Numbers of youths seeking foreign employment opportunities surge

Published On: May 29, 2024 10:35 AM NPT By: Sabita Khadka

KATHMANDU, May 27: The number of youths going abroad for foreign employment exceeded 771,000 in the last fiscal year 2022/23. A total of 771,327 youths ventured abroad with approved labor permits, marking the highest number till date.

According to the data of the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE), a total of 609,705 Nepali youths have gone abroad for foreign employment between mid-July to mid-April of the current fiscal year 2023-24.

The data includes the total number of people going abroad with new as well as renewed labor permits. It is estimated that the number of youths going abroad for employment will exceed 700,000 this year. 

Among the Gulf countries, Nepali youths prefer the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as the top destination for employment. 

By the end of the tenth month of the current fiscal year, UAE remains the preferred destination for foreign employment. The data from DoFE shows that a total of 154,815 Nepali youth have gone to the UAE from mid-July to mid-April. Currently, the main labor destination for Nepali youth includes the UAE, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and South Korea.

The number of young people wishing to migrate to developed countries in Europe has also started to surge. Nepalis have been going to countries like Croatia, Poland and Romania. This indicates that even if the Nepali’s labor destination may change, the tendency to migrate aboard remains unchanged. 

Guru Datta Subedi, spokesperson for the DoFE said that most of the Nepali youth have gone to the UAE for foreign employment by obtaining labor permits to work overseas.  

Subedi said that these data do not include the number of individuals who go to Dubai on visit visa and subsequently obtain labor permits as well as those who traveled to European countries via India without obtaining labor permits.

According to the DoFE spokesperson Subedi, a large number of Nepali youths ventured abroad due to insufficient job opportunities within the country. 

“Even those who returned to Nepal after working for a certain period abroad are still returning abroad due to lack of job opportunities in Nepal. Foreign employment might be an option for only a few, but it has become a compulsion for many Nepali youths,” he added.

Subedi said that many Nepali youths have ventured abroad to work in various sectors such as factory workers, cleaners, domestic workers, construction workers and security guards in the UAE. 

Many women are going abroad as domestic workers through illegal routes. Because of this, many women are forced to work in unsafe conditions abroad. Since, the government has not made arrangements to obtain labor permits for those going to India for employment, their details are not included in this data.  

“Many youths have ventured abroad because they feel that staying here does not sustain their daily lives. That is why the number of youths going abroad for jobs is setting a new record,” Subedi said. A large number of young people have gone abroad due to lack of employment opportunities. Even if they get work here, they don’t get regular pay.

Subash Silwal, who reached Saudi Arabia six months ago for foreign employment, said that Nepal is facing political instability as well as economic downturn and even after securing employment, one faces immense disappointment.

“Patriotism alone is not enough. It’s difficult to raise a family. In such a situation, how can one choose to stay and work here?” he questioned.


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