigrant visa interview.  Prospective adoptive parents may contact the U.S. Embassy in Nepal at adoptionsnepal@state.gov for a list of the required documents, which may differ depending on how the child became orphaned.

3.  Be Matched with a Child

If you are eligible to adopt, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, the Ministry of Women and Child Social Welfare will provide you with a referral.  Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of and provide a permanent home for a particular child.

The child must be eligible for adoption according to Nepal’s requirements, as described in the Who Can Be Adopted section. The child must also meet the definition of orphan under U.S. immigration law.

4.  Adopt the Child in Nepal:

The process for finalizing the adoption in Nepal generally includes the following:

  • Role of the Adoption Authority:  The Intercountry Adoption Management Development Board (ICAB), under the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, is designated as the central authority for all issues relating to intercountry adoptions for the Government of Nepal.  ICAB is responsible for accepting and processing all applications for intercountry adoptions and determining whether prospective adoptive parents are eligible and suitable to adopt a Nepali child.  They are also responsible for overseeing the matching of Nepali children by either the Central Child Welfare Board (CCWB) or the Nepal Children’s Organization (Bal Mandir) with prospective adoptive parents, granting adoptions. and issuing all final adoption and travel documents.
  • Role of the Court:  None.
  • Role of Adoption Agencies:  Adoption service providers that have been approved by the Government of Nepal to facilitate the processing of intercountry adoptions are responsible for submitting the prospective adoptive parents’ dossier and other required documents through their local representative to the Ministry of Women and Child Social Welfare.  Adoption service providers must also act as the main point of contact for the Ministry as the adoption process proceeds.  They provide the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu with any documents required in connection with the filing of either the prospective adoptive parents’ Form I-600 petition or immigrant visa application.  Adoption service provides may also fill other significant roles during the adoption process.
  • Adoption Application:  A Nepali approved U.S. adoption service provider should submit the prospective adoptive parents’ application to adopt a Nepali child (dossier) to Nepal’s Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare.
  • Time Frame:  The process, from the approval of the I-600A to the approval of the adoption by the Nepali government, varies in length and is impossible to predict.  Changes in the security situation or the government may cause additional delays.
  • Adoption Fees:  The Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare charges a fee of $3,000 for the adoption of an orphan from Nepal.  Orphanages charge a $5,000 fee.  Many adoptive parents have reported that orphanages have charged them additional, unexpected fees after they arrived in Nepal.  Prospective adoptive parents are advised to obtain detailed receipts for all fees and donations paid to orphanages, either by the parents directly or through their U.S. adoption service provider.  The U.S. Embassy requires a copy of receipts and information on fees paid in the United States and in Nepal at the time of the immigrant visa interview. The UAA and the Intercountry Adoption Act (IAA) make it unlawful to improperly influence relinquishment of parental rights, parental consent relating to adoption of a child, or a decision by an entity performing Central Authority functions.
  • Documents Required:
    • The Nepal Government requires all prospective adoptive parents to submit a so-called "Guarantee Letter.”  This letter, which becomes part of the dossier that is submitted to the Ministry of Women and Child Social Welfare, serves to confirm for the Nepal government that the prospective adoptive parents are approved by the U.S. government to be adoptive parents and that, if legally qualified, the child will be eligible to immigrate to the United States.  To request the issuance of a “Guarantee Letter”, please email the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu at adoptionsnepal@state.gov and include the subject line, “Guarantee Letter Request” in your message.  (Please note that this “Guarantee Letter” is not the same as the dossier “cover letter” also required by the Ministry.  Issuance of a “cover letter” is discussed above under “Choose an Adoption Service Provider.”)
    • The full names of the prospective adoptive parents, dates of birth, passport numbers, and permanent legal address are required for inclusion in the Guarantee Letter.  In addition, the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu needs to have on file a valid, approved I-600A before it can issue a Guarantee Letter.
    • At an unspecified time after accepting a referral, the Government of Nepal will issue a “travel authorization” letter to the prospective adoptive parents.  It is only upon receipt of this “travel authorization” that the Government of Nepal will allow the prospective adoptive parent to complete the adoption.

Note:  Additional documents may be requested.

  • Authentication of Documents:  You may be asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic.  If so, the Department of State, Authentications Office may be able to assist.

