How to get your Indian visa in Kathmandu, step-by step guide

Sebastien Chaneac

We arrived in Kathmandu, geared up and ready to spend our time in Nepal trekking in the mountains. Our first week was mainly taken up getting our Indian tourist visa. The process for getting an Indian visa in Kathmandu is relatively simple, bureaucratic, takes 7 working days and requires 3 visits to the Indian embassy in Kathmandu. This is set out in detail below.

Time needed: 7 days.

Getting an Indian Visa in Kathmandu is easy, you just to follow these simple steps. The whole process takes about 7 working days in total.

  1. Pre-fill the Indian Visa Application form online

  2. Print a copy of your application

  3. Visit the Indian Embassy to validate your application

  4. After 5 working days, return for a second visit to the Indian Embassy

  5. Collect your passport the next working day. Et voilà!

If you are visiting India for less than 60 days, you can actually do this process online, which takes less than 72 hours. You can apply for an E Visa to India on the government website here, no less than 5 days and no more than 30 days before the date of travel. You can also use an agent like iVisa which allows you to apply at anytime. You visa is then processed and and sent to you in as little as 18 hours.

Here is our simple summary based on our experience.

Obtaining Indian visa in Kathmandu
This sign at the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu sets out the process for obtaining an Indian visa.

1. Pre-fill the Indian Visa Application form online

First before doing anything, you need to complete the Indian Visa Application form online.

This is the hardest part simply because Nepal has frequent power cuts and finding reliable internet in Kathmandu is a bit of a challenge. Reliable internet is required because the Indian Embassy website is very slow and frequently crashes.

We recommend Electric Pagoda in Thamel for good internet if your hostel/hotel wifi doesn’t work very well.

The link for the application form on the Indian Embassy’s website can be found here (use Chrome or Internet Explorer).

2. Print a copy of your application

Your hotel should be able to print it out for you, if not you'll easily find an internet café to print it off. Once you've done that, sign it the day before your intended first visit to the embassy.

3. Visit the Indian Embassy to validate your application

The first visit to the Indian Embassy Visa Centre is to give them:

  1. your signed application form
  1. x2 large non passport sized photos (get a local agency to do these)
  1. a copy of your Nepalese visa
  1. a copy of your passport
  1. the visa fee

For the photos and photocopying your passport and Nepal visa, there are a few helpful agencies next door to the Embassy who can do this for you for a nominal fee. We advise getting them to do the photos as the size required for the Indian visa is much larger then a standard passport sized photo.

The Embassy’s Visa Centre is located at the Indian Visa Service Centre, 296 Kapurdhara Marg, Kathmandu (Next to the Embassy of India, Kathmandu).  It's around 15-20 minutes walk North from Thamel (the dark grey area in the map):

Map of the Indian Embassy Visa Centre in Kathmandu
Map of the Indian Embassy Visa Centre in Kathmandu, located around 15-20 minutes walk North from Thamel

The Embassy’s Visa Centre is open between 9:30am to 12pm on Mondays to Fridays:

Public notice of opening times at the entrance
Public notice of opening times at the entrance

We advise getting there before 8:45am to ensure you are one of the first in:

The Indian Visa Centre in Kathmandu
Sebastien arriving early at the Indian Embassy Visa Centre in Kathmandu getting a place at the front f the queue

Once in, you get a ticket, wait your turn in the queue (it’s very quick).

When your number is called, you go to the counter, hand your papers and pay the fee:

The counter at the Indian Embassy's Visa Centre
The counter at the Indian Embassy's Visa Centre

At the counter desk, they will then confirm the date for you to return for visit number 2 with your passport – usually in 5 working days.

Note – the Indian Embassy is closed on Indian public holidays not Nepalese ones.

Here’s the list of Indian public holidays for 2014 for guidance:

Public holidays list for 2014 advertised at the Visa Centre
Public holidays list for 2014 advertised at the Visa Centre

The visa fee is around £30-40 for most countries, except for UK who are charged a whooping 14,150 Nepalese rupees (around £88 / $137)):

Visa prices for various nationals
Visa prices for various nationals – god help you if you're a UK passport holder (!)

4. After 5 days, return for a second visit to the Indian Embassy

After five working days (or the date given to you from your first visit), you return with your passport and visa fee receipt. You hand this to them, collect a receipt and leave.

Same thing applies – arrive early (just before 8:45am) to get in first and leave soon. The queue starts to get quite busy the closer you get to 9:30am.

You will normally be told to return the day after between 5-5:30pm to collect your passport and visa.

5. Collect your passport the next working day

The next working day after your second visit, at 5-5:30pm, you come to collect your passport and visa and voila, you have clearance for India (we were given 3 months):

Nomadic Boys selfie with Indian visa
Nomadic Boys selfie with Indian visa – we have clearance to enter!

