National

May 18 permit cut-off for worker departures for Malaysia

- CHANDAN KUMAR MANDAL, Kathmandu

Jul 23, 2018-

Nepali migrants with valid work visas, who had been waiting to leave for Malaysia, will finally be able to depart.

Hundreds of outbound workers were unable to take up their jobs in Malaysia after the government launched a crackdown on the agencies involved in fleecing them under various headings.

As the operations of the agencies processing visa were suspended, migration to Malaysia, the biggest foreign job destination for Nepalis, was halted.

In the aftermath of the government’s action, workers with Malaysian visas were held back with final permits stopped since May 17.

Giving a reprieve to workers having visa stamped by the Malaysian embassy in Kathmandu and having applied for final work permit by May 18, the government has decided to send them to Malaysia.

“We have decided to provide final labour permit to the workers who got visa before the system came to a halt,” said Minister of Labour, Employment, and Social Security Gokarna Bista. He added that the government remained firm on its decision on other workers.

Since the government declared various agencies processing Malaysian visas as illegal, concerns were raised about the fate of aspiring migrant workers.

Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies (NAFEA), the umbrella organisation of recruiting agencies, had also raised its concern about the workers stuck in the process of leaving for Malaysia.

The ministry had started collecting data on the number of workers who had completed the visa procedure but had not received the labour permit.

The fresh move will benefit an estimated 453 Nepalis, according to the Labour Ministry. Nearly 2,500 job-seekers got visa after the government halted operation of these agencies. Validity of the travel documents issued before May 18 expires this week.

After getting visa, a migrant worker applies for final labour permit at the Foreign Employment Office, Kathmandu, as the final step before departure.

However, NAFEA claims that at least 1,366 migrant workers had got Malaysian visas before the government crackdown. It said that nearly 7,000 worker calling visas, having completed the Immigration Security Clearance (ISC) and biometric identification test, are pending in recruiting agencies. Departures for Malaysia came to a halt after the government stopped collection of additional fees from Nepali workers at the rate of Rs18,480.

Published: 23-07-2018 07:33

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