China announces free visa for Nepali citizens, effective this May 1

File - Nepal and China's flags on display, during the meeting of China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Nepal Premier's special envoy Krishna Bahadur Mahara at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing, China, on Tuesday, August 16, 2016. Photo: Wu Hong, Pool Photo via AP

Kathmandu: In a significant development strengthening bilateral ties, China has declared visa-free access for Nepali citizens, commencing from May 1, 2024. The Chinese Embassy in Nepal has made the groundbreaking decision to waive visa fees for Nepali passport holders, marking a milestone in the relationship between the two nations.

Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, Chen Song, affirmed that this decision aims to foster deeper bonds and enhance service convenience between China and Nepal. The move is expected to facilitate increased people-to-people exchanges and bolster economic and cultural ties.

While the regular visa itself will be exempt from charges, the Embassy clarified that express and service fees will still apply. The express visa service will range from Rs 2,700 to Rs 4,000, ensuring expedited processing for those in need of urgent travel arrangements.

It’s worth noting that Nepal already exempts Chinese citizens from visa fees, reflecting the reciprocity in visa policies between the two countries. During a recent diplomatic visit to China, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Narayankaji Shrestha had advocated for visa-free access for Nepali citizens, underscoring the importance of seamless travel arrangements between the two neighbors.

This landmark decision by China is anticipated to further enhance bilateral cooperation and foster closer ties between the people of Nepal and China. Stay tuned for further updates on this developing story.