KATHMANDU, Sept 4: After the increase in cases of human trafficking due to the misuse of tourist visas, the government is going to revise and tighten the procedure for managing foreign departure permits for tourist visas. After human traffickers started sending domestic workers to Gulf countries by misusing visit visas, the government is going to tighten the procedures.
The new procedures include provisions from bank statements to taking action against travel agencies.
A government document revealing the relationship between the family members, a document revealing the annual income of at least Rs 400,000 and affiliation to the tax system, and a statement showing a bank balance of at least Rs 200,000 on the date of submitting the application to the system, evidence of paying taxes to the government (federal, provincial and local) based on income. Those who do not have proof of two-way air ticket and hotel booking in the destination country's hotel website will not be allowed to apply for a visit visa.
According to the new procedure, a provision has been made to obtain the approval of the Department of Immigration (DoI) before taking an air ticket for visiting the designated countries on a visit visa. "Nepali citizens who want to travel abroad on a tourist visa must apply at least seven days in advance through the department's online system for its approval," the procedure states. In order to prevent the wrong person from applying for a visit visa, a provision has been made for travel agencies to make sure that if s/he is the same before the travel agency books the ticket.
The travel agencies that arrange air tickets for departure from Nepal to foreign countries have to confirm whether or not the person has been approved for the visit in that country before managing the tickets of Nepali who is going to visit the designated country on a tourist visa. It has been arranged that the concerned travel agency will be responsible for returning of Nepali travelers who have departed from Nepal on a foreign visit visa through their travel agency on the specified date and should report to the DoI.
Also, it is provided that if a complaint is received with the involvement of a person or a licensed organization in the case of being stranded in the destination country on a tourist visa for foreign employment, action will be taken according to the prevailing law.
Fanindra Mani Pokharel, spokesperson at the Ministry of Home Affairs said that the new procedure has been approved. "A new procedure has been approved to solve the problem with the visit visa, now according to this procedure citizens will go abroad on the visit visa," he added.
In the new procedure, representatives of government or semi-government bodies wholly or partially owned by the Government of Nepal, people's representatives, central officials of nationally recognized political parties and government employees and their family members, journalists and media house owners traveling abroad for information gathering and business, people who have gained national and international fame by making special contributions, senior citizens, civil society activists and representatives of international non-governmental organizations and their families will also have to submit the required proof.