DoFE extends bank account deadline for migrants

Kathmandu, September 3

The Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE) has extended the deadline for migrant workers to mandatorily have a bank account to September 18. Earlier, DoFE had made it compulsory for such workers to furnish their bank account details while applying for a work permit by today.

Bhisma Kumar Bhusal, director general of DoFE, said that the department has extended the deadline for those migrants who do not have a bank account to open a bank account to September 18. “However, this extension is not valid for all migrant workers. We will assess the request of workers and extend the deadline in some exceptional cases.”

“We have set some criteria for the deadline extension,” he informed. “If the worker is from a local body where there is no branch of a commercial or development bank or if the worker has arrived for the work permit without their citizenship card then we will allow them the extra time,” added Bhusal.

“We will also consider those if they are facing some emergencies.” As per Nepal Rastra Bank, commercial banks do not have a presence in 18 different local bodies across the country.

According to Bhusal, the main purpose of making a bank account mandatory is to make sure that the remittance is sent by the workers through proper banking channel. “The hundi system of remitting money is largely used in Nepal and we want to tighten such practices,” he stated.

“If workers send money through the banking system then it will not only facilitate workers but it will also help control fraud,” shared Bhusal. “Moreover, it will also be easy for the government to provide better support in case a migrant faces any problem.”

Meanwhile, DoFE offices will also assist migrants to open bank accounts. “We have held discussions with some commercial and development banks to provide such facility in our office premises itself. In the first phase, Kumari Bank and Garima Bikas Bank have agreed to facilitate migrant workers to open bank accounts at our

Tahachal office.”

As per DoFE, migrant workers can open a bank account in any of the 28 commercial or 29 development banks.

As per the new rule, migrant workers have to submit their verified bank account details to the Foreign Employment Information Management System (FEIMS) before applying for a work permit. The FEIMS has a software, which can be accessed by all concerned with foreign employment services, including Ministry of Labour Employment and Social Security, manpower firms, line offices under the ministry, orientation centres, Department of Passport, Department of Immigration, Department of Consular Services, various government agencies, diplomatic missions and Nepali embassies abroad to verify the employer and employee details.

As per Bhusal, the department has been holding talks with remittance companies to provide cheap and reliable services so that workers remit their money through the banking system. DoFE also plans to launch orientation and awareness programmes regarding the benefit of sending money through proper banking channel before the migrant workers fly to their destinations.