Over 71,000 Nepalis obtained labor permits to work abroad in Mangsir alone

Published On: December 31, 2023 01:45 PM NPT By: Sabita Khadka

KATHMANDU, Dec 31: The number of young people aspiring to go abroad after facing unemployment in the country is constantly increasing. In comparison to the month of Kartik (mid-October to mid-November), the number of individuals obtaining work permits has nearly doubled in Mangsir (mid-November to mid-December).

While 43,622 people received work permits from the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE) in Kartik, this number surged to 71,276 in Mangsir. According to DoFE statistics, 102,624 men and 12,234 women obtained work permits in Kartik and Mangsir alone.

A work permit is a prerequisite for working abroad. Even those who have returned from overseas employment have opted to go abroad again due to the lack of job opportunities domestically.

"Alongside new labor permits, the number of individuals renewing their labor permits is also increasing," said Kabiraj Upreti, information officer for the DoFE.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has emerged as the major destination for young people seeking foreign employment in the first five months of the current fiscal year. The UAE, known for its skyscrapers, deserts, oil, and tourism, has witnessed rapid economic growth, creating employment opportunities.

Nepali youth consider the UAE an organized, safe, and dignified destination for foreign employment. The UAE, which ranked as the third labor destination country in the previous fiscal year's Mangsir, has become the top labor destination since the beginning of the current year. According to DoFE data, 18,493 people obtained work permits for the UAE in Mangsir alone.

In Mangsir of the previous year, Qatar was the fourth-ranked labor destination for Nepalis. In the current year's Mangsir, 14,152 people have received approval for work in Qatar. According to labor permit data, Qatar has become the second most popular labor destination country this Mangsir. Similarly, 13,983 people have obtained work permits for Saudi Arabia, ranking third among Nepali labor destination countries, while 9,775 people have secured work permits for Malaysia, placing fourth. Additionally, 3,485 people have obtained work permits to go to Kuwait, ranking fifth.

From Shrawan (mid-July to mid-August) to Mangsir of the current fiscal year, 68,470 people have traveled to the UAE for employment.

Overall, the number of women traveling to the UAE for employment has increased. Although not all countries allow Nepali women to work abroad, government officials note that women often go illegally to countries where foreign employment is banned.

Rajendra Bhandari, president of the Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies, mentioned that the number of tourists visiting the UAE is also on the rise. “The UAE is an open country, and most young people who have gone there from Nepal are satisfied. Nepalis can find jobs matching their preferences in the UAE, with companies there meeting workers' expectations. Nepali youth also aspire to go to the UAE and use it as a gateway to enter Europe, contributing to the increasing number of young people heading to the UAE,” he added.

According to the DoFE, most women traveling for foreign employment go to the UAE with a work permit. The UAE is also a popular choice for women who travel on visit visas through brokers, taking up domestic work upon arrival.

Dhanusha district tops the list in terms of the number of youth who have received labor approval for foreign employment. Out of the 3,621 people who received work permits from Dhanusha in Mangsir, 624 are women. Similarly, in Mangsir, 3,397 people from Jhapa, 3,102 from Morang, and 2,716 from Siraha obtained labor approval for foreign employment.

According to Upreti, the UAE is a safe destination for Asian and African citizens to live and work. Women have gone to the UAE as factory, cleaning, and domestic workers. He mentioned that women go abroad through manpower companies and also through individual efforts.

"Indians comprise the largest number of foreign workers in the UAE, followed by Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Filipinos, Iranians, Egyptians, Nepalis, Sri Lankans, and Chinese. The UAE's religious and cultural diversity has made it a country of coexistence. Due to increasing facilities and various reasons, the UAE has become the first choice for Nepali workers,” stated Upreti.

In the fiscal year 2022/23, as many as 116,159 Nepalis arrived in the UAE with work permits, including 24,000 women.

Upreti said, "Most of the youth from Madhesh have gone abroad. Currently, the labor destinations for Nepali youth include countries like the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Malaysia. Even though the government encourages skilled manpower to seek foreign employment, most women go abroad without skills, according to government officials. According to the DoFE, among the 71,000 people who went abroad for foreign employment in Mangsir, 14,000 men and 2,000 women are unskilled and 6,128 men and 600 women are semi-skilled. Unskilled workers face more problems after reaching abroad."


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