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Guideline to regulate hiring of foreigners

by dbusiness
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Jan 14, 2014, Kathmandu

In a fresh attempt to regulate the hiring of foreign workers in Nepal, the government has introduced a guideline for the first time.

The move has come at a time when the government has not been able to get desired results despite repeated attempts to regulate the hiring of foreigners under the Labor Act 1992.

For over two years, the government had been working over a plan to make it mandatory for foreigners working in Nepal to acquire work permit amid rising trend of foreigners visiting Nepal on tourist visa and staying back to work.

The “Work Permit Guideline 2070 for Foreigners Working in Nepal” is the first such initiative to regulate the increasing trend of hiring foreign nationals in formal and informal sectors.

The Department of Labour (DoL) said the new regulation attempts to bring foreign workers under a systematic mechanism. Work permit is not required for diplomatic staff enjoying diplomatic privilege and immunities.

Only a small number of foreigners working in Nepal have acquired work permit. Although the exact data of foreigners working in Nepal is not available, the DoL estimates there are around 550,000 foreigners working in Nepal, of which 500,000 are from India.

However, the DoL says only around 10,000 have obtained work permits to work in diplomatic missions, banks, telecom companies and education sector, among others.

With the guideline in place, foreign workers have to mandatorily get work permit from the department no matter which sector they work in, be it formal, informal or self employment.

The guideline says it is mandatory for foreigners visiting Nepal for paid or unpaid jobs to apply for the permit within one month.

The department can also reject an application for work permit if there is enough domestic human resource and if the applicant does not have a security clearance from the Home Ministry, among others.

As per the guideline, introduced on Friday, the DoL can grant permission to employers to engage a non-Nepali at work for a maximum period of five years, and the employment period will go up to seven years for specialised and technical jobs. Indian nationals will have to pay Rs 5,000 to acquire the permit, while foreign nationals other than Indians will have to pay Rs 10,000.

The DoL has warned of a tough action against foreigners working illegally in Nepal. On Sunday, it announced a 90-day grace period for acquiring work permit for those who have not done so. “After 90 days, we will carry out a monitoring of organisations employing foreigners and those found working illegally will be taken action as per the Labour Law,” said Krishna Hari Puskar, director general of the DoL.

DoL officials said they have already identified areas where foreigners could be working without acquiring the permit. In the first four months of this fiscal year, the department has taken action against 200 organisations, of which four dozens were INGOs, for employing foreigners without work permit.

(The news is taken from Kathmandu Post)

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