A large number of jobseekers from Nepal are coming to the United Arab Emirates without having already got secure work permits in their home nation and could be exploited by the unscrupulous, according to a top Nepal Government minister.

In an interview with Gulf News while visiting Abu Dhabi recently, Gokarna Bista, the Nepalese Labour Minister, says that those who do not get work permits could fall victim to dubious agents and fraudsters.

250,000 Nepalese are currently residing in the UAE, and many arrived on visit visas and then got jobs and changed their status.

Bista says that the Nepal Government is very concerned by the trend.

Nepalese workers have complained about problems with agents, and worries are rising about the financial burden being placed on missions in order to deal with the cases.

When workers do not get work permits, it is not possible for the Nepal Government to maintain the job profiles of those citizens who are working in the UAE and other overseas countries.

This means that they cannot help to protect their rights with issues such as compensation, dispute settlement, financial assistance, and they cannot assist with repatriation or airfare provision in the event of deaths or accidents.

Bista says that the Nepal Government is doing its best to spread the message among the community that obtaining work permits in Nepal before they go to the UAE to work helps them to receive all the benefits to which they are entitled.

Bista adds that it is against Nepal rules to go to the UAE on a tourist visa and then change residency status to domestic worker.

The country stopped sending maids to the UAE more than five years ago in the wake of a number of complaints that were made for similar reasons.

Having a legal work permit before arriving in the UAE would also reduce problems relating to visas, according to Bista.

At the moment, there are around 150,000 people from Nepal travelling to the UAE every year, and Bista says that the Nepal Government is committed to making sure that their workers are given a work environment that is humanitarian and dignified.

Bista claims that it is unacceptable that some workers are charged enormous sums of money in service and processing applications by unscrupulous agents.

In April, Nepal and the UAE signed an agreement ensuring the rights of the former’s workers – this deal also included zero-cost of hiring.

Anyone who comes to the UAE for any reason, such as work or on holiday, should take out travel insurance coverage before they set off on their journey.

Travel insurance is essential for anyone jetting off to other countries anywhere in the world.

Travel brings with it an element of risk as there is always the possibility of losing valuables en route, flights being cancelled, or even falling ill while away from home.

Travel insurance offers financial protection in the event that any of those circumstances actually arise.


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