Arrests and Consequences: You are subject to local laws. If you break local laws in Nepal, your U.S. passport will not help you avoid arrest or prosecution. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. If you are arrested in Nepal, the authorities may keep you in detention for weeks or even longer during the investigation stage. Punishment for togel pulsa violations of criminal laws in Nepal range from fines to imprisonment, depending on the crime. Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Driving Under the Influence: Driving in Nepal after consuming any amount of alcohol could result in arrest.
Illicit Drugs: A variety of illegal drugs are available in Nepal. Purchasing, possessing or consuming illegal drugs, including marijuana and hashish, could result in both fines and jail time.
Firearms and Ammunition: You may not bring any kind of firearm or ammunition into Nepal. Violators who bring in firearms or ammunition – even imitations or in jewelry form – may be prosecuted.
TREKKING IN NEPAL
Solo Trekking: DO NOT TREK ALONE. The U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu strongly discourages U.S. citizens from hiking alone or even separating from larger traveling parties while on a trail. In recent years, U.S. citizens and other foreigners have disappeared, been seriously injured, or been victims of violent crime while trekking alone. In some cases, even after extensive search efforts, missing solo trekkers have not been found. The safest option for trekkers is to join an organized group and/or use a reputable trekking company that provides an experienced guide and porters who communicate in both Nepali and English. Effective April 1, 2023, new requirements established by the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) and more than a dozen trekking organizations, with the support of Nepal’s Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation, will require solo or foreign independent trekkers (FITs) to use a local guide from licensed trekking guide and obtain Trekking Information Management System (TIMS) card through authorized trekking agencies registered with the Government of Nepal while trekking in Nepal’s official national parks and protected areas. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in considerable fines. Please review travel related information on the official websites of the Nepal Tourism Board and the U.S. Embassy-Kathmandu prior to travel.
Natural Disaster Risks: Trekking in Nepal comes with the risk of natural disaster. DO NOT TREK ALONE. Trekkers should be alert to the possibility of avalanches, landslides, and falling rocks, even when trails are clear. Although these risks existed prior to the April 2015 earthquake and its aftershocks, earthquakes have further destabilized some mountainous areas, causing severe landslides in some affected areas. Monsoon rains, which generally begin in June and largely end in September, may destabilize steep slopes and mountainsides. During the monsoon season, floods and landslides regularly damage travel infrastructure and telephone services, complicating efforts to locate U.S. citizens and arrange medical evacuations. Consult carefully with trekking agencies for current, location-specific information, and heed warnings of potential danger. Provide family or friends with a detailed itinerary prior to trekking and check in at all police checkpoints where trekking permits are logged. Register your itinerary through the STEP enrollment process. Before leaving Kathmandu, trekkers can check with the Himalayan Rescue Association (phone: +977-1-444-0292/444-0293) for reliable information about trail conditions and potential hazards of traveling in the Himalayas. We strongly recommend supplemental travel and evacuation insurance.
Altitude Risks: Everyone, regardless of age, experience, or fitness level, should exercise caution when trekking at high altitudes. Many popular trekking routes in Nepal cross passes as high as 18,000 feet. Only experienced mountain climbers should tackle the Himalayas. DO NOT TREK ALONE. Acclimatization is best achieved by walking slowly, rather than hurrying, to cover the distance at high altitudes. Without acclimatization, trekkers of all ages, experience, and fitness levels can experience acute mountain sickness (AMS), which can be deadly. Speak with your doctor or medical professionals in Kathmandu for specific recommendations. We strongly recommend supplemental travel and evacuation insurance.
Evacuation by Helicopter: Obtain emergency medical evacuation insurance before visiting Nepal. Many foreigners require or request evacuation by helicopter from Nepal’s rugged mountain terrain. Most hospitality employees along trekking routes can connect you with a helicopter evacuation service provider. Helicopter companies will generally require either specific evacuation insurance, pre-approval from your health insurance, or payment upfront by credit card in order to assist. Carry appropriate insurance and travel with credit card information. If you hope to have health insurance pay large bills without pre-approval, please note that the service provider may ask to hold onto your passport pending receipt of payment.
Lodging and Travel: During peak trekking seasons, generally spring and autumn, hotel rooms may become scarce. Make advance booking for hotel rooms and plan for possible flight/airport delays. Domestic air flight cancellations and delays occur frequently because of bad weather, including to and from Lukla (gateway to the Everest Base Camp trek) and Jomsom (gateway to the Mustang region). Leave ample time to catch outbound international flights when connecting from domestic flights. Be aware that many hotels in Nepal do not meet international fire or earthquake safety standards.
