Kathmandu, April 12
Following the government’s decision to issue work permits from April 1 to those Malaysia-bound Nepali migrant workers who have already received the ‘calling visas’, 74 such job aspirants have received work permits for Malaysia, as per the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE).
Though DoFE had directed all labour offices across the country to issue work permits to such Nepali job aspirants who want to go to Malaysia from April 1, labour offices had started issuing work permits to beneficiaries only from April 8 following some technical problems.
“In the last four days, job aspirants to Malaysia who have already received calling visa have approached labour offices for work permits,” informed Suraj Joshi, director at the Tahachal-based office of DoFE.
As per statistics collected by the department, there are almost 7,000 Nepali migrant workers who have received calling visas from Malaysian employment agencies. Earlier, DoFE had asked the concerned employment agencies in Nepal to submit the details of migrant workers who had received the calling visas to work in Malaysia.
Malaysian-bound Nepali workers had been barred from travelling to the Southeast Asian country since May last year as workers were being charged unnecessary fees for related services by private companies, namely Immigration Security Clearance and One Stop Centre. Following the development, the government launched a crackdown on various such institutions that were collecting extra fees from migrant workers as it was against government’s policy. Since then, the government had not been issuing work permit to Malaysia-bound workers.
Issuance of work permit to Nepali workers who have received calling visa from Malaysian employment agencies is a part of the bilateral labour pact that Nepal and Malaysia signed in October last year. The pact states that Nepali workers who have already received calling visa will be issued work permit with high priority while other job aspirants wishing to work in Malaysia will be issued permit gradually after completing necessary groundwork.
Despite signing the bilateral labour agreement, the outflow of Nepali migrant workers to Malaysia is yet to resume in full-fledged manner. However, DoFE officials said that the outflow of Nepali workers to Malaysia will begin in a full-fledged manner once the two countries finalise the draft of the health standard guideline that clarifies the medical requirements for the workers.
The Malaysian government has recently forwarded the draft of the health standard guideline to Nepal and the government is currently holding discussions on the draft.
A version of this article appears in print on April 13, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.