Where to stay in Kathmandu?

Thamel is the touristic heart of Kathmandu, so you will not struggle to find a place to stay. To be as close as possible to the Indian embassy, we recommend you stay in a hotel or guesthouse north of Thamel as we did. These are the places we recommend in Kathmandu which were also ok to host LGBTQ travellers and didn't mind two men sharing a double bed:

Travel advice for LGTBQ community

Advice for LGBTQ travellers to Kathmandu

We found Nepal to be one of the most LGBTQ friendly countries in Asia. The Nepalese are such kind, friendly, super curious and welcoming people, especially to foreigners – straight or gay. However, society is still very conservative, so the situation is quite different for LGBTQ locals. All the hotels and guesthouses we approached in Kathmandu did not have an issue hosting LGBTQ travellers, helped largely by the fact that the city is very touristic and has a large international crowd. For more, read our interview with local boy Tilak from Kathmandu about gay life in Nepal.

HOTEL MI CASA   Book online

  • Located in the north of Thamel, this beautiful hotel has very friendly staff and a delicious breakfast.
  • Prices start from $45 / £30 a night with breakfast.

HOTEL ENCOUNTER NEPAL   Book online

  • More budget option, this place is clean and comfortable.
  • Staff is very polite and professional stag.
  • Prices start from $29 / £19 a night.

In January 2014, the Indian government apparently announced informal plans to widen the visa on arrival to a further 180 countries to boost tourism and business (to include most European countries) in mid October 2014.  But, at the date of posting this article (mid October 2014!) nothing has yet transpired on this…

Watch more from our travel in Nepal in our awesome video:

 

Happy travels are safe travels

We recommend you always take out travel insurance before your next vacation. What happens if you suffer from illness, injury, theft or a cancellation? With travel insurance, you can have peace of mind and not worry. We love World Nomads travel insurance and have been using it for years. Their comprehensive coverage is second to none and their online claims process is very user friendly.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation, an activity or your insurance, we’ll earn a small commission. There is never an extra cost to you for using these links and it helps us keep the site going.

Sebastien Chaneac

Sebastien is the co-founder, editor and author of nomadicboys.com. He is a tech geek, a total travel nerd and a food enthusiast. He spends the majority of his time planning Nomadic Boys' travels meticulously right down to the minute details. Sebastien has travelled to over 80 countries with his partner in crime and the love of his life, Stefan. He regularly shares his expertise of what it’s like travelling as a gay couple both on Nomadic Boys and on prominent publications ranging from Pink News, Matador, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian and many more. Originally from France, Sebastien moved to London in the early 2000s where he pursued a career as a computer programmer for Thompson Reuters and Bloomberg. He subsequently left it all to explore his passion for travelling around the world with Stefan to hand, and thus Nomadic Boys was born. Find out more about Nomadic Boys.

102 thoughts on “How to get your Indian visa in Kathmandu, step-by step guide”

  1. Hi!
    Thanks for the informations but I didn’t get for how long the visa is for… Can it be up to 6 months without having to leave the country?
    Thanks! 😊

  2. Hey, I’m flying to Nepal and want to trek the AC. Is it possible to sort the india 90 day visa out before i trek and then collect it when I’m back in KTM?

    You guys had any experience with this?

    Thanks, Ross

  3. Thanks so much for this. I’m heading out of Nepal towards South East Asia on my cycle around the world and this detailed guide really helped!

    All the best with your future travels.

  4. Hello!

    I’m wondering if anyone can help me out. I have a 1 year tourist visa for india expiring on the 3rd of April but I want to get a new tourist visa in nepal.

    Is it possible to get a new visa for 6 months or a year in Kathmandu straight after my old visa expires? (I’m from New Zealand)

    Thanks!

  5. Hello Nomadic Boys
    Me and my boyfriend are planning to go to India after visiting Nepal this summer, l am from Morocco and he is from KSA. Do you think it’s possible to apply for the Indian visa the same way you did or it could be complicated since we are not Europeans?
    Thank you

    • Hi buddy! Anyone can definitely apply for a visa, but I would check with the embassy for the correct requirements and forms to complete for Moroccan citizens 🙂

  6. They have significantly raised the prices. I was there today. For most nationals it’s about 11 000 NPR and for UK nationals it was around 17 000 I think. Just a heads up. Might be worth it to go for the E-visa for 50 bucks instead.

  7. I just got my passport back from the Indian visa service center in Kathmandu. The process was exactly as described here except they gave me six months double entry. I have no idea why.

    I’m a U.S. citizen and the total cost they charged me was 11,180 Nepali rupees.

    Hope that helps someone.

  8. Namaste everyone

    Can I postpone/miss the 2nd interview? Like going for the 1st and then returning or even schedulling it for 2-3 weeks rather than the standard 5 days.