TIMS Card and Trekking Permits: The Government of Nepal has authorized the Trekking Agency Association of Nepal (TAAN) and the Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) to implement a system for foreign hikers called the Trekkers’ Information Management System (TIMS). Foreign visitors on hiking trips in Nepal, including those not with organized hiking groups, are required to have a valid TIMS card through authorized trekking agencies registered with the Government of Nepal. In case of an emergency, this system helps authorities find trekkers.
Special Permits for Restricted Areas: Trekking in certain remote areas of Nepal and in national parks may require additional permits or fees. Travelers may consult with an experienced tour agency, or review the website of the Nepali Department of Immigration for more information. Please be aware that restricted areas have special requirements for helicopter rescue flights, which may delay assistance even in the event of a medical emergency.
Other Outdoor Activities: Nepal offers many exciting outdoor activities that come with a variety of risks. Several tourists have drowned while swimming in Phewa Lake near Pokhara and other lakes in Nepal because of flash floods triggered by monsoon rains, or after becoming entangled in submerged tree branches or roots. Incidents of boats capsizing on choppy water have also occurred. Wear life jackets. Paragliding and ultralight aircraft tourism have become popular in Pokhara, and many new companies offer such services. Weigh the risks involved with paragliding and ultralight aircraft travel; safety standards may or may not follow international best practices. When engaging in adventure activities, Embassy personnel are strongly encouraged to use professional guide services and to carry a Personnel Tracker Locator device. There are also a number of deep and dangerous ravines not clearly visible to pedestrians in Pokhara city, mainly in the outlying areas. Some local residents and foreigners have fallen into these ravines and sustained serious injuries or died. Medical care is limited and often does not meet Western standards.
Volunteering: Nepal’s Department of Immigration considers volunteering as work, and thus requires volunteers to obtain a work visa. Volunteering on a tourist visa is illegal, and can result in detention by immigration authorities, fines, expulsion from Nepal, and lengthy bans on returning to Nepal.
Some visitors to Nepal wish to volunteer at orphanages or other organizations in an effort to help disadvantaged persons – especially children. Others try to help by donating cash or goods. While we applaud this generous spirit, we are aware of reports that many such opportunities – especially those involving volunteering at orphanages or “children’s homes” – are not in fact charities. Instead, they are for-profit enterprises set up to attract donations from abroad and financial support from volunteers. Many of the children are reportedly not orphans, and volunteering at such an organization may indirectly contribute to child exploitation by creating a demand for children who may be trafficked to such locations. Prospective volunteers in Nepal should read a recent report prepared by a U.S.-based NGO in Nepal regarding ethical volunteering, with a focus on issues relating to “voluntourism.” It can be difficult even for those with significant experience in Nepal to determine which organizations provide authentic and valuable opportunities for well-meaning volunteers, and which manipulate goodwill for profit. With respect to orphanages or children’s homes, the Nepali National Child Rights Council can help confirm an organization’s legitimacy. You can direct inquiries to Ms. Namuna Bhusal, firstname.lastname@example.org, +977-9851139474. The NCRC also handles complaints against children’s homes. U.S. citizens should be aware that the Government of Nepal has limited resources to monitor and regulate non-profit organizations. If you are not certain about an organization, you may want to consider routing contributions through a reputable national or international charity to avoid the possibility that your time and money could unknowingly support the exploitation of children. Learn more about best practices for volunteering abroad.
Currency and Money Issues: The Government of Nepal requires travelers to declare either the import or export of currency that exceeds US$5,000 USD in value by filling out a customs declaration form. The Embassy is not aware of any banks or money exchange offices in Nepal that accept U.S.-issued travelers checks or cash U.S. checks. Accordingly, travelers should consider alternative methods of accessing local currency (e.g., exchanging cash U.S. dollars for Nepali rupees at a bank or money exchange office, or withdrawing rupees from an ATM). Travelers should ensure that they keep a copy of the declaration form after customs officials have put the official endorsement and appropriate stamps on the form to prevent any problems upon departure. Please note that this requirement is subject to change and travelers should contact the Embassy of Nepal in Washington, D.C. to obtain the latest information. Carrying Indian currency in denominations greater than 100 rupees notes is illegal/restricted in Nepal. Consequences for violating this requirement generally include seizure of all cash, gold, or jewelry carried, as well as fines and imprisonment. travelers coming to Nepal from India who hope to change Indian currency into Nepali Rupees are advised to bring 100 Indian Rupee notes or lower denominations only. Please note that Nepali Rupees cannot be exchanged outside of Nepal. See the section below on Customs regarding prohibitions on the importation of gold and silver.
