If you’re Nepalese and you’re flying out of your country in the near future, you will find in no time that your Nepali passport can be a source of perpetual misery every time you travel. From Paris to London, Berlin to New York, Singapore to Tokyo, you will encounter immigration officers who will throw you a look that says “Which continent is Nepal on?”
Indeed, scrutinizing gazes are just one of the unwanted aspects that come with traveling with a Nepalese passport. Their small official flag isn’t the only thing that is unique about this South Asian country; their passports are also a bit different. To begin with, while many governments choose to digitize every possible document they issue, the Nepalese government still wants their people to have their passport information handwritten. Expect, then, inquiring looks before getting past any airport on foreign soil.
If you’re Nepalese and you still don’t have a passport, perhaps it’s time to get one, especially if you’re planning to go out of the country in the near future. First, know which type of passport you should obtain.
There are three types of passports that are issued by the government of Nepal. Choose the one appropriate for you depending on your purpose or position.
Ordinary Passports. Every Nepalese is entitled to an ordinary passport. This type is issued by the concerned District Administration Office. Nepalese citizens abroad can obtain one from the Royal Nepalese Missions. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs may issue ordinary passports as well but only to the following:
- physically sick persons (stated by Nepal Medical Board)
- local employees of any diplomatic mission, other than Kathmandu Valley residents, upon the recommendation of their offices stating that it is not possible for them to obtain passports from the District Administration Office on the account of official duty.
- persons unable to obtain passports from the concerned District Administration Office, as long as there is valid reason.
Diplomatic Passports. Diplomatic passports are used by the following persons for official visits abroad. These have specific period of validity but it can be extended when necessary.
- members of the Royal Family (Her Majesty the Queen, Her Royal Highness the Crown Princess, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, Her Royal Highness Princess, His Royal Highness the Navayubaraja and others)
- members of the entourage of His Majesty the King or other members of the Royal Family visiting another country
- Prime Minister, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Justice, National Assembly Chairperson, Raj Parishad Standing Committee Chairperson, Deputy Prime Minister and others who hold a national government position
- special class officers of the Nepal Civil Service, Royale Palace Service, Royal Nepalese Army and Nepal Police
- gazzatted officers of the Diplomatic Group Administrative Service
- members of the delegation attending the UN General Assembly and its specialized agencies, SAARC Ministerial Meeting and other international and regional summits
- Ambassadors, Permanent Representatives to the UN and other foreign service officers, and their dependent family members.
Note that no fees are collected for diplomatic passport applications.
Official Passports. An official passport is issued to any of the following persons for his or her official visit abroad.
- officers of the Nepal Civil Service, Nepal Police and Royal Palace Service
- Municipal Mayor and District Development Committee Chairperson
- Vice-Chancellors of the Royal Nepalese Academy or any other government university.
Like diplomatic passports, official passports are also exempted from fees.
There are only a few steps to having your much-wanted passport. Make sure that you have all these requirements and you follow their specific rules.
Applicants should pay a sum of NR 5000 as fees per passport document at the concerned issuing office. In the case of the consulates issuing passports, fees may vary as it may be fixed in the foreign country’s local currency.
A Nepalese passport is valid for 10 years from the date of issue. Bear in mind that it is non-renewable. Before the passport expires, you will need to apply for a new one. If you have used all its pages, or you have damaged it accidentally, you can apply for a new one anytime. If you enjoy learning this article, you’ll surely be interested in reading how to prepare for International Travel.