KATHMANDU: The Department of Immigration, under the Ministry of Home Affairs, has recently issued a 13-point travel advisory along with a six-point procedure for individuals travelling abroad on visit and tourist visas. The issuance of the travel advisory was prompted by increasing reports of Nepali citizens falling prey to fraudulent activities while traveling on visit visas.
According to the Director and Information Officer of the Department, Prem Prasad Dahal, the newly introduced advisory and procedures are effective from today. The advisory explicitly states that seeking employment abroad while holding a visit or tourist visa is illegal. Engaging in such activities may lead to legal repercussions in the host country and cause various complications.
The advisory also clarifies that individuals are personally accountable for any consequences resulting from the submission of forged documents, providing false information, visiting a country not permitted by the visa, entering conflict zones, or joining foreign armed or military forces while abroad on a tourist or visit visa.
Likewise, the department has issued a cautionary note regarding the susceptibility of women to be tempted by intermediaries into traveling to labour destination countries such as Kuwait, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain on visit visa, persuading them to convert their visas into working ones, charging exorbitant fees and coercing them into precarious and indent labour conditions in collaboration with employers.
The Department has urged one and all to not pursue a foreign travel on the visit visa with the aim of working as it may push once into unorganised and precarious jobs, depriving social security. It has encouraged citizens to seek a foreign job on just a working visa after obtaining a labour permit from the government.
Those Nepalis going to various countries on these visas have been urged to return to their home country within the visa expiry date in other circumstances except for unusual conditions, as some Nepali travellers going to several countries on visit and tourist visas are found not returning on the stipulated date.
They have been asked to depart for foreign countries by making a self-declaration that they will return home on the stipulated date since the person concerned would be responsible for any situation resulting from overstaying the visa. They have also been urged to set out on the visit after keeping general information regarding the language, culture and laws of the destination country.
“You might land in trouble if you work illegally in a foreign country after enrolling in a university listed with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, but not studying in the university. Adopt additional precaution if you are visiting with the intention of enrolling in foreign university and working there through various middle persons even when carrying a study visa in recent days, as study and work are separate matters,” reads the travel advisory.
Those carrying visit and tourist visas have been requested to travel only via Nepal’s airports, to do so only by taking the NOC Letter and, in the case of women, to adopt additional precaution and alert while travelling to third countries through airports in India.
People have been urged to ask for the authentic papers of the licensed institution before making the payment if any institution has sought money with the assurance of sending them to foreign country by taking a labour permit. Similarly, people are advised to not give money if any education consultancy, travel agency or any person has asked for money with the assurance of sending on foreign employment.
People have been urged to inform the Department of Foreign Employment or the nearest police station or dial Nepal Police at 100, if they suspect that they are being conned.
People have been urged to only pay the minimum amount fixed by the government to the licensed institution sending them on foreign employment and take the receipt of the same, and not to believe in false assurances as there is no provision for agents.
The travel advisory states that getting recruited in the army or armed groups of any country is completely illegal and against the national interest, except in the case of the Indian Army and the British Army by taking approval from the Government of Nepal. People have been urged to not be involved in such activities under any circumstances as it is difficult to also rescue the people carrying out such acts.