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The Tiger's Nest in Bhutan. Photo by Chelsea Ferrel.

Arrival and immigration information

Dear Students,

We want to provide an overview of your arrival process at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) on February 8th. It might be best for you to print out this Yak or write these details in your journal so you can access this information upon arrival in Nepal.

Once you land, you’ll walk into the immigration area of the airport. Please pick up a “Foreigner” Embarkation Card, fill it out with details from your passport and flight, and sign it. It is possible that your airline staff will have provided you with this card while you are on the flight to Nepal. You can also use the automated machines that you’ll find in the immigration area instead if you are not handed paper cards. You’ll find all the information you need to fill it out on your passport and on your flight ticket, so keep them handy! On this form, you can put Nagarkot for your address.

When you arrive at TIA Airport in Kathmandu, you will find computer kiosks on the left side of the hall (not all of them may be operational). You only need to fill out the required fields. Don’t worry about the non-required fields. Scan your passport, confirm the information it displays, and fill out the form for a 15 day tourist visa. The computer will take your photo. Once the form is completed, the kiosk will print a receipt, which you will bring to the bank counter where you will pay $ 30 US dollars in cash for your 15 day visa. It would be a good idea to have the exact amount for the visa payment as the banks do not always have change for larger bills.

PLEASE NOTE: The visa-issuance counter accepts Visa and Mastercard, but cash is preferred. It is best if you bring $30 cash in US dollars to pay the visa fee. You should bring crisp, clean, untorn, newer bills to pay this fee.

Line up at the immigration booths on the far left, with signs above reading “15 Day tourist visa.” As you go through, hand the official the receipt from the kiosk, the payment receipt from the bank counter, your Embarkation card, and your passport. The immigration official will place a visa in your passport and hand it back to you.

When you have your visa, proceed down the stairs/escalator to the baggage claim hall. You’ll have to pass through a metal detector on the way, placing your hand baggage on a belt for scanning. Once you’re in the baggage hall, find the belt with your flight information above it, and get your bag. It may take some time for them to arrive.

Once you have your bags, leave through the “Green” customs line, with nothing to declare. Please save your airline ticket with the luggage receipts on the back. As you pass through the customs area, an official may check that the bags match the claim tags on your boarding pass as you exit the baggage claim area.

If you have any problems with any part of this process, you can borrow a phone from somebody and call Tsering: 9861345406. If you call from a non-Nepalese phone, add “+977” to the beginning of the number. Michael, Hemant and Tsering will be at the airport to pick you up!

Also, there is no need to change money in the airport (they do not give a good exchange rate). We will give some suggestions on where to exchange USD or take out cash from an ATM later.

Safe travels and see you all very soon!

Michael, Tsering, Hemant and Sharon.