September 15: Pointing out to the Covid-19 pandemic as the main reason, the major labor destination countries had imposed strict restrictions. Such restrictions are being slowly eased up by those countries. This has given a glimmer of hope to aspiring migrant workers about better prospects of foreign employment.
Foreign employment has been greatly affected since the onset of the pandemic.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has lifted the travel restrictions from Monday. According to Reuters, travel restrictions have been lifted for citizens of 15 countries, including Nepal.
Nepali citizens who have received complete dosage of WHO-approved vaccine against Covid-19 would be allowed to enter the UAE. Earlier, citizens of different countries including Nepal were restricted from entering the UAE because of the spread of delta variant of Covid-19.
The International Exhibition Fair of Dubai, which had been suspended due to the pandemic, is set to begin on October 1. According to the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, travel ban has been lifted considering the fair.
Officials had been saying that the travel restrictions imposed would be lifted before the Exhibition. The countries for which restriction has been lifted include Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Namibia, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Nigeria and Afghanistan. However, the certificate of PCR test has been made mandatory.
According to the Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies (NAFEA), Kuwait, Malaysia, Dubai, which are considered attractive employment destinations for Nepali citizens, have not taken any workers from Nepal. Nepali citizens have not been able to go to those countries for employment since almost two years as the destination countries have blacklisted due to the risk of Covid-19 and have not hired workers.
The UAE has relaxed its visa requirements. The UAE government has eased the restriction by strictly enforcing the Covid-19 protocols. The UAE has introduced new visa arrangements under 50 different schemes.
This arrangement brought by the UAE will make the visa process easier and more effective. Immigrants with a Golden Visa provided by the UAE will be able to live, work and study there without a national sponsor. According to the new rules, managers, CEOs, scientists, engineers, and people related to health, education, business, and technology sectors can apply for the Golden Visa. In addition, the visa has been made easier for highly-skilled and specialized residents, investors, entrepreneurs, scientists, leading students and graduates, according to the local media.
The UAE government has extended the three-month period for business travel to six months. Immigrants in the UAE will also be able to sponsor visas for their family members. Earlier, if an individual lost their job in the UAE for any reason or their visa expired, they could only stay in the UAE for one month. But according to the new rules, now they can stay for 3 months.
Kuwait, a destination country considered attractive for Nepali citizens, is preparing to open visas after some time. Kuwait is about to open visas after an interval of about half a year. According to the Kuwait’s Ministry of Interior, the country has been issuing visit visas for business and travel purposes. First, they would open a visit visa and then gradually other visas.
The demand for construction consultants, engineers, technicians and teachers in Kuwait has increased tremendously. Meanwhile, the Department of Foreign Employment conducted a language test on Monday for young people wishing to go to Israel. According to the Department, the examinations were conducted in a peaceful and disciplined manner in 16 examination centers in Kathmandu.
Altogether 9,699 Nepalis, including 4,200 women and 5,499 men, had applied to go to Israel. Out of them, 7,009 had received admit card.
Director of the department Kamal Gyawali will publish the results of the examination within 5 days. Interviews will be conducted within 10 to 12 days. The government is preparing to prepare a list of 1,400 qualified workers to send them to Israel by the last week of September.