Volunteer Visas and Regulations

Nepali regulations

We work within the local systems, which do change from time to time.

Work is no longer allowed on a tourist visa. You enter the country on a standard tourist visa but then obtain a non-tourist visa and work permit. Without these it is not possible for medical professionals to register with the relevant local organisations, such as the Nepal Medical Council (for doctors). For these reasons after you are accepted as a volunteer and when necessary (depending on your role and current legislation), the team in Nepal may contact you and request documents such as copies of your medical qualifications and the main photo page of your passport. They will also request you to ask your professional organisation such as the General Medical Council (for UK doctors) to send a ‘Letter of good standing’ direct to the NMC. This is actually quite straightforward.

It can take a few months for some of the acceptance processes in Nepal. Without their completion you will not be allowed to do any hands-on work.
You should obtain a tourist visa on arrival at Kathmandu airport, for 15 or 30 days. Then the team arranges for those who need a non-tourist-visa and work permit to visit the Kathmandu immigration offices the next day and then from there to go to the NMC office, for medical registration (if required). (Fees are payable for these documents).

Duration of volunteering:

EAN provides a source of information and helps to recruit professionals to the ear camps and ear hospital. These projects themselves are owned and run by the International Nepal Fellowship. INF is a Christian organisation with 60 years experience in Nepal, principally with health projects and community development work. ( INF has a Nepali led board in Nepal (INF/N) as well as an international board (INF/I) overseeing its co-operation with its other agencies around the world including INF/UK, INF/Australia, INF/NZ and other independent partner, seconding and donor agencies.

Short stay, less than 1 month

Most volunteers work for 1 week to 1 month. They may stay longer for tourism or in a non-working role. This applies both to those who volunteer for ear camps or for the ear hospital. There are no requirements to be of a specific faith or none in order to volunteer, we welcome all, but INF expect that volunteers will respect their position and the
INF values document (INF values poster).

Although extremely grateful to all volunteers for their help please remember that the team in Nepal can be busy dealing with short-term visitors and their paperwork. This can be quite time consuming so please be considerate and also prompt with requests for your details, we may have to submit these some months in advance.

Repeat visits

Many of our volunteers have done several ear camps. This means we have a pool of experienced team members, who can be very helpful for new volunteers. We are very happy to put new volunteers in contact with past or experienced volunteers in your specialty to chat about their experience and any tips they suggest.

Some are able to return to the hospital or the ear camps on a regular basis, such as annually or biannually, or provide regular cover for leave of long-term staff. This helps provide stability to the local team by familiar experienced volunteers and is much valued.

Longer stay, over 1 month

Currently for periods of working time greater than 1 month in any INF project it is necessary to have a resident visa. These are only obtainable by utilising one of the long-term visa posts that INF negotiates with the Nepali Government for each project.

The agreement between the government and INF normally lasts 5 years; this includes all areas of their work. The current agreement period ends in December 2015. During 2015 there will be detailed discussions with Nepali government ministries and INF are unlikely to know the agreed resident visa posts for the next 5 year period till early 2016. To take up one of these agreed posts requires a detailed application process via INF. (

INF is actively seeking people who do wish to pursue such a post in the Ear Hospital, EAN is happy to put you in contact. Due to the limited number available and the complex process, including language training, INF will only consider suitable volunteers who can serve for periods exceeding 6 months, and preferably a minimum of 1 year.

Interns and students

Special rules may apply for those in a learning role.


Please do contact us if you have any questions about how you might volunteer.


EAN are happy to inform and facilitate volunteering and aim to find the best possible and appropriately trained and experienced persons, but do not take responsibility in any form for the volunteers themselves or for their actions.




For British volunteers, it is possible to obtain a visa from the Embassy of Nepal in London - the embassy now operates a same day service. See this Important Information.

However, it is much easier to get one at KTM airport in the arrivals hall.

Most other nationalities will also be able to get the visa on arrival at the airport. However, please check!

Cost (currently, 2012): $25 cash for 15/7 visa, $30 for 30/7 visa.

You must have 1 x passport photo and necessary cash dollars
with you in your hand baggage (other major currencies also accepted).

We each fill in an immigration card and a visa application form in the arrival hall. Sometimes the immigration card may have been handed to you on the plane prior to landing.

On immigration card for “reason for visit” put “other”

india visa
If you are also planning to visit India then you must obtain an Indian visa in advance in your home country.


Many are possible for travel to Nepal and India but it is a matter of balancing potential benefits and risks.

It will be advisable to discuss with a medical professional such as your GP travel nurse.

Please check whether your previous vaccinations are still valid.

It is important to be up to date with:

Diphtheria, polio, tetanus, hepatitis A and B, typhoid, BCG (Heaf test positive).

If going to the Terrai (Indian border area), especially in monsoon period (June till September): Japanese encephalitis.

Brief visits, such as a flight via Nepalganj outside this season do not require this.

Less necessary: rabies, meningitis A and C. (Do not try and pat animals like dogs, they can be very territorial and may bite!)

Malaria prophylaxis, generally thought unnecessary, though slight risk in Terrai regions on Indian border. Most regular volunteers do not take it. Avoid sitting outside at dusk when the mosquitos are about!

For most medical staff it is really only Typhoid that they must ensure is up to date.