Getting your Indian Visa in Kathmandu (Oct 2013)

When I searched for some information on how to apply for an Indian tourist visa in Kathmandu, I found a couple of useful blog posts but apparently the process has slightly changed so I thought it might a good idea to post the latest information on the process. So here’s how to apply for an Indian visa from Kathmandu as in October 2013:


Step 1: Fill in the Online Application Form

The first you have to do is fill out the online application form. Before you start get some addresses (including phone number) at hand:

  • Your current address: this will most likely be the address of your hotel in Kathmandu.
  • Your address in India: find a hotel in the place where you will arrive. You don’t have to book the hotel, you just need an address and phone number (we filled in the Radisson in Varanasi and nobody asked :-))
  • The address of your employer (if you have one).
Visa Application Form

The Visa Application Form

Now fill in the form. In the first field called “Indian Mission” you fill in “NEPAL-KATHMANDU”. The rest of the form is pretty straightforward or else it’s explained in the right column. Don’t wait too long filling out the form or else your browser session might expire and you can start all over again.

After you filled in the form, submit it and print a copy. If you don’t have a printer save the pdf and have it printed in one of the local print shops (or your hotel).

Step 2: Get Passport Photos

You will need one 2×2 inch passport photo. You can have them printed in one of the local photo shops. We paid 350 rupiah for a set but I think you can have them cheaper (we had to get them just before closing time).

Glue the photo on the printed application form.

Step 3: Sign Form

Sign the application form at the bottom of the last page and beneath the photo that you just glued on the form. Use a black pen if possible. You’re done with the application form now. Take it with you on the first visit.

Step 4: Copy Your Passport, Nepalese Visa and Previous Indian Visa(s)

Make a photocopy of the following passport pages:

  1. Main page (that’s the one with your name on it)
  2. Visa page with your current Nepalese visa
  3. All visa pages with a previous Indian visa (if you have them)

Visit 1

Now that you have all the required documents ready, you can go visit the India Visa Service Centre (IVSC) which is next to the Indian Embassy and about a 15 minutes walk from the Garden of Dreams in Thamel.

Only a 15 minute walk

Only a 15 minute walk

Bring the following:

  • Your passport
  • The signed application form with the attached photo
  • Photo copy of your passport
  • Photo copy of your Nepalese visa
  • Photo copy of any previous Indian visa
  • Money! Including all the extra fees we paid 4900 Nepalese rupiah for a 6-month visa but I think it’s the same for all other durations.

Note that you will only get a 3-month visa if you have an earlier Indian visa in your passport (happened to the guy in front of me).

The IVSC opens at 9:30 AM but it’s not really necessary to line up early. There was a queue of about 25 people when we got there.

The queue in front of the Indian Visa Application Centre

The queue in front of the India Visa Service Centre

In case you forgot something or made an error, there are shops around the IVSC where you can still fill in the application form, make photo copies, make passport photos or glue it on the form so no worries. Unless you forgot your passport…

Once you’re inside the IVSC, get a ticket at the ticket machine and wait for your turn. They call your number and display it as well so I think it’s pretty unlikely that you will miss it.

After your number is called, line up in the small queue for counter number 1 (Visa counter). A security guy who is standing next to the counter will take care of this little process.

The waiting area

The waiting area of the IVSC. Just before I noticed the “No Photo” sign…

Once you’re at the counter hand over all the documents and answer the occasional questions you might get. When the employee is done with your application form you will get your passport back.

Now move to the next counter where you have to pay the visa fee. The date that you have to return is written on the receipt that you get. It probably takes 5 business days to process the visa application. Keep the receipt on a safe place!! You need it on your next visit.

You’re done with your first visit now. Have a coffee and relax. We got there at 9 AM and were out by 10:30 AM. Not too bad.

Please note that you don’t HAVE TO pick up your visa on the exact date that they give you. It can also be after that date. Some people go trekking for a couple of weeks and pick up their visa when they return to Kathmandu. If you plan to return to Kathmandu later on your trip, I think that is the best idea (more on that later).

Visit 2

After waiting patiently for  a week you return to the IVSC in the morning. The process is the same as on your first visit. You only have to bring your passport and the receipt you got on the first visit.

The employee at the counter will now tell you whether you will get a visa and how long it will be. In our case the application process wasn’t completed yet. We had applied for a 6-mont visa. I guess that means the process in our home country wasn’t finished yet. Or something. Anyway, she offered us a 3-month visa or else we had to wait another 5 days. Since a 3-month visa was enough for us we were ok with that one. But this is why it’s a good idea to go trekking first and come back at the end of your trip.