5.  Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Orphan Status

The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must determine whether the child meets the definition oforphan under U.S. immigration law.  You will need to file a Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative.  USCIS has implemented special instructions for filing a Form I-600 on behalf of a Nepali child.  Under these special instructions, prospective adoptive parents are required to file their Form I-600 petition with the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu, and the Embassy must  complete a Form I-604 Determination on Child for Adoption (informally referred to as the “orphan investigation”) before the Form I-600 petition can be approved.  If the consular officer determines that the Form I-600 petition is not clearly approvable, it must be sent to the USCIS office in New Delhi, India for further review and action.  Please refer to uscis.gov for Special Instructions for How and When to File Adoption Petitions on Behalf of Nepali Children.

6.  Bring Your Child Home

Once your adoption is complete, you need to apply for several documents for your child before you can apply for a U.S. immigrant visa to bring your child home to the United States:

Birth Certificate
Adoptive parents must have the child’s original Nepali birth certificate.  This is the “Birth Registration Certificate” that is included in your child’s dossier for adoption that is kept on file at your child’s orphanage.

Each municipality issues birth certificates.  Municipalities will not issue an amended birth certificate showing the adoptive parents as the child’s legal parents.  Copies of the original birth certificate will not be released by the municipality to the adoptive parents.  Parents can obtain a copy of their child’s birth certificate from the Children’s Home where their child resided before adoption, or, if they require multiple copies, may seek the assistance of a Nepali notary who can obtain copies for a nominal fee.

Nepali Travel Document
Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Nepal.  Once the adoption is finalized, the Intercountry Adoption Management Development Board will issue the adoption decree and a letter addressed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs requesting a travel document for your child.  Generally, the Nepali travel document is valid only for one-way travel to the United States and countries en route.  Please note that this is not a Nepali passport; the travel document is a limited document allowing passage only to the country where the adoptive parents reside.

U.S. Immigrant Visa
After you obtain the new birth certificate and Nepali travel document for your child, and you have filed Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as an Immediate Relative, you then need to apply for a U.S. immigrant visa for your child from the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu.  This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you.  As part of this process, the Consular Officer must be provided the Panel Physician’s medical report on the child. At the time you file your Form I-600 petition, the adjudicating officer will determine whether the UAA applies or if your case is UAA grandfathered. For more information on UAA grandfathering and transition cases, please see Universal Accreditation Act of 2012. Unless an exception applies, you must identify a primary provider in your case and the adjudicating officer may ask for the name and contact information of the primary provider if not provided in your Form I-600 petition. This information is required and, without it, your Form I-600 petition cannot be approved.

You can find instructions for applying for an immigrant visa on the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu’s website.

Note:  You must have an approved Form I-600 petition before an IR-3 or IR-4 immigrant visa may be issued.  You may file your Form I-600 petition at the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu, provided you have a valid, approved Form I-600A on record.  Please refer to uscis.gov for Special Instructions for How and When to File Adoption Petitions on Behalf of Nepali Children.

U.S. citizens should make appointments with the Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu by calling (+977-1- 423-4500) or emailing (adoptionsnepal@state.gov) in advance.  The Consular Section is open for routine American Citizen Services Monday through Friday (except U.S. Federal and certain Nepali holidays) from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

U.S. Embassy Kathmandu accepts payments for consular services by cash, either in U.S. dollars or Nepal rupees, or by most credit cards.  Payments are only accepted at the U.S. Embassy Kathmandu’s Consular Section and should not be paid to a third party.

Note:  Visa issuance after the final interview generally takes at least three working days and it will not normally be possible to provide the visa to adoptive parents on the day of the interview.  Adoptive parents should not make final travel arrangements before they receive the visa.

Prospective adoptive parents should also be aware that high levels of visa fraud in Nepal include fabricated documents and genuine documents fraudulently obtained.  As a result, the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu must carefully investigate all orphan visa cases to determine whether the child meets the definition of orphan under U.S. immigration law.  The need for investigations may result in delays in the visa process.  Cases deemed not clearly approvable by the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu will be referred to the USCIS office in New Delhi, India for review.

