MoHA given power to deport foreigners

Kathmandu, June 15

The power of making final decision on the deportation of any foreign citizen has been delegated to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The Department of Immigration informed that a decision to this effect was recently taken by the Government of Nepal. Prior to this decision, all deportation cases had to be decided through a Cabinet meeting. An official at the immigration department said the move aimed to simplify the process of deporting any foreign citizen involved in violating immigration rules as such cases were on the rise in recent years.

According to Immigration Rules-1994, the government may deport any foreign citizen in case he/she overstays without extending his/her tourist visa in excess of the period of 150 days. The offender is also liable to a fine of US 5 dollars per day after the visa expires.

The government had deported as many as 339 foreigners found guilty of criminal and immigration offences in 2016. A figure maintained by the home ministry shows that citizens of 51 countries were expelled on the recommendation of the Department of Immigration.

Of them, 277 foreigners, mostly living in Nepal without visa, were booked in connection with the immigration offence while 62 had served jail sentences for fraudulent activities and drug smuggling. At least 326 foreign citizens were expelled in 2015.

Likewise, the government sent home 15 foreigners from mid-July through to mid-January of this fiscal. Many of the foreigners were sent home for violating immigration laws, overstaying, living in Nepal without visa and working without permit.

Any foreign national residing temporarily in Nepal is not allowed to engage in activities other than the purpose for which the visa was obtained. The tendency of overstaying visa has increased for the want of mechanism to keep tab on foreigners staying in Nepal.