You have to deliver your passport and can come back the next (working) day at 17:00.

Keep the receipt!

Visit 3

So the next day after lazing around in the Garden of Dreams for a couple of hours, you return to the IVSC to collect your passport with Indian visa. They say to come back at 17:00 but we got there at least half an hour earlier and they were already giving out the passports. No queue. Nothing. Walk up to the counter and show your receipt.

Check your visa. The issue date will be the date of the second visit. Or in our case it was, I’m not sure what the date will be if you come back later on the second visit. That might be another good reason to return for visit 2 in the end of your trip.

You’re done now. Happy travels!




This entry was posted in India, Nepal, Trail Reports.


  1. Maaike November 2, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

    Hey stoere avonturiers,

    Wat een loei spannend verhaal lees ik nu weer . Wij net heel gemoedelijk terug van onze vakantie in Zahara de los Atunes. Ahum wel even andere koek. Maar nu ik Nepal lees gaat mijn hartje toch wel sneller kloppen. Ik zat ih Marsyangdi Mandala hotel in Kathmandu. Oh lieverds ga zo door met avonturieren wij genieten dubbel en dwars mee. XXxx Maaike en Koert

    • Domingo November 11, 2013 at 8:45 am #

      Thanks peeps! Heel leuk om ff wat van jullie te horen 🙂

      We zijn nu op weg naar beneden van Annapurna Base Camp. Geweldig mooie trekking! Foto’s en updates binnenkort.

      XXX C&D

  2. Barna November 13, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

    Haha wat een bureaucratie zeg ;o), leuk om te lezen. Kijk al uit naar de foto’s van jullie laatste trekking. Dikke kus♥

  3. Shelly Cook December 2, 2013 at 8:16 am #

    The leading you need to do is round out the online requisition structure. When you begin get a few locations (counting telephone number) nearby.

  4. Visionary Ali November 2, 2014 at 7:27 am #

    Thank you very much for the information. Im right now in Kathmandu and will start now to get the visa. I will come back here and report if something has changed!

  5. Jacek January 6, 2015 at 2:59 pm #

    Hi there, nice post. Can you give me the source of information that you actually CAN show up on your second visit AFTER the date on the slip they give you on the first visit? I would like to stay in Pokhara two more days, otherwise I need to get back to KTM to be exactly on the date I have on that slip… After Nepal I want to fly to India ASAP and I wouldn’t want to have my plans messed by some misunderstanding…

    • Domingo January 7, 2015 at 12:56 am #

      Hi Jacek,

      We applied for the visa (1st visit) together with a good friend of ours and she picked it up 2 weeks after the date on the slip without any problem. It’s actually even better to do it on the last moment because the Indian visa start from the date that you hand them your passport (date of the 2nd visit). The only thing you have to keep in mind is that you can only pick it up on the next working day after the 2nd visit (beware of holidays!).

      Note that this information is all from october 2013 so things might have changed! Better to get your information first hand from the Indian visa bureau if it might mess up your flight schedule.

      Please let me know your experiences so I can update the info if necessary.

      Happy travels!


  6. Azaad January 8, 2015 at 10:59 am #

    Hello Domingo,

    nice post! I would like to ask you one question. I arrived in India 3 days ago on the 6th January on a 3 month visa (single entry), expiring on 28 th March. The thing is I have to stay in India until 10th of April. I spoke to some people and I was advised NOT to get an extension. So my option now is to go to Nepal and apply for a new Visa. So my question is : Do you think they would grant me a new Visa despite of having just entered India? Let’s say 20 days after entering India, considering I apply for a new Visa around 25th of January. Thanks!


    • Domingo January 17, 2015 at 7:42 pm #

      Hi Azaad,

      I know India isn’t too fond of visa runs. At the other hand they have dropped the requirement to have been out of the country for 2 months before you can re-enter. So, technically, it should be possible to apply for a new visa. No guarantees though. You will anyway not get a visa for more than 3 months.

      Good luck!

  7. fritz widener February 25, 2016 at 8:42 pm #

    My colleagues were needing AZ Guardianship some time ago and were made aware of a website that hosts lots of form templates . If people want AZ Guardianship too , here’s

  8. Neha shama July 8, 2016 at 6:14 am #

    Hi Domingo ,Nice post thank u so much for your ideas.Every time I am searching more information and other query regarding Indian visa.I am a traveler and want to visit in India.Your post will really helpful for me.

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