Since there are no direct flights to the U.S. from Nepal, the U.S. Embassy recommends that adoptive parents confirm with the countries they plan to transit enroute to the U.S. regarding that country’s transit visa requirements, if any, for their Nepali child.  Because your child will travel to the U.S. on a Nepali travel document (not a Nepali passport), visa requirements may vary from those of U.S. citizens.

Child Citizenship Act

For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s entry into the United States:  A child will acquire U.S. citizenship upon entry into the United States if the adoption was finalized prior to entry and the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

For adoptions finalized after the child’s entry into the United States:  An adoption will need to be completed following your child’s entry into the United States for the child to acquire U.S. citizenship.

*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible.  Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting.

Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

ALL /
ALL /
Traveling Abroad

APPLYING FOR YOUR U.S. PASSPORT

U.S. citizens are required by law to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport.  Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy.  The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.

OBTAINING A VISA TO TRAVEL TO NEPAL

In addition to a U.S. passport, you may also need to obtain a visa.  A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit.  Where required, visas are affixed to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation.  To find information about obtaining a visa for Nepal, see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information.

All visitors to Nepal must obtain an entry visa, although in most cases, visas are available upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu.  To find information about obtaining a visa for Nepal, see the Department of State's Country Specific Information.

STAYING SAFE ON YOUR TRIP

Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country you intend to visit.  The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

STAYING IN TOUCH ON YOUR TRIP

When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to enroll with the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  Enrollment makes it possible to contact you if necessary.  Whether there is a family emergency in the United States or a crisis in Nepal, enrollment assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

ALL /
ALL /
After Adoption

Nepal requires that the adopting parents send a yearly progress report relating to the maintenance, education, and health of the adopted child, along with a recently taken postcard sized photograph of the child until the child reaches 16 years of age. Adoptive parents can submit these reports through their adoption agency.

We strongly urge you to comply with Nepal’s post-adoption requirements in a timely manner.  Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process.  Your cooperation will contribute to that country’s positive experiences with U.S. citizen parents.

Post-Adoption Resources
Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption.  There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families.  There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin.  Take advantage of all the resources available to your family— whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.

Here are some places to start your support group search:

Note:  Inclusion of non-U.S. government links does not imply endorsement of contents.

ALL /
ALL /
Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Nepal
Maharajgunj
Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel.:  +977-1- 423-4500
Fax:  +977-1-400-7281
E-mail:  adoptionsnepal@state.gov
Internet:  https://np.usembassy.gov/

Nepal's Adoption Authority
Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare
Singha Durbar
Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel:  +977-1-420-0408
Fax:  +977-1-420-0116
Email:  mail@mowcsw.gov.np
Website:  www.mowcsw.gov.np
(Please note that as of this posting, the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare’s website is under construction.)

Intercountry Adoption Management Development Board (also known as Intercountry Adoption Board)
Singha Durbar
Kathmandu
Nepal
Tel:  +977-1- 420-0328
Fax:  +977-1-420-0328
Email:  contact@icab.com.np
Website:  http://www.icab.gov.np/
ICAB accepts and does the processing of the intercountry adoption applications

Embassy of Federal Republic of Nepal
2131 Leroy Place, N.W.
Washington, D.C.  20008
Tel:  202-667-4550
Internet:  nepalembassyusa.org

Office of Children's Issues
U.S. Department of State
CA/OCS/CI, SA-17A, 9th Floor
Washington, D.C.  20522-1709
Tel:  1-888-407-4747
E-mail:  adoption@state.gov
Internet:  adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures:
National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
Tel:  1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
Internet:  uscis.gov

For questions about filing a Form I-600A or I-600 petition:
National Benefits Center
Tel:  1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-816-251-2770 (local)
Email:  NBC.Adoptions@dhs.gov

