Indian SIM card access eased for Nepali nationals visiting India

Kathmandu: Nepali nationals visiting India for various purposes will now find it more convenient to access Indian SIM cards, as confirmed by Nepali Ambassador to India, Dr. Shankar Prasad Sharma. The previous restriction, where Nepalis were unable to obtain Indian SIM cards, leading to communication challenges, has been addressed. Formerly, mobile connections were accessible to Nepalis only after providing a passport with visa stamps, despite not requiring a visa to travel to India.

Ambassador Sharma, in a post on the matter, acknowledged the obstacles faced by Nepali citizens in obtaining Indian SIM cards due to technical issues. However, he mentioned that the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the Ministry of Communication (MoC) swiftly processed requests for this service.

In response to these challenges, the Indian Ministry of Communications has amended the requirements. Under the new guidelines, Nepali citizens visiting India can acquire mobile connections using their passport, citizenship certificate, voter ID card, or a limited validity photo ID certificate issued by the Nepali mission in India.

This provision also extends to citizens of Bhutan. For those entering India via third countries other than their respective origins, a copy of their passport along with valid visa stamps is required. However, these mobile connections will be subject to limitations.

The SIM card’s validity cannot exceed the permitted duration of stay in India or the visa validity. Additionally, the connection’s validity is capped at three months, even if the permitted stay duration exceeds this. Furthermore, these connections won’t support international roaming, restricting Nepali citizens from making calls back home.