Foreign employment office limits per day quota of labour permits to 300The token system would be strictly implemented to serve migrant workers and minimise mismanagement.
Foreign Employment Office in Tahachal, Kathmandu, has strictly implemented the token system for distributing labour permits to outbound Nepali migrant workers from Sunday.
The Office, under the Department of Foreign Employment—the government body overseeing the overall foreign employment sector—has decided to provide 300 tokens to aspirant migrant workers daily to reduce the hassles faced by beneficiaries.
According to Chhatra Bahadur Shah, director at the Tahachal office, the token system would be strictly implemented to serve migrant workers who visit the office for the labour permit and minimise mismanagement which was going on in recent times.
“We have decided to enforce the token system strictly so as to make the whole process organised. We noticed that even when we fixed 150 or 200 tokens for a particular day, around 15-20 beneficiaries would visit the office at the last moment requesting for labour permits without acquiring the token,” Shah told the Post. “Now, we have increased the number of tokens to 300 but we will not be providing services to those who do not have tokens.”
Around 180 outbound migrant workers have been visiting the Tahachal-based office for labour permits.
To receive work permits, migrant workers have to submit applications online to schedule the date and time with the respective labour offices in all the seven provinces.
However, a large number of applicants used to miss their schedule while others visited the office without appointments, causing problems in service delivery, according to Shah.
“We found out that several migrant workers were visiting the office without making appointments saying that they had flight to catch on the same night. Some of them even produced fake flight tickets to receive labour permits by avoiding the regular process,” said Shah. “It is also not possible to check everyone’s tickets. The office would urgently issue labour permits to those whose visas are about to expire even if they had not come via the regular application process. So now the office is not going to issue any extra work permits beyond the 300 tokens.”
The Tahachal office had also observed applicants making appointments by booking all the tokens issued for a day and not appearing on the scheduled date.
Shah said they would visit the office as per their convenience hindering the day-to-day operation of the office.
“With the available human resources, we still can cater to 600-700 applicants in a day. We also do not send any applicants back if they have already taken the token but those not visiting on their scheduled day makes the services difficult,” said Shah.
With the resumption of foreign employment, which had remained closed since mid-March, migrant workers have started visiting labour offices for receiving labour permits. Although the Covid-19 concerns are still there, Nepali migrant workers have continued to seek jobs abroad.
Since the government started issuing re-entry labour permits in June, around 200 workers have been receiving labour-permits every day—which is lower than pre-pandemic time, according to Shah.
“This is a prime season for Nepali migrant workers leaving abroad for jobs. Once the festive season of Dashain and Tihar is over, we see a surge in people migrating. The number goes further up after the Chhath festival,” said Shah. “However, the current trend is slow which is because of the Covid-19 pandemic.”