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
Visa
Classification
Fee Number
of Entries
Validity
Period
A-1 None Multiple 60 Months
A-2 None Multiple 60 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 24 Months
B-1 None Multiple 60 Months
B-2 None Multiple 60 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 60 Months
C-1 None Multiple 60 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 60 Months
C-2 None Multiple 60 Months
C-3 None Multiple 60 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 60 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2C 2 None Multiple 24 Months
F-1 $200.00 Multiple 60 Months
F-2 $200.00 Multiple 60 Months
G-1 None Multiple 60 Months
G-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-3 None One 3 Months
G-4 None Multiple 12 Months
G-5 1 None Multiple 12 Months
H-1B None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-2A None N/A N/A 3
H-2B None N/A N/A 3
H-2R None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 36 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 36 Months 3
I None Multiple 60 Months
J-1 4 $200.00 Multiple 60 Months
J-2 4 $200.00 Multiple 60 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 $55.00 Multiple 60 Months
L-2 $55.00 Multiple 60 Months
M-1 $200.00 Multiple 60 Months
M-2 $200.00 Multiple 60 Months
N-8 None Multiple 12 Months
N-9 None Multiple 12 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 None Multiple 36 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 36 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 36 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 36 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 36 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 36 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 36 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 36 Months
R-2 None Multiple 36 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
ALL /
ALL /
Country Specific Footnotes

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

ALL /
ALL /
Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

 

 

ALL /
ALL /
General Documents

A person born before 1974 can present his/her citizenship card in order to obtain a birth certificate from the VDC, municipality, sub-metropolitan office, or metropolitan office of each district office.

A person born in or after 1974 can obtain a birth certificate from the birth and death registration office of the concerned municipality, sub-metropolitan office, metropolitan office, or Village Development Committee (VDC) where the person is residing or was residing at the time of his/her birth or death.

Birth, marriage and death certificates contain:

  1. the name of the concerned person(s)
  2. the name of the concerned person’s/persons’ father
  3. the name of the concerned person’s/persons’ mother
  4. the concerned person’s/persons’ place of birth
  5. the concerned person’s/persons’ date of birth
  6. the date the certificate was issued

A marriage certificate (in the case of social marriage) is produced by the concerned VDC or municipality.  A marriage certificate in the case of a civil marriage is produced by the Chief District Office (CDO).

Effective March 2013, documents such as birth, death, marriage and divorce registration certificates are issued in both Nepali and English.  In most cases, the top half of the document will be in Nepali and the bottom half will be in English.

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificates    

  • Available/Unavailable:  Available
  • Fees:  The Government of Nepal’s rate for civil document registration is 50 Nepali rupees. In addition to the 50 Nepali rupee fee, the VDC, municipality, sub-metropolitan office or metropolitan office may add its own local fees to raise revenue.
  • Document Name:  Birth Registration Certificate / Recommendation Certificate / Birth Verification Certificate
  • Issuing Authority: VDC, municipality, sub-metropolitan office, or metropolitan office of each district office
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:  There are several valid formats of typewritten, handwritten, or hybrid (typewritten and handwritten) birth certificates, generally marked with the black-and-white rubber seal or color self–ink stamp of the issuing authority.  The different formats are widely divergent because birth certificates are issued by four different types of offices in each of Nepal’s 75 districts.  Some birth certificates are in English, some are in Nepali, and some are in both languages.  There is no single special seal, color, or format that is uniform across all Nepali birth certificates.
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title: VDC secretary, local registrar, administrator, or chief administrator
  • Registration Criteria: Birth registration certificates are issued at the request of the concerned person or the concerned person's family. Despite the legal requirement, very few parents register the birth of their children at the time of their children’s birth. Birth registration certificates are often issued long after an individual’s actual birth. Birth records issued by hospitals are not considered legal documents, but can be used to obtain a legal birth certificate.
  • Procedure for Obtaining: Registrants must print the required form using the link below and submit it to the one of the appropriate offices at the VDC, municipality, sub-metropolitan office, or metropolitan office where the applicant was born or is currently residing.  The certificate generally contains the parents’ and grandparents’ names, applicant’s name, date, and place of birth. The forms are available online at kathmandu.gov.np.
  • Certified Copies Available: No
  • Alternate Documents: Nepali citizenship card
  • Exceptions: N/A
  • Comments: N/A

 

