Chinese, Koreans found working in Nepal on tourist visa

Kathmandu August 6

The Department of Immigration will soon take action against two Chinese and two South Korean nationals for working in Nepal without obtaining work permits.

Chinese women Yu Yan and Zheng Huanxia and Korean men Kang Youn Goo and Chanmin Lee are employed at Hi-Art Nepal Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of a Korean multinational company. They are drawing their salaries from the Nepal-based company, but do not have permits to work in Nepal, as they are staying here on the tourist visa.

“We have completed the investigation into the case. We will take action against them as per the Immigration Regulation,” said an immigration official who did not want to be named.

Nepal’s immigration rules bar foreigners from working in the country without obtaining the work permit from the Labour Department. Those working illegally can even be deported.

The company in which the Chinese and Korean nationals are employed produces wigs (artificial hair). It employs 420 Nepalis, including 300 females, mostly from Sindhupalchowk, Nuwakot, Makawanpur and Kathmandu.

Korean national Lee is working as a manager for the company on a tourist visa, which expired on Thursday, DoI investigation showed.

As a manager, he had recently reached out to officials of Citizens Investment Trust to enable employees of the firm to contribute a portion of their salary towards the provident fund, according to the DoI.

Two Chinese and another Korean were also staying in Nepal on the tourist visa. They are also drawing the salary from the Nepal-based company.

The four had initially obtained business visas and worked as business representatives of the company. Later, they changed their visa status from ‘business’ to ‘tourist’, DoI investigation showed.

The company where the four are employed is owned by Korean nationals Hong-in Pyo, Lee Kyung-sub and Jang Yong Suk, and a Korean firm, Himo Inc. The company, spread on eight ropanis of land at Daachi, Kathmandu, also has presence in Myanmar, China and Japan.

The company, established five years ago, exports wigs to Myanmar, China, Korea and Japan. It imports raw materials from Korea, Japan and China.