Authorities worried about migrant workers going abroad on visit visaSome have even filed complaints saying they were duped by agents who made them lucrative offers.
Nepali citizens leaving the country on visit visa to work in various labour destination countries has emerged as a new challenge for the country’s labour migration sector.
The trend has left the Department of Foreign Employment concerned as it believes that those leaving the country on visit visa for work may be dodging the country's labour employment rules.
“We are alarmed that the number of Nepalis leaving the country on visit visa has gone up lately. The department has also noticed that these people could be leaving to work abroad,” Kumar Dahal, director-general at the department told the Post. “Not only has the number of Nepalis leaving the country to work on visit increased, complaints related to such incidents have gone up as well.”
According to Dahal, some workers who had gone abroad on visit visa have reported being cheated and approached the department seeking help.
Earlier this week, the Post had reported that Nepali workers have been leaving the country on visit visa in droves in recent weeks. Various government agencies say their attention has also been drawn to the large number of Nepalis leaving the country by dodging the country’s foreign employment rules.
As per government estimates, several hundred people have been going abroad on visit visa to countries such as the United Arab of Emirates and other destinations for Nepali migrant workers.
“Nepalis leaving on visit visa has become a major concern and the problem seems to be escalating,” said Dahal. “The latest surge could be also because demand verification by Nepali missions abroad has been stalled for a long time and there could be other reasons as well.”
Demand verification of Nepali workers remains stalled for several months, giving agents and recruiting agencies a chance to manipulate aspirant migrant workers to send them abroad on visit visa, according to officials.
Concerned with the ongoing situation, the department recently issued a notice, requesting Nepalis not to go abroad by flouting existing rules. The department had said in its statement that its attention had been drawn to reports that Nepalis were being lured by attractive offers to work in the UAE and other countries.
The department also cautioned those going abroad illegally for work on visit visa that they would not be eligible for legal or financial benefits provided to migrant Nepali workers under the Foreign Employment Act 2007.
“After we received reports that Nepalis are going to work on visit visas, we had to make the general public aware so that they do not fall in the trap of any agents,” Tikamani Neupane, spokesperson for the department told the Post.
Meanwhile, the department on Friday raided three Kathmandu-based recruiting agencies—Sky of the World Manpower Pvt Ltd, Empower Human Resources Management Pvt Ltd and Surkhet Overseas Pvt Ltd—and seized hundreds of passports, other documents and computers.