Govt seeks Malaysian ‘calling visa’ details from hiring agencies

Kathmandu, January 21

The government has directed recruitment agencies of the country to submit exact details of the people who have already received ‘calling visas’ from Malaysia. Calling visas are confirmations from their employers about the job.

The Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE) has asked the concerned employment agencies to submit the details of migrant workers who have received the calling visas to work in Malaysia as it has faced pressure from various political parties and manpower agencies. Earlier, representatives of Nepali Congress and Rastriya Prajatantra Party Nepal had urged the Federal Parliament to resume the halted migration process to Malaysia at the earliest. They had also asked the government to ensure that workers who have received their calling visas are allowed to travel to Malaysia for employment purposes.

The DoFE published a notice today asking the employment agencies to submit details of all calling visas within 15 days.

Manpower agencies have been claiming that more than 9,000 people have already received their calling visas but have not been able to fly to the destination as they are unable to receive Malaysian visas because the government has still not lifted the temporary ban on Nepali workers from flying to the Southeast Asian nation.

The government, however, doubts the figure claimed by manpower agencies and thus wants to cross-check the details, as per DoFE. “We have also sought phone numbers of such workers because it is the government’s responsibility to make the process transparent,” said Bholanath Guragain, information officer at DoFE, adding that they will check each single detail of the calling visas submitted by the agencies for cross-verification.

Rohan Gurung, president of Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies, said that the government has been unable to solve the problem with Malaysia in a timely manner. “The process is underway but both the governments need to resolve the issue in a proactive manner.”

Meanwhile, Malaysian government had stated on January 7 that it will finalise all preparations to hire foreign migrant workers within two months.

In May last year, the government had temporarily halted sending labourers to Malaysia 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 collecting extra fees from migrant workers as it was against the government policy.

It has been over two months since Nepal inked a labour pact with Malaysia but the outflow of Nepali migrants to the destination is still uncertain.