If you want to work in Kathmandu it is important to be aware of the local customs and laws, as well as the expat visa issues. Heavy fines are in place for anyone who is caught working in Kathmandu under the wrong visa, or without paying the appropriate taxes. If you are in any doubt, contact your local embassy for advice and help on any expat issues.
Traditionally, Kathmandu has acted as an important trading center for Nepal, India and China. The Kathmandu Valley is extremely fertile, and much more hospitable than the surrounding mountain areas, so it has been a popular agricultural area for many millennia.
Farming is still an important industry in Nepal, and Kathmandu is still used as a trading point for Nepalese farmers selling their wares. However, in recent years tourism has taken over, as visitors flock to the city to witness first-hand the highest mountain in the world.
Everest treks have almost become an industry unto themselves in Kathmandu. Dozens of businesses offer dozens of different types of Everest experiences, from base camp climbing, to helicopter rides, to photo opportunities. As a result, the city has become hugely popular with the extreme sports community and both professional and amateur climbers from all over the world.
As more and more expats have arrived in Kathmandu, the local economy has become more diversified. As the capital city of Nepal, it is something of an administrative hub, and there are a lot of secretarial, diplomatic and official jobs available to expats who have good language skills.
Although Nepali and Nepal Bhasa are the official languages, English is widely considered to be the languages of business in Kathmandu, so it is worth brushing up on your English skills if need be – a good command of the language will be a huge help if you are job hunting in Kathmandu.
Expats working and living in Kathmandu will be expected to pay income tax of between 1% and 25% on their salary. This is paid directly to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) of Nepal.
For salaries of between 0 and 200,000 NPR (approx. 2,000 USD) per year, the rate of taxation is just 1%. Salaries between 200,001 NPR and 300,000 NPR are charged at 15%, plus an additional fee of 2,000 NPR. The highest rate of tax is 25%, which is charged on any salary above 300,000 NPR. This rises to 350,000 NPR for married couples.
Due to the catastrophic damage caused by the Nepal earthquake in April 2015, which might take years to rebuild, we cannot ensure that the factual information in this article series is up-to-date for the entire country. It is yet unclear for how long, or in which way, issues like health and safety, transport, or the national economy will be affected. Thank you for your understanding!
InterNations Content & Communications Team