    Great post; congras!

    Blissful wishes to all
    Marcos

  9. Hey i am getting to india via land. So therefore an e-visa is not applicable in this case because this type of visa you is only available at an airport. Do you know if the visa you applied for was okay for people coming into india via the boarder? Or can you help me find out if the visa you get in kathmandu was valid for when entering india via land? Or do you know anyone thats done this? Thanks for the reply!

  10. Hello. I am having a lot of trouble with getting an indian visa but your blog gave me the only piece of hope iv had the entire time iv been researching a way to get the indian visa. How did you travel from nepal to inida?

    • Hi Caroline, we flew from Kathmandu to
      Delhi – mainly due to lack of time, but bus is also a viable alternative we are told by locals if you’re flexible with your time.

  11. Hi Stefan,

    Really informative and helpful post. I am currently budgeting for my visa application, and I noticed that you mentioned that we have to get the services of one of the nearby agencies to help us with the photos, how much do we have to prepare for the payment for the agency?

    Thanks!

    • An agency to get photos?! No thanks – we just did it ourselves in a nearby stationery shop for a few dollars!!

  12. Hello guys! Thank you for your post.. I have 2 more questions: Is the picture uploaded on your online form the same as the picture you tagged onto it? So you first had the photo taken, then printed the form, and tagged the photo onto it? I already uploaded a photo that I am worried is too small – can it be different from the one you paste onto it? Also, do you think it is possible to pick up the paperwork on a later date, as I’d like to submit my application and pick it up after my 10 day Vipasana? 🙂

    • Should be ok. If not they have stationery there to cut it to size or a shop next door to take new pics. We were gonna pick it up after our Annapurna Trek but couldn’t because we needed our passport for it. You should be able to but double check!!

  13. I have a friends who is US citizen
    She coming to India via nepal
    Can she enter in India via nepal if she have both countries visa in USA?
    PLEASE ANSWER

  14. Hey,
    I know I’m a couple of years late to this thread and probably won’t get a response, but here goes nothing..
    I’m Australian, and I’m about to go to India.. I want to go for as long as I can, however I’m restricted by a 6 month tourist visa. Do you know if it’s legal/would work if I’m in India, and just before my tourist visa expires I leave for Nepal, in the meanwhile my indian tourist visa will expire, and then whilst in Nepal apply for another Indian tourist visa and then return back to India once everything is approved?
    Thanks so much
    🙂

    • Hi Dan,

      I’m an Australian as well and wishing to do similar – stay in India for 60 days on the eVisa, then travel to Kathmandu for a 6 month Visa just before the eVisa expires..

      Can you tell me how you went after your 6 months finished?

      Cheers,
      Junior

  15. HI all,
    AM planning to go to Nepal in December from India to get a new tourist visa.
    Not sure its worth the trip if only for 3 month.
    Has anyone got a visa recently?
    Or can anyone suggest another country to go to (and not Bangladesh).
    I am irish citizen.

    Thanks!

  16. Great info. Anybody having experience with 2nd visit after a period longer than those 5 days? Was thinking to go trekking in the meantime and return after 10 days or so. Thank you

  17. Hey guys, thanks for clearing up so many little things! Just wondering if anybody has had experience or difficulties getting a 6 month visa for India in Nepal with an Australian passport? Finding it hard to sift through all the small print, thanks again 🙂

  18. The 30 day visa online costs about £38 , but doesn’t kick in until your arrival. You can get the 6 month visa for £110 but only from within the UK and that starts from when you receive your passport back from the Indian embassy.
    Has anyone actually got a 6 month visa for a UK passport holder from Nepal,? If not, is it possible from anywhere else in southeast Asia?

    Thanks for the info guys, seems a pain in the butt to have to come all the way back to the UK just to get a 6 month visa when your over in that neck of the woods, but hey, that’s India after all .

  19. FYI, they’re now charging UK passport holders a whopping Rs 17,500!!! And only giving 3 month visas these days. But thanks SO much for the great guide, I’m sure I would’ve made at least one unnecessary and wasted trip if I hadn’t read this first.

  20. Hi. Thanks for all the information. I just have one specific question (and sorry if you’ve already cleared it before at some prior comment): have we to upload the passport photo in the form? Or is it just the case to paste it on the form?

    Thanks a lot

    • Valerie said:

      “No one can get student visa outside their own country. You also have to have registration with the institute where you are studying, an “S” form from them and a “C” form from your landlord. Everything is now online and it is a complicated process but not impossible. Just need to follow the rules and have loads of patience!”

    • Normally yes as long as you are planning to study in an institution that is registered in the government of India. You should be able to get one year but then you can easily extend it in India if you have the proper papers. I hope that helps. I tried a couple of years ago. There was no issue with my student visa application, I had all the papers in order but I had an issue with my previous visa so I couldn’t get it at that time. I hope that helps. Cheers.