Customs: Do not carry any amount of pure gold, more than 50 grams of gold jewelry, or more than 500 grams of silver into Nepal. You will be detained, the valuables will be seized, and you will need to pay a fine equivalent to the full value of the items seized in order to be released.
Nepal customs regulations are complex. Customs authorities enforce strict regulations concerning importation (even temporarily) and exportation of certain items. Do not carry other valuable metals, articles of archaeological or religious significance, wildlife or related items, drugs, or weapons and ammunition. Do extensive research before importing household pets (including cats and dogs), communications equipment, and other items that might be perceived as sensitive. Drones are strictly regulated throughout Nepal and require special permission from the Home Ministry and other government authorities.
Items purported to be for donation to schools, hospitals, and other social organizations have sometimes been confiscated or cleared only after payment of a significant fine for failure to obtain prior approval from the Ministry of Finance. Those wishing to donate items to a charity or any organization in Nepal must obtain prior approval for waiver of the custom fees from the Ministry of Finance by sending a formal request letter (not via email) to the following address:
Spokesperson: Mr. Ananda Kafle
Ministry of Finance
Tel: +977-1- 4200537
The request should include detailed information about the items to be imported, as well as the organizations receiving the donations. The Secretary will review the request and refer it to the Ministerial level for final decision and approval. Note that all requests are processed on a case-by-case basis. It is highly recommended that intended recipient(s) coordinate with the Ministry to get requests processed. Please see additional information about Customs and Import Restrictions.
Dual Nationality: Nepal does not recognize dual nationality. Accordingly, when a Nepali citizen naturalizes as a U.S. citizen, he/she loses his/her Nepali citizenship. Some travelers who have tried to maintain both U.S. and Nepali passports have faced difficulties entering or exiting Nepal. U.S. citizens of Nepali descent may be eligible for a special visa called a “Non-Resident Nepali” or “NRN” Identity Card. The NRN Identity Card allows a holder to open a local bank account, invest, and own certain types of property, subject to certain restrictions. For more information, contact the Nepali Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Embassy of Nepal in the United States.
Natural Disasters: Nepal lies on an active fault zone and is considered at high-risk for major earthquakes, as demonstrated by the April and May 2015 earthquakes that caused extensive damage in the Kathmandu Valley and other districts. Lack of adequate emergency response vehicles, equipment, and medical facilities, combined with building codes that are not strictly enforced, may multiply the extent of possible catastrophic damage from a major earthquake, especially in the Kathmandu Valley. Nepal is also prone to flooding and landslides. The Government of Nepal’s ability to respond in the event of a natural disaster may be limited. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
In Case of Emergency or Natural Disaster:
- Monitor us on Twitter and Facebook for updates.
- Call us in Washington at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
Faith-Based Travelers: As of August 2018, religious conversion and proselytization are illegal in Nepal.
See the following webpages for details:
LGBTI Rights: Same-sex sexual activity is not criminalized, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons in Nepal actively and openly advocate for their rights. Nepal, however, remains a conservative and traditional society. Discrimination exists, and reports of non-violent harassment of LGBTI persons have been received. Accordingly, LGBTI travelers may wish to be discreet and avoid public displays of affection. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for additional details.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation difficult throughout Nepal. Nepali law prohibits discrimination against persons who have physical and mental disabilities, including discrimination in employment, education, access to health care, and in the provision of other state services. The law mandates access to buildings, transportation, employment, education, and other state services, but these provisions generally are not enforced. Nepal’s poor infrastructure makes it impracticable in many cases for a mobility-impaired traveler to move around the country, including within the Kathmandu Valley. The government is largely ineffective in implementing or enforcing laws regarding persons with disabilities. Except for a few clinics and hospitals, Nepal mostly lacks accessible and appropriate accommodation for individuals with disabilities.
Students: See the Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.
Women Travelers: See the travel tips for Women Travelers.