Death, Burial Certificates

  • Available/Unavailable:  Available
  • Fees:  The Government of Nepal’s rate for civil document registration is 50 Nepali rupees. In addition to the 50 Nepali rupee fee, the VDC, municipality, sub-metropolitan office or metropolitan office may add its own local fees to raise revenue.
  • Document Name: Death Registration Certificate
  • Issuing Authority: VDC, municipality, sub-metropolitan office, or metropolitan office of each district office
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There are several valid formats of typewritten, handwritten, or hybrid (typewritten and handwritten) death certificates, generally marked with the black-and-white rubber seal or color self–ink stamp of the issuing authority.  The different formats are widely divergent because death certificates are issued by four different types of offices in each of Nepal’s 75 districts.  Some death certificates are in English, some are in Nepali, and some are in both languages.  There is no single special seal, color, or format that is uniform across all Nepali death certificates.
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title: VDC secretary, local registrar, administrator, or chief administrator
  • Registration Criteria: Death Registration Certificates are issued at the request of the concerned person's family.
  • Procedure for Obtaining: Registrants need to print the required form using the link below and submit it to the appropriate office at the VDC, municipality, sub-metropolitan office, or metropolitan office where the deceased person was born or resided.  The certificate generally contains the parents’ and grandparents’ names, deceased person’s name, date, and place of birth. The forms are available online at kathmandu.gov.np.
  • Certified Copies Available: No
  • Alternate Documents: Death certificate issued from hospital
  • Exceptions: N/A
  • Comments: N/A
Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificates        

  • Available/Unavailable: Available
  • Fees: The Government of Nepal’s rate for civil document registration is 50 Nepali rupees. In addition to the 50 Nepali rupee fee, the VDC, municipality, sub-metropolitan office or metropolitan office may add its own local fees to raise revenue.
  • Document Name: Marriage Registration Certificate
  • Issuing Authority:  Marriage Certificates (in case of social marriage) should be obtained from the concerned VDC or municipality. A marriage certificate in the case of civil marriage can be obtained only at the Chief District Office (CDO).
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There are several valid formats of typewritten, handwritten, or hybrid (typewritten and handwritten) marriage certificates, generally marked with the black-and-white rubber seal or color self–ink stamp of the issuing authority.  The different formats are widely divergent because marriage certificates are issued by four different types of offices in each of Nepal’s 75 districts.  Some marriage certificates are in English, some are in Nepali, and some are in both languages.  There is no single special seal, color, or format that is uniform across all Nepali marriage certificates.  Even the orientation of Nepali marriage certificates (landscape versus portrait) varies.
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title: VDC secretary, local registrar, administrator, or chief administrator.
  • Registration Criteria: A man and woman seeking to marry must submit an application in the prescribed format at least fifteen days prior to their marriage. At least one member of the couple must have resided in the registration area for at least fifteen days prior to submitting the application.
  • Procedure for Obtaining: Registrants must print the required form using the link below and submit it to the appropriate municipality or VDC registrar’s office for processing.  The forms are available online at kathmandu.gov.np.
  • In order for a Nepali citizen to enter into a legal marriage in Nepal with a U.S. citizen, U.S. Local Permanent Resident, Refugee, or Asylee, the Nepali citizen must first obtain an Affidavit of Eligibility to Marry (also known as a “no objection letter”), which the applicant must submit with the Marriage Certificate Application Form to the CDO in his/her home district, or in the district where the marriage will occur.  An Affidavit of Eligibility is available at the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu at the cost of 50 United States dollars or the equivalent in Nepali rupees.  Please see the following site for additional details: nepal.usembassy.gov.  The CDO will also require witnesses to execute affidavits confirming that the parties are free to marry.  It takes a minimum of 15 working days for the CDO to process the application and issue a marriage certificate.
  • Certified Copies Available: No
  • Alternate Documents: N/A
  • Exceptions: N/A
  • Comments: N/A

 

