Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
"Why aren't we given visa on arrival?", Kantipur

At the recent Women of South Asia and Sustainable Development conference in Kathmandu, human rights activist and member of Afghanistan's National Assembly, Shinkai Zahine Karokhail questioned the Nepali government's discriminatory visa policy for Afghan nationals.

"As members of the SAARC we talk about mutual co-operation and share the same platform. So why can't we be given visas on arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport?" she inquired. She wanted to know whether Nepal had black listed Afghanistan because of the ongoing conflict and terrorist activities. She said, "Afghanistan doesn't produce terrorism but is a victim of terrorism," she explained and added, "thousands of Nepalis currently work in Afghanistan, the Nepali government should ease diplomatic relations for their safety."

In an effort to promote tourism, Nepal offers visa on arrival to visitors from all but 11 countries, which include Afghanistan, Iraq, Rwanda, Cameroon, Swaziland, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Liberia, Somalia, Nigeria and Ethiopia. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, these nations are not eligible for visa on arrival because of war and terrorism in these lands or the fear of illegal immigrants.

According to an official from the immigration department at the Home Ministry, the decision to not provide visa on arrival to Afghans doesn't fall under the SAARC's jurisdiction. "There are many countries that don't provide us visa on arrival. It's a question of bilateral ties and not a regional issue. We can be liberal with our policies, but if the other country does not reciprocate, then what's the use? It has to be a two way relationship," said the official.

1. Samjhana Poudyal

Visa is availabe for Neplaese nationals on arrival in Ghana.


Why are not Ghanaian nationals provided the same facility. Will someone in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs please take note.

2. Samjhana Poudyal
Liberia's civil war ended 8 years back. It now has a democratically lected full functioing democracy(where as the nepal governemt does not have)the governmet does not†and have gone though two rounds of national elections. Many of the population that were dispreed in neighbouring countries have returned. It is acountry of only 2.3 Million and†makeing good progress.†Many Neplaese have visited Libeia as the Amred Police and the Nepal Army have been†deployed in Libeira for many years and Nepalese do†have a great amount of goodwill. Also there are many†Nepalese in Liberia working for INGOs, UN agencies, and in the private sector. †I see no reason for the Nepal government to not issue visas on arrival for Liberian nationals and seek a similar status for Nepalese nationals in Liberia as non of the conditions mentioend above is there anymore. MOFA will need to take the intiative and fast.†††

3. A Nepali
I echo # 2 Samjhana Poudyal's sentiments. I recently participated in USAID's by invitation only 3-day forum "Frontiers in Development" in Washington, DC. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the President of Liberia, was one of 6 current or former heads-of-state participating in the forum. Other prominent leaders included Joyce Banda, President of Malawi, Atifete Jahjaga, President of Kosovo, Mary Robinson, ex-President of Ireland, Helen Clark, ex-PM of New Zealand and current UNDP Administrator, ADM James G. Stavridis, NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, and senior US Government officials, Senators and Congressmen. Liberia has come a long way under Sirleaf's rule, and she is highly respected, admired, and viewed as an emerging leader in Africa, especially as she is the first woman president elected in Africa. Developmental gains in Liberia under her rule was touted as a major achievement at the forum. MOFA needs to be more knowledgeable and current in how it views and establishes relationships with other nations in the world.

4. Sabir Ahmed
"Why aren't we given visa on arrival?" Possibly because Afghanistan also requires Nepali citizens to obtain a visa in advance.

Nepal is one of the most liberal countries when it comes to issuing visas to SAARC visitors on arrival. Nepalis going to Bangladesh need a visa in advance, and Bangladeshis and Pakistanis going to India most definitely need a visa in advance and there is a high chance their applications will be rejected.

5. James
I doubt that many Liberians are interested in living in Nepal. So barring Liberians from receiving visas upon entry in Nepal is of no consequence to Liberians. I doubt that the Liberian government will grant anyone, regardless of nationality, visa upon immediate entry into Liberia. The Liberian government does not do so for US citizens so I doubt the government will do so for any other nationality.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)