National

Workers with Malaysian visas twiddle thumbs

- CHANDAN KUMAR MANDAL, Kathmandu

Jul 6, 2018-

Over a thousand Malaysia-bound migrant workers with valid visas continue to sit idle in Nepal for more than one month because they do not have work permits.

The government crackdown on illegal employment agencies over a month ago had also stopped issuance of work permits. Consequently, scores of workers could not leave for Malaysia even though they had procured visas.

The Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies’ (NAFEA) data shows 1,366 workers received Malaysian visas before the government started its crackdown on dubious recruitment agencies. The government had declared the services of these dubious agencies invalid. This spiked the travel plans of workers with valid Malaysian visas.

NAFEA President Rohan Gurung said, “These workers had completed the process to obtain visas from the Malaysian Embassy in Nepal before the government declared them illegal. They could not travel as the work permits have not been issued to them.” Almost 7,000 calling visa of workers are pending in various recruiting agencies, NAFEA claimed. Preliminary labour-permits or demand letters of nearly 15,000 workers are pending as well because the issuance of final labour-permits has stopped.

Prohibiting these workers from travelling to Malaysia inflicts further financial losses on them.

“These 7,000 workers with paper visa or calling visa have already spent Rs 3,200 for Immigration Security Clearance (ISC), and Rs 4,500 for bio-metric identification test before they submit for visa stamping,” said Gurung.

Workers awaiting final labour permit have paid for all the services whereas the other 7,000 have paid for ISC and bio-metric test before going ahead with visa procedures. These workers have also borne travel expenses during the hiring procedure.

The Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE) Director General Bhuwan Prasad Acharya said, “We are concerned for workers. We are compiling a list of workers holding Malaysian work visas before the government’s clampdown.”

Some representatives of recruiting agencies claim the entire episode has inflicted financial losses of around Rs 400 million.

Published: 06-07-2018 08:32

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