  21. hey Stefan,
    are you sure? I just heard from someone else that they had to leave their passport there only on the second visit.
    When did you get your visa?

    Cheers

    • We got our in September 2014, so a lot may have changed since. I remember we had to base ourselves a week in Kathmandu for the visa as we wouldn’t have our passport to hand.

    • Yes, normally you give the passport on the second visit in the morning and then you collect it either the same day or next day in the afternoon. They don’t keep the passport the whole week. I’ve done it several times in Kathmandu and Colombo.

      Btw, does anybody know if nowadays they are giving six months or are they only giving three months even if you ask for six? Last time I tried, like three years ago they gave me only three and some other friends have had the same issue.

      Cheers, and thanks for the useful guide 🙂

  22. Hey guys,
    very useful post and comments. Many thanks.

    One question though: on the first visit, will I have to leave my passport there?
    That would pose a problem for me, cause I’m attending a vipassana meditation course right after that first visit and for whatever reason they also require me to leave my original passport with them to attend the course … 🙁

  23. Thanks for the great tips! I’m a resident of Kathmandu, and the tips you’ve mentioned are still a hassle… printing, etc. Good to know about this before I show up there in a couple of days!

  24. Great how-to, thanks for sharing!

    Do you guys know by any chance, if it is also possible to get other visa types from the Indian Consulate in Kathmandu (I’m trying to get a student visa from there) or do they only do tourist-visas?

    The ways of Indian bureaucracy are a big fat enigma to me(;

    Cheers!

  25. Hi guys, very useful info here!
    I am an US citizen. And I was wondering when you applied and you got for example 3 months single entry to India, are you talking about 3 months validity (meaning it starts the day you received it) or 3 months that starts from your entry in India?
    Cheers.

  26. Thanks so much – this is very useful information. I have been wondering about getting tourist visa in Nepal, especially after earthquakes. I noticed that UK citizens could apply for tourist up to 5 years – is this true??? Hard to believe! If anyone can let me know that would be great!

    • Thanks for your comment. Didn’t hear about a 5 years application when we were there, but a lot may have changed since.

    • I know that 5 and 10 year visas are possible, but I don’t know if they’re given from Ktm. I know people who got them in Australia, though.

  27. Hi guys
    Nowadays you can apply visa online 5-6 days before your journey,then they send you a confirmation mail and you have to just take it’s printout and you will be given visa on arrival in INDIA of 6 months.
    Government has reduced the trouble for everyone these days and it is a very efficient process as you don’t have to interact with any bureaucrats nor visit the embassy.
    For more info – https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/index.html
    Cheers

  28. So complicated and all over the place in true Indian fashion. Totally not a “visa on arrival”, have been confused by this myself. Let us know if it’s worth all the hassle!

  29. Hi guys! Super useful post! Thanks for explaining the process in such a straightforward way. By the way, UK nationals are now eligible or the ‘Visa on Arrival’ which deceptively you do have to apply for in advance so it’s not truly visa on arrival.

  30. U.S. citizen here. I can confirm that Americans are paying the 10 year fee, 11,100 npr, and receiving a measly 3 month single entry. Wish I would have read the comments before coming here *grumble*

  31. Hi
    Thank you for such detailed description,
    I have question, do you know anyone who had applied for 6 month visa and got it?
    I am citizen of Georgia.
    I read on russian forums that citizens of russia are often refused and given maximum 2-3 month visas, Ukraine citizens not more then 2 month.
    Regarding Georgians I have no idea.
    So I just wish to know how it is about 6 month visas?

  32. Thanks, this was most helpful. Had to apply here as embassies in Central Asia were saying 2 weeks, didn’t have that time.

    US citizen, just applied here in Kathmandu. They are making all US citizens apply for 10 years visa with that fee as only choice, even though “we don’t give those out here”. Be prepared with 11,100 Nepalese rupees, they don’t have change.

      • No, can’t return- they make you apply/pay for the 10 yr, but they said they usually give out 3 month. 6 month if really lucky. They said it’s a policy now that all US citizens have to apply for the longest visa (only choice available for us apparently) but most embassies are not allowed to give out that length. My friend told me to ask once in India if they would give me the 10yr I paid for. I’m dubious if that will work or not.

    • Hi Dizzy, I’ll be doing the same thing in a few weeks time. Curious to know if you ever got any embassy in India to give you the 10 year visa since you paid for it. Thank you!

    • Hi Julien thanks for your message. We got 3 months for India, which was more then enough for what we planned. When are you going?

  33. Mike at our Delhi hotel WhatsApp’d me to ask if I had a visa or if I was getting it upon arrival so perhaps it’s introduced for the UK now or maybe he didn’t realise from which country I was visiting. Love Mike 🙂

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