Divorce Certificates

  • Available/Unavailable:  Available
  • Fees: The Government of Nepal’s rate for civil document registration is 50 Nepali rupees.  In addition to the 50 Nepali rupee fee, the VDC, municipality, sub-metropolitan office or metropolitan office may add its own local fees to raise revenue.
  • Document Name: Divorce Certificate
  • Issuing Authority: VDC, municipality, sub-metropolitan office, or metropolitan office of each district office
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: There are several valid formats of typewritten, handwritten, or hybrid (typewritten and handwritten) divorce certificates, generally marked with the black-and-white rubber seal or color self–ink stamp of the issuing authority.  The different formats are widely divergent because divorce certificates are issued by four different types of offices in each of Nepal’s 75 districts.  Some divorce certificates are in English, some are in Nepali, and some are in both languages.  There is no single special seal, color, or format that is uniform across all Nepali divorce certificates.
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title: VDC secretary, local registrar, administrator, or chief administrator
  • Registration Criteria: Please follow this link: kathmandu.gov.np.
  • Procedure for Obtaining: In order to receive a divorce certificate, an individual must present a copy of a valid, court-issued divorce decree to the VDC, municipality, sub-metropolitan office, or metropolitan office of the district office.
  • Certified Copies Available: No
  • Alternate Documents: N/A
  • Exceptions: N/A
  • Comments:  N/A
Adoption Certificates
  • Available/Unavailable: Available
  • Fees:  The Adoption Processing Fee is US$3,000, payable to the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MOWCSW), plus a US $5,000 Child Care Contribution to the orphanage.  After these fees are paid, the MOWCSW issues a Final Adoption Decree.
  • Document Name:  Final Adoption Decree
  • Issuing Authority: Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:  The color of the decree is white, the title is printed in red, and the document bears the seal of MOWCSW.
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title:  Legal Officer, MOWCSW
  • Registration Criteria:  Please refer to icab.gov.np 
  • Procedure for Obtaining:  Formal, written request to Legal Officer, MOWCSW
  • Certified Copies Available:  No
  • Alternate Documents:  N/A
  • Exceptions: In the rare case when an adoption is legally formalized between Nepali citizens, the Land Revenue Registrar can issue documentation.
  • Comments:   On August 6, 2010, the U.S. Department of State and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) suspended processing of new adoption cases from Nepal which involve children who are claimed to have been found abandoned.  Evidence presented in support of the claim that these children are abandoned in Nepal is overwhelmingly unreliable.  Cases involving relinquishment by known birth parent(s) are not affected by the suspension.  For more information, please see travel.state.gov
ALL /
ALL /
Identity Card
  • Available/Unavailable: Available
  • Fees:  No Fee
  • Document Name:  Citizenship Certificate (also sometimes referred to informally as “National ID”)
  • Issuing Authority: District Administration Office
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Typewritten or handwritten letter with the black-and-white rubber seal of the issuing authority.
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title: District Administration Office
  • Registration Criteria: An applicant may obtain a Citizenship Certificate from the District Administration Office after presenting the birth certificates and Citizenship Certificates of the applicant’s parents. For more information, please see the following site:  moha.gov.np 
  • Procedure for Obtaining:  Please follow this link: daokathmandu.moha.gov 
  • Certified Copies Available: No
  • Alternate Documents: N/A
  • Exceptions: N/A
  • Comments:  Citizenship certificates are issued by all 75 District Administration Offices in Nepal.
Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Records

  • Available/Unavailable: Available to both foreign nationals and Nepali citizens
  • Fees:  No Fee
  • Document Name:  Character Verification Certificate
  • Issuing Authority:  The Nepal Police Headquarters, Character Verification Section, Naxal, Kathmandu
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Typewritten letter with office letterhead, hologram, and the black-and-white rubber seal of the issuing authority.
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Deputy Superintendent of Police / Inspector of Police
  • Registration Criteria: See “Procedure for Obtaining”
  • Procedure for Obtaining:  Follow this link for information and the application form to request a Character Verification Certificate: cid.nepalpolice.gov.np.  Individuals in Nepal may submit their application at any Nepal Police Office listed below. The application will be processed and forwarded to the Police Headquarters, Character Verification Section, Naxal, Kathmandu.


In Kathmandu:

° Sub Unit of Police HQ, Character Verification, Naxal
° Metro Police Commissioners Office, Ranipokhari
° Metro Police Circle Office, Maharajgunj
° Metro Police Range, Bhaktapur
° Metro Police Range, Lalitpur

Outside Kathmandu:

° Police Regional Office, Biratnagar
° Police Regional Office, Hetauda
° Police Regional Office, Pokhara
° Police Zonal Office, Nepalgunj
° Police Zonal Office, Dhangadi

For individuals residing abroad, a family member or relative in Nepal may apply on their behalf at the Police Headquarters, Character Verification Section, Naxal, Kathmandu, Nepal.

