Nepal | October 01, 2020

700 illegals set for 3rd-country resettlement

300 Rohingayas, 400 Africans likely to get exit permits

Rewati Sapkota
Share Now:

Shelters made of corrugated metal by the Rohingya refugees are pictured in Kathmandu, Nepal, on September 12, 2017. Photo: Reuters

Kathmandu, March 5

The government is preparing to grant exit permits to around 700 illegal immigrants for resettlement in third countries.

According to Secretary at the Ministry of Home Affairs Prem Kumar Rai, a proposal to grant exit permits to at least 167 illegal immigrants has already been forwarded to the Cabinet. “The ministry has forwarded the proposal at the request of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees,” Rai told THT.

Illegal immigrants include around 300 Rohingyas and around 400 African nationals, he added. “They will be resettled in third countries by the UNHCR,” Rai said, replying to a question of Nepal Communist Party (NCP) lawmaker Jhapat Rawal in today’s meeting of the State Affairs and Good Governance Committee.

The home ministry shall seek the consent of the finance ministry to waive visa fees and penalty slapped on illegal immigrants before tabling the proposal in the Cabinet. The Department of Immigration issues exit permits to immigrants once the Cabinet approves the home ministry’s proposal.

Rai said Rohingyas arrived in Nepal via India taking advantage of the porous border, while Africans arrived here on tourist visas. “Those immigrants are from around six-seven African countries,” Rai said, without disclosing the countries’ names. UNHCR officials could not be contacted despite repeated attempts by THT.

Tourists enter Nepal via Nepalgunj, Birgunj,Kakkarbhitta, Rasuwa, Bhairahawa, Belhiya, Dhangadi, Gadda Chauki and Tribhuvan International Airport.

According to Rai, the Rohingyas have been staying in Nepal for the past three years and the government has now tightened security at border points to curb their entry. “The number of Rohingyas has remained constant for the past year,” Rai said.

Rohingyas are Muslims predominantly from Rakhine state of Myanmar. But the Myanmar government has denied citizenship to Rohingyas since 1982, turning them into stateless people. Their flight from the home country intensified in 2017 when Rohingya militants launched deadly attacks on security forces of Myanmar. Some one million Rohingyas have fled from Myanmar and are staying in different countries, including 0.7 million in Bangladesh. Some of them have entered Nepal via open border with India after the 2017 violence. Some 650 Rohingyas are living in Nepal, as some of them entered Nepal in the 1990s and 2012.

The UNHCR has been supporting those illegal immigrants for their food, education and health. The UNHCR gives Rs 17,000 annually for their children’s education.

Nepal does not recognise immigrants from Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Congo, Iran and Iraq who have been living in Nepal illegally. Nepal has recognised Bhutanese (6,656 remaining after resettlement) who entered from Kakkarbhitta in 1990 and Tibetans (24,500) who came to Nepal in 1959 as refugees. Most Bhutanese refugees have already been resettled in third countries.

The Nepal government had deported more than 600 foreigners from 63 countries in the last eight years for overstaying visa. According to the Department of Immigration, more than 1,400 foreigners have been fined for overstaying in Nepal in the last five years. The security forces say illegal immigrants were involved in drug trafficking, kidnapping, fraud, organised crime, dealing in fake currency, making fake passports, arms smuggling and prostitution.


A version of this article appears in print on March 06, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

In Pursuit of Onions!

Kathmandu, September 28 People queuing without maintaining safe distancing to buy onions at NRs. 60 per kg at the Nepal Food Corporation at Thapathali in Kathmandu on Monday. Photo: Naresh Shrestha/THT Read More...

Body of missing youth found partly devoured by tiger in Rautahat forest

RAUTAHAT: Security personnel in a search operation found body of a youth who had gone missing in a forest in Chandrapur Municipality-6 of Rautahat district. The Nepal Police and Armed Police Force personnel found the body partly devoured by a wild animal in Tildhare forest, four kilometres south Read More...

Symbolic street-drama in support of Dr Govinda KC

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 30 Shilpee Theater performs a symbolic protest street drama on Wednesday in support of Dr Govinda KC, the 63-year-old orthopedic surgeon who is on his fast-unto-death hunger strike at Teaching Hospital, seeking reforms in the medical sector for the 19th time. Photo: Skanda Ga Read More...

common cold

Do we have pre-existing immunity to Covid-19?

KATHMANDU: People who have contracted the common or seasonal cold in the past may be immune to the coronavirus infection, a study suggests. In a study published in the journal mBio, it indicated that the COVID-19 causing SARS-CoV-2 induce memory B cells, which are long-lived immune cells that det Read More...

Man United beat Brighton again, Calvert-Lewin hat-trick

LONDON: Manchester United earned their second win over Brighton & Hove Albion in five days as they booked a place in the League Cup quarter-finals with a 3-0 win at the Amex Stadium on Wednesday. It was much more comfortable for United than Saturday's dramatic last-gasp 3-2 league Read More...

SC hearing against Gautam’s nomination to NA begins

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 30 Constitutional bench of the Supreme Court today began hearing in the case filed against Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Vice-chair Bamdev Gautam’s nomination to the National Assembly. Lawyers representing petitioners, Senior Advocate Dinesh Tripathi and Advocate Badri Raj Read More...

Swindling racket busted, eight members arrested

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 30 Police have nabbed eight persons who were involved in swindling money from people on the pretext of exchanging foreign currency at a rate lower than the market rate. The police came to know about the large scale business of the racketeers and their notorious history fol Read More...

National Examinations Board (NEB) Nepal

Govt still undecided on Grade XII examinations

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 30 Though various alternatives for conducting the stalled exams have been recommended, the government has failed to take a decision to hold Grade XII examinations. The National Examination Board had suggested the government if holding examinations inside classrooms was not Read More...