KATHMANDU, Aug 17: The Department of Immigration on Tuesday stated that it issued 163,518 visas in the FY 2015/016. Majority of those were tourist visas, a few were business visas and others were non-tourist visas.
The department of Immigration is authorized to issue the visas at the port of entry--TIA immigration office and other offices at eight border points. Similarly, Nepali diplomatic missions and consulates are also authorized to issue visas.
According to Director General Kedar Neupane, the department in FY 2015/016 had issued 151,432 tourist visas, 31 transit visas, 3178 business visas, 1140 marriage visas, 460 NRN visas, 3476 relation visas, 42 residential visas, 1911 study visas and 1398 work visa. Among the tourist visas issued this year, the largest number went to Chinese tourists.
During the period about 954,892 Nepali entered Nepal and the number of Nepalis leaving the country was around 10,56,181. Similarly the number of foreigners entering Nepal was 586,713 while 582,127 foreigners exited Nepal.
Foreigners visiting Nepal are eligible for tourist visa on arrival at the entry points except for those from Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Cameroon, Somalia, Liberia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan and Syria.
During a press conference held at its office in Kalikasthan, the department officials said the existing shortcomings in Nepali immigration law and its implementation are responsible for the growth in criminal activities by foreigners including human trafficking, visa overstay, use of fake passports, etc.
The Department has registered 661 immigration-related complaints in different 661 cases, 71 tourist were charged-sheeted for forging visas and passports, 45 were deported and the number of tourist staying in Nepal without visa were 236 during the last fiscal year.
The Department plans to introduce an advanced data storing and analyzing software, install black-list information system, online visa application system, and advance passenger information system at the Tribhuva International Airport.