  • Certified Copies Available: No
  • Alternate Documents: N/A
  • Exceptions: N/A
  • Comments: N/A

 

Prison Records

  • Available/Unavailable: Generally unavailable.
  • Fees: No Fee
  • Document Name:  Prison Record
  • Issuing Authority: Department of Prison Management (DOPM) / Individual Prison Centers
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format:  Office Stamp
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title: Director General, Director, or Jailer
  • Registration Criteria: N/A
  • Procedure for Obtaining: Applicants must issue a formal request for official purpose
  • Certified Copies Available: No
  • Alternate Documents: N/A
  • Exceptions: N/A
  • Comments:  N/A
Military Records
  • Available/Unavailable: Available for all current and former employees of the Nepal Army.
  • Fees: No fee
  • Document Name:  Military Record
  • Issuing Authority:  Adjutant General, Army Headquarters
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Typewritten or handwritten letter with black and white rubber seal of the issuing authority.
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title:  Adjutant General
  • Registration Criteria: Applicants may submit their applications at the Nepal Army Headquarters or at the Nepal Army Offices where the applicant served.
  • Procedure for Obtaining:  Applicants can submit their applications at the Nepal Army Headquarters or at the Nepal Army Offices where the applicant served.
  • Certified Copies Available: No
  • Alternate Documents: N/A
  • Exceptions: N/A
  • Comments: N/A
Passports & Other Travel Documents
  • Types Available (Regular, Diplomatic, Official, etc.): There are four types of Nepali Travel Documents.  The regular Nepali passport is green, official passport is blue, diplomatic passport is red, and travel document is black.  The validity of regular Nepali passports is ten years.  The validity of diplomatic passports is five years.  The maximum validity of an official passport is ten years; however, the passport expires on the date of the passport holder’s retirement from Nepali government service.  The validity of a travel document is determined on a case-by-case basis but generally will be for one year, and only for a single journey.
  • Fees: 5,000 Nepali rupees to obtain documents on the regular time frame of the District Administration Office and 10,000 Nepali rupees per document for expedited handling (generally within one week).
  • Document Name: Passport / Travel document
  • Issuing Authority:  Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Department of Passports
  • Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: Green, red, blue, and black types (see above), all with various security features described below. The latest versions of machine-readable travel documents and Nepali passports share the same security features. These include:
    • Micro printing on the lines on page 2 (biometrics page) that form the data boxes and on page 3 on the signature line and the three lines for "name and address of the next of kin." Visible under magnification, the micro printing reads in Nepali script “Nepal Passport.” This microprinting will smudge if photocopied or scanned.
    • The laminate covering page 2 contains a row of five blue Nepalese coats of arms along the bottom border. Another row of five coats of arms along the top border of the page is visible only under ultraviolet (UV) light. If the laminate is lifted (as happens when a photograph is switched), this top row will be disturbed.
    • All pages feature four Nepalese coats of arms, one in each corner, visible under ultraviolet light, and each page's number is visible in the center of the page under UV light.
    • The thread holding the book together will also fluoresce under UV light.
    • Each page has a watermark with the letters “SN.”
  • Issuing Authority Personnel Title: District Administration Office
  • Registration Criteria:  Please follow the link at: daokathmandu.moha.gov 
  • Procedure for Obtaining:  Information on obtaining a Nepali passport can be found at: nepalpassport.gov.np 
  • Alternate Documents: N/A
  • Exceptions: N/A
  • Comments: N/A
Other Records

Citizenship Certificate

At the completion of age sixteen, a Nepalese subject can apply to the CDO for a citizenship certificate. This document contains the person's name, the father's name (husband’s name in the case of a married woman if the subject so chooses), the date of birth, and the district where the person resides. The citizenship certificate is the most reliable proof of identity in Nepal. 

Visa Issuing Posts
  • Post Title:  Embassy of the United States of America, Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Address:  Maharajgunj, Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Phone Number:  +977-1-423-4000
  • Visa Services: All visa categories
  • Comments / Additional Information: N/A
Visa Services

All visa categories.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 667-4550 (202) 667-5534

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Kathmandu
Maharajgunj
Kathmandu, Nepal
Telephone
+(977)(1) 423-4000 or 400-7200
Emergency
+(977)(1) 423-4000
Fax
+(977)(1) 400-7272
Nepal Country Map

Learn about your destination
Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.