As I had to go through the process of applying for a Bangladesh visa in Kathmandu, Nepal, I decided to share my experience on Monkeyrockworld. After India enforced its immigration rules and applied a mandatory 2 months gap among two consecutive visits to the country on a double or multiple entry tourist visa, there has been a lot of imprecise information about travel to what are defined as “neighboring countries”. Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh all fall under this category.
My quest started back in Malaysia, as I was planning my Journey to the West’s Indian subcontinent leg: I wanted to enter India flying to Kolkata, cross the country westwards, enter Nepal from Uttarkhand state in India, exit Nepal at its easternmost side; then, continue to travel in Northeast India before finally entering Bangladesh.
Getting a double entry, six month Indian visa with a re-entry permit – to get around the 2 months out of country rule – was a long enough process which I resolved last minute in Bangkok, and would deserve a separate post.
Nepal provided a visa on arrival: you pay 42 US$ for a one month valid multiple entry visa at any land border with India. Bangladesh, on the contrary, seemed to have stricter rules: besides the expensive cost of the visa itself – 57 US$ for most European nationalities, for a period of time of 15 or 30 days, issued at the total discretion of the immigration officer -, it seemed like it would have been possible to apply and get a visa only in the country of birth.
Luckily enough, this is not the case in Kathmandu, where it is quite straightforward to get a Bangladesh visa in one day, submitting in the morning and picking up your passport at 4.30 pm the same afternoon. Keep in mind that, at least in my case, the consular officer refused to give me a visa when I applied for the first time, on my third day in Nepal: “Your Nepali visa has just started; hence, I am not giving you a visa now. Come back in two weeks time at least” was the answer given. Keep this in mind when making visa application plans, as you may travel all the way to Kathmandu for nothing, as it happened to me.
This same consular officer has some quite quirky ways of dealing with visa applicants, so keep your cool, and try to make sure he gets you the visa you need: ask for 30 days, and specify that you need a visa valid for both land and air entrance. It would be no fun to get all the way to any of the Bangladesh land borders, and be turned back because your visa says you can only entry Bangladesh by flying into Dhaka!!!
To get to the Bangladesh embassy, if you are based in Thamel, catch a northbound bus or microbus to Narem Gopam Chowk (direction Basundhara, on the Northern ring road, a couple kilometers east of the Gangabu Domestic Bus terminal) and get off when you see the chowk’s – roundabaout – statue. Facing the statue, turn right and you will find the embassy 100 meters further up, on the left walking side of the road.
Hope this information may clear up some doubts about getting a Bangladesh visa in Kathmandu… it is fast and no hassle, but again, make sure you are ready to deal with potentially unpredictable delays, as commanded by the consular officers…