Qatar to establish visa, bio-metric health centre in Kathmandu

Kathmandu, November 6

The government of Qatar has said it will establish a visa and bio-metric health centre in Kathmandu soon, which will be the largest such facility in Asia.

Ambassador of Qatar to Nepal Yousuf Bin Mohammed Al-Hail, today stated that the Qatari government has decided to open a visa and bio-metric centre in Kathmandu. “We will soon establish a health centre in Kathmandu, which we believe will be of tremendous help to Nepali migrant workers.”

He further added that the health centre will put an end to the practice of migrant workers having to conduct health check-up in Kathmandu as well as in Qatar. “At present, workers who fail the health check-up that is done in Qatar have to return home even though they had passed the health check-up in Nepal,” he mentioned, adding that this added a financial burden on workers who had already reached Qatar but had to return.

“Once the bio-metric health centre is established then Nepali workers will not have to again conduct another check-up in Qatar,” Ambassador Al-Hail clarified.

The ambassador further informed that the Qatari government had assigned the responsibility to set up the bio-metric centre to Singapore-based company called Biomet Smart Identity Solutions. The company will also be responsible for providing visa related services to Nepali migrant workers going to Qatar.

At present, a four-member Qatari government delegation is in Kathmandu to hold talks with the Nepali government to revise the existing labour agreement between the two countries. The delegation includes Mohammad Al-Meer, adviser to the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs and Major Abdullah Khalisa Al-Mohanadi, director of Visa Support Service Department, Ministry of Interior. Likewise, Captain Nasser Al-Khalah, visa section officer, Ministry of Interior and Yahya Albayati, legal adviser, Ministry of Interior, are also part of the delegation.

As per Major Al-Mohanadi, delegation has already started discussions with Minister for Labour, Employment and Social Security Gokarna Bista to ease the process to open a visa centre in Kathmandu.

However, Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security (MoLESS) has said it was not aware about the Qatari government wanting to establish a visa and bio-metric health centre in Kathmandu. “We have not formally received any notice from Qatari government to establish a visa centre in Kathmandu,” said Narayan Regmi, spokesperson for MoLESS.

Moreover, as per Nepal's law, any foreign company that wants to establish its office in the country has to be registered at the Office of the Company Registrar. However, Biomet Smart Identity Solutions has said it hasn't yet initiated any legal formality to open a visa and bio-metric centre in Nepal.

“The Qatari embassy in Kathmandu will look into that issue,” informed Suhail Shaikh, business head of the Singaporean company.