Entry Formalities in Bangladesh

VISAS AND ENTRY REQUIREMENTS All foreign visitors to Bangladesh require a visa. Tourist visas are the easiest to obtain. Depending on the office you're dealing with, they can be issued for periods of up to two months (Australians can get six months), and whatever the length of your stay it is suggested that you apply for the maximum amount of time permitted, or at least specify a date. Most consular offices will request a letter of invitation along with the visa; this could be a letter from the tour operator or the contact that you may be visiting.

In case of business visa, they can be issued for periods up to six months, and require a letter introducing your company along with a letter from your proposed business partner stating the purpose of your visit.

Visa fees vary from nationality to nationality as Bangladesh practices a reciprocal fee system. The visa fee is same for both the Bangladeshi and foreign nationals. You can check the fee schedule on the immigration website (www.dip.gov.bd). Some common visa fees are:£40/52/75 for single-/double-/multiple-entry visas for UK nationals; US$131 for US nationals, regardless of length or number of entries; CAD$80/158 for single/multiple-entry visas for Canadian nationals; and AUD$150 for single-/double/multiple-entry visas for Australian nationals (in the case of Australia, all visa types are the same price).

In case of long-term visa ISSUES Employment and NGO visas employer in Bangladesh should help you with obtaining the necessary paperwork.

If you obtain a visa that expires during your stay, begin the process for visa extension as soon as you are settled in Bangladesh. Security clearances and work permits are required for most visa extensions. If your visa does expire you will have to pay a fine, a rate variable depending on your work and host organisation. You will also require an exit visa to leave Bangladesh.

Landing permit As of 22 March 2008, the majority of nationals from Western countries (US, Canada, UK, Europe, Australia) could obtain a 'Landing Permit on Arrival' if you arrive in Dhaka with no visa, and while it may not be checked, you should also carry printed proof of your onward travel arrangements. With US$50, you can simply buy this landing permit when you arrive at Zia International Airport, and you should be granted a 15-day stay, which you can overstay for a few days, or even a couple of weeks and pay the Tk200 per day overstay fee. The permit would normally be issued to visitors hailing from most Western countries, especially when they arrive from a country with no resident Bangladeshi mission. The airport immigration telephone number at Zia International Airport is +880 2 891 4226.

Visa extensions Visa processing is handled at the Department of Immigration and Passports (Passport Bhaban, E7 Agargaon, Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, www.dip.gov.bd; visa drop-off 0 10.00-13.00 and pickup (D 14.00-16.00).

Landing permits and transit visas are non-extendable. Tourist visas can be extended for up to 30 days. A starting point of reference should be the department's website, where you will find a link at the bottom left under 'Visa Policy' where all the requirements for each visa are listed. Also, there is a link provided for the necessary 'Visa Fees' on the left sidebar and the 'Visa Form' on the right. Here's a checklist for you to begin your travel smoothly:

  • Passport photocopy
  • Visa page photocopy
  • Photocopy of the page containing your entry stamp
  • One passport photo
  • Visa fee (depends on nationality: UK US$65 for single entry, US$168 for multiple; US US$131 for single/multiple; Canada Tk3,300 for single or Tk6,600 for multiple)
  • While it depends on the visa required, most require a letter from your employer and security clearance from the Ministry of Home Affairs. NGO visas require a work permit from the NGO bureau. Keep your original paperwork and make photocopies for processing.

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