NRB eases process for expats to repatriate their earning

Published On: September 13, 2016 01:30 AM NPT By: Sagar Ghimire  | @sagarghi

Foreign nationals can send home up to 75 percent of their earning
KATHMANDU, Sept 13: Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has simplified the process for foreign nationals to get foreign exchange service for repatriating their income to their home country.

Foreign nationals, who were earlier required to get approval of the central bank, can now get foreign currency exchange directly from any commercial bank.

Issuing a circular last Thursday, which was released on its website on Monday, the central bank said that foreign nationals working in any firm, company and organizations in Nepal can get foreign currency, equivalent to 75 percent of their total earning, from any commercial bank in the country. 

"The process to get foreign currency for foreigners, who are working legally in Nepal, has been shortened and simplified to make it convenient for the expatriates to repatriate their earning," Bhisma Raj Dhungana, the executive director at the NRB, told Republica.“"They can directly approach the commercial banks with supporting documents to get foreign exchange for a maximum of 75 percent of their earnings as stated in their contract."

Similarly, the central bank has also paved the way for Indian nationals working in Nepal to get Indian currency directly from commercial banks and development banks. Indian nationals will also get exchange facility for up to 75 percent of their income as stated in their contract with their employer.

Foreign and Indian nationals can repatriate their money in the provident fund after filing necessary tax, reads the circular.

To get exchange service, foreign nationals have to submit an application, recommendation letter of their employing firm, company or organization, staff identity card and contract or appointment letter, and proof or copy of voucher filing necessary taxes, according to the circular. 

The foreign exchange regulations allow a foreign national to repatriate up to 75 percent of their earnings. This means they have to spend at least 25 percent of their earning in the host country (Nepal). 

Foreign nationals can get foreign exchange of up to US$ 3,000 per month or $36,000 per year. The ceiling, however, is not applicable for Indian nationals working Nepal, according to the central bank.

According to the Department of Labor that issues work permit for foreign nationals, a total of 800 foreigners are currently working in Nepal. The data does not include Indian nationals, who are not required to get work permit, and foreigners working with embassy.

Many foreign nationals are working in Nepal without working permit, taking advantage of the country's weak law enforcement.

The decision to ease the process of repatriating earning for foreign nationals comes in the wake of the central bank's move to liberalize foreign exchange regime. "This is a part of the central bank's effort to gradually liberalize the foreign exchange regime," Dhungana, who heads the foreign exchange department of the central bank, said.

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