Pre-labour permits for Malaysia halted

- CHANDAN KUMAR MANDAL, Kathmandu
Pre-permission stopped since Malaysian Embassy announced closure of agencies processing visa

May 28, 2018-The process of sending workers to Malaysia, one of the most popular labour destinations for Nepalis, has been halted temporarily with the government closing pre-labour permissions, the first step in migrant worker recruitment.

Although the government has not formally announced the obstruction, the process has come to a halt, following the closure of several firms processing visa for Malaysia.

According to Bhabishwor Pandey, chief of the Foreign Employment Office (FEO) in Kathmandu, pre-permission letters have been stopped since the Malaysian Embassy announced the closure of agencies implementing visa processing systems of the labour receiving country in Nepal.

“The process has been closed informally for some time,” said Pandey, adding that the FEO has stopped issuing pre-permits. However, those already completing visa application procedures and those carrying working visa for Malaysia can proceed for the agreed jobs.

The Malaysian Embassy in Kathmandu on May 21 closed the Immigration Security Clearance and One Stop Centre for Nepali migrant workers after the government arrested its operators and others levying additional charges on Nepalis.

Scrapping the charges under various components of visa processing, the Nepal government has relieved them of the additional financial burden of Rs18,480 that resulted from the “unilateral” policy of the Malaysian government. Migrant worker departures for Malaysia have been hit. “The number of final work permits has gone down with overall obstruction in visa processing,” said Pandey.

According to the FEO, a total of 4,337 labour permits—4,337 for men and 153 for women—were issued between May 13 and May 26. However, pre-permissions were released only for 80 workers in the period.

Over the years, Malaysia has remained one of the most popular destinations for Nepali migrant workers. The government has launched a diplomatic initiative to solve the problem in sending workers to Malaysia.

Published: 28-05-2018 06:52

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