Kathmandu, December 1
The Ministry of Home Affairs has deported a total of 638 foreign nationals, who were held guilty of immigration offences and served jail sentence, in fiscal 2018-19.
They were expelled on the recommendation of the Department of Immigration. Annual report published by the MoHA said the DoI recommended for expulsion of 638 foreigners after they were found violating Immigration rules or served jail sentences on various criminal offences. Of them, 541 had been overstaying or working in Nepal without labour permit. According to the rule, if a foreigner overstays without renewing tourist visa in excess of the period of 150 days, s/he shall be expelled from the country. The offender is also liable to fine of three US dollars per day and an additional fine of up to Rs 50,000.
Any foreign national residing temporarily in Nepal is not allowed to engage in activities other than the purpose for which the visa was issued. Tendency of overstaying among foreigners has increased for want of mechanism to keep tab on them.
As many as 97 foreigners were deported upon their release from jails, after serving sentence for various criminal offenses including paedophillia, theft, drug smuggling, fake currency, arms and ammunition, foreign exchange, banking fraud, kidnapping, hundi business, human trafficking, telecommunications and forgery.
A foreigner, who is released from jail is not deemed eligible to stay in Nepal.
Those facing expulsion included citizens of China, Pakistan, Russia, Bangladesh, Germany, France, Korea, America, Britain, Italy, Israel, Australia, Canada, Uzbekistan, Portugal, Taiwan, Switzerland, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Poland, Iran, New Zealand, Malaysia, Peru and Denmark.
Thousands of foreigners, mostly Chinese and Bangladeshis, are suspected of living illegally in Nepal. According to the MoHA, the DoI was working in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, district administration offices, police and tourism entrepreneurs to effectively monitor activities of foreigners visiting Nepal.
Foreign Nationals Monitoring Directives recently endorsed by the government envisages a central level monitoring and regulation committee led by DoI director general, and a district level committee led by chief district officer to keep tab on and control illegal activities of foreigners staying in Nepal.
A version of this article appears in print on December 02, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.